A message from Adam Silver: CEO, Calgary Jewish Federation

Calgary Jewish Federation CEO Adam Silver

by Adam Silver

(Calgary) – Since first arriving in Calgary on November 2, 2014, I think I have written close to 100 Pom messages, a privilege for which I am extremely grateful. I have valued the opportunity to communicate with Jewish Calgary about our community’s successes, challenges, and opportunities. It is therefore, very bittersweet that this will be my last Pom message before my family and I embark on a new journey when we depart for Ottawa in the coming months. It is there where I will start a new professional role as President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.

Our family was embraced by the Calgary community from the very beginning, and each of us individually, and all of us collectively, have built meaningful, lifelong relationships, while acquiring new skills and confidence along the way. We have benefitted from being part of a Jewish community that is second to none. Jewish Calgary’s people are caring, kind, and committed. Its infrastructure is supportive and nurturing. The professionals who work tirelessly to provide educational, social, and recreational services are talented and dedicated, and Jewish Calgary’s leadership volunteers are some of the very best in the world.

As you read this, Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) has just concluded. In researching content for my message, I came across some interesting perspectives from Renée Fishman who presents different thoughts about the concept of time. She refers to different types of time. Chronos, or linear, is counted in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Kyros, or human time, is measured in moments and milestones. The start date for Shavuot is not noted as a defined date in the Torah. It is not tied to the new moon or the full moon. It is relative to the start of Passover. We know when Shavuot falls only by counting from the start of Passover, and we believe that the seven weeks the Israelites wandered the desert were not just to wait for G-d to tell them they were ready to receive the Torah… but to actually ready themselves for that responsibility. Therefore, Shavuot presents the third type of time – relative time, a mix of moments and milestones within measured time, and only determined by its connection to other events.

Our family joined Jewish Calgary just under ten years ago (linear time), but we have experienced and shared an exponential number of happy and sad times together with our adopted family and extended friend group we have been so fortunate to cultivate here (human time). The community embraced us from the very beginning, and we will always be thankful for having the chance to thrive as individuals, as a family, and as dedicated members of Jewish Calgary (relative time).

We will forever count ourselves as Jewish Calgarians, even if we live elsewhere, and we will continue to cheer on this amazing, very special community. I would especially like to thank the incredible staff I’ve had the pleasure to lead and learn from, and the board members who have supported me along this journey, and continue to give selflessly for the betterment of Jewish Calgary. It is to them, to all of you, and to my family I owe a deep debt of gratitude and a huge todah rabah. As the saying goes, I’m not saying goodbye, but l’hitraot – until next time.


Adam Silver is CEO, Calgary Jewish Federation.

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