MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR AND CEO

 

 

As our community grows, Jewish Federation is becoming increasingly sophisticated — both in planning for our community’s future, and in generating the funds to meet community needs today, tomorrow and for years to come.

 

This year, we continued to deliver on our 2020 Strategic Priorities. These priorities were developed after undertaking a broad consultative process and represent high-priority community needs. We are very proud to report on the organization’s many achievements this year.

 

Our work begins with our collaborative community planning process, which is guided by our 2020 Strategic Priorities. Learn More

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2018-19 IMPACT SNAPSHOT

*Funds from the 2017 Annual Campaign were allocated in the 2018-19 reporting year.

** Represents commitments from donors.

Jewish Federation invests strategically in areas that are vital to building a strong future for our community. Complex initiatives, like Jewish education and community security, benefit from Jewish Federation’s unique set of strengths in collaborative community planning and fundraising, and from our role as a facilitator.

  • Jewish Day Schools

    With the high cost of living in the Lower Mainland continuing to put pressure on families, and forcing them to make difficult choices about whether they can afford to enrol their children in a Jewish day school, we undertook two reviews.

  • Part-Time Jewish Education

    This past year, we undertook several funding initiatives to support the supplementary schools. We launched our new Innovation Grant program focused on increasing recruitment and retention of students in the existing supplementary school programs, and were pleased to approve two grants.

  • Community Security

    Community Security continues to be a high priority with strong leadership from our Community Security Advisory Committee and supported by our Director of Security.

Our partner agencies can only reach as far as their resources allow.

 

Every year, we receive more requests than we can fund, and many programs are funded at a level far below what they need to address current community needs effectively — let alone future needs. Jewish Federation is committed to providing a stable and predictable source of funding to our partners, and to creating more flexibility and more opportunities for our partners to access funding. From special project funding to new grant programs to the annual allocations process, there are more ways for our partners to access funding than ever before.

Children, youth and young families represent almost half of our community. The community is also spreading out, with nearly half of the local Jewish population living outside of Vancouver, often in areas beyond the reach of most Jewish community institutions. Jewish Federation is planning strategically, setting priorities, and collaborating with our partners to address the evolving needs of our community.

  • Connect Me In

    This initiative to engage Jews living in the regional communities, continues to grow and change. This past year, we saw the expansion of the Langley Hebrew School and the New Westminster Adult Education series.

  • Food Security

    The Jewish Food Security Task Force completed its work in late 2018. The task force was a joint initiative of Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services.

  • Community Engagement

    As our community becomes increasingly diverse, off-the-shelf programming is no longer effective. Each community has its own interests and needs and seeks out Jewish community connections in different ways.

  • PJ Library

    This year saw growth in both PJ Library’s numbers and programs. More than 1,000 local children ages six months to eight years old now receive high-quality, age-appropriate Jewish children’s books and music on a monthly basis — for free.

From university students exploring their Jewish identities, to young adults with a desire to connect to Israel, to new professionals developing their networks, we are here to help them engage Jewishly. With innovative programs like Axis, we offer Millennials a platform to get involved and grow their leadership skills.

  • Newish and Jewish

    While Vancouver is the fastest growing Jewish community in North America, it is still easy for people to feel isolated, including young adults who are new to the region.

  • Hanukkah Party

    Co-hosted with JNF Future, “All that Glitters is Gelt” was the party of the year! This flagship event brought together over 200 young adults for a night of holiday celebration, music and dance.

  • March of the Living

    A record 23 local Jewish high school students from our community marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau with thousands of their peers on March of the Living in 2018.

  • Israel Programs Follow-up Coordinator

    In our 2020 Strategic Priorities Jewish Federation identified the need to harness the potential of the more than 200 young adults we send on high school, gap-year and peer group trips to Israel.

  • MASA

    A program of our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa provides a diverse portfolio of study abroad, internship, service learning, or Jewish studies programs that helps 18-to-30-year-olds grow as individuals, as professionals, and as leaders.

  • Mega Event

    Jewish Federation has helped thousands of Jewish students and young adults have life-changing experiences in Israel through programs like Birthright-Israel, March of the Living, Masa Israel Journey, and other gap-year and youth travel programs.

Since the mid-1990s, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver has strategically invested funds to strengthen our partnership region in the Upper Galilee Panhandle (Etzbah HaGalil) through education and social welfare programs, capital projects and regional development. Through our Gesher Chai (Living Bridge) programs, we promote global Jewish identity and unity through people-to-people connections between Canadian and Galilee Panhandle residents.

  • Fathers and Sons

    The Fathers and Sons program is a successful, nation-wide model for building strong father-son relationships, enhancing communication, and developing emotional ties between fathers and sons in Israel's most vulnerable communities.

  • Trade Missions to Israel

    Missions to Israel remain the single most effective way to educate Canadians about the values we share with Israelis, the many contributions Israelis make to the world, and the regional threats and challenges facing the Jewish state.

