I have always been interested in current affairs, be it local, regional, or national, so it was only a matter of time before I started paying attention to my representation in all levels of government. My engagement in politics picked up after a discussion at the Shabbas table. My dad’s disagreement with a policy change spurred me to take a larger interest in whatever issue it was at the time, and the rest is history.
My first moments at the Fellowship Conference in Ottawa were very eye opening. Here were elected officials and high ranking political staff with whom I was supposed to talk, make friends and connections, and even one day work with; it just didn’t add up! Over the course of the five-day conference however, I not only met amazing people, but I began to understand that CJPAC does indeed connect Fellows to individuals who are involved in everything. It welcomes people from all walks of life and people who are just like me.
They say that the friends you make in the CJPAC Fellowship will stay your friends for years, and it’s true. I can honestly say that the friendships I’ve made will carry on for decades, no matter how ridiculous our jokes might be.
Since the Fellowship, I have become heavily involved in federal politics. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with campus clubs like the University of Alberta Liberal Association and to sit as the President of the Alberta Young Liberals. I also served as the National Vice President Finance of the Young Liberals of Canada. In addition I have worked with local riding associations in both the provincial and federal levels of government which is quite the experience and I highly recommend it as a good way to get involved with grassroots policy making.
Something that stemmed from my involvement with CJPAC was a commitment to always trying new things. For example, I had the opportunity to intern with the Honourable Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P. in 2016, after which I became a CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) Parliamentary Intern working at the Liberal Research Bureau. Another opportunity that has recently come up is to sit as the Edmonton Chair for CIJA’s National LGBTQ2S+ Advisory, working on policies for the Jewish community towards LGBTQ+ communities. I’ve also had the chance to get involved with my local LGBTQ+ community through working with campus teams at the University of Alberta, and now with the Edmonton Men’s Health Collective and the Totally Outright Team. A goal of mine is to get more LGBTQ+ peoples involved in the political process.
Lastly, from BBYO to Hillel and now J.Core (Jewish Young Professionals in Edmonton), I’ve been involved with the Jewish community and committed to Tikkun Olam.
Overall, I would say that everyone should apply for CJPAC’s Fellowship, especially if you have an interest in taking the next steps to being involved on the political scene in Canada, or if you’re looking for ways to help build up your local Jewish community.
CJPAC Fellow 2012-2013
Applications are open for the 2018-2019 CJPAC Fellowship Program! Click here for more info and to apply. Deadline is October 5, 2018.