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ncjwc activities report 2011

The National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) is dedicated to social justice in the Jewish and secular community. NCJWC continues to lobby the Canadian government against trafficking of children; advocating for women and children suffering in poverty with early childhood programs and support for youth at risk; continued support of the ALUMA Israel Family Counseling Agency in Tel Aviv; and sustained awareness programs for Jewish Genetic Diseases.

In October, Marni Besser of Calgary, Alberta, was installed as NCJWC’s new President at the Annual Board of Directors’ Meeting in Winnipeg. One of her first actions was to send a proposal to the Canadian Minister of Finance with regard to solutions to child poverty, urging him to increase funding for programs which support children, to introduce employment equity initiatives, to increase child benefit for low-income families, and to provide education, scholarship and training opportunities for lone mothers and Aboriginal women of low income.

Roz Fine, ICJW V.P. for Canada reports that NCJW Canada is continuing to flourish with many unique and innovative programs and projects in its various sections. Members of the Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver Sections will be participating in the CIBC ‘Run for the Cure’ in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Vancouver Section has been supporting elderly Jewish residents in a nursing home in Harare, Zimbabwe. They have also expanded their “Books for Kids” program which supplies used books to elementary students in inner city schools.  “Operation Dressup” has been developed in order to teach adolescents to shop responsibly, as well as providing used clothing to children in lower income families. They continue to support the Women of the Wall in Israel and the Agunah movement worldwide for equitable divorce proceedings. This Section has advocated lengthening the sentences of convicted child traffickers.

Edmonton Section is planning a program on the awareness of hereditary cancers like Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. They have partnered with other women’s groups.

Toronto Section installed Linda Steinberg as their new Section President at their annual Volunteer Recognition evening that took place in June. Their programs include:
  • "Just for Me" Backpacks Scheme, which provides backpacks filled with books, toys, school supplies, and snacks to needy boys and girls aged 4-12 prior to the start of the new school year. 
  • “Beyond 3:30 Boys’ Book Club” addresses the education, nutrition, and recreation needs of at-risk middle school students from economically disadvantaged families and provides these boys with new books for them to keep. 
  • “Drive for Dreidels” makes sure that thousands of Jewish children have a new toy at Chanukah. 
  • The “Gift of Life Program” promotes the registration for organ and tissue donation through education and awareness within the halachic framework, with the ultimate goal of saving lives. 
  • “Passover Food Drive” continues to supply and deliver approximately 3,000 boxes of Kosher for Passover Food so that economically disadvantaged families can celebrate Passover with dignity. 
  • “The 2nd Annual Jewish Genetic Diseases Awareness Week” will take place November 14-20, advocating that young couples planning a family be screened for the Ashkenazi Jewish panel of Genetic Diseases. For further information visit www.whatsinyourgenes.com

Winnipeg Section’s largest project is the “Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre” which offers educational and fitness programs to seniors. It also provides Kosher Meals on Wheels to those in need in the community.
  • “Citizenship Court” is an annual event where volunteers act as hosts and provide refreshments to people in the community who are becoming Canadian citizens. 
  • "Holiday Gift Wrapping” is also an annual event where Council Volunteers wrap gifts for Chanukah and Christmas at a local Shopping Centre 
  • "Purim Shalach Manot Baking” took place in time for Purim where members baked over 400 hamentaschen for shalach manot baskets which were distributed to clients of Jewish Child & Family Service. 
  • The “Books for Kids” program distributed new and gently used books (donated by members) to students in an inner city school. 
It is with much regret and sadness that NCJWC's Montreal Section, is closing due to lack of membership and funds after almost a century of community service.