Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Fellowship Success Story: Evan Silver

Evan Silver is a young Conservative CJPAC Alumni. In his downtime he enjoys watching the Raptors, reading and fundraising. A graduate of the The Richard Ivey School of Business and Western University, Evan now works on Parliament Hill.

As a 23 year old political staffer on Parliament Hill, it doesn’t take long to think of the ways CJPAC has influenced my life.  Before CJPAC, I was balancing a dual degree at Ivey’s business school with a History degree from Western University.  While I was engaged in politics, it was more of a hobby; something I was involved in but not my focus.  Then, I took on the CJPAC Fellowship and everything changed.  Through the Fellowship program, I learned about political organizing  creating campaign planning, coordinating and recruiting teams of volunteers and political fundraising.  Over the past few years, I have been heavily involved in provincial and federal campaigns as well as student council campaigns on campus.  In each and every campaign, I used the skills CJPAC taught me in those first few months of the Fellowship.  Quickly, politics had become more than a hobby; politics became something I was being recognized for.

In September of my final year at Western, I was approached by a friend who was considering running for school president.  I was asked to be a part of a core team to plan, coordinate and win a student council election.  The planning that took place throughout the next six months was heavily influenced by the notes I made at CJPAC’s political training seminar in Ottawa.  During the campaign we isolated the faculties and residences which would be most likely to vote for our candidate and studied past election data to determine we needed approximately 4,000 votes to win.  We built a coalition of voters that both resonated with our platform and resulted in 4,000 votes.  After months of meetings, door knocking and planning, Election Day had finally come.  We won the election and came within 5% of total number of votes we targeted 5 months in advance.  Our planning and hard work had paid off perfectly and the best candidate won.

With university behind me, it is daunting to try and pin down the industry and job that will shape my career and a large portion of the remainder of my life. During this time of flux, CJPAC is still here to provide guidance and support.   While I know I will always be heavily involved in politics, I also know that I do not want my future financial stability to be dependent on elections.   I have thought about entering finance, an interest which peaked after spending a summer working on the trading floor of a competitive bank.  Law is also something I have been interested in after spending two summers at a Bay Street firm.   I have spent considerable time reviewing notes from a Fellowship conference call about the overlap between law and politics which has influenced my thinking. While I am weighing the options for this decision, it is comforting to know I can still count on CJPAC to point me in the right direction and support me in whatever decision I make.