Our story begins with our parents…
Harry and Florence Topper immigrated to Canada from Russiain the early 1920's. They married in Toronto, confronting the hardships of setting down roots and building a home, family and business. No matter how little my father was earning, he always gave a portion of his wages to tzedakah. He built a successful business - Reliable Fur Dressers and Dyers -and was respected by all. From 1975-85, he brought 25 family members from the Soviet Union to Toronto to start new lives and reconnect with their Jewish identities.
Sam and Victoria Rosenberg were born and married in Toronto. Since my paternal grandfather was a diabetic amputee, my father and his siblings were obliged to start working at an early age. My father was a man of great compassion, warmth and generosity, and his optimism created a happy family. My parents gave of their time, spirit and energy by helping the needy.
Our parents believed in the Pirkei Avot — specifically, they believed that if you cast your bread upon the waters, it would return to you tenfold. With that thought, we have left this legacy through The Jewish Foundation.
When our oldest child was ready to begin school in 1961, there was no educational system available to satisfy the needs of the non-orthodox, Jewish community. With the help of the Labour Zionist Movement, we dedicated ourselves to creating the Bialik Hebrew Day School; to ensure our children were educated with an appreciation and love for the Jewish people, Israel, the Bible and the Yiddish language.
Jewish education is a labour of love for us. We receive a great sense of pride and accomplishment knowing we have left this legacy. Education is where it all begins; it forms our Jewish identity.
Our association with the Jewish Foundation will help guarantee the survival of Jewish Education.
Ultimately, we want to pass on a sense of Jewish pride, tzedakah and respect for all people to our children and grandchildren, that they may continue this work in the future.