Lorraine and I both grew up with strong ties to Jewish community where both our homes respected the values of Gemilut hasadim.
Lorraine was born in Rhodesia of European parents. I was born in Cape Town and was third generation South African. After marrying, we made our home in Cape Town and grew into our early adulthood deeply involved with a South African Jewry that was strong, committed to Jewish education and Israel, and supportive of all facets of Jewish communal life.
We immigrated to Toronto in 1976 with our two young sons, Robert and Ian. As newcomers to Canada, we worked hard to re-establish our lives. We knew that Jewish education for our sons was imperative and that continuing our tradition of tzedakah within our new community would be an obvious pursuit.
We did our best and became involved in many ways. We both took on various leadership roles which for me eventually resulted in my presidency of UJA Federation. Lorraine, as a working woman, chaired Women's Campaign and now chairs the Holocaust Center of Toronto. Her professional work as the Director of the Holy Blossom Pre School for eighteen years, was evidence of her great passion for inspiring young families with meaningful Jewish experiences.
We both believe that creating welcoming, inclusive community extends opportunities for others. Welcoming portals of positive experiences provide community access for all. The strength of a caring community is defined by how it cares for its most vulnerable. Input and contribution from all levels within our community are required to ensure this. Together we plant trees from which forests will flourish.
We hope our actions, beliefs and values have inspired our own children to plant, at minimum, a few seeds of their own and that future generations will do their part to grow, nurture, and sustain a Jewish community that will thrive in many ways and for generations to come.