Jewish Identity

Bronfman Jewish Education Centre
La Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec
The YM-YWHA Montreal Jewish Community Centres
Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
Camp B’nai Brith
Segal Centre for Performing Arts
Hillel Montréal
The Jewish Public Library

Federation CJA  allocated $4,445,000 *Includes TAA (3M) to

Bronfman Jewish Education Centre

Photo: BIEC

“We may not live the same way that Rashi lived, or have grown up in a similar environment to Beit Hillel, but the way that we interact with one another is essentially the same. Therefore the problems that arise from human interaction are also essentially the same. People steal, people vandalize, people breach confidentiality, and contracts are broken—regardless of what century you live in. If these problems are essentially the same, then shouldn’t there be essentially the same solutions? Moot court empowered me to refine my ability to think critically, and find a common thread between a current problem and an ancient solution. The debates, arguments, and resulting laws from our great Jewish thinkers can be made relevant to modern legal dilemmas.”

- Talia Bensoussan, alumni from Herzliah High School

The Bronfman Jewish Education Centre is the planning and coordinating agency for Jewish community educational needs in Montreal. BJEC is responsible for the development of Jewish identity and continuity in our community through formal and informal Jewish education experiences and lifelong learning opportunities geared to all age groups. This includes Israel experiences through the Bronfman Israel Experience Centre (BIEC). TAA – this fund of $3 million, in partnership with the Jewish Days Schools, helps over 6,000 children from low income families have access to a Jewish education.

Federation CJA allocated $1,080,000 to

La Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec

Photo : CSUQ

“This year, graduates of the first and second sessions of the Leadership Program invested their energies in the fund-raising project « Family Feud ».  This soirée at the Rialto Theatre on April 10th was a resounding success, and brought about a community gathering like we have never seen before.”

-  Benjamin Bitton, Coordinator, Fund Raising and Continuity in Leadership Program, CSUQ

For fifty years, the CSUQ has represented and defended the interests of the 23,000 Sephardic Jews of Greater Montreal. It plays an active role in the life of the community, coordinating and centralizing the distribution of food donations to needy families at Passover and Rosh Hashana, as well as gifts for Hanukah and Purim. The CSUQ also manages services such as visits to the sick and to Sephardic residents of nursing homes. Beyond these friendly visits, it organizes social and artistic activities for Jewish holidays. In addition, the CSUQ acquired the Résidence Salomon several years ago, providing care for the elderly who are autonomous or semi-autonomous.

The CSUQ is also investing in the new guard of the community thanks to the Continuity in Leadership Program which offers training to the young adults of our community.

This year, the cause chosen by our young leaders was BANAV, a Jewish community organization that helps families of children with learning disabilities.

Le Cercle-Club Privé is another leadership initiative of the CSUQ.  The Circle is a networking hub intended for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 40.  It offers a complete array of social programs.

As for the Sephardic community’s cultural life, for the last three years the CSUQ has spearheaded an excellent project of contemporary Jewish studies, the Aleph Centre, not to mention the community’s Festival Séfarad which combines Israeli cinema, lectures, theatre and music.

Federation CJA allocated $437,000 to

The YM-YWHA Montreal Jewish Community Centres

Photo: Diller

“I never thought of myself as a leader, was not active in community life and had not been to Israel. Today, I have an entirely different image of myself after engaging in hands-on social action in Montreal and Israel, and experiencing the diversity of the Jewish People. Diller has opened my eyes to so many things. The summer spent in Israel was a summer of true growth, both intellectually and emotionally… I rediscovered myself as a leader and made solid friendships and strong ties to both my Canadian and Israeli community.”

- Liora B. Montreal Diller Teen Fellow

Hosted by the YM-YWHA, and in partnership with the Jewish Agency in Beer Sheva/B’nei Shimon, the Diller Teen Fellows program focuses on Jewish identity, community service, Israel and young leadership. Participants are selected based on their leadership skills, community activism and their ability to represent diverse aspects of their Jewish community, both in Montreal and Beer Sheva/Bnei Shimon.

The Montreal Jewish Community Centres offer top quality fitness and preschool facilities as well as arts, culture and Jewish life programming for all ages. The YM-YWHA branches include the Ben Weider Jewish Community Centre, West Island Jewish Community Centre and the Harry Bronfman Y Country Camp.

