Aleph in the Tri-Cities Society donated more than 150 boxes of organic foodstuffs to the Jewish Food Bank last week. (photo from Aleph in the Tri-Cities Society)
Aleph in the Tri-Cities Society / Israeli Canadian Culture Club donated more than 150 boxes of organic foodstuffs to the Jewish Food Bank last week. The shipment included pasta, raisins, nuts and tea.
Aleph was started in 2009 by Yossi (Joe) Dagan. Wanting to be part of a Jewish/Israeli community, Dagan said that driving to events at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver or the Kollel was not easy to do on a regular basis, so he started a Facebook page and sought out compatriots in Coquitlam, where he lives. When he heard people speaking Russian or Hebrew, he would introduce himself.
“We are 306 on the FB page and we have a hard core of about 50-70 families that meet up for gatherings, holiday celebrations, Hebrew learning circle, field trips, bike rides, nature walks, parent meetings, culture shows and sports events,” said Dagan. “Our mission is to connect newcomers, young families and Jews within the Tri-Cities area and beyond.”
In 2013, with the help of Miri Tal, Aleph collaborated with the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and Jewish Family Service Agency until February 2015, when Aleph started their own nonprofit society. In the Facebook post on the recent food bank donation, which can be found by searching “Israeli Canadian Culture Club,” Dagan thanked Dovrat Vitis and Gabrielle Dumont, and noted that the two shipments were worth more than $20,000 in retail value.
“As our group grows and needs expand,” said Dagan, “we are looking for donations going forward to help our group to keep on creating free or very low cost activities for our children. For example, we need immediate support to run our awesome outreach collaboration with the JCC summer camp, Camp Shalom. We are looking to support transportation costs that are needed to rent and operate a bus taking our children from Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Langley to the JCC and back every day for seven weeks of summer vacation 2015.” The program is supported by the JCC, JFSA and Federation, but the bus fees are not covered.