Reena Community Residence an unprecedented model of inclusivity

New facility to open its doors on Lebovic Campus in spring, 2012

By Daniel Horowitz--The Reena Community Residence, the largest and most significant project undertaken by Reena in its history, is proof positive that the world has changed for the better, with people with disabilities included in mainstream society like never before.

Expected to open its doors in the spring of 2012, the Reena Community Residence, located on Vaughan’s Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus, will take inclusion to a whole new, unprecedented level.

“Together, Reena and UJA Federation have built strong committees to oversee every aspect of the building and programs which will take place in the Reena Community Residence,” says Sandy Keshen, President & CEO of Reena. “The residence will be an 80,000 sq. ft. building that provides housing and support for up to 84 people. Individuals from Circle of Care, Jewish Family & Child, as well as Reena will include the frail elderly, those with mental health and/or developmental disabilities, young adults, women and children fleeing abuse and families with a member requiring support.”

Reena and the Reena Foundation have undertaken fundraising for the project, $9 million of which will be allocated for capital, and $9 million for an endowment fund for the future needs of the Reena Community Residence.

“This new residence is an enormous step forward in acceptance of people with disabilities in our community,” says Leon Kieselstein, Chair of the Reena Foundation. “It is so heart-warming to see the positive community response to our campaign, and we appreciate where we are to date, but more needs to be done.”

To date, Reena has also received grants and commitments of $9.6 million from all four levels of government, as well as almost $5 million towards the Reena Foundation Building Campaign, thanks to the efforts of Tobie Bekhor and Irving Feldman, co-chairs of the Capital Fundraising Committee.

“We are proud and excited to welcome the Reena Community Residence onto the Lebovic Campus,” says Ted Sokolsky, President & CEO, UJA Federation. “The residence will allow easy access to a myriad of recreational, cultural and educational programs.”

The Reena Community Residence will also be open to the broader community on campus. The Max & Ruth Leroy Holocaust Remembrance Garden, the Neshama Garden, the Greenhouse and the main floor multi-purpose area will welcome youth groups, environmental clubs and others for programs after school hours and on weekends.

For more information about the Reena Community Residence, call Reena at 905.889.6484


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