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Friends of the IDF, Hershey Felder holding important online fundraisers this week

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A tireless fundraiser, Neil Uditsky left a tremendous legacy of leadership, friendship and Yiddishkeit.

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Toronto and Montreal Jewish Communities mourn death of energetic leader

Neil Uditsky, who served the Jewish communities in his home city of Montreal and his adopted city of Toronto, passed away on Tuesday September 1 at age 48. Neil was UJA’s Senior Director of Campaign Operations and had previously worked in Montreal for Leave Out Violence Quebec and was Director of Financial Resource development for Sylvan Adam YM-YWHA. Previous to those positions, in the private sector he led Bradox Fashions for almost 13 years, peaking at $7M in annual revenue.

Hailing from Edgemore Street, Neil excelled as a catcher on the Côte Saint-Luc baseball team, emulating his Expos idol Gary Carter. He graduated from Wagar High school and studied at McGill and Concordia, and volunteered in community positions. His earliest roles in leadership, almost three decades ago, left a lasting impression to this very day on the students he guided.

One remembered, “He was a madrich on my grade 9 Israel trip back in 1993, he had a profound influence on the trip and helped make it so memorable. He was an amazing leader who always knew how to find the fun.”

Another student from that trip wrote that “Neil’s influence & impact on everyone who travelled to Israel together from Bialik High School in ‘93 was too immense to share in a post like this. A small village of teenagers were basically under his wing for two months in a foreign country and felt completely safe, seen and heard – each and every one of us. He was like & dad and brother to us all. He had that way about him – a stoic and personal presence.”

He was known for developing innovative fundraising events for the Combined Jewish Appeal, as well as working on campaigns for the JNF, Montreal Children’s hospital, and initiated the Montreal Jewish Hereditary Disease Fund.  

In an announcement on Facebook, UJA Toronto stated, “Underneath his outgoing loud exterior, Neil was a warm and sensitive person who would do anything in his power to help his fellow beings whether they be his children whom he cherished, his friends with whom he spoke every day, or a member of the community who needed guidance or a simple explanation.”

The organization said, “Neil leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as an immensely talented and hardworking community leader. Throughout his life, whether as a volunteer or community professional, Neil was passionately dedicated to helping others and strengthening the Jewish people. The extraordinary contributions he made to the well-being of our community will be felt for many years to come.” In response, readers mentioned how warm and engaging he was and how “Neil had such a passion and kindness to him that I will forever try to emulate in my future endeavours.”

Neil is survived by his three children Brad, Grace and Jamie, as well as his partner Robyn Naiberg and her three children. A private shiva is being observed. Donations in his memory may be made to Federation CJA (Montreal), (514) 345-2600 or to UJA Federation (Toronto), (416) 631-5705.

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First-Ever Virtual FIDF National Gala Hear From PM Netanyahu

The first-ever virtual FIDF National Gala, themed “A Night of Heroes,” will begin at 7pm EDT on Sunday, September 13, 2020. The evening will bring together thousands of FIDF supporters representing all chapters across the United States to express their appreciation for the brave young soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who risk their lives to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

Many distinguished guests, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to appear. FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir – who will be succeeded in September by incoming FIDF National Director and CEO Steven Weil – will give a farewell speech after six years of unprecedented organizational growth.

The gala will feature a live performance by global pop star and active IDF soldier Noa Kirel, who recently signed a deal with Atlantic Records, the largest ever for an Israeli artist. Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel will also perform live, as will the IDF Musical Ensemble featuring IDF soldier Eden Alena, who will represent Israel in the next Eurovision Song Contest.

This FIDF initiative aims to enable the global FIDF family to unite for an unprecedented night of giving and extraordinary solidarity, saluting Israel’s IDF protectors, despite the limitations posed by the pandemic.

The program will feature several segments to honor IDF soldiers, including Lone Soldiers, who join the IDF with no immediate family in Israel. FIDF National Chairman Rabbi Peter Weintraub and Israeli-American actress, model, and host Moran Atias will preside as masters of ceremonies.

Registration is open for the event, https://www.fidf.org/events/2020-national-gala

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to appear as part of FIDF’s A Night Of Heroes on September 13 to support Israel’s veterans

George Gershwin Alone streaming musical event to raise money for theatres and arts organizations

Internationally acclaimed artist Hershey Felder’s new arts broadcasting company, Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence, will bring George Gershwin to life on the stage of one of Europe’s oldest and most famous theatres, Teatro della Pergola, which was built in 1656 shortly after the invention of opera in FlorenceBorn and raised in Montreal, Felder has performed George Gershwin Alone over 3,000 times, seen by over two million people from Los Angeles to Broadway to the U.K.  As with Felder’s previous livestreamed events, proceeds will benefit theatres and arts organizations throughout North America and Europe.

Directed by Stefano de Carli and Felder, they incorporate the composer’s best-known songs from The Man I Love and Someone to Watch Over Me, through the hits of An American In Paris and Porgy and Bess, to a complete performance of Rhapsody in Blue. Audiences will also hear standards such as “Embraceable You,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “’S Wonderful.”

This production will stream live Sunday, September 13 from Teatro della Pergola at 5 p.m. PDT, 7 p.m. CDT and 8 p.m. EDT. Tickets are available for purchase online. Patrons will receive a link and password on Friday, September 11, which will enable them to view the livestream and an on-demand version of the performance for one week following the event. For more information, visit www.hersheyfelder.net.

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Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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