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UJA Federation Leadership

  • "We are defined by our cultural diversity and unity of purpose, by our commitment to Israel and Jewish values, and, above all, by our generosity and compassion.”

    Adam Minsky
    President & CEO
  • “The Talmud teaches us that all Jews are responsible for one another. Thanks to the philanthropic leadership of our donors, we can realize that obligation, every single day. Just look at what we were able to achieve together this year!”

    Bruce Leboff
    Chair, Board of Directors
Read the letter

2018 Highlights

A year in review
UJA helped raise

$153 million

In 2018 UJA helped raise $153 million in support of Jewish communities in the Greater Toronto Area, Israel and around the world, with a focus on fighting poverty, fortifying Jewish Education & Jewish Identity, and strengthening Israel & Global Jewish Communities in need.

  • Annual Campaign


    Funds raised by UJA’s Annual Campaign, with the help of over 500 volunteer canvassers, support 105 partner agencies to strengthen Jewish life and assist those in need in Toronto, Israel and around the world.

  • Jewish Foundation


    A foundation for individuals, families and organizations to fulfill their personal philanthropic goals and translate their charitable vision into viable solutions to some of our community’s most pressing needs. (In addition, the Foundation received $14 million in managed assets).

  • Capital Project Donations


    Since 2000, UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign has raised $300 million to create three hubs of Jewish life: in downtown and mid-town Toronto, and in York Region.

  • Targeted Supplementary Giving


    Based on UJA’s core strategic priorities, targeted gifts are three-year investments in support of initiatives designed to address specific challenges in the community.

  • Special Gifts


    Gifts earmarked for special and strategic initiatives.

  • Corporate Partners & Other Revenue


    Includes program & event registration.

  • Government Grants


  • Total Fundraising

    $153 Million (Rounded)

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What makes UJA so successful at addressing the challenges facing our community, and designing substantive and effective responses?

UJA Federation is the only organization focused on bringing community agencies together to increase our collective impact, provide better services, eliminate duplication and create innovative solutions.

By researching trends in the Jewish community, we are able to make effective, data driven funding decisions to benefit our community.

For every $1 raised in the Annual Campaign, UJA Federation was able to leverage and match an additional $0.46. These matching and leveraging opportunities are thanks to our work with governments, private foundations and mega-philanthropists.

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Meaningful Moments

Celebrating Together

In honour of Israel's 70th year of independence, UJA pulled out all the stops for the Blue & White Birthday Bash on April 19, 2018 at the Ontario Science Centre. Over 1,000 people from across the GTA came to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and enjoy the festivities, including a DJ and an Israeli singer, drummers, a live painting performance, Israeli street food and sweets, and a dance floor packed with party-goers decked out in blue and white.

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The Vienna Experience

Participants on the Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre's week-long Vienna Trip for Young Professionals in June returned from their journey of Jewish discovery energized and eager to learn more about the Holocaust, and to engage with the Jewish community. The 12-member group benefitted from the unique opportunity to meet with a wide range of Holocaust experts, and visit various historic, cultural and political sites, in a remarkable experience learning about Jewish Vienna before, during and after the Holocaust.

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Highlights from the Fall of 2018

A Strong Beginning

On September 6, 2018 UJA launched Campaign 2018 with a spectacular performance by world-renowned comic Jerry Seinfeld, one of the best observational comedians of all time. Over 3,200 guests came to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to hear the comedy legend and enjoy the annual event with family, friends and colleagues.

A record $29 million was raised at the biggest campaign launch to date in a fantastic show of support for UJA and our work on behalf of the Jewish community.

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Standing in Solidarity

More than 5,000 members of the Jewish community, as well as many of our friends in the GTA, attended a vigil in Mel Lastman Square on October 29, 2018 in a sombre show of solidarity for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and the entire Jewish people.

UJA Federation and our advocacy agent, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, remain profoundly grateful to religious leaders reflecting a myriad of faiths, political representatives from all three levels of government, civic and labour leaders, and numerous Jewish communal and synagogue organizations for an emotional and inspiring memorial in memory of the victims.

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Our priorities

The work of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto rests upon three strategic priorities which impact our efforts on behalf of communities in Toronto, Israel and around the world. All UJA Federation’s key objectives are reflected within these priorities. They are key to the vitality of our community, and the focus of our diligent efforts in the past year.

