As I write this message, my first as UJA Federation’s President and CEO, I do so with great pride and a sense of optimism as this organization approaches its Centennial anniversary.
I am proud to take on this role, a role that will allow me to continue the vital and visionary work of my predecessor, Morris Zbar. Morris, from whom I learned so much, worked tirelessly with devotion, compassion and creativity, ensuring that Jewish Toronto, with UJA Federation at the helm, maintained its reputation as one of the strongest and most unified Jewish communities in the Diaspora. With UJA Federation’s dedicated professional staff, our cadre of selfless and dedicated volunteers and our talented lay leaders, I am optimistic that we, as a Federation and as a community, will reach even greater heights over the next century.
As I take the reins from Morris, I do so at a particularly exciting time; a time in which we, together, usher in a time of renewal through the implementation of UJA Federation’s new and visionary Strategic Plan. The truth is we, as Jews, live in an especially challenging time and while together we have built a community characterized by vibrancy, diversity, creativity, tolerance and success, we simply cannot – and will not – rest on our laurels.
This plan, which will focus on finding solutions for the future, will concentrate on a number of essential community priorities, including one I am very optimistic about, and that is our community’s most valuable resource – our young. I am confident that these young men and women, the future leaders of Jewish Toronto, with the help of UJA Federation, will do great things for this community and for its future.
I hope you enjoy this, the first edition of UJA Federation’s newsletter that bears my name. But, despite my name on the masthead, make no mistake; this is your newsletter; a concise and efficient compendium to keep you abreast on matters of interest from across the Jewish world. I urge all of you to send me your feedback; ways to improve this service, whether it’s story suggestions, or topics that resonate with you. I’ve learned from 20 years of Jewish communal service, we are nothing without you and we are only successful when we work together, and I look forward to working with you all.