Building a great future – Federation CJA allocates $32.2 million for our Jewish community

Photo : Stephen Shames JFNA

By David Martz
Chair, Community Planning & Allocations Committee

Thanks to the generosity of over 16,000 donors, Federation CJA is allocating $32.2 million in 2011 to our family of agencies and communal organizations in Montreal, nationally, in Israel and overseas. This funding addresses our most pressing needs, ranging from poverty relief to Jewish education to the fight against anti-Semitism. 73% of this sum is being used locally, 21% supports our family in Israel, while the remainder fulfills our Canadian responsibilities including advocacy.

I had the honour of leading a dedicated team of volunteers and professionals through our challenging allocation process. It is an inclusive and consultative exercise in which all requests are carefully assessed against communal priorities. Everybody involved is motivated by sensitivity to the human impact of the decisions that we make. Our allocations are more than a financial support vehicle; they ensure that we will continue making Jewish lives better, here and around the world.

We are very pleased that we were able to approve a flat budget this year, not reducing commitments to any local agency. The success of the 2010 Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign also provided us the opportunity to address new needs and invest in critical areas for long-term impact. Additionally, we are pleased that our partners at Centraide continue to provide $1 million to help fund programs at four of our agencies.

Our family of agencies are full-fledged partners, and work closely with us, making our allocation process information and needs driven, collaborative and transparent. We recognize that we face challenges in terms of fostering Jewish identity and ensuring quality of life, which require a commitment in resources. Our community requires new programs and services and the budget has to address those needs.

In addition to presenting a balanced budget, I am particularly proud of the strides that the Community Planning and Allocations Committee (CPAC) has taken over the last number of years to help ensure that our community continues to innovate and be invigorated. For instance, a governance review program for our family of agencies has been put into place to promote excellence and ensure long-term sustainability. As well, the implementation of Imagine 2020, our strategic visioning process, is a critical focus for Federation CJA.

This is my second and final year as Chair of CPAC and I want to express my profound gratitude for the many lay leaders and professionals from the agencies, other Federation departments, and our dedicated CPAC family with whom I worked so closely. Difficult choices were required and taken for the broader sustainable benefit of our beloved Jewish community. I know that I leave the process in good hands as I turn over the chair to Eva Ludvig who will guide us through the next phase in our unfolding future.

We welcome your feedback and invite your comments.

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