No one knows better than a parent how fast life moves.
We’ve seen in our own children how quickly they mature and must face complex challenges which shape their beliefs. Our greatest wish is that we’re able to offer guidance and instill values at opportune times which help them keep their footing. And we get an even greater sense of “naches” by providing them the confidence to do so for their children, and for others.
As board members, we’re privileged to witness just how much The House provides this guidance to young professionals, impacting them at such a transitional and important time in their lives. It begins with a unique approach rich with Jewish meaning in a contemporary setting, which re-ignites their passion towards Jewish thought and identity. One of the biggest threats facing our communities today is a “confused Jewish identity,” where we limit defining our people’s distinctiveness through concepts relating to anti-Semitism and fears of assimilation. A vague Jewish ethnic “feeling,” devoid of any spiritual purpose and with no compelling, relevant message cannot last long. The House understands that only “living and breathing Judaism produces living breathing Jews”; put simply, our core focus is to inspire the next generation to live Jewish lives.
A vague Jewish ethnic ‘feeling,’ devoid of any spiritual purpose and with no compelling, relevant message cannot last long.
The organization’s second strength is in its unique positioning within the Toronto Jewish ecosystem. Not only has it become the answer of continued engagement (filling the void beyond episodic involvement such Birthright or March of the Living, or what follows Hillel and the return from university campuses), The House also reinforces awareness for a Jewish shared experience, in that Jews make a greater impact and benefit others when united. Young professionals must have the desire, tools and commitment to invest in Jewish organizations, to the point where they are willing to overcome challenges and make sacrifices on a personal level. The House aims to cultivate Jewish leaders who feel this pull of social responsibility to ensure that the challenges facing our communities are addressed head-on, and to make Judaism a lifelong journey.
In this manner, the needs of a vibrant organization on a high-speed trajectory of growth are no different than the needs of our children: it requires the same attention, care and nurturing — in the form of passion, leadership and unity. The House flourished under past chair, Lorne Goldstein’s leadership with an incremental increase in both programming and participation. We now expect to continue this expansion under a five-year plan that will help us break into untapped territories, and break down boundaries in pre-existing communities through partnerships and an inclusive philosophy.
The House aims to cultivate Jewish leaders who feel this pull of social responsibility to ensure that the challenges facing our communities are addressed head-on, and to make Judaism a lifelong journey.
There is no better way to accomplish this than through a leadership team approach. As we see it, investment in The House and Jewish community could promote very positive results: like so many parents, we also want stronger commitment to Jewish day school, continued involvement with community and partner organizations (both within and beyond the UJA umbrella), more Jewish marriages, and an overall passion for Jewish causes and our Jewish people. We are invested as much on a personal level as we are professionally, wishing a rich Jewish future for our children.
We therefore understand the importance and the challenges of developing this organization’s strengths in its formative years. By choosing to be Co-Chairs of The House, we strive to not only make a difference, we want to set an example of how to make a difference for others around us, to our children, and the generation of the future.
Elliott Levine & Beth Singer
The House Co-Chairs