Another year has come and gone – what a year of obstacles and accomplishments! For me, it has been nothing but an honour to reflect on and celebrate the opportunity to build and strengthen our community together with you. 

I couldn’t have predicted the challenges of a post-pandemic world. Like everyone, JFS has been impacted by market volatility, inflation, record high food, gas and supply prices, and the crisis in Ukraine. Even climate change impacts us, by making food production and supplies chains uncertain.  

Yet, despite these challenges I’m so proud to have seen us rise to the occasion, day after day, to make a difference in the lives of others. The mission of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is not one we take alone, but a partnership we take with all of you. Throughout the challenges, so many of you took the initiative to reach out to us to ask “What do you need? How can I help?” 

We rely on many partners, like Jewish Federation and our donors, to make sure we can fulfill our mission and meet the demands from our community–something we take great pride in achieving.  

This year, JFS hit a $7M operating budget for the first time, nearly double what it was 5 years ago. This significant increase is a direct result of the substantial rise in both the number of clients who turn to us for support, and their increased needs. It speaks to the relevance of JFS in our community today. 

The increase in funding allowed us to support over 3,000 people:  

  • Over 1,600 people received groceries each month; 
  • Over 120 people received plant-based kosher meals prepared in-house; 
  • 50 people received Seniors Sharing Shabbat meals each month; 
  • Over 350 clients received home support services; 
  • 180 Holocaust survivors received ongoing support; 
  • 29 Ukrainian families received settlement services;  
  • Over 170 people were supported by our clinical counsellors and interns;
  • Over 900 people have had in-depth care management.  

These achievements speak volumes about our supporters and volunteers. You were ready, willing, and available to step up and support us in building the infrastructure for our community’s growing needs.  

Looking ahead, the main priorities for JFS over the next few years will be to invest in community engagement, sustainability, impact, and organizational capacity. Additionally, it is our responsibility to continue to respond to changing community needs and commit to making JFS a place that champions justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Thank you all for your dedication to doing this work together. I hope you know that each of you gives strength and a future to this community.  

On behalf of all of the JFS staff and clients, thank you! 

With warm wishes for a happy 2023, 

Tanja Demajo, CEO