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A great night for the Federation CJA


Over 1500 people gathered at the Palais de Congres on November 21 for a dual celebration of the accomplishments of Federation CJA, an umbrella organization that contains a number of social service agencies that aid and benefit the Jewish community not only in Montreal, but also around the world.

yid-life-crisis  First of all, Joel Segal, the General Chair of Federation CJA’s annual fundraising campaign, which runs from August to November, announced that a total of $41,204,913 was raised this year, thanks to the efforts of 15,000 donors and 700 canvassing volunteers.

“Thank you all for your part in sustaining a community that supports those in need, advocates for our interests, invests in our future and so much more,” said Segal to the audience after the total was unveiled.

cja-presentationAs well, Federation CJA took this opportunity that night to officially kick off the organization’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Centennial Co-Chairs Jack Hasen and Gail Adelson-Marcovitz unveiled to the guests a whole line-up of activities to commemorate Federation CJA’s centennial year, such as a virtual community museum; an exhibition featuring the works of painter Marc Chagall, which will be done in association with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; a program of assorted volunteering events called “100 Days 100 Deeds”; a comprehensive volunteer recognition program; the issuing of Centennial Community Outreach Grants to various community organizations; and the centennial edition of the Montreal Mega Mission to Israel, which is scheduled for May 10-19.

“As we look ahead to the next hundred years, we take pride in celebrating our rich legacy of innovation and achievement, of vitality and vision, and together, will continue to positively shape our community long into the next century,” commented Hasen.

Federation CJA's 100 years, and Jay Leno with Federation CJA Co-Hairs  Jack Hasen and Gail Adelson-Marcovitz
Federation CJA’s 100 years, and Jay Leno with Federation CJA Co-Hairs
Jack Hasen and Gail Adelson-Marcovitz

The dual Federation CJA celebration event also included some topnotch entertainment. It started with an impressive, high tech multi-media presentation dealing with Federation CJA’s 100 years of impacting the Montreal Jewish community. It continued with an opening act featuring Montrealers Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, stars of the popular video web series “YidLife Crisis” (which was made possible by a grant from Federation CJA), who presented their unique take on the history of the Montreal Jewish community with “The YidLife Crisis Guide to the 100-ish Most Jew-ish Things in Montreal”, in which the duo gave their spin on some of the most familiar Jewish Montreal landmarks, including our version of the Western Wall (which is actually what is left of the Cavendish Mall). It concluded with headliner (and former Tonight Show host) Jay Leno, who entertained the crowd with his brand of stand-up comedy, which offered his observations of some of the issues of the day. Leno then concluded his set with a brief question and answer session with Hasen and Adelson-Marcovitz, and then conducted an impromptu live auction, in which he offered an exclusive tour of his massive garage in L.A. that contains his famous collection of classic cars and motorcycles (which fetched an astronomical sum of $30,000).

By: Stuart Nulman – totimes.ca


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