The Book of Life celebrates addition of 19 new personal tales

By Dan Horowitz--The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, UJA Federation’s planned gift and endowment arm, recently celebrated its 12th Annual Book of Life event honouring 19 new stories to a wrapt audience at Beth Emeth Synagogue. The new personal tales brings the Book of Life’s impressive roster to over 300, each of which shows the commitment and dedication of the authors who have chosen to leave a legacy for the future of Jewish Toronto.

Keynote speaker Sally Oren, an IsraAID Goodwill Ambassador and the wife of Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the US, shared her touching and personal story with those in attendance.

“The Book of Life is a remarkable program,” Hinda Silber, Chair of the Book of Life event, told rapt attendees. “Remarkable, because the real story is not about an organization and all the great things it does. The real story is about the donors who are being honoured tonight and those who preceded them over the past 11 years.  The Book of Life reminds us that time passes in moments. Living as we do in a world that moves at the speed of light, we are hyper-connected and flooded with information. All too often these days, the moments rush past us. We seldom slow down to reflect on the moments that define our lives.  But tonight, we slow down. We come together and, thanks to our honourees, we take the time to appreciate the precious moments of some truly fascinating lives.”

The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto, chaired by Lisa Draper, currently has more than half-a-billion dollars in both current assets and planned gifts. Over the last 5 years alone, more than $100 million has been distributed through the Foundation to an eclectic array of vital agencies and organizations, transforming lives across the GTA, and throughout Israel, a fact that makes the Immediate Past Chair of the Foundation, Fred Waks, extremely proud.

“I like to say that the Jewish Foundation is all about putting your money where your heart is,” said Waks. “The Foundation affords us the unique opportunity to follow our hearts, and invest in what matters to us the most throughout the Jewish community of Toronto, in Israel, and throughout the global Jewish landscape. That passion and commitment to Jewish life and Tikkun Olam is an unmistakable constant that reads through the entire Book of Life, a collection which grows every year with this community’s most compelling, passionate and heartfelt stories.”

For more information, or to include your story in the Jewish Foundation’s Book of Life, visit



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