A message from Adam Silver, CEO Calgary Jewish Federation

by Adam Silver

Calgary Jewish Federation CEO Adam Silver

(Calgary) – Chaverim (friends), I hope you and your families are keeping well and enjoying the summer. For many, this time of the year means a break from the monotony of everyday life, a respite from schoolwork, and plans to do at least one thing that is different or out of the ordinary (i.e. acquisition of a new skill, embarking on a special trip, etc.). We promise ourselves to slow down and smell the roses. We also know that just as quickly as the summer begins, it seems to pass by on fast forward, and well before it’s true, we comment that Rosh HaShanah is “just around the corner.”

Summer camp – day and sleep away – provides all the thoughts and feelings I’ve mentioned above. Many of our community’s children and young adults participate in some form of camp over the course of the summer. Two of Calgary Jewish Federation’s key beneficiary partners are the Paperny Family JCC and Camp BB Riback, both of which provide amazing camp experiences for our children and youth to connect, build skills, develop leadership potential, and engage in meaningful programming.

The Federation offices are housed in the JCC, and every day I see smiling day camp children having fun, building their social skills, and joyfully engaging in a safe Jewish environment. The counselors lead their groups in creative programming including arts and crafts, games, and special theme days. The care they provide is evident. So too, is the pride the campers demonstrate when they create something new, achieve something they’ve not done before, and make a new friend. Every single day, the JCC is buzzing with children of all ages co-mingling with each other, with seniors in the building, and with people from all backgrounds – Jewish and non-Jewish.

Camp BB Riback provides an immersive, sleep away, nurturing summer home for many children and youth from Alberta (and beyond). Campers can stay for a very short visit or stay for up to the entire summer. I recently visited the camp with colleagues from Edmonton, and we witnessed campers of all ages doing ‘fun’ things such as crafts, horseback riding, waterfront activities, and more. We also noted the kehillah (community) that was continuously being cultivated, the ruach (spirit) the campers showed for Camp BB Riback, and the feeling was one of togetherness. One of our purposes to visit camp was to spend time with the LTP (Leadership Training Program) group, teens who have just completed grade nine and will be entering high school in the coming year. We had a chance to discuss community – what it is, what it looks like, what they need from it, and what they want to give to it. We were so impressed by these young leaders, their commitment to one another, and their dedication to their Jewish home communities (in Alberta and beyond).

So, while summer is a time to slow down, rejuvenate, and prepare for the school and Jewish lunar year ahead, it is also a time during which our community’s children and youth are enjoying time together, building friendships, honing their skills, and cultivating their leadership. I would like to acknowledge the staff who care for our children and youth over the summer. I would like to share our appreciation for the parents who entrust their children to the camps and organizations that provide meaningful programs over the summer. I would like to say todah rabah (thank you very much) to the donors and volunteers who power these camps and organizations.

In moments like this, we see the very best of our community and envision how bright our future looks.


Adam Silver, CEO Calgary Jewish Federation

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