Winnipeg CJA exceeds fundraising goal, urges caution for future

Jewish Federation of Winnipeg CEO and acting CJA campaign director Elaine Goldstine

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg’s annual Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) campaign for 2017-18 exceeded its goal of $5.7 million by $70,000, but, for the year ahead, the community is proceeding with caution, according to Elaine Goldstine, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and acting CJA campaign director.

Whereas in the past, the CJA has increased its goal every year, this year, the community is standing pat, leaving the goal for 2018-19 at $5.7 million.

“There are changes coming to federal tax laws affecting corporations. We want to be careful and not aim too high,” Goldstine says. “We remain cautiously optimistic though.”

The CJA leadership team for 2018-19 is virtually unchanged from last year. Steven Kroft remains the overall campaign chair, as well as co-chairing the Top Donors division with Murray Palay; while Ellen Kroft and Paula Parks continue as co-chairs of the Women’s Philanthropy campaign. Back for a second year are Daniela Jacobsohn (Lion of Judah Division), Lindsey Leipsic and Jason B. Gisser (Young Adult Division co-chairs), as well as David and Sarah Carr and Jared and LeanneAkman (Ben-Gurion Society co-chairs).

Goldstine says that Super Sunday, the official campaign kickoff, is set for Sept. 16. The Super Sunday telethon will be followed by Super Fun Day, a family oriented, community-wide celebration that’s held in partnership with other Jewish agencies.

Having exceeded its target for 2017-18, the Federation is in the fortunate position of being able to allocate more money to its beneficiary agencies – something it was unable to do last year.


Gray Academy, Winnipeg’s private Jewish school that runs from junior kindergarten to Grade 12, is receiving a $13,000 increase from the $951,000 the Federation allocated it last year.

Jewish Child and Family Service is also getting $13,000 more this year, increasing its funding to $799,000 for 2017-18, while the Rady Centre has been given $510,000 – a $5,000 increase from last year.

As to the Federation’s other beneficiary agencies, the largest increase was granted to the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. The Heritage Centre saw its stipend go from $70,000 to $77,000.

“The Jewish Heritage Centre is midway through a project to improve their archives and preserve material that is at risk of being lost,” the allocations committee stated in its report. “They are looking for grants and other funding sources to increase the availability of their archivist.”

Camp Massad (the Hebrew language camp located just north of Winnipeg) got a boost of $5,000, bringing its funding to $60,000, which is on par with B’nai Brith Jewish Community Camp (located in the Lake of the Woods area in northwestern Ontario). Both camps have been involved in major infrastructure expansion projects.

The Federation’s other beneficiary agencies either received a small increase, or were unchanged from last year.

In addition to its local beneficiaries, the Federation passed on $575,000 to Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and just over $1 million for other local and overseas projects.

The Federation also set aside $57,000 for its growing reserve fund.