The more you give the more you get back. Over the years, we’ve come to appreciate how true this is. We get a tremendous sense of purpose and satisfaction knowing that we can make a difference, and feel gratified by the return on investment from our tzedakah.
Being involved in Jewish community and giving back to those in need has always been very important to us. We came to Canada from South Africa in 1976 as newlyweds, arriving with no family and few friends. We chose Toronto because we had read of its growing and vibrant Jewish community. It didn’t take long for us to realize we had chosen well. We found a city that was bursting at the seams to do good, and anyone who wanted to be involved was embraced. We jumped right in and quickly found our ‘snow’ legs.
Our involvement with the UJA Young Executive Cabinet was our first foray into volunteering within the Toronto Jewish community. Since then, we’ve been engaged with many different projects and organizations serving different needs within the community. We look back at the decades of these experiences and, each time, recognize what a blessing and a privilege it has been.
Building community is really what it’s about for us. When you have a healthy, engaged community so much more is possible. Whether it is through synagogues, schooling or other community services, community becomes generative and builds upon itself. We have many hopes for the Jewish community – locally and worldwide. Our top priorities are:
Continuity: We must ensure future generations know who they are and have a sense of connection to their Jewish roots, values, traditions and culture.
A strong Israel: We must always ensure Israel is strong and protected. In turn, Israel’s strength gives back to all Jewish communities throughout the world. No matter where you live, we are all connected as one people.
Inclusivity and respect for all: There is a tremendous amount of diversity among the Jewish people. We must nurture values of acceptance and embrace all Jews regardless of their ‘stripe.’ Building community is for today and for future generations.
Within our own family, we are so proud of our children - David, Caren and Jeremy - as well as their spouses and our grandchildren - because they show enormous respect and concern for their fellow Jews and human beings. They are active in their own ways and each does their part to contribute to and build community.
We are proud to be part of the Toronto Jewish community and will continue to work for the continuity, unity and strength of the Jewish people.