Saul and Sandra Plener

We think of our philanthropy as an evolutionary process. This means that we will never reach our end point but, rather, we will continue to discover new and exciting ways to participate in the important and rewarding act of giving. And our family’s fund with the Jewish Foundation will ensure that continues, indefinitely.

We both grew up in Toronto with an appreciation for our Jewish identity, but we were not heavily immersed in communal activity. Over time, our ties to the Jewish community strengthened - both in times of celebration (our kids Bar/Bat Mitzvah) and while observing “Kaddish” for both of our fathers, Sandra’s mother and her brother. Only then did we truly appreciate the importance of a strong and supportive Jewish community. That, coupled with Saul’s business relationships as a Partner at PwC, brought us into the fold of community events and expanded our knowledge of the myriad of important and purposeful organizations that exist.

We are truly grateful for all that we have been able to achieve and want to support causes that can afford others’ opportunities they would otherwise not have. For us, the journey started small - a fundraiser event here and a donation there. But ultimately, we grew as people and as active community members, and we continue to be humbled by this self-motivated journey. There are so many who give and so many who have great capacity to give and it can be intimidating if you were to compare yourself to the largest donors. However, we remind ourselves that every bit counts - be it volunteering in the community or providing our financial support-anything that will contribute to the overall cause. This journey has been personally fulfilling for the two of us and we consider it a healthy addiction for anyone. 

All three of our children -- Rachael, Ryan and Zachary -- are aware of our philanthropic activity. The conversations it has spawned between us has helped to inform them of the importance of giving back to your community and learning about the amazing network of Jewish services and agencies that exist and why. 

We are both excited to continue our evolutionary process of philanthropy and will look to see where it takes both of us and our family next!