How was 2012 for you?

By Ian Sandler

In the final stages of 2012 and reflecting on the year that was, I’d like to share with you some of my positive experiences that I believe strengthen us as a community and make me proud to be a part of JCA and all it stands for.

JCA Womens Division Dr Charles Teo OAM 220512 Moriah College

Prof Teo sold out almost before the invitations dropped in mailboxes!

Our annual campaign commenced at the end of May and the community came out in support of our events – we had three sold out communal functions.  Your support meant everything to us – it motivates us to continue doing our work with the passion and enthusiasm needed to ensure our success. Thank you from the team at JCA.

Some new initiatives reached fruition – JCA’s new website was born. Having been in operation for almost seven years, it was time for a change – we hope you like the new look.  Click here to view.

The inaugural JCA Observership program came into being under the guidance of Jonathan Gavshon.  We were overwhelmed with highly qualified candidates and had to extend our reach into boards outside the community to try and accommodate as many young people as we could.  We were fortunate to induct 28 people as our first Observers.  It is our hope that we are creating leaders who will play major roles our community in the future.

A joint venture between JCA and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Sydney launched only last night and will be the “go to” place to find about Jewish events in Sydney as well as all that our community has to offer. This online portal will provide the community with connections to Jewish organisations and events. Click here to view.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the success that was JCA Family Day in October.  Partnering with the teams at Shalom Baby and PJ Library, over 300 families joined us –

Perfect family day out - JCA Family Day 2012

Perfect family day out – JCA Family Day 2012

taking us way over our anticipated numbers again and ensuring that the event becomes an annual occasion.  Recognising how hard it is for people with young families to go out at night, it was imperative that we still accommodate them with a JCA event that was appropriate and relevant.

Finally, one of our community’s flagship endeavours is the annual Camp Sababa.

Fun in the sun - campers with their buddies - Camp Sababa 2012

Fun in the sun – campers with their buddies – Camp Sababa 2012

The Camp, first organised in 2007 was conceptualised and driven by a parent who felt there was a need in the community to cater for children who have a disability.  The camp with the support of The Sony Foundation has gone from strength to strength.  This year in early December, 26 campers along with their buddies sourced from Year 12 students at Emanuel School, Masada College and Moriah College again, had an experience that was more than memorable.  With training from another JCA member organisation, JewishCare, the camp is a testament to how many organisations collaborate within our community to make something as wonderful as Camp Sababa happen.  The end of Camp BBQ and prizegiving highlighted each child’s unique talents and qualities.  Everyone left feeling ten foot tall. Kol Hakavod to all.

The Camp BBQ, while concluding Camp Sababa saw the commencement of the first Sababa Lagumba Camp.    Spearheaded by a former “buddy” Steve Gluckman, this new camp caters for young adults with special needs aged between 17 and 22 years of age.  Sponsored by Raymond Weil, the camp represents the communities continued effort to provide support to young adults with special needs and their families.  We are truly a community that can be proud of this initiative and all the people involved in making it happen.

Ian Sandler is the Chief Executive Officer of JCA

Ian Sandler is the Chief Executive Officer of JCA

On that very positive note, I wish you all well for 2013 and thank you again for all your support