We take our responsibility to help world Jewry very seriously. In August 2018, Jewish Federation’s Board Chair, CEO, and a group of our volunteer leaders travelled to Khabarovsk, Russia, to see our work with our trusted international partner in rescue and relief, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), in action. The JDC promotes Jewish life throughout the region through Jewish renewal and community development programs. Here are just two of the programs they visited that are helping individuals in need and ensuring Jewish communities thrive.

HELPING ELDERLY JEWS LIVING IN POVERTY

Together with the JDC, we are saving the lives of impoverished, elderly Jews in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Without this help, thousands of elderly Jews living on pensions as low as $2 a day would go to bed hungry, and Jewish families trapped in a cycle of poverty would be unable to imagine a better future for their children. In partnership with the JDC, we bring lifesaving relief to the poorest Jews in a corner of the world where hardly any other social services exist. As the federated Jewish community geographically closest to Siberia and the Russian Far East, we take our responsibility to help them very seriously.

EMPOWERING YOUNG ADULTS TO BUILD COMMUNITY

There is a critical need to equip young adults in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) with the values of communal responsibility and the skills for local leadership. Through the JDC’s Metsuda program in the Ural Mountains region of the FSU we are doing just that — preparing strong leaders, activists, and volunteers who can play an active role in shaping their communities’ future. As a result of the program, commitment to community involvement is growing rapidly among young Jews in the FSU, illustrated by a 50% increase in Metsuda participant numbers. Metsuda’s new alumni program is successfully harnessing the energy and experience of its graduates to address community needs.

This achievement is the result of the proactive approach Jewish Federation has taken to diversify its revenue streams in order to deliver on our 2020 Strategic Priorities. We are working with our donors, fund holders and partner agencies in new and innovative ways to generate the funds required to address the current and long term needs of our community.

 

For example, during the Annual Campaign we enhanced our work with donors who have the capacity to make additional gifts to fund specific programs that meet high-priority community needs. We are also working with our partners to advance the strategic agenda of the community, and to address the community’s needs as they evolve.

$7.8 Million

TO SUPPORT PROGRAMS AND SERVICES DELIVERED IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY AND IN ISRA​EL

 

As our Jewish community’s primary fundraising initiative, the Federation Annual Campaign supports vital programs and services delivered by 36 partners locally and globally. It impacts the lives of thousands of community members.

 

The 2018 Federation Annual Campaign set out to turn community challenges into community connections. Some of the challenges faced by the local Jewish community include erosion of Jewish community engagement due to the high cost of living, and the lack of Jewish programs and services for families and individuals living outside of Vancouver and Richmond. Many of the programs supported by the Annual Campaign address the affordability and accessibility of Jewish community life, and other areas of strategic importance, such as Jewish education and social services.

 

During the Annual Campaign funds are raised in a number of different ways, including special project funding, and the Plus Giving program which allows donors direct a portion of their new or increased gift to the partner agency of their choice, and which generated $80,000 this year. The largest portion, which totaled $7.8 million in 2018, comprises funds that are directed to high-priority needs through the allocations process.

$4.1 Million

IN CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENDOWMENTS AT THE JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

 

This year has been marked by growth, change and progress at the Jewish Community Foundation.

 

The year started with new leadership as Diane Switzer took the helm as Chair of the Foundation Board of Governors and new members joined the grant distribution and investment committees.

 

The Foundation secured $4.1 million in contributions, bringing the overall assets under management to $65 million.

 

Throughout the year we worked strategically with our fund holders to address community needs through distributions from their funds, maximizing their charitable impact on the organizations and areas of interest that are most important to them.

 

This year, with the growth in assets and the commitment of our fund holders, we distributed a record $2.7 million from endowment funds to support and positively impact a broad range of organizations, programs, and services in our community.

$2.3 Million

IN SPECIAL PROJECT FUNDING TO MEET HIGH-PRIORITY COMMUNITY NEEDS

 

The growing extent to which we are working in collaboration with our partners and donors to generate special project funding reflects the ways in which these relationships are developing.

 

Many steadfast supporters of the Annual Campaign have the capacity and motivation to fund special projects that meet high-priority needs in our local community and in our partnership region in Israel. Jewish Federation works with these donors to connect them to the vital priorities that align with their philanthropic interests. Through special project funding in 2018-19, donors supported projects such as food security, PJ Library, and camperships.

 

In some cases, we are working with partner agencies to generate special project funding so they can deliver the programs and services needed to meet urgent community needs. As a result, many of our partners are receiving significant support above and beyond their annual allocations.

Nearly 1,000 community members and friends gathered at the JCC to mourn the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, to show our support for their families and community, and to comfort each other. Local community members donated nearly $15,000 to support the victims and their families. That was matched by an allocation from Jewish Federation’s emergency reserve fund and directed to Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s community reliance fund, bringing the total support to nearly $30,000.

FINANCIALS

Condensed and full financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.

GOVERNANCE

List of volunteers on the Board and committees.

OUR PARTNERS

Agencies that receive support through the Federation Annual Campaign, our community's central fundraising initiative.