I was born in a small village in Romania in a family of eight children. What we lacked in material wealth we made up for in richness with all that comes with having a close-knit family and a strong Jewish upbringing. All was well until the war. Six of us miraculously managed to survive the concentration camps. It was in a displaced persons camp at the end of the war that I met my future husband, Sam. We came to Canada in 1948 and married three years later.
As newcomers to Canada we had the opportunity to work hard, succeed and to rebuild our lives. Canada treated us well. We are grateful for that. Our lives in Canada, particularly in Toronto, have been blessed and we feel it is a privilege to give back.
Our tzedakah is first and foremost for our own Jewish brethren. Continuity is everything and we do our best to give where there’s a need. We also feel it’s important to give tzedakah as Canadians. We never forget that we are part of both the Jewish community as well as the broader Canadian society. There’s no shortage of need. So we give to those in need both within and outside of our Jewish community.
We hope our own actions will serve as an example to our children, Howard and Mindy, and to our grandchildren, so that they continue to honour these values and do their part to help others in need.
Whether tzedakah is financial or in deeds - or ideally, both - it’s important to contribute in some way to protect our way of life: living with freedom and dignity as Jews, as Canadians and as citizens in the broader world which seems to be in constant change.
We all have a stake in protecting the future. And so we all must do our part.