Federation CJA allocated $306,000 to

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

Photo: MHMC

“I have heard of the Holocaust and seen movies and actual footage, but to hear you speak the truth of what happened made it real.”

- Student after receiving tour from Holocaust survivor

The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust while sensitizing the public to the universal perils of anti-Semitism, racism, hate and indifference. Through its Museum, its commemorative programs and educational initiatives, the Centre promotes respect for diversity and the sanctity of human life. Despite their advanced age, Holocaust survivors continue to preach a message of respect and tolerance, reaching over 13,481 visitors, young and old, last year. With the goal of transmitting the human story of the Holocaust to future generations, The Centre has digitized and is cataloguing 720 recorded histories of Montreal survivor testimonies, making it the largest collection in Canada.

Federation CJA allocated $506,000 to

Camp B’nai Brith

Photo: Camp B’nai Brith

“It’s hard to put into a few sentences all of the wonderful memories and feelings that CBB has given me over the years. I don’t think one day goes by that I do not think of camp in some way. Could be a song on the radio that sparks a memory or more recently my son Ethan talking about his last two summers and planning for the one coming up. I have made friends at CBB that have lasted since my first summer, and met my husband at flagpole 20 years ago this July.  The best part is that we are all connected to the same place and memories.  They bind us together, and that’s something very special. When I asked Ethan what CBB meant to him, his answer was a simple one: ” I love it…  I feel free and alive”. I couldn’t agree with him more!”

-Sharon Slapak- Proud CBB Alumn and Parent.

Camp B’nai Brith offers children ages 8-16 years old a high quality, accessible, and diverse summer camping experience in a Jewish environment. Camp B’nai Brith integrates programs for boys and girls from all segments of the Jewish community, and offers leadership development opportunities for its young adult counselors and staff.

Federation CJA allocated $286,000 to

Segal Centre For Performing Arts

Photo: Segal Centre

“Performances create lasting memories that only you, our audience, have the power to make happen. We look forward to seeing you often at your home for the performing arts.”

- Paul Flicker, Artistic Producer

Proudly anchored in the Jewish community, The Segal Centre for Performing Arts produces and presents exceptional productions. With over 300 theatre and music events a year, The Segal Centre proudly contributes to the artistic and cultural diversity of Montreal. It also ensures that the performing arts remain accessible to all. Thanks in part to the generous contribution of Federation CJA, the Segal Centre is the central address for arts and culture in the Jewish community.

The cherished Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, the Segal Academy’s YAYA and other rich and varied community programs build upon our cultural legacy and play a leading role in developing the next generation of artists and audiences. The Segal Centre uses the performing arts as a universal language to create a greater understanding of ourselves, and each other.

Federation CJA allocated $503,000 to

Hillel Montréal

Photo: Hillel

“This past March, Montreal post-secondary students, along with the JPPS choir, came together to celebrate the theatre; Hillel Montreal presented Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. As someone who really enjoys being on stage, I was excited to participate in a play that did not require rehearsal time on Shabbat, unlike the other theatre troupes on campus. It was a huge bonding experience. The show was sold out. And I already cannot wait for next year when the Hillel Montreal ‘players’ do an encore.”

- Noam Blauer, second-year student at Dawson College

Hillel Montreal envisions that every student is inspired to make a commitment to Jewish Life, learning and Israel. Hillel Montreal aims to enrich the lives of Jewish CEGEP and university students through meaningful points of engagement so that they too may enrich the Jewish people and other populations around the world.

Federation CJA allocated $695 000 to

Jewish Public Library

Photo: Jewish Public Library | Lainie Berger Davis and daughter Zoe.

Lainie Berger Davis knew very few people in Montreal when she moved here with her husband and young daughter. The JPL helped her become part of the community.

“The JPL has been a great resource for me and my family. It’s a place I can go to entertain my baby daughter; I’ve met some fun moms in the song and story time classes, and my inner culture vulture is sated with all the guest authors and discussion groups they have to offer. I don’t know of anything like it back home in NYC, and it’s really a treasure.”

A full-service lending and research library containing North America’s largest circulating Judaica collection, the Jewish Public Library is an internationally-recognized resource. The library holds over 150,000 items in five languages; the 30,000-item Children’s Library offers many activities for children up to 14 years of age; and the archives help preserve and honour Canada’s Jewish history for generations to come.

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