In 2015, the Planning Council established new priorities informed by the National Household Survey data and findings from the Jewish Education Task Force. These new priorities: Affordability and Access; Underserved Communities, Jewish Education and Identity, Seniors, Inclusion and Community Engagement have guided the work of the Planning Council over the past year and have influenced the focus of the 2020 strategic priorities. Planning Council members have formed subcommittees around these priorities and are currently engaged in gathering information and researching best practices to effectively address ongoing and emerging needs in our community.
The Jewish Education Task Force completed its work in 2015, and the board approved the six action steps identified in the report. A sub-committee has been established under the direction of the Planning Council to oversee the implementation of these action items, with a specific focus on both strengthening our existing educational institutions and facilitating the development of innovative approaches to expand the scope of Jewish education in our community.
In 2015, the Board approved the establishment of the Community Security Committee to provide leadership to Jewish Federation on security and emergency preparedness issues. The 10 person committee chaired by Bernard Pinsky has been active on three fronts: Institutional and Events Security, Communication and Education, and Emergency Planning Protocols. Over the next year, the committee will be creating a template for institutional security assessments, developing a network of trained volunteers who can act as the “eyes and ears” of the community, and providing on-going training opportunities for communal staff.
Another new initiative this year has been the formation of the Regional Communities Task Force to develop a new framework for Jewish Federation to respond more effectively to the needs of our underserved communities. A key initiative of the task force has been the new “Connect Me In: Creating Jewish Community Where You Live” campaign to gather information on needs and priorities of communities members living outside of Vancouver. Using the information gathered from the online survey, focus groups and parlour meetings, the task force will work with informal grassroots organizations and existing communal agencies to improve access to Jewish communal life for these community members.