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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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CBC’s Rex Murphy to open Winnipeg campaign

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Rex Murphy

WINNIPEG — Gail Asper is looking forward to a full house for the Combined Jewish Appeal 2013-2014 campaign kickoff evening at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Sept. 10, and the star of the evening will be CBC icon Rex Murphy.

“I have heard Rex before and he delivers a powerful and captivating message,” says Asper, who is chairing the annual campaign for a second year. “Orators like him are few and far between, so it’s exciting that we will be bringing him to Winnipeg to speak. We anticipate a large crowd.”

The CJA campaign here has been upping the ante every year now for the past 10 years or more, reflecting the growing size of the Jewish community, which the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg now estimates to be more than 17,000. (In recent years, most of the growth has come from Israeli families relocating here.)

Last year’s target was $5.56 million. The goal for the coming year is to raise $5.817 million.  

“As far as I am concerned, it’s hard to know where one campaign ends and the new one begins, because the CJA staff, cabinet and division chairs haven’t stopped working, even though the 2012 campaign officially ended March 31,” Asper said.

“That being said, the 2013 CJA campaign formally launches on Sept. 1.


Agencies get boost after record CJA haul


WINNIPEG — There are a lot of smiling faces among staff at the many Jewish organizations that serve the community here.

Thanks to another record year for the Combined Jewish Appeal, every one of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s beneficiary agencies has received a substantial increase in its allocations – in some cases even more than the agency requested.

CJA met its $5.56-million target for the 2012-13 fundraising drive, the latest in a more-than-decade-long string of yearly increases for the campaign, leaving some $127,000 more to allocate this year. The goal for the 2013-14 campaign is $5.82 million.

“It has been a very gratifying year,” said Adam Levene, chair of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s allocations committee. “Because the campaign was so successful, we had more money to give out.”

The largest increase this year went to Jewish Child and Family Service. The allocations committee granted JCFS’ request for $70,600 more for a total of $782,600 for 2013-2014. The grant includes $12,000 for a satellite daycare whose location has yet to be determined.

JCFS is the second-largest recipient of CJA funding after Gray Academy of Jewish Education. The community’s junior kindergarten-to-Grade 12 Jewish day school last year received $895,000. The school requested and received another $20,000 for this year. The school also receives funding from the provincial government, which funds all private schools in the province at the rate of 50 per cent of public school funding, which translates into about 40 per cent of Gray Academy’s annual budget.

The Kaufman Silverberg Jewish Library – which is in the school’s basement (both are housed at the Asper Jewish Community Campus) – had its grant bumped up by $5,000, from $55,000 to $60,000.

The Rady Jewish Community Centre, the campus building’s other major tenant, asked for and received $19,500 more, for a total of $498,000, while the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada received $10,000 (for a total of $65,000) as per its request.

Camp Massad, the 60-year-old Hebrew language camp just north of Winnipeg, received the largest increase dollar-wise, more than doubling its allocation from $37,500 last year to $80,000 for 2013-2014. Massad is in the midst of $1-million fundraising campaign to pay for a major upgrade to its camp site. B’nai Brith Jewish Community Camp received a more modest, but still substantial, $10,000 raise to $55,000 for the coming year.

Agencies based outside the campus also received generous increases. The most important of these agencies is the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre in North Winnipeg. The centre provides Jewish seniors with a variety of programs and companionship. It’s responsible for preparing kosher meals for shut-ins (meals on wheels), Jewish patients in hospitals and Jewish prison inmates. The centre received a $12,500 boost, to $129,000 for 2013-2014.

The Shalom Residences – the group of group homes in north Winnipeg for Jewish adults with intellectual disabilities – was given an additional $10,000 (for a total of $30,000).

The federation also supports a couple of off-site educational programs. Reform Congregation Temple Shalom’s religious school received $3,000 more (a total of $8,000) while Chabad’s Jewish Learning Institute saw its grant triple to $15,000.

“One thing we all agree on: people need to know more about what the campaign is all about and all of the vital agencies and programs it supports, here in Winnipeg, nationally, in Israel and in challenged Jewish communities around the world. If everyone was provided with this information, who wouldn’t feel compelled to support the CJA generously?”

Asper said that Winnipeg’s CJA drive has one of the highest campaign participation rates among North American federated communities.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” she said. “But there are still thousands of members of the Jewish community who haven’t had the opportunity to contribute to the CJA. I firmly believe that if they understood the important work the federation and its partner agencies do, they would become supporters. It’s our job to educate them, one donor at a time.”

The Women’s Philanthropy chairs for 2013-14 are Daniella Jacobsohn and Mira Narvey while the Young Adult Division campaign chair is Lindsay Sawyer.

Super Sunday is scheduled for Sept. 29.

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