My father, Louis Green, was a furrier on “The Avenue” and always did good things for people in a quiet, natural way. He had a long record of generous deeds and would often say, “It’s only common sense.” His memory has been a strong force in my life and I continue to be motivated by what his common sense might dictate about my decisions. I have been influenced and inspired not only by my father’s low key acts of charity, but also by the generosity and important achievements of our wonderful Jewish community in Toronto.
Barbara also grew up in this great city and was part of a large, extended family that both supported and benefitted from Jewish social services. Her maternal grandfather, Jacob Tishler, was a founding member and past president of Adath Israel Congregation. We both appreciate that we now live in the best country in the world, where Jews can live in peace and can have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and ambitions. We are grateful to be able and proud to support Jewish causes wherever they are needed. We are also proud that our three sons and their families, Joel, Brian & Marcy, and Steven and Anne, continue the tradition of tzedakah, and we hope our grandchildren, Jacob, Haley, Daniel and Ben will do so as well.
I have been contributing to UJA for 60 years; I’ve canvassed for UJA for about 30 years and was a co-chair of the Accountants Division about 20 years ago. We understand that UJA is the pre-eminent financial source for about a hundred services in our community, as well as some key projects in Israel and other overseas hot spots, so it makes sense to us that it be the largest single entity on our donation list. For all the others on our list, we feel we are helping good causes and also giving them a vote of confidence and encouragement.
We first visited Israel in 1972 and were impressed and inoculated with a strong love and great respect for “The Jewish Nation.” Shortly thereafter, we became involved with Beit Halochem--Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel. Through meeting and hosting some of these disabled vets, our family benefitted much more than we ever gave in dollars. To this day, we have close contact with three wonderful Israeli families who seem like relatives; they now draw us back to Israel every year. It’s a good example of being rewarded for giving. In the case of UJA, you can see parts of your reward all over greater Toronto.
Our car license plate is TKN OLM, for ‘tikkun olam’. To us, it means “make the world a better place.” It’s a pretty good guide for every decision that one makes throughout life.