A note from the Editor

In yet another year of surprises (both good and bad), we continue to see a world mired in conflict and volatility. It can sometimes get overwhelming or distracting (see Depp v. Heard) to be inundated with so much information so quickly. And yet despite all of this, our community continues to focus on those in need and provide support here at home and around the world.

We hope that these articles in “Giving Advice” both inform and educate but also that the newsletter serves as a reminder for you, the professional advisors, that the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto is here to help discuss and advise on plans or strategies for your clients in fulfilling their personal and philanthropic goals.

Jonah Mayles, LLB, TEP
Partner, Tax & Estate Planning, Sterling Park Financial Group

Philanthropic Giving: Remembering the Purpose Behind It and How to Foster it in the Next Generation

Marni Pernica

Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP

As an estate planner I talk about death and dying on a daily basis. It is often remarkable to me how unique it is to meet someone and after 5 minutes of schmoozing we get into a conversation about some of the most personal aspects of their lives. We speak about their families, their values, their financial affairs. Ultimately the conversation always boils down to death and how the clients want their estate distributed on their death.

Making Your Donation Dollars Go Further: Gifts of Life Insurance

Eric Benchetrit
Founder & President, Sage Advisory Corp.


Over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in 2021, I was happy to be a presenter at a backyard event coordinated by the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, co-hosted by my colleague and fellow Professional Advisory Committee member Larry Berdugo and Jaymie Bongard. Beyond the enthusiasm and exuberance of meeting in person, the attendees, consisting of primarily life insurance agents, were quite keen on hearing about life insurance-based strategies that could enhance and accelerate their clients’ philanthropic objectives. I covered a number of strategies and will provide a brief outline of some of the key themes that were presented.

Snowbirds Purchasing United States Real Estate

Jennifer Leve
Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP

Alan Litwack
Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP

Given our winter climate, many Canadians choose to be “Snowbirds” and buy a property to spend the winter in warmer climates in the United States (“US”). Once that decision is made as to where and what, the structure of the purchase must be considered, so as not to run afoul of or be adversely impacted by various US and Canadian tax considerations during the ownership or sale of the property, or the death of an owner.


From a Canadian tax perspective, if the property is not used to generate rental income, and the money used to fund the purchase originates from the person buying the property, there are no Canadian tax consequences unless and until (a) the property owner sells the property at a profit or (b) passes away still owing the property and in both cases, the property has a fair market value at the time of death in excess of its tax cost. In either situation, the property owner will become liable to tax in Canada on the capital gain on the growth in value of the property.

Disclosure Rules

Howard L. Wasserman
Tax Partner, Segal LLP


On February 4, 2022, the Department of Finance released draft legislation covering a number of items. This article will focus on the mandatory disclosure rules and more specifically the notifiable transaction rules.


The expansion of disclosure rules was something that was first proposed in the 2021 federal budget (“Budget”). However, the draft legislation was never approved following the release of the Budget. Therefore, the government has released more detailed draft legislation covering additional items that had not been previously addressed. Some of the key changes are:


  • The mandatory disclosure rules are expanded so that if any one of the three hallmarks noted below applies, it becomes a reportable transaction.
  • A new concept of “notifiable transaction” has been introduced.
  • A new concept of “uncertain tax” reporting has also been introduced.



The Jewish Foundation and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto are excited to partner with the Jewish Future Pledge, an unprecedented global initiative which was inspired, in-part, by Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge.” The pledge is a commitment to gift, upon passing, at least half of funds earmarked for charity to Jewish causes and/or Israel.  As money transfers to the next generation, the goal is to ensure global Jewish continuity, with an aim of securing more than $600 billion over the next 25 years.


To learn more: Please visit the Jewish Future Pledge site or call Janice Benatar at 416-318-9601, and to learn more about how the Jewish Foundation can assist you or your clients with philanthropic giving, call us at 416-631-5703 or email jewishfoundation@ujafed.org.


ARCHIVE: To read previous Giving Advice newsletters, please click here.

The content contained in the Giving Advice Newsletter (the “Newsletter”) is intended to provide general information only and the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto (the “Jewish Foundation”) recommends seeking independent professional advice. Any views or opinions presented in the Newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Jewish Foundation. The Jewish Foundation does not represent the information is accurate and accepts no liability for the content of the Newsletter, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The Jewish Foundation makes no representations regarding the gift acceptance policies of other charitable organizations.