Jewish Tam at Spuds and Suds Calgary Stampede Breakfast

Israel Ambassador to Canada His Excellency Dr. Ronen Hoffman and Premier Jason Kenney at the Suds and Spuds event with Hillel and JAC leaders Hannah Giesinger, Hannah Silver, Ishmaeli Trepanier, LeeAnn Grisaru and Danielle Braitman. Photo: Converge Studios, courtesy Calgary Jewish Federation.

By Maxine Fischbein

(AJNews) – After a two-year drought due to COVID-19, the Spuds and Suds Stampede Breakfast, held at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Calgary brought politicians, staffers, academics, Rabbis and other professional and lay community leaders together for a rip-roaring time on parade day, Friday July 8.

Calgary and Southern Alberta Co-Chair to the CIJA National LGBTQ2+ Advisory Council Anna Murphy, JFED CEO Stacey Leavitt-Wright, Calgary-Glenmore NDP candidate Nagwan al Guneid, Edmonton-Manning MLA Heather Sweet, Alberta NDP and Opposition Leader Rachel Notley, with community leaders of the Edmonton Jewish community. (Photo Converge Studios, courtesy Calgary Jewish Federation)

A collaboration of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), Calgary Jewish Federation, and Jewish Federation of Edmonton, the annual festive event felt like Chanukah in July as Jewish community leaders – including representatives from Hillel and JAC (Jewish Adult Calgary) – hobnobbed with local, provincial and federal leaders and leadership candidates from across the political spectrum. All enjoyed Stampede fare with Jewish tam, including mini latkes and lox, and entertainment by the Calgary Police Pipe Band and the Calgary Fiddlers.

Attendees got to say howdy and shalom to Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Dr. Ronen Hoffman, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Alberta NDP and Opposition Leader Rachel Notley, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and a host of federal and provincial Conservative Party leadership candidates, Calgary and Edmonton city councillors, Alberta MLAs and MPs from Alberta and beyond.

Jewish Federation of Edmonton “Sheriff” (AKA CEO) Stacey Leavitt-Wright and her posse of nine Federation leaders saddled up for the event for the first time as sponsors. But given the partnerships already forged between Leavitt-Wright, Calgary Federation “Marshall” (CEO) Adam Silver and their colleagues and friends in cattle country, it was certainly not Edmonton’s first rodeo!

Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried, Calgary community leader Carol Ryder, and Calgary Jewish Federation CEO Adam Silver. (Photo Converge Studios, courtesy Calgary Jewish Federation)

“We brought a minyan,” quipped Leavitt-Wright, who described Spuds and Suds is “…a fun and well-executed event.”

“It was wonderful to help represent Edmonton and continue building the relationships we have established with our colleagues and invited guests, added Leavitt Wright.  “It galvanizes my team, who were excited about it.”

Spuds and Suds provides a casual and fun opportunity to continue Jewish Alberta and Canada’s long-standing tradition of engagement and advocacy.

Yahoo—and L’Chaim to that!

Maxine Fischbein is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter. 

The Edmonton “Minyan” at Spuds and Suds Calgary Stampede event. (Photo Converge Studios, courtesy Calgary Jewish Federation).

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