Hundreds of young Jewish professionals recently came together to celebrate Jewish Urban Meeting Place’s (JUMP) third annual anniversary party.
JUMP is a non-profit organization that provides social, volunteer and educational programming for Jews between the ages of 22 to 34. Located in midtown Toronto, JUMP is a centre where members can relax, schmooze and discover their Jewish identity through innovative and exciting opportunities.
The anniversary party, held on July 7 at This is London nightclub, raised funds to support the organization’s mission of empowering its members to become more engaged in their heritage and more active in inspiring positive change in the community.
The event featured a performance by Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo, a live samba squad, a snack and dessert buffet, door prizes and raffles.
For this year’s party, event chairs Julian Brass, Alex Bronfman, Marissa Daniels, Ilana Oziel and Dar Refaeli “decided to switch it up in terms of the ambience and atmosphere,” said Shlomo Buzaglo, director of programs and trips at JUMP.
“We wanted to break away from what was done in the past and what is usually done at these large scale community events. The food was fun and interactive, with Lollicakes cupcakes, a full out candy and chocolate bar from Kosher Food Warehouse, large hot pretzels, a Dippin Dots ice cream stand, a Spudniks hot potato chips station, and a cotton candy and popcorn station.”
Buzaglo said the anniversary party is “one of the more important events for JUMP because this is the night for our constituents and participants to come out and support an organization that works for them.”
He said the party shows the Toronto Jewish community that “events and travel opportunities that JUMP provides for young professionals are important and needed in this day and age and that we, as a community, must invest in the future of our nation.”
Buzaglo said JUMP is an important organization in the community because there are few options for young adults who want to be engaged in social, cultural and educational programming once they have moved on from university.
“At JUMP we realize the importance of young Jews feeling confident and proud of their Jewish identity and creating opportunities for these people to build on that. Our grassroots approach encourages our participants to become more active in creating and organizing events that they feel are needed in our community.”
Once a small organization in 2007, JUMP has grown to offer a dozen programs or events each month, engaging more than 400 young professionals and adults. JUMP’s relationships with other community organizations have also evolved into strong partnerships, Buzaglo said.
“I think that so many young professionals are attracted to JUMP because we are a very sincere and friendly organization. We create a space that is inviting and fun to be in and our programming is always creative and relevant to our participants. The opportunities we create are enticing for someone to learn more about Israel and Judaism, volunteer for a great cause, and meet cool new people at the same time.”
JUMP’s most popular programs include Shabbat dinners and classes on relationships, Buzaglo said. “Our seasonal socials, Chanukah party and art show are always very popular. Mimouna, which is an event we throw the day after Passover ends, always brings out our biggest crowd in the centre. However, the ones that are most inspiring and fun are our Israel trips and New York trips, both of which are very highly subsidized.”
To find out more about JUMP, go to www.jumponline.ca.