Building Momentum

A Letter from Our Leadership

The Greater Toronto Area is home to one of the strongest and most dynamic Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Key factors – such as population growth, Israel engagement, religious practice, and enrollment in Jewish education programs – offer robust evidence that our community is poised for continued success largely unparalleled outside Israel.

However, worrisome trends reveal growing challenges in the Jewish world, from which we are not immune. Antisemitism is seeing a dangerous, global spike. Affordability is a serious barrier to Jewish education and identity-building experiences, especially given the high cost of living in the GTA. Poverty impacts one in eight Jews in our city – and is on the rise. Changes in how young Jews relate to Israel require new strategies to foster the essential bond between the Diaspora and the Jewish state. And in a society in which fewer people identify with religion and community, there is a growing risk that many Jews will feel no compelling reason to identify as Jewish, let alone develop their Jewish identity and express Jewish values.

UJA’s purpose is to solve these and other pressing challenges facing us today, so that we can ensure our community continues to thrive for our children, grandchildren, and future generations. This requires a willingness to make bold decisions and strategic, long-term investments in our collective future. It also means ensuring every dollar counts so that our generous donors can continue making a maximal impact.

And we are well on our way. We are delighted that Maclean’s magazine recently named UJA as one of Canada’s best 100 charities for the second year in a row, following a review of more than 84,000 organizations across the country. In 2019, matching grants and gifts from government and philanthropic partners increased – and now amount to 48¢ per dollar raised through UJA’s Annual Campaign.

This momentum provides a foundation for success as we strive to make an even greater impact in 2020. It would not be possible without the extraordinary contributions of our donors, volunteers, and professional staff. Thank you for your incredible dedication to our community and to the future of the Jewish people.


Adam Minsky
President and CEO
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Warren Kimel
Chair of the Board
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto

Highlights from 2019

Our community is diverse and dynamic. We hail from countries around the world. We reflect the broad spectrum of Jewish religious practice. We are actively engaged in contributing to Canadian society in countless areas. And we all share the same Jewish history, values, and dedication to community. Throughout the year, we united for various initiatives and events - both large and small - that celebrated our remarkable heritage and reaffirmed our commitment to the Jewish people.

Sharing Song

It was an extraordinary evening of song and celebration as nearly 2,000 members of our community joined in harmony to sing Matisyahu’s powerful anthem of peace “One Day,” led by Israel’s social musical initiative, Koolulam. This inspiring display of community unity was a labour of love and collaboration between UJA and Israel Bonds.

Sharing Our Love for Israel

In a move that proved immensely popular and attracted many new participants, this year’s Walk with Israel returned to its roots along Bathurst Street in the heart of North York. Supported by 350+ community volunteers, this historic event - UJA’s 50th Walk with Israel - was a wonderful demonstration of solidarity and love for the Jewish state, raising more than $1 million in support of UJA-funded programs and services for our partner communities of Bat Yam, Eilat/Eilot, and Sderot.

Sharing Joy

To celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the Walk with Israel, UJA presented the first-ever, family-friendly Bathurst Street Fest - attracting more than 30,000 community members. Following the Walk, a one-kilometre stretch of Bathurst Street - complete with six zones, seven stages and more than 100 booths - was closed to traffic and filled with families gathering for an epic community celebration marked by great music, entertainment, and (of course) food

Sharing a Laugh

Every year, the Campaign Launch brings together community members for a dynamic evening in support of UJA’s charitable work. This year’s Launch was no exception, as award-winning comedian Sebastian Maniscalco delivered his humorous take on the differences between Jewish and Italian families to more than 3,000 members of our community. It was an evening of shared laughter and warmth, and a terrific show of support for UJA and our efforts to strengthen the GTA Jewish community, Israel, and vulnerable Jewish communities around the world.

2018–2019 Financial Highlights

This fiscal year, UJA Federation raised $171 million in support of Jewish communities in the Greater Toronto Area, Israel, and around the world.

How did we do this year?

