We believe charitable giving must be exciting and satisfying. One has to be fortunate enough to have the time and the means to do so, but what’s most important to us, is that giving must have an element of fun and excitement; why else do it?
This has been our experience for essentially our whole lives. As youngsters in Toronto, we were taught the importance of tzedakah from our parents and grandparents. Alan’s father would take Alan to UJA fundraisers; my father introduced me to the concept of anonymous giving. The message was loud and clear: be grateful for what you have and be sure to do good for others.
And so, we have both relished the joy and satisfaction of participating and giving. We believe we owe it to our Jewish community because we are responsible for one another. We have also learned so much about, and gained enormous respect for, our community and fellow volunteers through the many organizations with which we are involved, such as Baycrest, Mount Sinai, JNF and UJA, to name a few. Setting up an endowment with the Jewish Foundation ensures the continuation of this heritage.
We have volunteered, both locally and nationally, and we have taken a special interest in supporting projects in our beloved Israel.
All of our efforts are to ensure a thriving community long after we are gone. We have demonstrated this to our own children, Randy and Hermine, Brian and Alison, Michelle and Randy, and Adam, and to their children, Seth, Madison, Ezra and Eli. But, we also wish for others to understand our commitment because we are all capable of doing something to better our community. We feel this is a critical message to younger generations. They must know of the past, both the positive and the negative that has affected our community, and must be mobilized to action.
We used to find it unnerving when names would be attached to philanthropy instead of anonymous giving. But, as a Rabbi once said to us, if you don’t, then your children and grandchildren won’t know. But we have taken it further. It is not just about giving but doing; putting yourself into the act through volunteer leadership. If you don’t show, they don’t know.