Letter from UJA Federation Leadership
The Jewish community of Toronto can trace its roots back to the 1800s. As the Jews of Eastern Europe, living under oppression and persecution, fled their towns and villages, many arrived in Toronto seeking freedom where they would be able to openly and joyously celebrate their Judaism.
In 1917, Toronto’s first Jewish federation – the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies – was incorporated, replacing the unorganized collection of individual Jewish charities, each knocking on doors and collecting funds for their own causes.
As Toronto’s Jews became an increasingly organized, unified force, so too did their dreams. Understanding that the Jewish community would continue to grow due to the waves of immigration flooding into Toronto, their dreams, and the dreams of UJA Federation, turned to building a city – a community – where Jews could flourish and succeed
Fast forward to a century later and UJA Federation is celebrating its Centennial, onehundred years of providing leadership, philanthropy and service to the Toronto and global Jewish communities, we continue to do the work we started a century ago. And, with a network of more than 100 partner agencies, we continue to transform the lives of Jews in Toronto, Israel and across the Jewish world.
After all, it’s our tradition.
Chair, Board of Directors
President and CEO
Sheff Family Building groundbreaking: On October 15th, 2017, we held the long-awaited groundbreaking for the new Sheff Family Building, the future home of the expanded Prosserman Jewish Community Centre on Bathurst Street, just north of Sheppard Avenue.
The fully completed 27 acre Sherman Campus, located in the heart of the Carscadden Greenbelt, will be able to provide a robust offering of programs. They will include: swim and fitness classes, youth groups, arts and culture programs, and the return of summer camp, among many other programs and social services.
“Community Centres are so important to our neighbourhoods. It’s where we come together as a city. This centre will provide a sense of community, bring neighbours together and connect people by acting as a space for recreation and community gatherings.”
- Toronto Mayor John Tory
Hurricane Irma Relief: In response to this tragedy, our compassionate and generous community came together, raising more than $52,000 to help victims of Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Harvey Relief: We were able to raise more than $112,000 which was part of a North American-wide effort with our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America that raised $14 million in total.
The funds provided emergency aid and relief in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricanes and are also being used to rebuild infrastructure, restore synagogues and assist day schools. None of this could have happened without the support of our donors.
UJA Federation can only have the impact it does on all the big issues facing the Jewish People through an integrated approach to fundraising. By combining efforts, playing off synergies and leveraging collaborations, the unrestricted campaign, the Jewish Foundation and the Capital Campaign, are able to affect all aspects of Jewish communal life here in Toronto, Israel and around the world.
UNITED JEWISH APPEAL
Finding Innovative Solutions
Funds raised by UJA’s Annual Campaign with the help of over 600 volunteer canvassers support more than 100 agencies to strengthen Jewish life and assist those in need in Toronto, Israel and around the world.
Annual campaign raised $58,001,000
JEWISH FOUNDATION OF GREATER TORONTO
Life Is Built on Strong Foundations
The Jewish Foundation 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.
The Jewish Foundation raised $35,355,000
THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
Building the Infrastructure for a Vibrant Jewish Community
Since 2000, UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign has created three hubs of Jewish life in downtown, mid-town, and York Region to ensure there is infrastructure to support the programmatic, fitness and social needs of the growing Jewish population in the Greater Toronto Area.
Capital Project Donations received amounted to $9,750,000
OUR 6 PRIORITIES
The Jewish voice must be heard! UJA supports advocacy for Jews and for Israel, locally and around the globe, to ensure the safety and security of all Jews, everywhere.
We are One. In times of universal celebration or crisis, UJA brings together every Jew, regardless of religious, political, or other affiliation.
CONNECTIONS TO ISRAEL
Israel is our cherished homeland. UJA invests in a range of programs that strengthen our ties with Israel and offers a helping hand with Aliyah and absorption, vulnerable populations, and education in Israel.
JEWISH POVERTY RELIEF
UJA cares deeply for our community’s most vulnerable – those living in poverty, those with mental and physical disabilities, new immigrants, seniors, and Holocaust survivors – any Jew in need.
