I (Lorne) learned the importance of tzedakah at a young age. Both my parents were actively involved in the Winnipeg Jewish community as well as fundraising for Israel. I grew up watching my mother volunteer tirelessly for many Jewish charities including UJA and Hadassah. She learned this first hand from her father and now I am carrying on the tradition. Miriam and I feel that it is now our turn to lead by example for our children Matthew, Sydney and Noah.
When Miriam and I married and settled in Toronto we both knew we wanted to raise our children to be strong “Jewish citizens” — to be engaged, involved and to know the importance of giving back to our community as well as to Israel. We send our children to United Synagogue Day School (USDS). They participate in many tzedakah activities at school, but it is important that they see and experience the same Jewish values at home. We regularly have garage sales and lemonade stands and donate the proceeds to a charity that we decide on as a family. As well, our children each choose a charity on their birthdays and ask their friends to give a small donation instead of a gift. By these small but significant acts, they feel good about helping others and are learning to think of those in need.
This year the time was right for us to make a meaningful gift that will establish an endowment fund with the Jewish Foundation. As a tax and investment professional I am aware that charitable gifts are much more accessible and tax efficient than many people realize. We are making this contribution now because we know that it is our turn – to pick up the torch and carry on as our parents and grandparents did. We believe there is so much that we can do and we are grateful that we are in a position to help the Toronto Jewish Community and Israel now and for generations to come.