A sold-out crowd attended CJPAC’s Women in Politics Pecha Kucha event on Oct. 24, which featured four speakers, including CJPAC’s Sherry Barad Firestone (standing on the left). (photo from CJPAC)
On Oct. 24, CJPAC (the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee) hosted its first Women in Politics Pecha Kucha event in Vancouver. It was a sold-out crowd with women and men of all ages and political backgrounds in attendance. Hodie Kahn hosted the event at her home.
The Pecha Kucha style of 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide created a dynamic evening that allowed CJPAC to showcase four guest speakers, all Jewish, each highlighting different facets of political engagement, as well as its importance and its accessibility during and between elections.
CJPAC advisory board chair Sherry Barad Firestone, originally from Vancouver but now living in Toronto, was one of the presenters. “It was such a thrill to participate,” said Firestone. “It was nice to be able to share my experience as someone who does not come from a political background. We often think politics should be left to the experts but there’s a role for all of us, regardless of experience, in our democracy.”
Other presenters included Temple Sholom Rabbi Carey Brown, an American transfer to Canada, who is passionate about adult and youth education, social justice and teen engagement; Dr. Moira Stilwell, who served as the member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Langara from 2009 until 2017, and was a minister of several portfolios; and, Rakeea Gordis, a high school student who has attended political rallies, volunteered on campaigns and recently became an EF Canadian Youth Ambassador.
Perhaps one of the best and inspiring quotes of the night came from Gordis, who stated, “I’m too young to vote. The only way I can use my womanly voice is to volunteer on campaigns.”
Kara Mintzberg, B.C. regional director for CJPAC, noted that CJPAC hopes to have more events focused on women’s experience in politics. “We know that it’s not always easy to be a woman in politics but we think events such as these, in particular hearing from their peers, will encourage more women to get involved and, ultimately, it will become easier for those who follow.”
CJPAC is hosting another event soon – the Ultimate Kiddush Club, featuring “Scotch master” Barry Dunner, on Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m. For more information about the evening or any other CJPAC events and opportunities, contact Mintzberg at [email protected] or 604-343-4126.