While Toronto was not both of our birthplaces, we are so fortunate that, today, it is home to both of us and our two boys, Evan and Seth. Adina was born in Glasgow, Scotland (her mother’s birthplace), but came to Canada when she was a couple of weeks old. Jeff was born and raised in Toronto. We are shaped by our personal and collective history and are motivated by the principles of tikkun olam—repairing the world and showing support for Israel. We live by the mantra m’dor l’dor—from generation to generation—and want those values to be passed down to our children.
When we got married, Adina’s family was already very involved with UJA, so our own involvement came naturally. Both through Adina’s involvement as a member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet and our family trips, we have travelled and met so many like-minded volunteers, as well as experienced first-hand how the dollars raised by UJA help so many around the globe.
We are so pleased to see that our children have begun their own involvement by being a part of the Giving Fund, formally known as the B’nai Tzedek Fund, which they set up in honour of their bar mitzvahs. It’s a wonderful way to help them develop their philanthropic vision and build their understanding of the Jewish values of Tzedakah and volunteerism. While our children are taught this both at home and at school, we believe that the actual practice is so much more meaningful.
Inscribing our story in the Book of Life is important so that our children see what matters to us. We want the tradition and results of that giving to carry on. We hope our story inspires others, as it is one of many examples of giving. This is of particular importance to the emerging generation that must carry on this tradition.
We hope for a peaceful future and for there to always be a Jewish homeland, within a world where antisemitism is not a focal point, as it is today. We believe we must support the Jewish community because it is our heritage. It forms a large part of how we live, how we bring up our children, and the future.
No matter how big or small your contribution, it still matters.