Of Greater Toronto

Philanthropy for a Strong Jewish Future

Report to the Community


Foundation Highlights


fiscal year

total return on investment


grant distributions



total 450 organizations



funds at the jewish


more than



in assets and planned gifts


new stories added

to the ever growing

book of life

Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto is a registered Canadian Charity

BN 108155797RR0002

We help bring your philanthropic dreams to life

an image of David Matlow and Ronit Holtzman
a quotation mark icon

Dreams without action remain

intangible thoughts...

Dreams with action change the future.

We help bring your philanthropic dreams to life

The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto is here to bring your philanthropic dreams to life.

We all have dreams. For ourselves, our families, our community, our country and our world. But we are not just dreamers, we are doers. Dreams without action remain intangible thoughts. Dreams with action change the future.

The Jewish people know that dreams coupled with action make history. In April 2018 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the fulfillment of a most impossible dream, the creation of our Jewish State of Israel.

All of us worry about what the future holds, both for Israel and for our own local Jewish community. We don’t have to be passive worriers, we can all do something about it. This is where the Jewish Foundation comes in.

We offer many strategies that will enable you to ensure that the programs and projects that you care about continue to be supported and thrive, which lead to the continued strength of Jewish Toronto and of Israel. Whether you are interested in supporting the UJA Annual Campaign, committing continued funding to a specific project or institution, or creating a Donor Advised Fund that can allocate to charities as needs and interests evolve, the Jewish Foundation has something for you. Our strategies can be funded through cash, donations of stock, insurance policies, bequests and in many other ways. All strategies have meaningful tax benefits.

The Jewish Foundation’s performance in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 was fantastic by all measures. Assets increased from $331.2 million to $380.6 million (excluding another $199.6 million of planned gifts), distributions to the community totalled $26 million and our investment performance was 11.1%. Thank you to our hard working professional staff, our committed Trustees and all of our volunteers whose passion and dedication have led to these results.

On the pages of this Report to the Community you will see what we do. If you are already one of our 1,700 fund holders or planned givers, thank you for your vision. If you are not yet a member of the Jewish Foundation family and you see something in this report that you would like to know more about, please contact us. We are here to bring your philanthropic dreams to life.

david matlow's signature

David Matlow

Chair, Jewish Foundation

ronit holtzman's signature

Ronit Holtzman

VP Philanthropy,

Planned Giving & Endowments

life is built

on strong


The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto

is a community foundation that makes charitable giving easy and rewarding so that individuals and families can fulfill their personal philanthropic goals and translate their charitable vision into viable solutions to some of our community’s most pressing needs.

an image of some greek columns
Bruce Leboff's portrait

Bruce Leboff

Chair of the Board

Adam Minsky's portrait

Adam Minsky

President & CEO

A message from UJA Federation

Inspired by Jewish values and the unparalleled foresight, compassion and generosity of this community’s philanthropic leadership, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto is one of the oldest and most respected Jewish community foundations in North America.

The Jewish Foundation has become an agile, innovative hub of philanthropic giving, led by a team of ambitious community members. We are tremendously proud of the Jewish Foundation’s continued success in guiding donors to fulfill their charitable goals by creating legacies to support our community today, and to safeguard a strong and vibrant Jewish future for Toronto and Israel.

On behalf of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, we thank you, our visionary and dedicated donors, volunteers and partners for your continued generosity and leadership in ensuring the Jewish community of Toronto remains one of the strongest and most dynamic in the Diaspora for generations to come.

The Jewish Foundation's years of experience and community history in Toronto since 1962, gives it the unique ability to provide you and your family with valuable tools, strategies and expertise that make charitable giving thoughtful and creative.

The Impact

Through the Jewish Foundation, our generous donors support hundreds of charities, projects, and programs each year.

March of the Living -

30th Anniversary Fund

For 30 years, teenagers (including over 4,000 Toronto high school students), young adults and adults have experienced the March of the Living, a life-changing journey to Poland and Israel. This two-week educational experience is designed to teach participants about the Jewish communities that once flourished in Europe, better understand the devastation of the Holocaust, and develop a deep appreciation for the survival of the Jewish people and the creation of the State of Israel.

To mark the 30th anniversary, supporters of the March of the Living established a permanent fund at the Jewish Foundation that will provide travel subsidies and fund curriculum enhancements for the March and other Holocaust related travel programs. The Fund is comprised of Living Legacy Funds named after each of the survivor educators who over the last 30 years have inspired generations of Marchers by sharing their experiences on these trips. Contributions to the Living Legacy Funds are intended to be ongoing. The Jewish Foundation’s role in the design, implementation and ongoing administration of the March of the Living Funds demonstrates the flexibility of the Jewish Foundation to fashion customized solutions to the needs in our community.

