Living nearly every day of our lives within the comings and goings of the organized community has provided both of us with an amazing front seat view of the Jewish world. Together, in our roles as communal professionals, we have witnessed truly historical changes over these past decades and have had the opportunity, among others, to participate in the miraculous growth of Israel, freedom for over a million Jews from the former Soviet Union, the profound and unprecedented success of hundreds of thousands of young Jews connecting to Israel through Birthright Israel, and the dynamic growth of an incredible Jewish community here in Toronto.
And, during all that, we have had the privilege of working with inspiring lay leaders who have mentored and guided us, focused our passions, watched over us through difficult times and, best of all, became our friends for life.
Travelling together on this journey, we can’t help but be thankful for a life of meaning and purpose that our roles in the Jewish community have provided us. In so many ways, the roots of our love of community and the passion for leadership for both of us can be found in our experience in BBYO (where we met) and in Jewish summer camps. For Liz, they are also found in the story of her parents, a story that winds its way through war-torn Poland, Siberia, Holland, Belgium, and detention camps in Cyprus and a new life in Israel.
It is through her parents and their wide extended family that Liz fell in love with Israel and travelled there dozens of times as she grew up and lived her own special Birthright all those years.
The ability to give back then, for this life of purpose and meaning and opportunity, is, therefore, so important. Our support back to a community that has made this life for ourselves and our children possible comes with a fervent belief that we all can make a difference in this world, especially when we work together. Both of us get to see and live that difference every day because caring people have come together to do good - and for that we are eternally grateful.
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