Laura & Rick Orzy

Our Jewish community commitment and service story started in Kitchener and Cape Town. Rick’s parents were recognized leaders of the Kitchener Jewish community (including builder of the synagogue/ community centre and founders/leaders of Jewish community organizations). Every occasion and life event was marked by an act of tzedakah.

Laura’s grandfather was a founder of the Johannesburg Jewish orphans’ home and her family was known and recognized in Johannesburg for being Jewish community stalwarts.

We met by sheer chance at a party in Toronto when Laura was living in Manhattan and were immediately drawn together by our shared sense that being Jewish was a preeminent force in our lives and in the course we wanted to set for our shared life. Indeed, Rick’s extensive involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement served as his excuse to come to New York for those first dates.

This shared life goal was about more than joining organizations, boards and committees, which we certainly did. Those include Laura being heavily involved in working for the children’s schools, Lion of Judah and Israel Bonds (currently serving as International Women’s Chair and Board member of Israel Bonds International) and Rick being deeply involved in the International Soviet Jewry Movement, UJA Federation (lawyers’ and professions’ cabinets leader), Israel Bonds, Jewish Family & Child (past President and current Foundation President) and numerous other charities in Israel.

True to that shared vision on our first date, today we live in Israel and have built our ‘second’ life in the Jewish state we love and which we see as the future of our people. We are deeply involved in charitable causes (mostly focusing on trauma, women, children and families and education) and Israel Bonds. All our children (and our son-in-law) made Aliyah and served in the IDF (including two in the reserves during the current war). Our daughter Noa and her family and our son Zev live here. Our son Ilan and his wife live in Toronto, where he has a significant role in the Jewish community.

Although we are able to be together as an entire family only one or two times each year, when we sit and sing together at our Shabbat table, we are living that shared life goal in three (really four) generations together and realize how fortunate we are to be part of the Jewish people.

We started our lives a world apart in two cities where Jewish life was never going to be able to thrive completely, but now we have found our way to the epicentre of our religion and culture; to the heart of the future of our people.