Canadian Jewish, Israel advocacy groups reorganized


TORONTO (JTA) — A reorganization and streamlining of Canadian Jewish and Israel advocacy groups has been approved.

The boards of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy and United Israel Appeal Federations Canada earlier this month green-lighted a major revamping of communal organizations.

The new, as yet unnamed super agency will assume the role of Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee and other groups.

For months, Canada’s Jewish community has expressed concerns that the Canadian Jewish Congress, founded in 1919, would cease to exist under the changes.

The new organization "will continue the work of all the agencies that it is succeeding or that are being folded into it, including the whole range of traditional Congress activities," Shimon Fogel, CEO of Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, told JTA.

Fogel said the Canadian Jewish Congress leaders were involved in the process. "This isn’t a hostile takeover."

As for a name for the new entity, "that’s a process that’s still being studied."

Local Jewish federations will also be affected by the change, Fogel said.

"It transforms the relationship to an explicit partnership between the federations at the local level and the national agency in terms of delivering advocacy service to the community, and represents an opportunity for the federations to engage more directly in the advocacy process."

Fogel said he rejects concerns that the changes reflect a shift away from domestic lobbying and more toward Israel advocacy.

"This isn’t about changing the agenda. This is about delivering on that agenda in a more efficient and effective way. Nobody’s abandoning any of the elements of one organizational agenda in favor of another," he said.

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