Blue Ribbon committee ensures Jewish Toronto reaches its full potential
Community’s business leaders help oversee over one million square feet of community space
By Daniel Horowitz--In order to effectively oversee and operate UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s rapidly expanding real estate portfolio, its Campus Management Committee, headed up by chair Leo Goldhar and vice-chair Ariella Rohringer, has enlisted some of our community’s best and brightest.
The Committee, which began operations in 2009, was established to ensure that UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign campuses: The Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan; Sherman Campus at Bathurst, north of Sheppard, and downtown’s Miles Nadal JCC and The Wolfond Centre for Jewish Campus Life, and other properties owned and operated by UJA, were run as efficiently and professionally as possible, something that Goldhar sees as vital.
“As chair of the Campus Management Committee, I have the privilege to coordinate management of all of UJA Federation’s capital projects, as well as its complete real estate portfolio, and to make a difference in the way they’re managed,” says Goldhar, a Tomorrow Campaign pioneer who, in 2000, along with Lou Greenbaum, had the vision and imagination needed to help UJA Federation acquire the 50-acre parcel of what was then nothing more than farmland, on which the Lebovic Campus now stands. Today, Vaughan is home to one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in North America. To keep up with that growth, the Tomorrow Campaign is currently building a new, 200,000 square foot community complex on the Lebovic Campus, complete with more than 350 underground parking spots.
“It’s absolutely vital that when you’re talking about something with the breadth and scope, and importance, of the Tomorrow Campaign, there is transparency and that it’s managed responsibly and professionally,” adds Goldhar.
Together, the committee members make up a formidable team that brings considerable business acumen and real estate experience to the table.
Rohringer, herself a lawyer with over 24 years of experience in the real estate sector, and a former chair of the annual UJA Campaign, is a prime example.
“As a former chair of UJA’s campaign, I gained a great deal of knowledge of the many agencies that UJA serves and I wanted to couple that knowledge with my legal expertise,” says Rohringer. “My role as vice chair of this committee permits me to use my experience, and assist in ensuring that UJA Federation’s real estate assets are managed in the most cost efficient, productive, effective and prudent manner possible from a cost and use perspective, and in line with industry standards and in accord with the wishes of our community,” she says.
Besides the three community campuses created by UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign, UJA Federation also owns, among other holdings, Haliburton Properties, the site of Camp Northland.
The Campus Management Committee is divided into five taskforces, all of which include Goldhar and Rohringer: •The Facilities Taskforce includes Lillyann Goldstein, David M. Peltz and Jeff Ross. •The Seniors Taskforce is made up of Leonard M. Abramsky, Richard Diamond and Louis I. Greenbaum. •The Prosserman JCC Advisory Taskforce includes Jeffrey I. Cohen, Peter Cohen, David M. Peltz and Harold Wolkin. •The Schools Taskforce includes Warren Kimel and Marty Rochwerg •The Downtown Taskforce includes Sheldon H. Goodman, David Y. Green, Michael Harris and Harold Wolkin.
“As the Tomorrow Campaign and UJA Federation continues to expand Toronto’s Jewish community, and its outreach to Jews across the GTA, this committee will ensure that growth and future development reach their capacity, and that our community continues to benefit,” says Sherry Kulman, a well-respected executive director of large non-profit agencies for over 20 years, and currently the vice president of Campus Operations, UJA Federation.
“It’s true we have aimed to create compelling campuses with inspiring architecture that will capture the imagination of a new generation. However, as valuable and impressive new buildings might be, what’s far more important to all of us is what will be happening – and what is happening – on those properties and within those buildings that will help to enrich Jewish life in the Greater Toronto Area,” says UJA Federation of Greater Toronto President and CEO, Ted Sokolsky. “This is not just about real estate and construction, it’s about celebrating life. We’re striving to provide a platform to highlight the best contributions our partner agencies and schools have to offer. Through effectively managed campuses, we can help in creating efficient behind-the-scenes support that will enable them to deliver services and programs that best suit the uniqueness of the local campuses and neighborhoods.”
“I’ve travelled to many, many Jewish communities across North America and the world, and I’m proud to say that when the Tomorrow Campaign has completed its work, Toronto will stand tall as one of the world’s preeminent Jewish communities, outside of Israel, and I’m so proud and excited to be part of it all,” says Goldhar.