We feel extremely fortunate to live in a multicultural environment and that our two children, Noah and Jordana, have the same exposure. For us, being Jewish and proudly sharing our customs and heritage with our neighbours and friends of many faiths and cultures, is the key to understanding and tolerance. This was instilled in us by our parents and their parents, all of whom have tremendous stories of survival and persistence both from their original homes in Europe and those that were born in Canada.
We live in a cohesive, mixed community and our children attend public school. Their Jewish appreciation comes from the home and from supplementary experiences such as Hebrew school and Jewish summer camp. In addition, Elliott is a product of the day school system and pursued a career as a Director of Education in the Jewish supplementary school system. His work life has shifted somewhat but his Jewish commitment remains steadfast and he continues to teach in his synagogue, including work with b’nei mitzvah students, teaching them how to chant and to understand the meaning of their designated parsha.
Lisa is a teacher in Toronto’s public school system and she too has, what she considers, the privilege of sharing her culture and religion with her colleagues and students. It seems appropriate that being in a learning environment, we should also learn from our fellow staff.
Elliott’s newer work in the field of investments and insurance would seem the farthest thing from our Jewish involvement. But, in fact, it connects in a wonderful way. We determined that we too can contribute significantly to the Jewish community, with which we feel enormously connected and proud, by gifting our life insurance policy. Through Elliott’s new career, we have come to realize that you don’t have to be in the highest income bracket to be a major contributor to our community. There will always be a need for support in our community and our gift will be a part of a long-term investment. With our gift, we are leaving a legacy that is an example to others, including our children and other middle-income families who are looking for ways to give more.