The Supplementary Financial

Assistance Program (SFAP)

The Supplementary Financial Assistance Program (SFAP), developed by UJA Federation, along with its partner agencies, is a comprehensive strategy to alleviate poverty and provide a critical safety net for the most financially vulnerable members of the Jewish community. It is designed to assist those living in poverty by providing them with basic needs, social connections, financial aid and employment skills.

The Jewish Foundation helps fund SFAP through its Community Fund – the Foundation’s largest unrestricted fund – which was created to support projects that preserve and fortify the quality of Jewish life. In the last fiscal year, SFAP provided $2.3 million in financial support to more than 1,000 people – including 224 children under 17 years old and 153 seniors over 65, living on less than $16,000 per year. In addition to financial aid, those in need received career and employment counselling, help in accessing government benefits and assistance to further their education.

Thanks to our compassionate donors we are helping provide a more hopeful future to people in our community living in poverty.


Financial Highlights

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11.1 Percent

total investment return

$26.0 million

total grant distribution

$43.1 million

total contributions

$380.6 million

total assets

$199.6 million

total planned gifts

The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto's most recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. The following provides a summary of the Foundation's financial results.

Investment Management & Philosophy

The Jewish Foundation carefully invests its funds in accordance with an investment policy designed to produce long-term returns commensurate with an appropriate level of rish. This approach balances the need for stability in achieving the distribution objectives of the Foundation and generating sufficient return in order to maintain its real purchasing power.

The portfolio is structured to allow participation in rising markets while minimizing losses during times of market distress. The Foundation's Investment Advisory Committe, with the assistance of its consultant, Pavilion Advisory Group Inc., meeets regularly to review policies, set strategy, discuss performance, and select investment managers.

For an in-depth breakdown, click above

Faces of Philanthropy

A Jewish community like Toronto's does not just happen,

-- it has been built by people like you, committed to Jewish life and caring for our most vulnerable.

portrait of Terry and Nadine Walman

Terry & Nadine Walman

Giving is a reflection of our ideals, and it is a way to show gratitude for the good fortune of our upbringing, education, and community.

We hope that our gift will impact future generations, and help to safeguard the Jewish values that sustain the community.

portrait of Ruthie Ladovsky

Ruthie Ladovsky

By setting up a donor advised fund at the Jewish Foundation, I am able to support the organizations and services that are meaningful to me now... both here in our community and in Israel.

With the expertise of the fund managers, my fund continues to grow and to be distributed to the causes I chose. I also know that my investment is protected for future philanthropic priorities.

This plan is one that I wholeheartedly embrace.

portrait of jodie kaufman davis

Jodie Kaufman Davis

My children, Ella, Madeline and Jonah, are still very young, but it is important to me and my husband, Jamie, that they learn early the importance of supporting our community. And they get it! Part of their birthday money goes to charity, and they have their own tzedakah boxes.

I am passionate about doing everything in my power to ensure the vibrancy and strength of our community, and inspiring my friends and peers to embrace the responsibility of giving back. It is my goal that by engaging young people we can create future security for our students and care for our vulnerable.

I believe that if we collaborate, there is great power in individual effort!

portrait of Eric Benchetrit

Eric Benchetrit

As the eldest son of immigrants from Morocco, my family and I directly benefitted from the network of established non-profit organizations that the Jewish community had built in Toronto, providing financial support and subsidizing our education in the Jewish Day School system. Despite our modest means, we never lacked for essentials and grew up with a full appreciation of Jewish tradition and pride in our Moroccan heritage.

My professional life in the insurance and financial services sector provides me an opportunity to encourage others to give back, utilizing tax and estate planning vehicles. I am honoured to serve on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Foundation with other like-minded professionals.

A Lasting Legacy

Moniek & Genia Prusznowski z”l

Our parents, Moniek and Genia Prusznowski z”l, were born in Poland and survived the devastation of the Holocaust. In spite of incredible losses, they each had a surviving sibling.

After the war, Genia lived in Fehrenwald Displaced Persons (DP) Camp. One blind date with the dashing 98 pound survivor Moniek resulted in marriage six weeks later, and a union that lasted 63 years. Our brother, Bernie z”l, was born in 1948 and in 1949, with very little money, they came to Canada to join Genia’s sister, with whom she survived the camps.

Our parents were ambitious and hard working. With time, they were able to save and put a down payment on a house near Kensington Market, and to cover costs they had a boarder in each room. Resourceful Genia started Jean’s Bargain Store, and the upstairs flat became home.

