In restructuring, key Canadian Jewish officials are let go

Several senior employees of the Canadian Jewish Congress have lost their jobs in a restructuring of Canada’s Jewish organizations and advocacy agencies.

Notices of dismissal, effective June 30, were sent to Benjamin Shinewald, CJC’s Toronto-based acting CEO; Wendy Lampert, national director of community relations; and Enza Martuccelli, director of community relations in CJC’s Montreal office.

Two longtime CJC employees in the Ottawa office—Eric Vernon, the director of government relations and international affairs, and Josh Rotblatt, the director of operations—received notices effective July 31.

Romy Ritter, regional director in Vancouver, was told her employment will not continue with CJC.

The personnel moves were “mandated” by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), said CJC President Mark Freiman in a statement to his board on June 24.

“I grieve for our community’s loss in terms of the talents and devoted service of those whose employment CIJA has decided to terminate,” Freiman said.

Earlier this month, the boards of CIJA and United Israel Appeal Federations Canada approved a major overhaul of communal organizations. The new, as-yet unnamed super agency will assume the role of CJC, the Canada-Israel Committee and other groups.

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

A survey has been sent to stakeholders and interested parties on a new name and priorities for the agency.