In the late sixties, I attended an emergency UJA meeting at the home of the Koffler family where I was first exposed to the vision, passion, and conviction of true community leaders.
From that moment on, I was hooked emotionally, and over-committed financially to a $20,000 pledge.
That warm welcome led me into the world of tzedakah and volunteerism. I soon became involved with the Canada-Israel Chamber of Commerce, ultimately becoming its President.
The Holyland Conservation Fund (Israel Nature Reserve) means a lot to me and has been run out of my office for the past 30 years.
My first major involvement with a communal organization in Toronto was with the Baycrest Centre. I served on their Board as a Director for 20 years and chaired their Foundation.
In 1994, UJA Federation asked me to chair the 1995 campaign and this experience allowed me to learn about the excellent services that our tremendous community enjoys to this day. I am particularly proud of introducing to UJA Federation the ATID Division - a young leadership initiative - as well as creating the Past Chairs Committee.
The honour of being Chairman of UJA’s JTT – Jewish Toronto Tomorrow – has been one of my greatest experiences. Alongside some of Toronto’s top community leaders, I continue to serve on its committee.
My UIA activities led to an involvement with the Jewish Agency for Israel, and an appointment to their Board of Trustees. I continue to serve on different committees within JAFI. I have also been privileged to serve on the Executive of Keren Hayesod. Working with Jews from around the world and sharing their passion for Israel continues to be a source of inspiration for me to this day. These involvements have enriched my life and helped me grow as a person.
Community is an all-encompassing sea made up of people, facilities, ideas and never-ending needs. No one person or group can fulfill all that is required to build a successful community. Success is reached only when one joins forces with other members of the community. There is nothing more gratifying than being involved with other volunteers and creative, savvy professional staff in achieving tasks and goals that are dreamed about – and making those dreams come true.