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.