I grew up within the comforts of Montreal. I spent my early teenage years reading about and listening to people talking about the horrible suffering and murder of our people in Europe, as well as the agony of the closed doors of the western world.
It impressed upon me that the means of Jewish survival are immigration and our own homeland. Equally important is Jewish education, not only to preserve our heritage, but to securely confront anti-Semitism.
My early community involvement was mostly with JIAS and the immigration waves, primarily to Israel, of displaced persons, followed by Jews from Arab lands, Poland, Hungary, and the USSR. I, along with others, was successful in placing this as a priority on the local Federation and National agendas. Likewise, my efforts were focused, with others, on raising Jewish education to a level of communal responsibility.
In the course of these activities, I became more knowledgeable and appreciative of the Federation's role in the community: the importance of fundraising, planning, and all that was necessary for the well being of the local community, and through national organizations, what was needed for the well being of the communities across the country, overseas, and of course, Israel.
I have always benefited from the co-operation and advice of my dear wife Riva (nee Bialik). Through our commitment to UJA Federation, in the countless positions held over many years of volunteering, we have enriched our own lives, and we believe that we have helped to ensure a lasting legacy for generations to come.