On November 11th the OJA organized a Remembrance Day event at the Lipa Green Centre in the Tamari Family Hall. We were fortunate to have approximately 55 veterans in attendance, many of whom arrived in uniform with their medals, accompanied by family members. Although most of them served in the Canadian forces during the Second World War, we also had a significant number in attendance who were part of the Allied forces or the Machal during the War of Independence. A record number of Lipa Green Centre staff, in the range of 90 people or more, was also present. A few of the veterans revealed that they had never been to this building before and all expressed how pleased they were to be invited to take part in the Federation ceremony.
The ceremony began with a message from UJA Federation President, Ted Sokolsky, welcoming everyone and discussing the importance of honouring our veterans. He also informed the crowd about a new program that Federation is launching to support Jewish veterans in need. He was followed by Norm Gardner, from the Jewish War Veterans of Canada, who delivered the main address. Cantor David Rosen from Beth Radom Congregation gave a moving version of the prayer for fallen soldiers, as well as the Canadian and Israeli national anthems.
There was an informal reception held after the ceremony. This provided us with the opportunity to chat with the veterans and discuss new programs, such as the oral history initiative and Jewish Museum project, that are in progress.