Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation

The Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation has supported the Jewish community in Ottawa for 50 years and now has about $ 80 million under management with nearly a thousand individual funds disbursed annually to causes close to and dear to its dedicated and generous donors.

In this special 50th anniversary article, we celebrate the employees and volunteers who contribute to the continued success of the foundation.

When we call the foundation, the first point of contact is our foundation’s associate Solange Ashe. Ashe has been in the fund for three years and acts as administrative and operational support for the fund.

“Our board members and committee members are incredibly committed to the fund’s operations,” Ashe said. “They are always diligent and invested in ensuring that the fund’s mandate is achieved.”

Although “Solange” may be an unusual name, it is not like that at Foundation, where we are happy to have another Solange, Solange Hosselet, nicknamed Radar, because she, like the MASH character, expects them to need before They arrive.
Hosselet has been with the Foundation since February 2021, and as a Tribute Card Coordinator / Development Assistant, she is the point person and main contact for those who order Tribute Cards.

“I sincerely enjoy getting in touch with our voters and donors over the phone. Many of our donors are seniors and really feel the impact and isolation as a direct result of COVID,” said Hosselet. to their situation and whether they need help or not.If necessary, I will contact relevant colleagues who can help create the necessary links for support.I enjoy helping our donors through what can often be a sad and emotional time, as well as celebrating them with those who mark very special occasions. I am really touched by the concept of tribute cards and wonderful work done by both the association and the foundation. “

The Tribute Card program, which now also offers e-cards (find more here) can work well for those who want to supplement their funds, and also for those who are first considering starting a fund and planning their philanthropic ideals Micah Garten, our Director of Development, skilled guide donors through all possible steps in their planned giving.
From B’nai Mitzvah funds to heritage gifts, Garten supports donors in how they can make the greatest impact.
Garten, who has a master’s degree in Business Administration, has been with the Foundation since 2017 and has a background in fundraising and working in the non-profit environment.

As a member of the Jewish community in Ottawa (he is the son of Rabbi Steven Garten, rabbi emeritus of Temple Israel), Garten explains that he is proud of the work the foundation does to support Jewish Ottawa and the causes we hold dear .

“Since 2002, donors have used the fund to distribute about $ 40 million to support charities they care about, of which over 95% are Jewish,” he says. “And at the moment there are almost 1000 named funds. It is an impressive sign of growth and impact. This is my community. It feels good to know that the work we do will help other families like mine for generations to come. ”

Garten explains that some of this success is made possible by the partnership with the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. While organizations share different roles, they are stronger at working in partnership. The Federation raises annual funding for the immediate needs of the community, while long-term investments with the Foundation help create a basic level of ongoing funding.

“The more effective the fund is at guaranteeing this base level, the more the Federation can fund new programs, try new things and expand. A strong foundation enables the association to do more.”

Federation and Foundation CEO Andrea Freedman agrees.

“The partnership between the Federation and the Foundation is particularly strong around the Life & Legacy initiative. None of us live forever, and yet by making a gift of inheritance, your influence can and will. For donors who feel overwhelmed by competing philanthropic priorities, the legacy provides another opportunity to increase your impact. “

Freedman adds that she is deeply proud of the Foundation team for their tremendous work through the pandemic, during which time the Foundation was able to provide over $ 5M in resources to help the community.

This professional team could not succeed in their work without the support of the many and amazing volunteers, from the board, including the investment and fundraising committees.

Lawrence Soloway has been chairman of the board since June last year after chairing the investment committee.

“The board is pretty stable,” Soloway said. “We have a good number of long-term members who serve two, three-year commitments. We also have a strong professional staff, like Andrea and Micah and Solanges, who pursue our goals on a daily basis.”

Both Soloway and the staff’s goal is to ensure volunteer work on the board is rewarding for the volunteers.
“If you retire, the fund has two main goals – fundraising and monitoring how the investments are managed,” Soloway said.

The entire Board of Directors reviews what the investment and fundraising committees do, and supervises smaller committees such as the scholarship and management committees.

The Investment Committee has 10-11 members who meet five times a year, in addition to receiving and reviewing reports on a quarterly basis. Soloway called the investment committee “critical”, adding that it almost functions as a separate entity.

While most people are familiar with the fund for the tribute cards, Soloway notes that the fund is “doing very well” in so many other areas.

“The annual distributions, strong fund management from committed people … [the volunteers] are so caring and dedicated, ”Soloway said.

From the staff to the volunteers, the foundation works hard to ensure that Jewish Ottawa thrives today and in the future. And yet none of this would exist in YOU, the donors who care so much about Jewish life. We thank you for your care and compassion for caring for others as you create lasting legacies that will guarantee that the next generations of Jewish children can enjoy meaningful and fulfilling Jewish lives.

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