Jewish education determines our Jewish future. UJA supports 48 Jewish day schools and supplementary Hebrew schools across the GTA.
Jewish life is beautiful. UJA inspires the next generation to embrace it by supporting a range of programs that awaken the Jewish spirit.
CONNECTION TO ISRAEL
Over the past 70 years, we have forged a strong bond with the State of Israel with investments in Aliyah and absorption, vulnerable populations, education, healthcare and cutting-edge technology. UJA Federation has partnered with Bat Yam, Eilat/Eilot and Sderot in order to supports programs that will have significant social impact.
For the past 13 years, Sderot has suffered considerably by living with the threat of daily rocket attacks. Since the summer of 2014 there has been a period of relative quiet but the enormous task of rebuilding the community remains. There is a need to invest in education and community programming that offers opportunities for the next generation to become Israel’s community and economic leaders.
How We Helped:
Fortified Sderot’s Community Center (as a JFC-UIA National project); developed a strong, vibrant Youth Department for Sderot, now fully operated by the municipality; stabilized formal and informal activities and services in the city, over the years, in times of peace.
Now Sderot has the ability to operate independently in times of Emergency and to help other communities in Israel when under stress.
350 kindergarten children are taking part in the Robomath program.
Matriculation rates in Sderot are ranked top among all towns in southern Israel.
500 elementary school children are using the new science laboratories.
Providing educational guidance and job counselling to thousands in the Netivim Centre for Young Adults. 250 students received full college scholarships.
200 junior high and high school pupils are taking part in a research-oriented math program.
250 Students received full college scholarships.
20 elementary and high school math teachers are taking part in in-service training.
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a form of discrimination. In targeting all Israelis, BDS is a modern-day blacklist and a form of discrimination based on national origin. Just as boycotts have targeted Jews throughout history, today BDS activists call for a boycott of the citizens of the world’s only Jewish state and the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
How We Helped:
The Ontario Legislative Assembly voted to pass an anti-BDS motion introduced by Member of Provincial Parliament Gila Martow. Across the province, CIJA spearheaded the campaign in favour of this motion. In partnership with Federations and Hillel Ontario, CIJA launched a campaign that mobilized over 12,000 Ontarians to contact their MPP in support of the motion.
By passing this motion and condemning BDS as a form of bigotry, The Ontario Legislature has sent a clear message that BDS has no place in our province.
How do we create a Jewish journey for our children? One of our focuses this year was on Jewish Summer Camps. Camping is a magical experience deeply impacting kids’ Jewish identity. However, for first timer children and parents, overnight camp can be an intimidating prospect. There was a need to increase awareness and enrollment for full sessions at Jewish Summer camps, especially for younger children.
How We Helped:
UJA Federation piloted a new program called The Weekender. The Weekender, sponsored by the UJA’s Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping, is designed to introduce first time campers to Jewish overnight camp in a safe and fun 2-3 day session. It is a fully sponsored innovative program which allows children entering Grades 1 to 6 to get a taste of Jewish summer camp
In its first year, The Weekender managed to introduce 180 children to their first summer camp experience. The program has surpassed its initial goal by 20%. Follow up surveys participants show a strong intention to enroll into summer camp in subsequent years.
How do you bring a community together to celebrate 100 years of UJA Federation in Toronto?
How We Helped:
Over a year of planning came to fruition. More than 350 community members departed on the biggest mission in our community’s history. UJA Federation’s Centennial Journey to Israel was a culmination of the many creative minds, hearts and souls of our amazing professional staff at UJA, as well as our partners in Israel and our amazing clergy and outstanding lay leaders.
Over 350 community members were able to forge a deeper and stronger connection to the work of UJA Federation, not only in Israel but locally and around the world. This will affect fundraising and volunteer recruitment for years to come.
Budget Allocations 2017/18
UJA FEDERATION APPROVED
UJA Federation combined operating, fundraising and community planning expenses represent 11.7% of total revenues, inclusive of Annual Campaign (unrestricted and restricted), special campaigns, designated gifts, capital project donations, bequests and endowments, and sundry revenue.
Combined estimated revenues total $148 million