Imagine 2020: Community Dialogue

imagine 2020

“We strive for Montreal to be the city with the highest quality of Jewish life in North America. In our vision of the community, Montreal Jewry is cohesive, yet diverse and pluralistic. It allows every Jew, irrespective of ideology, lifestyle choices, and ethnic background, to find a Jewish option for him or herself. It is a community that creates and thrives; a community that produces Jewish knowledge and innovates in services and programs.” – Imagine 2020

On March 29, Federation CJA unveiled the results of its comprehensive  revisioning process,  Imagine 2020, at an interactive Community Dialogue with over 100 attendees and more viewing online via a live web broadcast.

Over the last 18 months, Federation CJA has been at work to lay the foundations of a strategy to ensure that our Jewish community will remain strong and vibrant. We sought input and support from the whole community allowing Imagine 2020 to become one of the most far reaching strategic processes envisioned. The focus groups, blogs and the survey helped us to learn more about and to interact differently with the community than we had in the past. Imagine was really a community wide dialogue and our directions are based on meaningful conversations about our shared future. Now we are committed to actualizing the vision on the ground over the coming years.

It is an ambitious but achievable vision for Montreal to be the city with the highest quality of Jewish life in North America. We will be a city that innovates and is a light unto other communities. Many of the initiatives that Federation CJA already offers and funds including PJ Library, Maximizing Youth Potential, and the newly launched Jewish Camping Initiative are prime examples that have inspired other communities as well as the local community.

We aim to build on these successes and go even further. While we have a strong base of community involvement, we want to encourage ever more participation. We must open our doors to our diverse community and offer even greater access to programs and services.

imagine 2020

The mission of Federation CJA has not changed, but we are restating it clearly so that our community understands exactly what we are about:

We aim to be the driving force in a vibrant and caring Montreal Jewish Community. In partnership with an effective network of organizations, we build and sustain the community by providing principled leadership, by raising and distributing funds, and by facilitating, incubating and overseeing the delivery of services and programs.

Federation CJA embodies the values of the Jewish collective responsibility for one another. The overall goals of Federation CJA, in Montreal, Canada, Israel and the Jewish world are:

  • Caring for those who are vulnerable and in need
  • Ensuring Jewish vibrancy and a Jewish future
  • Representing and defending our communal interests
  • Tikun Olam (working on issues affecting wider society)

Federation CJA connects, inspires, empowers, and makes things happen.”

Beyond raising and distributing funds, Federation CJA is uniquely placed to bring the community together on many areas of concern and excitement. We must continue to “innovate Jewishly” and incubate new and relevant programs and services as we continue to work closely with our family of agencies.

As part of the process, we identified key strategic areas which will help us bring this plan to fruition.

  • Community engagement and inclusiveness
  • High quality and accessible Jewish education
  • Access, affordability and integration
  • Effective and interactive communication
  • New approach to funding
  • Integrated financial resource development
  • Strategic partnerships and leadership

We will engage with more of the community and put into place measures that ensure that we continue to value and respect diversity. We know how important high quality and accessible Jewish education is to guarantee the strength and vibrancy of our community. We will continue to help strengthen our existing institutions and develop complementary options that offer inspiration, knowledge and connections. We will strive to make Jewish life accessible and affordable.

We will improve the way that we communicate across the community, going beyond traditional marketing and implementing two way communication. We must make use of different vehicles to engage with everyone and have different voices heard.

We are improving the way we raise funds, pursuing a more modern approach that preserves the centrality of the annual campaign but also works more closely with our donors. We will also develop a new approach to funding together with our agencies which will allow us to further drive emerging priorities.  Finally, we are building strategic partnerships and offering value added services to the community at large. We have already begun a governance review process with our agencies and a strategic planning process with synagogues.

These areas, which will be further explored in subsequent communications, are essential to the future of Federation CJA and the long term sustainability of the Montreal Jewish Community. It is clear that Federation too must change in order to adopt the new vision. We must build on our history and our strengths as we move into this next phase.

We look forward to continuing this dynamic, collaborative and refreshing process and we will continue to engage with the community in future discussions.  Please continue to monitor our blog, www.federationcja.org/imagine2020 for pertinent updates and information.