Gary & Alison Polan

For us, it all begins with home and family. We have always strived to instill in our three daughters, Sarah, Robyn and Jaime, the values of honesty, generosity and tzedakah. As our girls were growing up, we attempted to exemplify this in various ways through our day-to-day life by volunteering our time and by donating money to a number of different charities. Although we are not very religious, we feel strongly about Jewish values and traditions. In addition to celebrating most Jewish holidays, we share Shabbat at home each week. This is a special time for us, and when the girls were younger, we came together, discussed our week and what was good and what was not so good. We continue to discuss world events and reflect on how fortunate we are to be living in Canada with such a supportive and privileged family and community.

As our children grew, so did our feelings and commitment to Judaism. We were fortunate to have our second daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in Israel, a first trip for all of us. Since then, each of our girls has had the opportunity to visit Israel again through Birthright Israel and March of the Living. They have demonstrated tikkun olam by volunteering their time and money in a variety of ways. Our hope is for them to continue on this path of having dedicated convictions and involvement in securing the future of Israel and Judaism.

We chose to participate in the Book of Life as a means to put our words into action and demonstrate our commitment to Judaism and to our community for us, our children and their children. This year, we also made the decision to participate in the Adult March of the Living trip to Poland and Israel to see and experience history ourselves. Although we are extremely fortunate not to have lost any direct family members in the Holocaust, we certainly feel the impact that it has had, and continues to have, on friends and family. We feel strongly that we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to learn as much as we can, to share our knowledge and to promote tolerance, while never forgetting our past.

We are honoured and grateful to be able to make this endowment to the UJA Federation. We feel that it is our obligation to take care of the community and, in this way, we hope to ensure the preservation of a strong Jewish future.


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