The Diamond Foundation has generously donated $25 million to JWest’s capital campaign in British Columbia, which aims to raise $125+ million.
This matching gift is the first philanthropic contribution to the project and is the largest donation ever made by the Diamond Foundation. The Diamonds’ gift has a significant impact on the plans to transform the 3.3-acre property at West 41st and Oak Street in Vancouver, BC.
The Diamond Foundation’s effort leads the way in contributing to the most extensive project in the history of the Jewish community in Western Canada. The project, which is estimated to cost $400+ million, will be brought to life through philanthropy, government funding and astute financing, and will provide an invaluable and welcoming social, cultural, recreational and educational asset for all.
“We are pleased to be the first family to make a significant contribution to JWest’s capital campaign. Our family has called Vancouver home for almost a century, and we have always believed in contributing whatever we can to ensure there is a bright future for our children and their children,” say Gordon and Leslie Diamond, honorary JWest campaign co-chairs and members of the Diamond Foundation’s board.
The announcement builds on the $25 million funding provided in 2021 by the B.C. government.
“Mazel tov! I’m so pleased that our government’s shared mandate commitment of $25 million and a $400,000 investment in redevelopment planning has been bolstered with philanthropic support from the Diamond Foundation and community,” says Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport.
“These generous contributions underscore the importance of a renewed Jewish Community Centre to 22,590 Jews and all people living in this community. It speaks to the power of working together to shine a light on our province’s diversity and inclusion.”
Once complete, the initiative will provide much-needed programs and services in the Oakridge neighbourhood. The JWest project will deliver a state-of-the-art community centre, expanded space for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, a new theatre, a relocated King David High School and two residential towers that will provide mixed-use rental housing (a portion of which will be below-market rates). The development, with multiple construction phases, will also double the current number of childcare spaces and expand seniors’ programming.
“JWest is the amalgamation of decades of work, and the fact that we saw our gift matched so quickly sends a clear signal that the community stands behind this project,” says Jill Diamond, executive director of the Diamond Foundation. “The Diamond Foundation has had a unifying focus to assist and advocate for initiatives in the Vancouver area that help improve the quality of people’s lives. The impact JWest will have on the Jewish community and the surrounding Oakridge community is undeniable.”
JWest is the redevelopment and transformation of the property that includes the current Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, located at West 41st and Oak Street in Vancouver, BC. The project is a partnership between Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, the Jewish Community Centre, and King David High School.
“Today, we are thanking the Diamond Foundation for this transformational gift. A project of this magnitude will not be possible without the tremendous generosity demonstrated by the Diamond Foundation, as well as philanthropic support from the community at large,” explains Alex Cristall, JWest capital campaign chair. Mr. Cristall continues, “It is our hope that the Diamond Foundation’s incredible community leadership will serve as inspiration, and we are now calling on others to work with our team to champion this project in an equally impactful way.”
JWest is the redevelopment and transformation of the 3.3-acre property at West 41st and Oak Street in Vancouver, BC. JWest is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, the Jewish Community Centre, and King David High School. The $400+ million-dollar project will deliver a state-of-the-art community center, expanded space for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, a new theatre, a relocated high school and two residential towers that will provide mixed-use rental housing (a portion of which to be below-market rates). The single largest project in the history of the Jewish community on the West Coast, it will be brought to life through government support, astute financing and philanthropic efforts within the local community in order to provide an invaluable and welcoming social, cultural, recreational and educational asset for all.
The Diamond Foundation is a private charitable family foundation first endowed by its founders, Jack and Gordon Diamond in 1984. The foundation was established to improve the quality of people’s lives in the communities in which the benefactors live and do business. The emphasis of its giving is directed toward organizations and issues that strengthen Jewish community life in Greater Vancouver.
The foundation also allocates a significant portion of its funds to Vancouver-area organizations that target young people who do not have the same opportunities as other youth to develop to their fullest potential or to participate in community life (Youth Initiatives Program) and other special interest projects that improve the quality of people’s lives in Greater Vancouver.