I was named after my maternal grandfather, Henry Korenblum z’l. After surviving the Holocaust, Henry Korenblum z’l came to Toronto where he met and married my bubie, Zelda. He was only 61 years old when he died in 1985. Perpetuating my grandfather’s name means a lot to our family.
I was raised in a home with strong Jewish values. I learned at a young age that it is important to give tzedekah. At my Bar Mitzvah, our guests were asked to donate directly to our synagogue or to JNF. My mother, Ellie, initiated a campaign to send gently-used clothing to Israel. At a young age, I helped load 40 ft. containers which were shipped to those-in-need in Israel.
Whereas I was born into my Jewish identity, Chloe intentionally chose her Jewish path. She has worked and volunteered for many Jewish organizations. She is passionate about promoting inclusivity in the Jewish community. She did this through her past involvement in Kulanu Toronto. Currently, Chloe is the Project Coordinator at Keeping the Faith, an organization that supports recent converts to Judaism.
Together, we have always given tzedakah but never had a strategic plan for our giving. After attending the Jewish Foundation’s Book of Life event in 2018, during which my bubie and family created a Fund in honour of my grandfather, we were inspired to establish our own Legacy gift.
We are grateful to be the proud parents of two sons, Leo and Judah. It is important for us to teach our children the importance of tzedakah. We already started to do this in ways the boys can understand such as donating many of their birthday gifts to Sick Kids and having conversations about the importance of giving to others.
We believe that philanthropy can unify families and anchor them together in common values. To our peers and younger generation — you do not have to wait until you have amassed great wealth to set up a gift to the community. There are affordable ways to do this now and many ways to make the world a better place.
The future really is in our hands. Start the conversation, be kind to the environment, be inclusive and aspire to leave the world better than how you found it.