Interview with Dvori Balshine about professionals working within the Jewish community and in Jewish organizations. Dvori shares her experiences working in the Jewish community and reflects on what the community means to her. Both discuss the future of Judaism among younger generations and question how to engage people moving forward.
Interview with Romy Ritter as part of the Canadian Jewish Congress oral history project, interviewed by David Schwartz. Romy speaks about her parent’s involvement with the Vancouver Jewish community. She discusses how her participation in March of the Living and hearing a Holocaust survivor speak at camp inspired her involvement in Canadian Jewish Congress. Romy talks about her career as community relations coordinator and regional director of CJC Pacific Region. She speaks about the successes of Canadian Jewish Congress, including inter-faith dialogue, Israeli issues, and being a role model for other organizations in Canada. Romy talks about Canadian Jewish Congress’ collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and provincial political parties. Romy also discusses the dissolvement of Canadian Jewish Congress due to it’s reorganization and it’s impact on the wider community. She states her present relationship with the Jewish community and her sentiment towards current Jewish advocacy organizations.
Number: CA JMABC A.1971.001-20.20-07 Name: Zena Simces Interviewer: David Schwartz Date: Unspecified, 2020 Place: Zoom Project: The Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia Oral History Project
Summary: 00:00: David Schwartz introduces himself and then asks Zena Simces, who is being interviewed to introduce herself as well. Both of Simces’ parents were born in Poland. Simces discusses her time growing up in Winnipeg and her parents’ involvement in the Jewish community. 3:05: Simces discusses her establishment of a lecture series with the Atlantic Centre for Human Rights in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She became involved with Canadian Jewish Congress when she moved to Vancouver. She was Chair of the Community Relations Committee as well as Vice-Chair of the board. 5:18: Simces discusses what she believes is the main mission of the CJC. She mentions the large role the CJC played in advocating for Jewish concerns and educating the rest of the community about those concerns and addressing anti-Semitism. 6:48: Simces mentions some of the other groups and organizations that the CJC had strong relationships with including S.U.C.C.E.S.S, other ethnic groups and religious leaders. The CJC was always well-prepared and well-respected. 8:58: Simces recounts the role the CJC played in the Hate Crimes Legislation and Holocaust Remembrance Day. Simces herself was appointed to the Human Rights Advisory Council. 10:35: Schwartz asks Simces what she is most proud of accomplishing during her time at the CJC. She is very proud of the establishment of Holocaust Remembrance Day. But she wishes more members of the Jewish community were involved politically. 11:52: The speakers discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the reorganization of the CJC structure in 2003 and then again in 2011. 17:21: Schwartz asks Simces about her current involvement in Jewish advocacy. Simces speaks of the founding of the Simces and Rabkin Family Dialogue on Human Rights. 21:15: End of interview.
Interview with Herb SIlber as part of the Canadian Jewish Congress oral history project. Herb discusses his role as an honorary legal counsel with CJC, including the work he did on combating hate crimes in Canada.