Candace Kwinter, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver board chair, and Ezra Shanken, Jewish Federation chief executive officer, present a cheque to the Surrey Sikh Temple and Guru Nanak Food Bank on Dec. 2, as the temple’s head priest and president of the Guru Nanak Food Bank, Narinder Singh, and two volunteers look on. (photo from Jewish Federation)
The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver presented a $36,000 cheque for flood relief to Gurdwara Dukh Nirvan Sahib (Surrey Sikh Temple) and the Guru Nanak Food Bank on Dec. 2. The funds will be used to transport urgently needed items to flood victims in Merritt, to offset the cost of rent for a new food bank, and to purchase air mattresses and blankets for people who have been displaced, lost their possessions, or both.
This is the first disbursement from Jewish Federation’s B.C. Flood Relief Funds, which has topped $300,000, thanks to the support of hundreds of donors. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs helped facilitate the partnership – with their main contact being Nick Walia, who is the fundraising coordinator for the food bank – and the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island supported the fund, making it a truly provincial effort from the Jewish community.
Speaking at the Guru Nanak Food Bank, Jewish Federation’s board chair, Candace Kwinter, who was joined by chief executive officer Ezra Shanken, spoke of her pride in being able to partner with the Sikh community, and “to see the remarkable work [they] are doing” at their operations centre. The temple’s head priest and president of the food bank, Narinder Singh, was on hand for the ceremony.
Kwinter spoke of the special meaning this partnership had for the Jewish community during Chanukah: “Chanukah is a time when we remember a miracle that took place after a devastating period of destruction and loss. The holiday takes place at the darkest time of the year, and we light the candles of the menorah each night to bring light and hope into our homes and into the world around us. We want to share that light with our friends and neighbours who need us now, so we can bring them a ray of hope.”
Jewish Federation has long supported non-sectarian humanitarian aid whenever and wherever disaster strikes, and is developing a long-term strategic approach to its flood relief efforts to ensure support will be available as needs evolve over time. To support Jewish Federation’s B.C. Flood Relief Fund, visit jewishvancouver.com/bcflood.
– Courtesy Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver