I now have passed on the torch of the NCJWC Presidency to Linda Steinberg.   I am confident our organization will continue to thrive under Linda’s leadership.

During my Presidency, we succeeded in raising our profile and becoming involved in new endeavors.  This is all thanks to a progressive, engaged board.

During the 5 years of my tenure as president, on the National front:

  • the NCJWC Presidents’ Council was established in 2018 to give the Section Presidents a platform to meet and share ideas, difficulties and initiatives, consulting with one another along with the National President.
  • a new Simcoe County Section was established in 2019 thanks to the leadership of Helen Silverstein that continues to grow.
  • We presented a four-part series on Women and Justice and a webinar featuring 3 prominent Canadian journalists speaking on Journalists defending Human Rights.
  • Last year, as an initiative to join our western sections together, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg, were invited to work on a project in their cities aimed at helping vulnerable women and children using the banner ‘Creating Connections’. Each section achieved the goal in a unique way satisfying a need in their individual community. Hopefully this was the first of many more joint projects.
  • Encouraged by the Honourable Irwin Cotler, we partnered with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre in Montreal to present the film ‘Nasrin’, about a brave female Iranian political prisoner who stood up for women’s rights. This was followed by a panel including Prof. Cotler, speaking about her challenges and how we could advocate for her release. As a National organization we urged our government officials to act on her behalf.
  • We established multi-level government relationships to support the fight against antisemitism, being invited to roundtable discussions to offer suggestions.
  • We collaborated and created working relationships and partnerships with many organizations including The Montreal Holocaust Museum, B’nai Brith, CIJA , The Raoul Wallenberg Centre and Friends of Simon Weisenthal.
  • We initiated the creation of Women to Women Countering Racism focus group. Finding partners from other persecuted groups, we aim to work together on this issue promoting love, compassion and inter-group understanding.

We worked to increase our international presence:

  • NCJWC is actively involved in ICJW – NCJWC members on the executive in key positions, including myself as a Vice President.
  • We became involved in the London-based Women’s Commonwealth Jewish Network at its inception, where I serve on its steering committee.
  • We promoted the Every Women Treaty, a global campaign to amplify the call for an international treaty to end violence against women and girls. This is a coalition of 1700 individuals and organizations from 128 countries and is leading this effort. By contacting other Canadian women’s organizations and encouraging them to add their support we expanded the coalition.

Now, it is up to Linda and the new Board of Directors to continue to enhance our presence and our importance in the landscape of the country.  I am certain we will carry on with fortitude, perseverance, determination, and enthusiasm as has been the NCJWC way.  I look forward to our future.

Wishing you all a very Happy Chanukah!

Debbie Wasserman

Immediate Past President of NCJWC