2019 CJA final tally expected to reach $44.7 million

From left, general campaign chair Marc Kakon and his team, Mark Brender, Gillian Gornitsky, Ruth Bensimon Choueke, Steven Sitcoff, Laura Sonego Assor and Michael Dadoun.

At the closing event of the 2019 Combined Jewish Appeal campaign in Montreal, general chair Marc Kakon announced a projected total of $44.7 million raised from approximately 10,000 donors.

This 102nd annual campaign stressed the Jewish community’s security and that figure includes over $5 million raised specifically for enhancing the protection of synagogues, schools and other institutions.

Launched in August, the campaign relied on over 500 volunteer canvassers.

Held at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts on Nov. 19, the closing event featured excerpts from A Centennial Songbook, an original musical about the Montreal Jewish community’s history that was commissioned by Federation CJA for its centennial two years ago, a singalong with the campaign’s leadership and a performance of the pop-rock musical Mythic.

This year, in addition to the mainline campaign, the Federation sought funds specifically for its new Community Security Network (CSN) fund. More than 30 community institutions are collaborating with experts in the field to ensure security measures are sufficient. The Federation said that 5,400 children in Jewish day schools and 12,000 synagogue attendees, as well as the tens of thousands of others who use the community institutions who are part of the CSN, will benefit from the program.

“I have been humbled to see our donors come together to confront rising anti-Semitism by supporting the CSN fund,” Kakon said. “I am extremely proud that during this campaign season, we were able to raise enough funds to begin implementing crucial infrastructure upgrades and security protocols at Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions throughout Montreal.”

At the outset, the Federation said its goal was $10 million.

Kakon was joined onstage by divisional campaign chairs Ruth Bensimon Choueke (Women’s Philanthropy), Michael Dadoun (Sepharade Philanthropy), Mark Brender (the Network), Steven Sitcoff (West Island), Laura Sonego Assor (GenMTL) and Gillian Gornitsky (GenMTL NXT).

He also welcomed the 2020 campaign team, which will be led by incoming general chair Mitch Garber: Samantha Mintz Vineberg (Women’s Philanthropy); Guila Delouya (Sepharade Philanthropy); Gail Knafo (West Island); Martin Rosenthal (the Network); Erik Langburt (GenMTL); and Mikhael Goldstein (Russian Philanthropy).

The 2019 campaign officially closes at the end of the month.