TORONTO — More than 1,000 young professionals and 40 politicians from all levels of government recently mingled at the sixth annual ACTION party organized by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC).
The event, held this year March 29 at Toronto’s Skywalk, encourages young Jewish Canadians and pro-Israel supporters to become politically active and make an impact on issues of concern in the community.
“Young professionals often think of politicians as being out of reach and assume it’s impossible to impact Canadian politics. The ACTION party is an informal environment that helps build relationships while highlighting how easy it is to become politically engaged,” said Sara Lefton, event co-chair along with Michelle Golfman, Matthew Lerner and Jared Tessis.
This year’s party featured live entertainment, an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Government officials in attendance included members of Parliament Carolyn Bennett and Monte Kwinter, Ontario Opposition Leader Tim Hudak, MPP Peter Shurman, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Coun. Josh Colle and Israeli Consul General Amir Gissin.
“The ACTION party is a unique and entertaining way to accomplish our mandate,” Lefton said. “It allows us to showcase our efforts and to celebrate the work we do. It’s one of our most recognized programs.”
Matthew Solomon, a young professional who has attended the party for four years straight, said ACTION was the first Jewish event he experienced upon moving to Toronto from Montreal.
“Not only is it one of the premiere parties of the year in the Jewish community, but it’s most paramount to bring young Jewish professionals and politicians together in order to promote pro-Israel leadership in the Diaspora and specifically here in Canada,” he said.
ACTION provides an opportunity for young professionals and politicians to unite in a relaxed and casual atmosphere, Lefton said. “We are constantly looking for different and unique places to hold our event and this year is no exception. With its striking views and sweeping windows, the Skywalk is a Toronto landmark, but it has never been used for an event of this nature.”
A similar party is scheduled for Montreal on May 17.
Lefton said the event is not a fundraiser “in the traditional sense,” as it is “focused on encouraging political engagement rather than donations for CJPAC. That said, all donations are used to fund programs that engage the community in political activity.”
For more information on CJPAC, visit www.cjpac.ca.