Everyone deserves a chance in life but not everyone is given equal opportunity. We are lucky and we count our blessings every day. The ability to give is part of what we are grateful for.
Whether it’s financially or with our time, tzedakah is, and always has been, part of our lives.
Perhaps it is because we grew up with these values.
Lynn’s grandparents came from Russia and settled in Saskatchewan. They knew what it was like to start over in a new country so they, in turn, always reached out to help other newcomers.
Likewise, Brent’s parents, who live in Calgary, instilled the values of tzedakah and taught their children by example. We in turn, teach our own children tzedakah by doing. Our children, Bram, Kate and Zack, all do their part, whether it’s feeding the homeless, establishing a brand new initiative on campus, helping Somali children, or working at the Reena Foundation.
There are so many important needs in the community but one particular passion for us is the fight against intolerance. It’s time for the general community to get to know us by our shared values, not just by our differences. These values related to freedom, civil liberties and respect for human dignity, will bind us with other like-minded cultures. Connecting with others on this level will also be key to preserving our own Jewish identity and culture.
Our hope for the next generation is that the Jewish community will thrive in a world that respects both our differences and our similarities. We all must do our part to ensure that this happens.