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Federation CJA announces opening of Café Soleil

cafe soleil employee
Photo: A JEM worker serving muffins at Café Soleil located at the Cummings Centre. Photo credit: Café Soleil
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

A new café has opened up at the Cummings Centre, and it is sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite. This initiative has come to life thanks to the collaboration of Federation CJA, JEM Workshop, Cummings Centre, Zera Café and Agence Ometz.

“Café Soleil prides itself on being a welcoming, affordable and inclusive environment that employs adults of all abilities,” said Maia Cooper, executive director of Atelier JEM Workshop, an adapted workplace that empowers and enables adults with all abilities in the Jewish and general community to lead meaningful lives by providing a variety of training and employment options throughout their life cycle.

Zera Café, a not-for-profit meal service with a mission to employ neurodiverse young adults, prepares Café Soleil’s delicious, innovative Kosher foods, including their hearty soups, brownies with halva and cakes.

The café is staffed by JEM employees, working hand-in-hand with a JEM job coach, Zera Café staff and Cummings Centre volunteers. "I love working at Café Soleil,” said JEM worker Elaine Katzefman. “I've learned a lot and enjoying serving people.”

Located at 5700 Westbury in Snowdon, the Cummings Centre aims to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults aged 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities. “We are proud to launch this new initiative,” said Cummings Centre executive director, Pauline Grunberg. “Café Soleil is a win-win for the community as participants can gather and socialize in a warm and welcoming environment while enjoying affordable, delicious kosher food prepared with love.”  

“I am excited to see this café open as everyone should have the right to earn a living and to live their lives in dignity and with confidence,” said Yair Szlak, president and CEO of Federation CJA. “Federation CJA is proud to support its partners who provide these essential qualities and impact the lives of community members so profoundly. The fact that we get to have a delicious coffee or sandwich is a bonus too.” 

Café Soleil is open from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM Monday to Thursday.