  • Fighting Poverty & Improving Wellbeing
  • Fortifying Jewish Education and Preserving Jewish Identity
  • Strengthening Connections to Israel & Empowering Global Jewish Communities in Need

With UJA’s strategic plan guiding our focus and direction, we are responding to the biggest challenges facing the Jewish people.

Fighting Jewish Poverty


More than 24,000 people in our community are poor, including thousands of Holocaust survivors, seniors and children under 17, who live in precarious financial conditions.


UJA allocated over $9 million to 11 social service partner agencies, while working with them to identify and understand the needs of our vulnerable community members.


The funds provided to our partners helped:

  • 1,100+ family members in need supported through financial assistance
  • 337 children with subsidies to attend Jewish summer camp
  • 260 free loans for those in financial need
  • 590 newcomer families with integration support
  • 1,700+ low income Holocaust survivors with critical support services
  • 1,000+ people with employment support

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family members in need supported through financial assistance
children with subsidies to attend Jewish summer camp
free loans for those in financial need
newcomer families with integration support
low income Holocaust survivors with critical support services
people with employment support

Improving Wellbeing


The most vulnerable members of our community are the 5,000 seniors, including 2,250 Holocaust survivors, living in poverty. The needs of this population are multiple and urgent.


UJA launched a bold new initiative called DoortoDoor to address this complex challenge. This program provides for a new method of delivering critical services to vulnerable seniors and survivors in need through one simple phone call to a central access point.


More than 140 clients with incomes of less than $25,000/person or $31,000/couple received a range of services in the launch phase of DoortoDoor, including:

  • Rent subsidies
  • Help with critical financial emergencies
  • Assisting Holocaust survivors in accessing compensation and restitution from the German government
  • Provision of home care
  • Delivery of Kosher Meals on Wheels
  • Provision of Lifeline medic alert buttons and walkers
  • Vital opportunities to socialize with peers to reduce debilitating social isolation

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Our efforts to address the issue of poverty among Jewish seniors and Holocaust survivors, through the DoortoDoor initiative, were supported by a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation to help with the design and development of this innovative strategy.

Fortifying Jewish Education


The rising cost of Jewish day school was leading to a significant decrease in the number of students whose families could afford to provide them with a Jewish education.


UJA worked diligently and strategically to secure two generous donations totaling $14 million to launch the TanenbaumCHAT Affordability Initiative, and lower tuition from $28,000 to $18,500 per year.


Before the initiative's launch, Grade 9 enrollment had been projected at 175 students. Today, registration has increased by 70%, with close to 300 students enrolled in the 2018 freshman class.

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Preserving Jewish Identity


How can UJA connect us to our Jewish identity through meaningful engagement opportunities with Jewish arts and culture? How do we revive traditions that were lost and make them relevant to our community?


With UJA’s support the Kultura Collective, a network of 14 modern Jewish Arts, Culture and Heritage groups, was created. The collective works collaboratively to highlight and create opportunities for cultural enrichment, growth and exploration, including the immensely popular, 23-year old Ashkenaz Festival.


In 2018 the Ashkenaz Festival attracted over 60,000 people to a magical week of (mostly free) concerts, performances, screenings, tastings, and workshops featuring a wide range of world-class Jewish cultural and artistic expression and talent from across Canada and around the world. Ashkenaz’s year-round performance and education programs reach thousands more.

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Strengthening Connections to Israel


What initiatives can we support to forge meaningful, lasting relationships between Jews in the GTA, Israel and the Israeli people? What formal and informal educational projects can we develop to foster these relationships among Israeli and Canadian youth?


Together with our strategic partners, UJA Federation is developing and delivering innovative academic twinning opportunities focused on the promotion of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) for Israeli and Canadian students. In addition, we are providing high-impact, year-long integration of young Israeli emissaries, called ShinShinim, in dozens of day schools, synagogues, youth groups and summer camps.


