Nominations Open – 2016 Norman Ronald Silver Sports Leadership Award
Do you know a deserving young athlete in the Calgary area that should be recognized for hard work, leadership and community spirit? If so, nominate them for the Norman Silver Sports Leadership Award. Nominations close on May 1, 2016. For more information contact Wendy at the JCFC Office – 403.640.2273 or email@example.com
MARCH OF THE LIVING 2016 – CALGARY STUDENTS NEED OUR SUPPORT
Foundation Manager, Wendy Kennelly
I recently visited with Ilana Krygier-Lapides, the Director, Human Rights & Holocaust Education for the Calgary Jewish Federation. We agreed it was important to chat about past support of the March-of-The-Living program (MOL) in Calgary, as well as the current need for financial support this year. Here’s a snapshot of our conversation!
Wendy: Ilana, can you give us a general outline of the MOL program?
Ilana: It is a program for Jewish High School students that educates them in the area of Holocaust and Human Rights education, and concludes with a trip to Poland and Israel.
All participants on the 2016 March of the Living are carefully chosen based upon emotional maturity and community involvement. The application process includes an essay and interview. Students are required to attend educational seminars and a Shabbaton specifically created for the March of the Living. Teens will learn about Jewish life before the war, history of Antisemitism, Nazism, the Final Solution, Zionism and the state of Israel, as well as life as a Jewish person living in the Diaspora.
The culmination of the experience in Poland is when students, arm-in-arm with Holocaust Survivors, walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau accompanied by thousands of other Jewish teens from all over the world. The week in Poland is followed by a week in Israel, demonstrating to students that the future is bright as we commemorate Yom Hazikaron and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut. The trip is a seminal and affecting experience – students that have had the opportunity to attend say it is life-altering – and years later, credit their MOL with shaping their identity and creating, more often than not, Jewish leaders.
Wendy: You’ve been coordinating this trip for many years now. What is interest like for Calgary teens in 2016?
Ilana: After a slump in attendance last year, we are so pleased that nine students have expressed keen interest in attending the 2016 MOL. The students who have applied are all leaders, being involved in BBYO, volunteer activities, school productions, athletic teams, and acting as ambassadors to their non-Jewish friends and community. We are so impressed with the quality of students who have applied to attend.
Wendy: A big commitment for students to participate. Is there a financial commitment?
Ilana: Unfortunately, the double whammy of the wavering Alberta economy and the high U.S. dollar have created difficulty for some of our parents. The cost of the trip was originally set at $5,895.00 USD (which amounts to approximately $8,600.00 CDN).
Wendy: What kind of financial support does the program and MOL participants have access to now?
Ilana: This $8600 CDN is subsidized by $600 CDN per student by the Calgary Jewish Federation (over and above the administration, education, and staff time).
In a testament to the generosity of our community, a short-term fund-raiser in August asking past participants and their parents to contribute to bring down the base-cost was a success. Despite the bad economy, we got enough support to bring the cost down another $825 CDN per student!
Wendy: So how can fund holders at the JCFC support this important Jewish teen experience?
Ilana: While every bit helps, for those of our participants who have single mothers or whose parents are struggling to make ends meet, even this lower amount feels insurmountable. Out of our 9 students, 3 of them require almost complete coverage, and another is making sacrifices to cover costs but may need some assistance going forward. If there was an additional $25,000 pooled by community donors, all the participants would be packing and preparing for this life-changing experience. Our deadline for registration is March 1, 2016. To have each student fully funded before the deadline would be a wonderful mitzvah!
Funds at the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary that support the March of the Living Program, in perpetuity, include the Sema & Morris Belzberg Endowment, and the ORT March of the Living Endowment Fund. You can support this important program, through the JCFC, in three ways:
- Make a donation for a program scholarship through your current donor advised fund at the Foundation;
- Make a donation to an existing March of the Living program fund at the Foundation or;
- Open a new family fund (for as little as $1000) that will support the March of the Living, in perpetuity.
To learn more about the program, you can connect with Ilana at (403) 253.8600 x162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To discuss financial support options by way of the JCFC, contact Wendy Kennelly at (403) 640.2273 or email@example.com
Protecting Your Tax Savings Plan With Charitable Gifts In Your Will
Adam Aptowitzer, a charity and tax law specialist (and friend of the JCFC!), has written an excellent article on protecting your tax planning by way of charitable gifts in your will. Follow this link to read his article:
Drache Aptowitzer lawyers draft wills and aid in drafting these types of clauses for high net worth individuals. For any questions on this please feel free to contact Adam at