Stephen & Heshy Altbaum

Tzedakah has always been part of our vision and we are blessed to be able to make a lasting commitment to our community with this Endowment. We recognize that we have a moral, ethical and religious obligation to support our community, but truly it has filled our lives with such pleasure. This kind of involvement has been at the core of our lives and has certainly enriched our family.

Heshy grew up in a real Yiddishkeit home, where mitzvot were part of everyday life. Her family took care of everybody, friends and relatives all gathered together; their home was warm and welcoming. Heshy is the heart of our home. She makes Shabbat a vibrant and delicious celebration for our three sons, Shane, Peter and Robert. As well, she reaches out and profoundly touches the lives of many others with her far-reaching volunteer commitments.

I too, had a traditional upbringing, but it was not until the birth of our first son that I felt a deep connection to G-d, and profoundly understood my responsibility to bestow upon him, and eventually our other children, a Jewish foundation in every sense. My involvement with UJA Federation has been such a huge part of our lives, giving us a wonderful sense of community both here and in Israel.

We have integrated Tzedekah into our family life because it feels right. Judaism for us is about the principles of how to live your life, and one of the principles is taking care of people in need, an expression of Tikun Olam. We have an incredible, diverse, and vibrant Jewish community in Toronto, where the belief that we are all from the same heritage breathes religious tolerance. This is extremely significant for Heshy and me. Making a provision in our will seems to be a natural extension of our commitment, one that will help ensure that our community will go from strength to strength. We believe that no one person can change the world, but b’yachad, together, we can surely make a difference.


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