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In recent months, I’ve been observing the evolution of Global Jewry, a collective of proactive Jewish leaders and organizations dedicated to fortifying connections within the Jewish community. It’s been great to witness the strides taken in such a short span of time, and I’m gratified that our foundation is engaged.

Throughout my career and personal endeavors, I’ve recognized the immense power of networks in driving progress. In these increasingly intricate and challenging times, this initiative to foster collaboration and cohesion within the Jewish community is more pertinent than ever.

Following the release of our foundation’s latest research report, “Small Jewish Communities of Canada: An Evolving Picture,”the Global Jewry team reached out with a simple yet generous offer: “How can we help?” I wasn’t quite sure how to answer, but their proactive support, without any strings attached, was reassuring. Their willingness to amplify our report exemplifies how mutual assistance can elevate us all while magnifying the impact of our individual efforts.

As a new Canadian foundation situated in an intermediate-sized community like Vancouver, we are acutely attuned to the needs of even smaller communities. With eight federations smaller than ours and over 50 non-federated communities across Canada, all experiencing growth, we’re witnessing a trend also observed in the US. Factors such as COVID, soaring urban real estate costs, and technological advancements are prompting more people to opt for smaller, more affordable markets.

This demographic shift carries profound implications for the organized Jewish community, including:

  • A greater number of Jews residing in areas lacking communal infrastructure, heightening the risk of assimilation.
  • Increased challenges stemming from political and religious issues in school systems and other settings unaccustomed to addressing the sensitivities and needs of Jewish minorities.
  • Greater access for Jews to elected officials who may advocate for policies aligned with the community’s concerns.

Effectively addressing the needs of these communities necessitates leadership and commitment from larger Jewish centers, as well as the collaborative partnerships that Global Jewry aims to cultivate and has already begun establishing.

We are grateful to have Global Jewry’s support as we focus on lifting up the needs of smaller Jewish communities, in Canada and elsewhere, and look forward to helping Global Jewry connect all of us more meaningfully to strengthen our people and communities.

Shabbat shalom,

Mark Gurvis

CEO, Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation

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