Jewish identity is key for the continuity of our people and to ensure that we have a relevant impact in the broader world in which we all live. You can't mandate Jewish identity ,but you can inspire it — through Jewish education and a strong Jewish family life. If we can plant the right seeds in our children today so that they know who they are from a Jewish perspective, then we will be in good stead for a stronger future.
Growing up, we were both very fortunate to be blessed with a solid Jewish education and family life. Our parents were Canadian-born (with the exception of Sheldon's mother who came to Canada as a young girl) and they gave us each a traditional Jewish upbringing. We both went to Associated Hebrew Schools and Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT), where we met as teenagers. We both saw our respective parents actively and wholeheartedly involved in the Jewish community. We are now carrying on those traditions and values in our home and in our community. Our tzedakah is from our heart. We do the best we can and feel privileged that we can do our part.
A great deal of our tzedakah relates to education because we believe that with the right Jewish education, the doors can be opened for younger generations to connect with our rich history, our shared values and to the lineage of our people that dates back thousands of years.
We are equally passionate about Israel. Without Israel, how can we really appreciate who we are and what we stand for?
By our own actions and deeds, we hope to inspire in today's youth and future generations some of the pride, passion and commitment we feel for being Jewish and ensuring a strong future for the Jewish community.
We are blessed to already witness many such seeds flourish in our own children as they discover and express their Jewish identities and are starting to make differences of their own in the world.