We represent the third generation members of the Drildzer Society and Congregation in Toronto. As such, we felt it was essential that an endowment in the Drildzer Society name be arranged with the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. After all, this city has been our home, as it was for our parents, and even for those a generation preceding them, and we intend for our gift to benefit the people here for generations to come.
Even though we were all born in Canada, we are the link between our Polish ancestors and our Toronto descendants. Although continuity is what drives us to stay together, we also acknowledge that the purpose of the Society has changed. Established in the 1920s, the Society was both a gathering place for prayer and social events, while it also served as a source for assistance for those who had nothing but the shirts on their backs; for instance, those who fled pogroms, and later, those who survived the Holocaust, arrived as impoverished refugees and the Society became their safe haven for financial and moral support. Today, thanks to our strong and affluent community with its myriad of services, we exist primarily as a social meeting place, all the while maintaining a connection to our town of Ilza (Drildz), in Poland. The purpose of our existence may have transformed, but the core values have remained. Past Society member and first female President, Mae Waese Z"L, must be credited with this because she, more than any of our contemporaries, drove us to carry on certain traditions. We are charitable to those less fortunate in our community, and we also support our beloved Israel and her soldiers. We have also undergone physical changes. From our beginnings at the corner of Huron and Baldwin Streets, we joined the flow of the Jewish community up Bathurst Street, and are currently located on Wilson Avenue.
We remain connected to one another through the legacy left to us by each of our parents who were all actively involved with the Society. Our children and their children may be too far removed from how and why the Drildzer Society came to be, but with our endowment, we are assured that our name will survive and our collective past will have a record, even though the origins of our Society have virtually disappeared.