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It’s easy to describe Rabbi Rafi to people who have never met him: personable, caring, deliberate, inspiring, devoted and visionary. But these words don’t do justice to the breadth and depth of all that he is, all he has accomplished, and all that he inspires so many of us to hope for and become.
On June 7, 2017, UJA Federation presented Rabbi Rafael “Rafi” Lipner with the prestigious Gordy Wolfe Award for Jewish Communal Professional Leadership – our community’s highest level of recognition bestowed upon one visionary professional communal leader who has made a substantive difference in the life of Jewish Toronto.
To the community he is a pied piper with friends spanning geographical, political and religious boundaries. To us, Rabbi Rafi is a passionate educator – a celebrated role model and teacher who urges others to depend on Jewish education as the bedrock for serving one’s self and one’s community. He relentlessly upholds Judaism as the tool which connects the dots between high ideals and practical results.
As the founder and newly appointed President of The House, Rabbi Rafi deeply believes in the power of young adults to create the world they want to live in. He strives to empower this new generation of decision-makers to make life choices through the inspirational lens of Jewish values. He deeply believes in the wisdom of Judaism to be a vehicle for (young) people to achieve their fullest individual and community potential.
On behalf of The House Board and family, it is our honour to wish Rabbi Rafi and his family a heartfelt Mazel Tov on this well-deserved award!
We look forward to the year ahead, working side-by-side with our growing team of amazing professionals and volunteers. We ask the community to join us as we roll-out our exciting 5-year strategy positioning The House to further transform the Jewish landscape throughout Toronto.
Beth Singer & Elliott Levine
2016-2018 Co-Chairs, The House Board of Directors
Photos courtesy of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.