They opened a second store and working six days a week were able to move us to Bathurst Manor.

Despite their internal scars, they showed us love and joy. Moniek with his exuberance and motivation, and Genia with her foresight and internal fortitude, were the driving forces in our family.

Our parents lived with integrity and honesty. We learned both the value of a dollar and the dignity of hard work. They taught us that no matter how difficult life was, internal strength would help you not only survive but flourish.

Portrait of Moniek and Genia Prusznowski

It is with pride that we share their story. They would have been honoured to know that their gift to the Jewish Foundation was being acknowledged in the Book of Life, and their legacy shared with the Jewish community of Toronto.

As told by their daughters,
Rachel Nisker & Sherry Mandel

Legacy of life

With gratitude The Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto honours the memory of the following individuals who had the vision and foresight to leave a legacy to benefit our community between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018

Highlights of the Year

portrait of Michael Laurie Davis

UJA Legacy Gifts

Michael & Laurie Davis

"As the work of UJA has become a growing focus of both our giving and our volunteering, it was clear that it was time for us to consider legacy giving. By using our planned gift to the Jewish Foundation to set up a UJA Legacy Fund, we ensure that our support will continue long after we are no longer here to make this gift. This has become increasingly important to us as we experience, first-hand, both the power of UJA’s work and the challenge of engaging the next generation of philanthropists. We hope that, by establishing a Legacy Fund, we are helping to secure the Jewish future for our community."

portrait of Judy Bernick

Judy Nathan Bronfman Bernick

"I have been most fortunate to have been able to endow my Lion of Judah gift. Hopefully, this gift establishes an example for my children and grandchildren. This gift is an example of my unwavering support and respect for our rich history; its beliefs, convictions and faith in our strong future. As in generations past, I hope my children will contribute to community. Through LOJE gifts, women are strengthening the Jewish community and setting an example for future generations of women. This is very important to me as it shall be our children who shall lead and be our community's future ambassadors."

Lion of Judah logo

Endowing a Lion of Judah gift

A Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE) is a key part of the UJA Legacy initiative. Through LOJE, Jewish women strengthen the Jewish community by providing funds to meet needs at home, in Israel and around the world. This year, more than 80 women participated in the annual Spring event. Some already had a flame on their Lion of Judah pin indicating their commitment to the future while others came to be inspired.

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PAC Professional Advisory Committee

Encouraging Philanthropic Conversations

The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of lawyers, accountants, wealth advisors and insurance professionals, works closely with the Jewish Foundation to spearhead initiatives that assist advisors in incorporating philanthropy as part of a client’s tax and estate planning goals. These initiatives include:

GIVING Advice E-newsletter:

Distributed to over 6,000 advisors, this e-newsletter is written by both PAC members and other advisors. It provides advisors with up-to-date resources that help them better understand the personal and financial benefits of how clients’ giving patterns are an important part of responsible financial and estate planning.

PAC Educational Breakfast Seminars:

The Jewish Foundation holds two educational seminars per year for an audience of professional advisors who are eligible for Continuing Education Credits. These seminars offer timely and relevant tax, legal and estate planning topics, strategies for having the “philanthropic conversation” with clients, and act as a forum for networking.

portrait of Jamie Golumbek and David Matlow

Jamie Golumbek and David Matlow

Professional Advisors Award of Excellence

The Professional Advisors Award of Excellence honours individuals who encourage their clients to consider charity as part of their estate or financial planning process. They are the most ardent ambassadors and champions of the Jewish Foundation and set a proud example for other lawyers, accountants and estate planners in our community.

This year, Jamie Golombek, Managing Director, Tax & Estate Planning with CIBC in Toronto, received the Jewish Foundation’s Professional Advisors Award of Excellence for his contribution to charitable giving through his professional practice, his volunteer service to the Jewish Foundation and for assisting in structuring gifts for the community through the Jewish Foundation.

“Our efforts have resulted in millions of donations in long-term support of the Jewish community, and many very happy clients and their families.”

Stephen Altbaum

Professional Advisory Committee Chair

portrait of Book of Life inductees

Book of Life

Celebrating love of family, community, and Jewish identity

The Book of Life is an ongoing program that recognizes donors who leave a charitable legacy through the Jewish Foundation. A legacy may be left in many forms including a charitable fund, a gift in your Will or a gift of life insurance.

Donors to the Jewish Foundation are invited to include their story, focusing on their beliefs, their motivation for giving and the special influences and people who shared their lives. The Book of Life has become an inspiring tradition in our community that celebrates Jewish lives and encourages future generations to live by and embrace the values of tzedakah and the Jewish community.