Annual Campaign $60,383,000
Jewish Foundation* $51,393,000
Government Grants $7,714,000
Other Sundry Campaign Revenue $621,000
Targeted Supplementary Giving $1,208,000
Corporate Partners
& Other Revenue**
Special Campaign Gifts $29,144,000
Capital Project Donations $10,780,000
Total Funds Raised: $171,000,000
UJA Federation’s corporate infrastructure and fundraising expenses represent 13.1% of combined revenues of $171M, inclusive of Annual Campaign (unrestricted and restricted), special campaigns gifts, capital project donations, bequests and endowments, and sundry revenue. For our complete audited financial statements visit

UJA Grant Distributions 2018–2019

  • $15.2M (25%)
    Building Connections with Israel & Supporting Global Jewish Communities in Need
  • $11.4M (19%)
    Strengthening Jewish Identity
  • $4.5M (7%)
    Countering Antisemitism & Improving Community Security*** Advocating on Behalf of the Jewish People (CIJA)
  • $18.5M (31%)
    Growing Jewish Education
  • $10.7M (18%)
    Fighting Poverty & Improving Wellbeing
*In addition, the Foundation received $17.6 million in managed assets
**Other revenue includes program and event registration
***While UJA Community Security’s work is included in this report, the allocation for its funding started in the 2019-2020 fiscal year and will be reflected in the 2020 Annual Report.

Fundraising Streams

A Strategic Approach to Supporting Our Community

Our work to strengthen our community requires a strategic approach to raising and managing funds - harnessing the passion, talents, and resources of our dedicated donors, volunteers, and professional staff.

Our Impact

United Jewish Appeal Annual Campaign Funds raised by UJA’s Annual Campaign, with the help of more than 500 volunteer canvassers, support 100+ partner agencies to strengthen Jewish life and assist those in need in the Greater Toronto Area, Israel, and around the world.

Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto The Jewish Foundation is a community foundation that empowers individuals and families to fulfill their personal philanthropic goals and translate their charitable vision into viable solutions. The Jewish Foundation has funds representing more than 2,200 individuals, families, and organizations, reflecting combined assets of more than $427.1 million ($397.1 million in Jewish Foundation assets and $30 million in managed assets for other organizations) and an additional $205 million in planned gifts (such as bequests or insurance).

The Capital Campaign Since 2000, UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign has raised $302 million to create three hubs of Jewish life - in downtown Toronto, North York, and York Region - to support the programmatic, social, and fitness needs of our growing community. Today, these three campuses are a central access point to Jewish programming for thousands of community members.

How We Do It

UJA Federation’s strategic approach, rooted in three crucial elements, enables us to make sure your gift achieves maximal effect in strengthening our community.

Strategic Collaboration There is no single program or service agency that can alone meet the varied needs of our community. UJA’s network of more than 100 partner organizations enables us to offer donors a philanthropic “one-stop shop” for supporting those in need and addressing the growing challenges facing our community. It also enables us to create innovative, collaborative solutions to complex issues, like Jewish poverty relief and affordable access to Jewish education.

Outcomes Measurement If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. This is why UJA Federation conducts substantive research to identify needs in the community and measure outcomes. This data enables us to ensure we fund the programs and initiatives that will have the greatest impact for our community

Matching Funds Smart fundraising is critical in making every dollar count. Through our work with governments, private foundations, and philanthropists, we generated matching funds amounting to 48¢ per dollar raised through UJA’s Annual Campaign.

Fighting Poverty & Improving Wellbeing

To improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of our community

For more than a century, the Jewish values of tzedakah and chesed have guided UJA’s efforts to sustain and strengthen those in our community who need our help. Sadly, the needs in our community are growing.

Today, roughly 1 in 8 Jews in the Greater Toronto Area - including thousands of children, seniors and Holocaust survivors - experience the effects of poverty every day.

Hunger, social isolation, and financial crisis are constant concerns for these members of our community. Many others need support to address chronic job instability, domestic abuse, mental illness, or addiction. Others require unique resources to reach their potential, such as community members with special needs. Jewish immigrants to Canada, some of whom are escaping countries impacted by rising antisemitism, require assistance to ensure successful integration.

The circumstances that render community members vulnerable are complex, and often cannot be addressed by any one agency or program. But through UJA’s network of social service agencies, thousands of community members receive the support they need - be it financial aid, free loans, employment services, affordable housing, interest-free loans, integration support for Jewish immigrants, kosher food deliveries, assistance to help Holocaust survivors access assistance and rightful restitution, or social programs to help seniors overcome isolation, to highlight a few examples. Through UJA, our community has a comprehensive and client-centred strategy for alleviating the effects of Jewish poverty in our city.

“Funds from UJA have allowed thousands of people like me to move forward with their dignity still intact. Thanks to UJA’s support of over 100 partner agencies, I’m not just planning to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. I’ve already broken it.” — Rachel*, beneficiary of UJA’s network of support * Name has been changed to protect privacy

By the Numbers

Through our network of social service agency partners, UJA provided:

2,400+ Holocaust survivors with critical services, including home care, Kosher Meals on Wheels, transportation to medical appointments, help with medical expenses, and programing for people living with dementia.
700+ households experiencing poverty with access to health, employment, financial, and other services to improve selfsufficiency and decrease reliance on financial assistance.
1,200+ low-income and socially isolated seniors with weekly and bi-weekly social, recreational, and wellness programming - including hot meals and Jewish cultural programs - at 17 sites across the community.

