Elaine and Alfie Lightstone

The Jewish community of Toronto has always been like family to us. We call it family because, just as we approach our genealogical family with love, commitment and concern for its well-being, our approach to community is no different.

We have been active in many of our community’s organizations. Of particular interest to us are the areas of social welfare and education. We could list countless committees and names of where or who we’ve been involved with but, despite our contributions, we feel we have been beneficiaries too. Our involvement has been instrumental in shaping our lives and the lives of our children and their own young families.

We recall when our eldest child, Aaron, was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah.  He was asked the question, ‘what does it mean to be Jewish?’ His response was, ‘going to meetings’. Though humourous, the answer truly captures what a large part of giving to our community means to us and that it has resonated with our children. 

We have been living in Toronto for essentially all of our lives -- Elaine was born here and Alfie moved here at a very young age -- so we have witnessed the enormous growth of a community. Our three children, Aaron, Debbie and Michael had the opportunity to attend Jewish day school. They were also introduced to the concept of Ahavat Yisrael at school and at Jewish overnight camp seeped in Zionist ideology. 

We have also been intimately acquainted with the challenges that come with a growing and diverse community. Despite the difficulties that permeate, both within and beyond, our determination to be involved, to make a difference -- no matter how big or small, helps ensure the continuity of this wonderful community we proudly call family.

Creating a legacy through the Jewish Foundation is a wonderful way for us to make a lasting impact. When we are no longer here, we will be able to continue to support what we value and our grandchildren’s children will know we are still engaged in the community.



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