Toronto, ON — Today, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto is announcing the creation of the Honey and Barry Memorial Arena, which will be connected to the Schwartz/Reisman Centre in Vaughan. Through a historic donation, this new state-of-the-art arena will pay tribute to Honey and Barry Sherman’s extraordinary legacy of philanthropic leadership. This gift will also make a lasting social impact in the heart of York Region’s Jewish community by funding subsidies to enable families of modest means to participate in arena programs.
Anticipated to open in 2025, the arena will consist of a twin ice pad facility and offer a range of options for youth and adult hockey, figure skating, learn to skate, and other on-ice programs. In addition to enhancing the Schwartz/Reisman Centre, the arena will meet an important need in Vaughan—where municipal research indicates there are major gaps in arena access—by enabling further engagement with the greater community through sports.
Photo credit: Architecture49 and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
This project was made possible by Jonathon Sherman, in honour of his parents, by ensuring the necessary funding was directed to this important need in the community. Honey and Barry continue to be fondly remembered and are deeply missed as the pillars of the Jewish community they were. In addition to fully funding the arena’s construction, this investment includes the creation of an endowment to ensure ongoing funding to engage our community through sports and provide subsidies for families struggling with affordability.
“My mother and father were visionaries who believed that our community should be one in which everyone is welcomed and included in shared experiences,” said Jonathon Sherman. “The Honey and Barry Memorial Arena will make Jewish life and the greater community’s experiences in York Region even more dynamic. By prioritizing affordability as a core objective, it will enable more community members and families to build strong connections with each other and share their love of sports through engagement with the community as a whole.”
“Honey and Barry, of blessed memory, were exceptional leaders whose impact continues to be felt throughout the Greater Toronto Jewish community," said Jeff Rosenthal, Chair of UJA Federation. "We are immensely grateful to Jonathon for this generous gift to the community in honour of his parents’ legacy. From our experiences working with Honey and Barry, we know that this is certainly something they would be very proud of.”
“By fully funding the arena, this enduring investment opens up possibilities for the community that would not otherwise exist,” said Rosenthal. “It provides community members with access to a new, best-in-class facility at the central hub of Jewish life in York Region. It is structured to be more than self-sufficient, generating an annual surplus that will allow UJA to invest more in community priorities throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.”
“With sports being an important gateway to other Jewish experiences, this outstanding facility will invite community members to participate in the diverse range of programs offered by the Schwartz/Reisman Centre,” said Andrew Levy, Executive Director of the Schwartz/Reisman Centre. “For countless local Jewish families, the Honey and Barry Memorial Arena will be pivotal to their engagement in Jewish community life—all while building bridges to the general community and welcoming neighbours of all backgrounds.”