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Read our Hanukkah message from The CJN’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief Yoni Goldstein, pictured below at Netivot Hatorah Day School in 1987…

I never expected I would become a fundraiser. But now that I find myself in that very position, it makes perfect sense.

It all started—where else?—in my childhood home. My mother worked for a Jewish community organization as a fundraiser: first on women’s campaigns, and later on broader fundraising missions. It took until my early 20s to appreciate how she devoted her professional life to Canadian Jewry. And she’s still doing it to this day, well into her “retirement years,” because it brings her meaning and purpose.

My father, likewise, receives great joy from his volunteer fundraising calls for the UJA Federation here in Toronto. As a teen, I could tell how much he looked forward to receiving his “cards” with phone numbers. Honestly, he might have enjoyed the shmoozing with old acquaintances more than the raising money part, but who cares? I know he takes great satisfaction from soliciting a successful gift.

None of this rubbed off on me—or so I used to think. My mother once dragged me to a telethon where I managed to convince a much older woman to increase her gift. After the call, one of the telethon leaders quieted the room, announced the donation and congratulated me. Everyone clapped. It felt good for a minute or two, but this was no life-changing experience.

I learned a fundamental lesson about fundraising from my parents, though—it’s all about relationships, and how you build them. I thought I understood what that meant, but I’m now realizing I was missing an integral part of the lesson, one that explains why I’ve now caught the fundraising bug.

It’s because it’s personal to me.

Not just because I’ve got a young family and am thinking about their Jewish future—I’m driven by something stronger.

The weekly newspaper version of The Canadian Jewish News shuttered at the onset of the pandemic, in April 2020. I realized very quickly that I could not stand for that, and would not rest until The CJN was back on its feet and headed toward a sustainable future.

I’m proud to say that our small team accomplished this much in under 24 months. I’m even prouder to say that the community has welcomed us back in all formats—reading the website and magazine, and listening to the daily podcasts.

The CJN is headed in the right direction again. It brings me great pleasure to say this aloud, not only because I’m proud of what we achieved in a short time (and during a pandemic!) but also because it’s renewed my belief in Jewish journalism that’s creative, innovative, provocative—and occasionally argumentative.

Now, we are asking for your help. For the first time in its history, The CJN is accepting charitable donations, and is able to issue tax receipts through the Canada Revenue Agency. Soon, you’ll be able to donate through our website and other means. If you’re interested, just reply to this email and we’ll be in touch.

We restarted The Canadian Jewish News because we believe it’s a powerful tool for engagement, education and advocacy. The CJN is at the forefront of community cohesion in this country. This is our personal mission. We hope you can see it the same way, too, and contribute to a future that never ends.

—Yoni Goldstein
CEO and Editor-in-Chief
The Canadian Jewish News