This year’s Book of Life Celebration recognized 20 honourees. Over 350 people attended and were inspired by guest speaker Jeannie Smith, the daughter of Polish rescuer Irene Gut Opdyke, who received international recognition for her actions during the Holocaust while working for a high ranking German official.

portrait of Laurie Sheff, Book of Life Chair

Laurie Sheff
Book of Life Chair

"For the past 15 years, community members who have left a legacy had the opportunity to be recognized through the Foundation’s meaningful Book of Life program. They wrote their stories, focusing on their Jewish values, reasons for giving, and those who taught them about the importance of giving back. These stories are an important part of the ever-evolving story that is Jewish Toronto and play an important role in inspiring others to live by the values of tzedakah, community and continuity."

portrait of Zachar Winkler, teen philanthropy award winner for 2018

Jewish Teen Philanthropy

From tzedakah to tikkun olam,
we are building the philanthropic foundation for the next generation.

portrait of Jacob David

Jacob David

“I was very proud to take part in the B’nai Tzedek program as part of my Bar Mitzvah experience, just like my older brother, Daniel. I chose to support Ethiopian Israelis and youth at risk in Bat Yam, Israel. My donation will support a wide range of programs that will give these teens the tools to overcome poverty, create better lives for themselves and to help build a solid community.”

B'Nai Tzedek: Putting the Mitzvah in Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Through B’nai Tzedek, we are providing youth with the power to make a difference through tzedakah, deepen their commitment to social action and educate them about local and international non-profit Jewish organizations. By allowing youth to open funds to support something important to them as individuals, they make a difference in the lives of others while making their Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations that much more meaningful and memorable.

Jewish Teen Board

This year, 90 members of the Jewish Teen Board, representing 24 different schools across all affiliations, awarded nearly $10,000 to seven deserving community agencies.

The year-long educational experience for teens in Grades 9-11 focuses on Jewish identity building, leadership skills development, philanthropy and the power of tzedakah.

Gerda Frieberg
Teen Philanthropy Award

Gerda Frieberg, a Holocaust survivor, community activist and volunteer has endowed the new Gerda Frieberg Teen Philanthropy Award, to encourage the pursuit of philanthropy and volunteerism among the youngest members of our community.

The 2018 recipient of this prestigious award that will ensure Gerda’s powerful legacy, was Grade 11 student, Zachary Winkler.

What We Can Do Together

A Gift Today

Charitable Funds:

A charitable fund allows you the flexibility to support one or more charities of your choice. It can be the center of your family's charitable efforts.

Donor advised funds:

Similar to a private foundation, a Donor Advised Fund allows you to recommend distributions from the Fund to charities of your choice.

May be created with a minimum of $10,000

Less burdensome and less expensive than operating a private foundation

Gifts of appreciated securities can be donated “in-kind” without any capital gains tax

Allows donors to recommend unlimited grants to registered charities each year

Fund may be anonymous

Other giving vehicles:

Charitable Remainder Trust

An immediate tax receipt (present value based on life expectancy) for a future gift of real estate or assets

Gifts of RRSP’s or RRIF’s

An ideal way to offset taxes owing by an estate

A Gift in the Future

Gift planning:

A Planned Gift is a charitable gift such as life insurance or a gift through your Will, ultimately creating a Charitable Fund offering your estate significant tax benefits.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Existing policies

By transferring ownership of an existing life insurance policy to the Jewish Foundation, the donor is entitled to an immediate tax receipt for the fair market value of the policy.

In addition, all future premium payments are eligible for a donation tax receipt.

New Policies

By designating the Jewish Foundation as owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policy, premium payments will be made to the Jewish Foundation by the donor annually and are eligible for a donation tax receipt.

Charitable Bequests

A gift in your Will is a simple and thoughtful way to leave a legacy. Whether it is a set amount or a percentage of the estate, donors can make a difference for generations to come.

Please consult your tax or estate planning professional to determine what is best for you.

Leadership & Partners

We thank our leadership and our strategic partners

Foundation Trustees

Leonard Abramsky

Stephen Altbaum

Stephen Bloom

Eric Cohen

Joel Cuperfain

Lisa Draper

Jordan Gnat

Mark Grammer

Alison Himel

Warren Kimel

Jay Klein

Michael Kuhl

Francy Kussner

Bruce Leboff

Joseph Lebovic

David Matlow, Chair

Harley Mintz

Faye Minuk

Mitchell Oelbaum

David Posluns

Keith Ray, Vice-Chair

Craig Rimer

Laurie Sheff

Anthony Sigel

Leah Silber

Fern Simpson Reich

Neil Sternthal

Mona Taylor

Dov Zevy