“It is heartbreaking to realize there are thousands of Holocaust survivors and other seniors in our community who suffer the devastating effects of poverty, including hunger and cold. It frightens me to think what could happen to them if not for UJA’s funding of all the agencies that ensure they have a roof over their heads, food to eat, and the services they need to survive.” — Charles Wrock, donor

Strengthening Connections with Israel & Empowering Global Jewish Communities in Need

To foster the Israel-diaspora relationship and aid at-risk Jewish communities around the world

Israel is at the centre of our collective history and future. This is why UJA fosters a love of Israel and active participation in its inspring and evolving story. Various innovative UJA programs enable community members to develop a deep connection to Israel as a pillar of their Jewish identity, build relationships with Israelis, and contribute to Israel’s ongoing development.

Engagement initiatives, like the Diller Fellowship, Café Hafooch, Jewish Service, STEM twinning programs, and the Shinshinim program, create relationships that can last a lifetime. UJA programs that send young people on immersive experiences in Israel have an indelible impact on the identity of thousands of community members.

UJA’s investments in our Israeli partner communities in Sderot, Bat Yam, and Eilat/Eilot are focused on programs that enhance economic opportunity and build resilience among Israelis living in areas facing unique challenges, including the ever-present threat of terrorism.

UJA also assists smaller, at-risk Jewish communities around the world through initiatives like Global Seder, which ensures Jews in need in Cuba and Moldova receive the Kosher for Passover food they require to celebrate the holiday. Through our partnership with the Joint Distribution Committee, UJA supports efforts to aid thousands of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable Jews living in more than 18 countries.

“As a parent, it’s incredible to see the impact of our UJA Shinshin on our entire family - especially the identity of our three children. Whether practicing their Hebrew or helping organize community activities, our children have loved learning and growing with their Shinshin. It’s like they have a new brother.” — Lili Lazer, host of a UJA Shinshin

By the Numbers

12,000+ community members deepened their connection to Israel through encounters with 26 young Israeli representatives - UJA’s Shinshinim - at day schools, synagogues, summer camps, and JCCs across the Greater Toronto Area.
Nearly 90,000 elderly and impoverished Jews in desperate conditions in former Soviet states like Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus received social welfare assistance through the UJA-supported Joint Distribution Committee.
1,700 students in six elementary schools in Eilat/Eilot enrolled in innovative pre-cyber education studies to learn math, coding, and programming skills that will lead to life-changing opportunities in this geographically isolated region of Israel.

“This year, I was in Moscow for briefings with Jewish community leaders from Russia and around the world. In order to better understand the conditions for elderly Jews living in poverty, our delegation visited a Soviet-era collective apartment. I met a 94-yearold Holocaust survivor who receives assistance for food, medicine and homecare through UJA’s overseas investments. When I asked if she knew who we were, she responded: ‘Of course I know who you are. You’re the people keeping me alive.’” — Adam Minsky, President & CEO
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto

Growing Jewish Education & Jewish Identity

To ensure a vibrant future for our community

More so than in previous generations, identifying as Jewish today is increasingly a matter of choice. To secure our collective future, it is crucial that we enable young community members to develop a meaningful Jewish identity. This means ensuring that it is more accessible, affordable, and compelling to explore and express one’s Jewish identity through various paths.

UJA’s multi-faceted strategy touches on various life stages, with an emphasis on transformative experiences that have a lasting impact. Many community members would otherwise not be in a financial position to access these opportunities.

This includes UJA’s support for various immersive experiences for teens and young adults, such as March of the Living, Birthright Israel, and summer camp programs.

Another central pillar is UJA’s efforts to address the high cost of Jewish day school, including the provision of extensive tuition subsidies that make this option available to thousands of children in our community.

For our youngest community members, PJ Library’s free Jewish-themed book program fosters Jewish learning and meaningful conversations between parents and children.

UJA Genesis offers an innovative and inclusive approach that empowers the next generation to shape our community. Genesis programs and events strengthen the development of future Jewish leaders, foster community innovation, and enable community members to contribute their time, talents, and brain power. Through Genesis, young individuals and families are connecting to our community and enjoying new, impactful Jewish experiences with their children.

Through UJA’s Ontario Jewish Archives (Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre) and various partner organizations, UJA supports lifelong Jewish learning through arts, cultural, and heritage initiatives - including lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, and music programs.

