There is a Hebrew proverb that says: "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." This quote describes exactly how Sam and I have felt since our daughter, Eden, five, and son, Ethan, three, were born. Their simple and pure ideas of what is right and what feels right has made us more compassionate and aware of the world we want them to live in. We know that the life we want for them will only come to fruition if we do what we can for the community and contribute with others to create a balance, hope, and a real positive change for those who need a spark that will help them light a beautiful fire in their lives.
Growing up in Ottawa, with very community-committed parents who moved there from Montreal, I couldn't have had better role models to teach me the value of tikkun olam. The positive Jewish atmosphere they created in our home influenced me to pursue a career in Jewish education. Upon my move to Toronto, their advice to me was "The only way to be a part of the Jewish community is to get involved with it!" This is exactly what they did when they moved to Ottawa. Their way of living has been so impactful on our lives.
Sam moved here from Iran with his family when he was a young child. They moved because of the political situation there. Thank goodness they came here when they did, as life for Jews in today’s Iran is not an easy one. Because of this, Sam is completely aware of the good fortune our family enjoys in having the ability to celebrate freely and live a Jewish life. If his family hadn’t fled Iran, his life would be very different. Sam doesn't turn from a challenging situation, instead he takes the best of what he has learned to make it better.
We were married almost eight years ago, and we frequently evaluate how we can improve ourselves. Our love for each other and our children influence our values. We don't know how to help those in need in the exact ways that are most important — this fund, along with the skill of UJA, does. We know that our children and the future of our Jewish community are in good hands because of the United Jewish Appeal.