"Cast your bread upon the waters, for you shall find it after many days."
When it comes to tzedakah, my message is straightforward: Give and you will get. We must give. It's our obligation. But giving is also good for you. Giving generously — whatever your means — provides a satisfaction that is deep, meaningful and rewarding in itself. The recognition you may get for your own personal financial accomplishments can never compare. Sharing and contributing helps others but it does you good too.
To preserve the Jewish culture and support the needs of our community is indeed an obligation — and one that the Toronto Jewish community steps up to like no other city. But this should not just be an obligation of the Jewish people. It should be for everyone. After all, hasn't the Jewish tradition given the world so much? Jewish ethics, philosophies and values were gifts for all — Jews and non-Jews alike. As such, we all have a stake in keeping Jewish life strong.
Philanthropy is in my genes. I am lucky to have inherited this value from my parents and their parents.
In fact, my great-grandfather was not a rich man but he was known in his community to open his home to anyone who knocked on his door in need.
Whether or not you grew up with philanthropy, if you can contribute, do so now. Don't wait for future generations to decide what to do with your wealth. There are needs today and there will be needs tomorrow. If you can endow a gift today you will be supporting the Jewish community for generations to come. You will be part of a legacy that helps to keep a 5,000-year tradition vibrant and strong.