“When we saw the tuition barrier had been removed, suddenly a world of possibility opened up for my daughter and our family. I really hope that the people who made this incredible donation understand the value they have contributed to the community. What they’re doing is investing in a whole generation of kids who will ultimately step up in their own right and help the Jewish community.” — Karen Barzilay, TanenbaumCHAT parent

By the Numbers

Nearly 7,000 households received free Jewish-themed children’s books each month through PJ Library, creating meaningful Jewish moments at bedtime.
390+ children experienced overnight camp thanks to UJA’s Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping’s Weekender Initiative and the PJ Goes to Camp program.
Roughly 2,300 students received financial assistance to attend Jewish day school, helping them afford a cutting edge Jewish and general studies education.
70% increase in enrollment at TanenbaumCHAT, as a direct result of a UJA-supported affordability initiative.

“The PJ Library program has such a deep and longlasting impact on the Jewish identity of even the very youngest children. It is incredibly valuable in providing families a free and fun way to engage their children in discussions about Jewish values and concepts, and provides a foundation for a lifetime of Jewish learning.” — Ronit Novak, PJ Library parent & Neighbourhood Connector, Toronto West End

Countering Antisemitism & Improving Community Security

To ensure our community can continue thriving today and in the future

We will not remain a thriving community unless we can continue to gather at synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and other Jewish institutions confident in our security. In response to the rise in antisemitism globally, as well as statistics showing Canada’s Jewish community is the most targeted group for hate crimes, UJA tripled its investment in the safety of community members - establishing UJA Community Security in 2019.

Working closely with police, UJA Community Security has a robust strategy to strengthen the security of Jewish institutions in our city. In addition to providing incident support, UJA Community Security offers training, site audits, emergency protocols, and guidance on physical security measures that not only make institutions safer, but also build resilience and healthy vigilance.

Antisemitism is a complex challenge requiring a multi-pronged strategy.

Through our partner Hillel Ontario, UJA provides resources to empower Jewish students to counter antisemitism on university campuses.

UJA’s Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre provides thousands of students - most of whom are non-Jewish - with a potentially life-changing opportunity to meet a Holocaust survivor and learn about the Shoah and the dangers of antisemitism.

Through our advocacy agent, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), we advocate for a vigorous government approach to combatting antisemitism, anti-Israel hate, and bigotry in all forms. This year, CIJA made significant advances on this issue, including successfully increasing federal funding for community security, urging Parliament to take action on online hate, and amending legislation to ensure those convicted of advocating genocide and terror-related offences continue to face the full weight of the law.

“The security of our congregation is the BAYT’s number one priority. We have a responsibility to ensure our synagogue is well protected, and that we have the information we need to take care of the Jewish community. We are grateful to UJA for their help in providing the critical assistance we need to do so.” — Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation (BAYT)

By the Numbers

450+ community members trained in security awareness and preparedness since August 2019.
50+ locations patrolled during High Holiday services to provide assistance and advice as needed.
60+ proactive site visits to 60+ synagogues, day schools, and Jewish community organizations to develop working relationships and address security issues on an ongoing basis.

“After Pittsburgh, protocols changed in Holy Blossom Temple and in the Toronto Jewish community. I give so much credit and thanks to CIJA and to UJA Federation for all of the efforts that have been made.” — Judy Winberg, President, Holy Blossom Temple and cousin of Joyce Fienberg, z”l
(one of eleven people murdered during the antisemitic attack at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue)

Looking Ahead to 2020

A few highlights for the year to come

Annual Campaign

In 2020, the Annual Campaign will continue to build on the momentum from 2019 by reaching new audiences and engaging community members of all ages in UJA’s work. From programs and initiatives for young professionals through UJA Genesis and our various Professional Divisions, to reaching tens of thousands of people at our 51st annual UJA Walk with Israel and 2nd annual Street Fest, 2020 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for the Annual Campaign.

Jewish Foundation

The Book of Life is a program that recognizes donors who leave a charitable legacy through the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. This year’s Book of Life Celebration - happening on May 14, 2020 - will mark 18 consecutive years of recognizing visionary community leaders, with more than 400 philanthropic stories having been shared. By highlighting their values and reasons for giving, donors featured in the Book of Life can teach future generations about the significance of tzedakah and dedication to community. To find out how to be a part of this inspiring initiative, please contact the Jewish Foundation today.

Tomorrow Campaign

Anyone who has travelled along Bathurst Street in North York over the past year has seen the exceptional transformation of Sherman Campus. This spring will mark the grand opening of the Sheff Family Building, future home of the expanded Prosserman JCC. Community members will benefit from dynamic new spaces, such as the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Family Cultural Pavilion and the Cynamon/Sokolowski Sports Complex. Together with the existing Donald Gales Family Pavilion, these state-of-the-art facilities will offer expanded sports, cultural, youth, senior, and family programming - designed to promote Jewish values and strengthen the Jewish identity of our community.

