The Hub: Message from Stacey Leavitt-Wright, CEO, Jewish Federation of Edmonton

Jewish Federation of Edmonton CEO Stacey Leavitt-Wright

by Stacey Leavitt-Wright

(Edmonton) – This is my first message in the Hub for 2024, a fitting name and time to update you on the physical hub we will create for the community with the new Jewish Community Centre (JCC). With the acquisition of the building completed, we are now in possession of a unique property that will be the future home and face of Jewish Edmonton.

We have established a JCC Redevelopment Steering Committee, chaired by Karen Leibovici with Vice-Chair Lisa Miller. Ensuring continuity of community with a strengthened future, we look forward to engaging with you as we animate this property from now on.

The committee has commissioned Marshall Hundert as project manager, and will spend the coming months planning and tendering contracts to architects and general contractors. At this stage, we are circling back and discussing needs with community agencies while preparing an application for a development permit. I can feel the excitement build as considerations for synergistic programming unfold and we plan to conceive of a Holocaust Museum with an even broader scope.

As I write this message, I am preparing for a return to Israel, to support and delve into a deeper understanding of the challenges faced in our complex partnership in the etzbah hagalil. Being on the ground and speaking directly with those living through such a challenging moment gives me greater clarity and insight on stewarding the philanthropy of our community, whether through the ongoing Israel Emergency Relief Fund, the support we provide to the Jewish agency for Israel, or special projects in our partner region.

I hope to re-establish a mifgash for our teens, where they have a ‘Gesher Chai’—a living bridge with Israeli teens to better understand and connect with one another. We look forward to welcoming some teens to Alberta this summer to do just that, hoping in future years we can have a full exchange in place.

Around the world we have seen troubling times of polarity alarming the increase of antisemitism. While we are a community with a diversity of views, let us be inspired by the unity we see in Israel, and continue to foster a connected community committed to a strong and vibrant Jewish Edmonton.

My greatest hope is that by the time I am writing the next message that we are celebrating the eradication of Hamas, and the release of all hostages who can be returned to their loving families and klal Israel.

Stacey Leavitt-Wright is CEO, Jewish Federation of Edmonton. 

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