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July/August Update

Dear Friends,
 
July 1st, in our Nation's Capital is always a fabulous day and this year the weather cooperated. Whether you spent it with friends in the city, at a cottage or on Parliament Hill, it is a wonderful day to reflect on just what a great country this is and how fortunate we all are to call Canada home. As a show of community solidarity, Cantor Green and his sons attended, on our behalf, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque in Cumberland, to help celebrate Canada Day and we thank them very much.
 
Our KBI family continues to grow and we are delighted to share that we have brought in over 20 new members through the Jewish Federation of Ottawa's Jewish Jumpstart program. If you know of someone who might be eligible for the program, please direct them to www.jewishottawa.com/jumpstart. This program provides membership discounts to people who have not been a member of any synagogue for at least the last three years.
 
Even if someone you know is not eligible for the Jumpstart program but you think they might be interested in KBI, please have them get in touch with us. We'd love to have them join our growing and thriving community!
 
The Nominating Committee has been hard at work and has been interviewing prospective Board Members. The slate will be announced, as per the by-laws, in August. The AGM is scheduled for October 16, 2019, pending notice by our auditors, so that the financial statements can be approved.
 
Rena Garshowitz, Joel Sachs and I attended the introduction to the Life and Legacy program on July 10th. This is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation organized the meeting of major Jewish institutions and agencies with the National Director, Arlene Schiff, to convince the Foundation that Ottawa is ready, willing and able to be part of this program. The Grinspoon Foundation funds up to $100K per year for 4 years and provides support and training to help Jewish organizations, such as KBI, secure "after-life giving" and integrate legacy giving into our organizations. There are incentive grants if targets are met or surpassed and the goal is to ensure the viability of our organizations into the future with these endowments. There have been 6 cities which have applied for this year and from 2-4 will be funded. If we are not successful this year, chances are high that we will be in the next year or so.
 
A group of Board Members and committee heads met at KBI with Miriam Abrams-Stark, our USCJ Regional Rep on July 11th. Miriam discussed USCJ resources and led us in an abbreviated Relational Judaism exercise. There is an upcoming USCJ Convention scheduled in Boston for Dec. 6 - 10th. I would like to encourage Board members and congregants who are interested to attend. There will be more information on this convention in the coming months.
 
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Kehillah and to thank everyone who has generously contributed their time this past year, a Volunteer BBQ is being planned for Aug. 19th at 6:30 PM. This includes all volunteers who help at services and in other activities of our shul, including Choir members, Library volunteers, OKFB workers, Gabbaim, Working group, Committee, and Board members. It is our chance to thank you for all that you do to help make our synagogue the welcoming place it is. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to info@kehillatbethisrael.com
Respectfully submitted,
Helen Zipes
President, Kehillat Beth Israel
Sun, 23 February 2020 28 Shevat 5780