Thanks to Ometz, you’re never alone!

By Beatrice Assouline

In 2005, my husband and I decided to leave France temporarily for professional reasons: I wanted some international experience to go along with my degree. With our first child in tow, we embarked on a totally new adventure.

I had just obtained my degree in France and was aware that without any international professional experience, I wouldn’t be worth very much on the job market. My husband and I spent a long time discussing our options. And that’s how, after long reflection, I took my search for internships to Canada, specifically Montréal. In April 2005, our little family set foot in Montréal for the first time and knocked on the doors of JIAS (Jewish Immigration Aid Services). It was with the help of this agency, now part of Ometz, that we found housing and a nursery for our daughter. At the time, we weren’t thinking of immigrating to Canada, just spending some time there during my internship. Kindly and very generously, the JIAS representative gave us loads of advice to help us adapt to the local way of life. Later, Ometz’s social assistant even found me a doctor, because—five months pregnant though I was—it was proving impossible to find a practice willing to accept a new patient.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Ometz, thanks to whom we took our first steps into Montréal community life. That’s also where we met our first Jewish friends, on organized trips to Sainte-Agathe and Ottawa. As we had no family in Montréal, it also meant we had friends to enjoy Jewish holidays with. I remember the happy, convivial atmosphere of the Chanukah celebrations, the happy kids, the baskets filled to the brim with food that we always received for Rosh Hashana and Passover and so many other gestures that made the tough times smoother.

Most of all, however, when I think of Ometz, I think of a place where I know I can find help and get support. I’m referring to information about immigration, schools and daily life in Canada, but mostly I’m talking about its devoted staff, who listen and don’t judge, people who are always there for you, to help you find the best solution, to help you become an integral part of Quebec society while retaining your identity. Ometz is like a second family to me. Its competent, courteous and attentive staff never let us down. Thanks to them, we decided to immigrate and they helped us with the formalities for our permanent residency application. While we were waiting for our papers to come through, Yael Soussana and Candice Silverman were always there for us, showering us with their advice and their immense goodwill. We’re now almost there, but I’m sure we wouldn’t have got there on our own. And I now know that, thanks to Ometz, we’ll never be alone.

Agence Ometz delivers services to low-income families, individuals seeking employment, families in need, as well as assisting new immigrants to establish themselves in Montreal.

Visit Agence Ometz online: http://www.ometz.ca/

Federation CJA allocated $2,154,331 to Agence Ometz.

  • Monique Lapointe says:

    Merci beaucoup Mme. Asouline – vos commentaires nous font chaud au coeur et ils sont grandement apprecies.

  • We welcome your feedback and invite your comments.

    Leave a comment

    Reader comments are the opinion of the comment writer, not Federation CJA

    Comments that make false or unsubstantiated allegations will not be published, nor will comments that contain defamatory, inaccurate, rude, distasteful, disrespectful, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or threatening language.

    Comments that use hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge also may not be permitted.

    Federation CJA reserves the right to withhold from publication comments that are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted. Comments that include personal attacks on other people taking part in this website and/or are invasive of another's privacy may also be withheld from publication.

    Spelling and grammatical mistakes will not be corrected.