CJA women’s campaign hears from inspirational speakers

From left, Joanna Yufe Naimer, Romy Hutman, Karen Aflalo and Alissa Rappaport co-chair this year’s Choices event in Montreal on Sept. 15.

Federation CJA’s Women’s Philanthropy Campaign held its annual fundraiser, Choices, on the theme, “Your Choice. Your Journey.”

On Sept. 15, over 200 women came out for the event, which was held at the Gelber Conference Centre in Montreal. Following on the success of last year’s updated format, this year’s edition again featured four inspiring speakers, instead of a single headliner. Attendees could choose which two they wanted to hear.

For the first time, attendees had the option of going to fully French sessions, in addition to the English ones. Funds raised from the evening support the 102nd Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA).

This year’s speakers were: Arielle Di Porto of the Jewish Agency for Israel, who spoke on its work in aliyah, including clandestine missions in the Middle East; Marie-Hélène Laramée, who has spent her career fighting poverty and social inclusion; Rachel Fish, a Harvard-educated Judaic scholar who’s dedicated to creating positive change on campus; and Nell Scovell, a Hollywood director, producer and writer who helped shatter comedy’s glass ceiling.

“All four of our speakers have had very different journeys, but whether their passion is rescue missions or social work, education or comedy, they are all deeply committed to securing a strong, vibrant and inclusive future,” said Ruth Bensimon Choueke, chair of the 2019 Women’s Philanthropy Campaign. “They reminded us how important it is to make the choice to give back to community.”

The annual event invites women to “network and be inspired,” while raising funds for CJA.

A division of Federation CJA, Women’s Philanthropy strives to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate, through deeds and financial commitments.