“I did not find the world desolate when I entered it; my fathers planted for me before I was born; so do I plant for those who will come after me.” Jerusalem Talmud: Ta’anith, 23a This quote from the Talmud best expresses the way our family feels about giving back to the community. Over the last five decades my parents, Sydney and Florence Cooper, have been deeply involved in the community and with helping others. Through their commitment and support of Toronto’s Jewish and secular community organizations, and the State of Israel, they have set an example for me, my siblings, our spouses and our children.
In our family it is not enough to just participate financially or to limit our support to one organization.
We have been encouraged by our parents to take leadership roles in the organizations we support.
Personally, I have had the privilege of serving as president of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary, and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. I have followed the example of my mother who has participated as a member of these Auxiliaries since the 1950s.
Over the last thirty years there have been many new initiatives at UJA Federation in Women’s Campaign & Advocacy. From the introduction of the "A Dollar a Day" campaign in the 1960s, which was co-chaired by my mother and launched at our home, to our participation as Lions of Judah, we have always felt a deep connection with the goals of UJA Federation.
Our family’s involvement in the community has reflected our shared concern for all members of society. Our charitable endeavours have primarily focused on healthcare, education and providing for our aged. Through the Lion of Judah Endowment we are ensured that our commitment to these ideals will continue for generations.