(AJNews) – As we close out our 2022 UJA campaign, I am already extremely excited with the prospect of the coming year. Like every campaign year, 2022 brought its own challenges but most importantly through our generous community, it also provided some amazing opportunities that I believe we can act on in the coming months.
One thing is clear – we all see Calgary’s Jewish community as something special. Whether we are parents with children in day school or summer camp, seniors who look forward to frequent programs and delicious lunches, PJ Library® babies and toddlers, university students and Jewish young professionals, or valued Holocaust survivors and educators, we all actively choose to engage in our community for one defining reason: Jewish Calgary is special. Jewish Calgary is important.
We are already deep into planning our 2023 campaign strategy – a sneak-preview, much of it will revolve around this shared emotion; this feeling of community importance and uniqueness we all hold near and dear. But it will also be key that those who may not yet feel that same passion, that same connection, have the opportunity to truly experience and understand what makes Jewish Calgary the exceptional place it is.
This is where we must all play a role. We need to not only be involved but share this involvement with those around us. Bring a family member or friend to an event, encourage youth to volunteer and get engaged in activities that interest them, and if you work downtown, check out a great JAC program and engage with like-minded young professionals. This list goes on and on.
Think about how often you might be influenced to be part of an event or activity because a friend or family member is going. Now share that notion with someone else. So, the next time you attend a community event, I ask you to take a look around the room. I can almost guarantee you will see people hugging, people talking, and ultimately you will see people just happy to be together at the same time, in the same place. This may have been something we took for granted for numerous years, but I still continue to feel this energy at each event I attend – especially after many years of virtual life.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for making my Jewish community into something that I feel is special – and important. Through your donations – but more importantly through your involvement and engagement – I am not only proud of who our community is today, but who we are set to become.