Elie Wiesel said that “as a Jew, I believe that whatever we receive we must share.” That quote really resonates with me, because it reflects the way I was raised. I am the eldest of four siblings in a large, extended Hamilton family with deep roots in the Jewish community, particularly the Adas Israel Synagogue, Jewish National Fund and UJA Federation.
My father, Louis Hotz, was the most generous of men. He and my uncle Abe, his partner in the scrap business, would give to whoever came knocking, whether at home or at work. Our door was always open, and any newcomer to the city was welcomed for a meal. My mother, Yetta, was very involved in Hadassah-WIZO.
After moving to Toronto to attend university, and my marriage to Avrom in 1982, my mother-in-law suggested I become involved in the Business and Professional Women’s Network of UJA. My background in psychology made me especially sensitive to my ability to help others, and I also began giving my time and energies to the Women’s Auxiliary at Baycrest, and to The Canada Israel Cultural Foundation, which provides scholarships for gifted young artists in Israel.
Since the late eighties, when I became a realtor, I have been active in UJA’s Real Estate Division. Though my father was very humble in his philanthropy, and often gave anonymously, I feel I can best help others by setting an example. Now that I have endowed my Lion of Judah gift, I am anxious to encourage others to do the same. My mission is to cultivate all the potential for donors, especially in the real estate area. My goal is to inspire others not just to write a cheque, but to become active participants in ensuring our community’s legacy.
Israel holds a special place in my heart. As a child, I was privileged to travel to Israel numerous times with my parents and siblings. In the past decade, Avrom and I, with our children, Adam and Brittany, have returned almost every summer to support our homeland, affirm our Jewish identity, and perpetuate our heritage.
There are so many worthy organizations competing for our community’s support, but UJA is the glue that holds us all together; because of the more than one hundred agencies it helps it is critical that we encourage endowments and protect those funds for the generations to come. We can’t afford to become complacent about instilling in our children the importance of giving back, and about ensuring our political voices remain active, so that oppression will never plague our people again.