We support and strengthen 100+ affiliated schools and agencies

UJA Federation Partner Agencies*, Programs & Departments

  • Ashkenaz Festival
  • Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living
  • Beth Chabad Israeli Community Centre
  • BBYO
  • Chai-Tikvah Foundation
  • Circle of Care
  • Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company
  • Hillel Ontario
  • JACS Toronto
  • Jewish Camp Council of Toronto
  • Jewish Family & Child (JF&CS)
  • Jewish Free Loan Toronto
  • Jewish Moroccan Community of Toronto
  • Jewish Russian Community Centre (JRCC)
  • Jews for Judaism
  • JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto
  • JVS Toronto
  • Kayla’s Children Centre
  • Kehilla Residential Programme
  • Koffler Centre of the Arts
  • Limmud FSU
  • Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
  • Prosserman Jewish Community Centre
  • RAJET – Ameinu
  • Reena
  • Schwartz/Reisman Centre
  • Shoresh
  • Toronto Hebrew Memorial Parks
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival
  • The House
  • Jewish Education, Toronto
  • Julia and Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education
  • David & Syma Forberg Media Centre
  • UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
  • Committee for Yiddish
  • Diller Teen Fellows Program
  • Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto
  • Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre
  • PJ Library
  • Sarah & Chaim Neuberger-Holocaust Education Centre
  • Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping
  • The UJA Israel Engagement ShinShinim Program
  • National - In Alliance with Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA**
  • Birthright Israel
  • Canada Israel Experience
  • Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
  • Hillels across Canada
  • March of the Living
  • Israel & Overseas - In Alliance with Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA
  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
  • Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
  • Keren Hayesod
  • MASA Israel
  • Mosaic/Shalom Corps
  • Onward Israel

Affiliated Schools

  • Day Schools
  • Associated Hebrew Schools
  • Bais Chaya Mushka
  • Bialik Hebrew Day School
  • Eitz Chaim Schools
  • Montessori Jewish Day School
  • Netivot HaTorah Day School
  • Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School
  • Robbins Hebrew Academy
  • The Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School
  • The Leo Baeck Day School
  • The Toronto Heschel School
  • High Schools
  • Beth Jacob High School for Girls
  • TanenbaumCHAT
  • Tiferes Bais Yaakov
  • Ulpanat Orot Girls’ School (B’nei Akiva)
  • Yeshiva Darchei Torah
  • Yeshivat Or Chaim (B’nei Akiva)
  • Supplementary Schools
  • Adath Israel Congregational School
  • Ahavat Yisrael Hebrew School
  • Beit Rayim Hebrew School
  • Bet Sefer Solel
  • Beth Radom Congregation Hebrew School
  • Beth Sholom Hebrew School
  • Beth Torah Hebrew School
  • Beth Tzedec Congregational School
  • Chabad Hebrew School
  • Chabad Romano Centre
  • City Shul Nightingale School and Youth Group
  • Danforth Jewish Circle
  • Darchei Noam Hebrew School
  • Downtown Jewish Community School
  • Holy Blossom Temple Religious School
  • Jewish Heritage School at Beth Habonim
  • J.Roots Supplementary Jewish School
  • Kachol-Lavan - The Centre for Hebrew & Israel Studies
  • Kol Ami Religious School
  • Morris Winchevsky School
  • Oraynu Children’s School
  • Shaarei-Beth El Religious School
  • Temple Har Zion Religious School
  • Temple Sinai Religious School
  • The Centre for Jewish Living and Learning @ Temple Emanu-El
  • Torah High
  • UJA Affiliated Camps
  • B’nai Brith Camp (Kenora)
  • Camp Agudah
  • Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa
  • Camp Gan Israel Toronto
  • Camp Gesher
  • Camp Kadimah in Halifax
  • Camp Kinneret-Biluim
  • Camp Massad (Montreal)
  • Camp Moshava Ennismore
  • Camp Northland
  • Camp Ramah in Canada
  • Camp Shalom
  • Camp Shomria
  • Camp Solelim
  • J.Academy Camp
  • URJ Camp George
  • Moshava Ba’ir Toronto
  • The Jack and Pat Kay Centre Camp
  • *Partner does not denote a legal partner relationship
  • *Agency or Agencies does not denote a legal agency or relationship
  • **Funds raised for Israel and overseas needs are allocated to Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, for which authorized organizations deliver services

Thank you

to our Corporate Partners for their generosity and support