Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has named Bernie Farber as the Liberal Party candidate for Thornhill in the October provincial election, said Greg Sorbara, campaign chair for the Ontario Liberal Party, at a press conference last week.
Farber told the Jewish Tribune that he has taken a leave of absence from his position as CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) to fulfill his “lifelong dream” of entering politics.Gag me/moi (my feelings re the "helper"/"activist" in our two official languages). Also--I have in on good authority (a source I cannot reveal) that people in the Jewish advocacy game are thrilled to bits that Bernie's gone, so I have the sense that they're unlikely to roll out the red carpet for his return should his political career tank.
Although he intends to win the election on Oct. 6, Farber said, if he does not succeed, he has been promised a position in the soon-to-be-restructured organization headed at present by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA). “The lay leadership and the professional leadership of the Canadian Jewish community...want me in one of two places: the legislature or working for the Jewish community in a senior position. So, either way, it's win-win for me."
It is a “natural progression” for many Jewish or ethnic advocates to go into politics, Farber said, given their training and experience in advocacy. In his speech, he said he has worked for 35 years in the “helping professions”; first as a social worker and then “as a social activist within the Jewish community focussed on human rights, the disenfranchised and battling racism and antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia.”...