STEM programming in Eilat/Eilot has reached thousands of students during the school year and summer sessions, and has helped connect Israeli youth with their counterparts in Toronto through innovative twinning activities. Four Toronto Day Schools: Robbins Hebrew Academy, Bialik Hebrew Day School, Leo Baeck Day School and Associated Hebrew Schools, are partners in the twinning robotics program with four schools from Eilat/Eilot.
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Greater Toronto Area
A record 25 Israeli ShinShinim volunteered in the GTA for one year right after completing high school. The largest cohort of ShinShinim in any city, anywhere in the world, these youthful emissaries engaged more than 3,000 Jewish community members at 44 day schools, synagogues, supplementary schools, youth movements and summer camps across the GTA.

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Empowering Global Jewish Communities


How can UJA help thousands of elderly Jews in Moldova, bordered by Romania and Ukraine, and ease their daily struggles with poverty, ill health, harsh living conditions, rising food prices and expensive medical costs?


UJA partners with the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to provide humanitarian relief and a social welfare safety net to more than 100,000 of the world’s most vulnerable Jews, including the 20,000- strong Jewish community of Moldova.


With financial support from UJA, the JDC helped the most vulnerable members of the Jewish community of Moldova through a variety of measures:

  • • Food Programs: 1,113 people received food cards, bank cards and fresh food packages throughout the year.
  • • Medical Assistance: 969 people received subsidies for medications on bank cards to help fund ongoing medical needs.
  • • Homecare: 170 homebound elderly received visits from homecare workers to assist with basic activities of daily living, including personal care, laundry and cleaning.
  • • Winter Relief: 436 people received utility cost subsidies, packages of coats and boots, and oil or gas for heating, as well as other winter necessities.
  • • SOS: 264 people received funds for emergency home repairs assistance and emergency medical procedures.

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The coming year is one of promise and opportunity as UJA continues to focus on developing effective programs to care for the vulnerable, novel ways to strengthen our connection with Israel, and exciting initiatives to engage our community. Here’s a peek . . .

Outcomes Measurement Framework

Our role as a community leader working closely with local partners is more than a responsibility – it’s a rallying cry to drive progress. That’s why we’re moving to a new, outcomes-based approach in 2019. This new strategy will help UJA Federation be even more effective in ensuring our grants to partner agencies are having the greatest impact possible. This shift will help us identify, support, and implement collaborative solutions to the complex issues facing our community. By employing an outcomes-based, collaborative approach, together with our partner agencies, we will be even better at addressing complex issues like poverty, and move the needle forward on these pressing concerns.

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#JLife Initiative

Following a year piloting this innovative Jewish Identity program, #JLife is now moving full steam ahead with plans to deepen engagement with youth from Israeli, Russian and other Jewish communities in the GTA. The program, supported by UJA Federation’s Emerging Communities Committee, is operated by the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in collaboration with UJA’s Israeli ‘ShinShinim’ youth leadership program, and Camp Gesher. #JLife is an ambitious strategy to create a sense of community and cultural belonging through social and cultural activities specifically tailored to unaffiliated Jewish youth in our community.

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A Jewish Renaissance

The revival of Jewish life across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (FSU) is at once both improbable and inspiring. This renaissance has provided UJA with an opportunity to give young people the tools to build a Jewish life and re-establish Jewish communities once devastated by the Holocaust and Communist oppression. Through our partnership with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), UJA supports the International Youth Camp at Szarvas, Hungary, where 1,600 children and teens from more than 25 countries have the magical experience of connecting with their Jewish heritage – often for the first time. UJA has also committed to help fund the Szarvas Leadership Institute, to develop the next generation of Jewish leadership in Eastern Europe and the FSU, and to ensure Jewish youth benefit from an opportunity their parents and grandparents never had: the knowledge and freedom to live proudly, as Jews.

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2017-18 Allocations

Where the money was spent


UJA Federation corporate infrastructure and fundraising expenses represent 13.3% of combined revenues of $153M, inclusive of Annual Campaign (unrestricted and restricted), special campaigns, designated gifts, capital project donations, bequests and endowments, and sundry revenue. For our complete audited financial statements visit https://jewishtoronto.com/financials

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We support more than 100 affiliated schools & agencies

UJA partners with the key Jewish agencies to ensure that meaningful, impactful programs rooted in Jewish values are in place to serve the diverse and vibrant Toronto Jewish community.

UJA gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of our Corporate Partners