“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” - Albert Camus
It was an exciting year for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, filled with successes and challenges that would not have been possible to achieve and navigate without your support. It is with great pride and joy that we share the activities of our Federation with you, our generous community.
The prime focuses of the past year have been evaluation, strategy, and partnership. We have applied these three categories to every aspect of Federation work, and we are starting to see the results. Organizationally, we are evaluating internal processes and assessing departmental needs so we can better allocate resources and better record our activities. We are working toward developing a new strategic plan, so this organization can now and always best serve the community’s greatest needs in responsible and meaningful ways. To that end, the Federation leadership is planning a Board retreat this coming September.
The Combined Jewish Appeal had its most successful year yet, raising over $5.86 million and engaging 193 new donors. With the enthusiastic leadership of our dedicated volunteers (7 chairs, over 160 canvassers, and more than 100 telethon callers!) and the great support of our partner agencies, the annual campaign surpassed all our expectations. Internally, we implemented a new database system and updated our communications processes. This means, the campaign team was more efficient and more effective than ever before. With our incredible volunteers and community partners, we engaged in programming and fundraising initiatives that encouraged more participation from the community at-large.
Supporting our growing community is the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s primary focus and our ability to address the immediate as well as long-term needs is vital. Community Planning continues the task of evaluating the needs within the community. As part of this evaluation, we have commenced focused meetings with community stakeholders, donors and participants with the goal of identifying the future needs of our community. To support this process we are distributing a survey, which began in the spring and will continue through the summer, with analysis beginning in the fall. Through these efforts we will identify the specific areas where we as a community excel and where we have gaps in service. This will allow us to begin the process of developing programs, advocating, and partnering to ensure our community programming matches the needs of the people we serve.
We have many special projects that the community can be proud of this year. To highlight a few:
1. Grow Winnipeg continues to offer resources to Jewish families from around the globe to come and make Winnipeg their home. This year, we initiated targeted programs to try and help individuals in France, Israel, and across South America learn more about our great city.
2. We engaged in a special partnership with Jewish Child and Family Service, the Mennonite community, and the Yadizi community in Operation Ezra. Through this partnership, and the unending generosity of our community, we are privately sponsoring 7 Yadizi families to join our Winnipeg community. We welcomed the first family in July with open arms, alongside our community partners.
3. We held a Words & Deeds dinner in sponsorship with The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) honouring the Asper family & Foundation raising over $400,000 for international and local community needs.
4. We continue to ensure our community has a “seat at the table” by regularly meeting with MPs, MLAs, the Mayor and many city councillors of Winnipeg, our universities and other important broader community centers of influence.
Notwithstanding the many successes of the previous year, we recognize that there remains much more work to be done. In the coming year, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg will focus on creating sustainable, lasting impact by investing heavily in our partners. We will continue to build relationships and partnerships for the betterment of our practices and grow alongside our vibrant community. This report is an overview of the impact we created together in 2015 and a glimpse into 2016 at the Federation.
We are extremely grateful for your continued support. Together, we are giving our all to the present and securing our future.
Elaine Goldstine, Chief Executive Officer
Adam Levene, President