My philanthropy in the community is an extension of our family values. When I was growing up we all took care of each other- aunts, uncles, cousins, lantzmen- our extended family.
Each of my community involvements has afforded me entrée into different families - Hadassah-Wizo, Mount Sinai Hospital, Baycrest, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and so on. The United Jewish Appeal has taken me to Israel and my Israeli extended family, and Keren Hayesod has expanded my family worldwide.
I have met the most unbelievable people and made cherished friendships as a result of my efforts to help others. My life and that of my own family has been enriched.
Through the years I have often invited our community and overseas friends into our home- after all, they are family.
As a teacher, my training was in education, and it is in that area that I have made the greatest contributions to my commitments.
In 1998 I was involved in a project that became both a passion and a life changing experience. I was given the honour, along with Jaclyn Shulman, of creating a book, “Voices from the Heart: A Community Celebrates Fifty Years of Israel”. It is an anthology of personal stories and photographs that celebrates Canadians’ emotional attachment to Israel - determined pioneers, Holocaust survivors, dashing Machal, talented architects, committed fund raisers all told their histories. These commentaries reflect the struggle, commitment and devotion evoked by this Land. Their stories are universal. ”Voices from the Heart” is an archival treasure, gifted to the Toronto Jewish Community so future generations will know how it was then for so many.
Through working on this book with our volunteers-historians, diplomats, interviewers, gofers, etc, I gained even more family.
Through the people behind the stories, I rode the emotional rollercoaster of their incredible lives. Our intimate connection made us very special family indeed.
I spent an intensely productive year on this project. My husband David and my children were completely supportive and integral. They too, have their own philanthropic involvements with their own extended families.
If you follow your own passions as I have, I’m sure you too will receive much more than you give, and will gain your own beautiful extended family.