We have four children, aged seventeen to nine, and we hope we are teaching them by example that ordinary people, by giving of themselves, can make a major impact on their communities.
Both of us come from families that were extremely community-oriented. Tova grew up in Cleveland, and her parents took tremendous responsibility for the shul and day school her grandfather had helped to found. Having come from that sort of environment, she looked for a synagogue that would offer the same kinds of opportunities to become involved once she had moved to Toronto.
Elli also comes from a heritage of community involvement; his mother’s family was instrumental, through several generations, in building the Jewish community of Baltimore. Community is simply who we are.
We want our children to know that sometimes the time and effort you contribute to an organization can be just as important, and even more rewarding, than a financial gift--and it can be vital for one’s personal growth.
Elli is passionate in his commitment to Chai Lifeline, an organization for families of children stricken with cancer and other serious illnesses. He devotes his efforts to several fund-raising events each year, while Tova is dedicated to Bikkur Cholim, and happily gives time each week to package food for Shabbat. In return, we feel an overwhelming sense of connection, a satisfaction that, though the recipient of our efforts may not know us personally, we have made someone’s day, someone’s Shabbat, someone’s life, just a little better.
It is tremendously rewarding to become a small part of something bigger than yourself. And that is the beauty of the Fund we have established with the Jewish Foundation. Through it, we are confident that our gift will be disseminated across a wide variety of organizations to do good wherever it is needed. You don’t need millions to make a difference; you only need to give what you are able.