My husband, Jack, and I were both born and raised in Winnipeg. We met at a dance at the Y and were married in 1963. In 1977, we moved with our young daughter and son to Toronto so Jack could go back to university. Leaving my community at 35 and moving my kids away from their grandparents was the scariest time of my life, but I supported Jack's goals. We thought we'd stay for only three years, but we fell in love with Toronto and settled here permanently.
Growing up in Winnipeg I was involved in everything — Jewish summer camps, BBG, USY, Hillel. I was committed to continuing that involvement in Toronto, so I joined Hadassah-WIZOand started fundraising for UJA Federation. I'm still very involved with both today. As a family, we joined BethTzedek Synagogue, where I continue to volunteer and attend services regularly. We believed in Jewish education and sent our kids to USDS and to CHAT, where they each met their future spouses.
Sadly, I lost my husband to cancer in 2001. We had a wonderful life together and we worked hard to create a model for our children. Today, my daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Michael Opler, and my son and daughter-in-law, Randal Schnoor and Marsha Moshinsky are very involved in the Jewish community and we are always together Friday nights and holidays. I'm so happy that they are carrying on these traditions for my three grandchildren, Bethany, Arielle and Jonah…and one more on the way.
Throughout my life I've had many careers — interior designer, artist, mother, caregiver. In my late 30s I learned that I could purchase a life insurance policy with a charity as the beneficiary. I thought it was a wonderful concept. Long after I am gone, my giving will continue in the form of endowments to UJA Federation and Hadassah-WIZO.
I enjoy living in Toronto. It's a city filled with tremendous options for Jews. But with that come endless needs — for the elderly, immigrants, education, arts and culture. We also have to do our part for Israel and the people there who make sacrifices so we can live freely. I'm very pleased that my commitment to caring and giving will carry on long after I am no longer here.