New, unique fundraiser for local schools

Generosity, caring, giving, helping — tzedakah in the full and profoundly moving meaning of the word –- are embedded into the deep DNA structure of the Jewish people.

From the modest “pushka” into which regular attendees at synagogue drop their coins each morning, to the large capital projects in almost all communities where Jews live that arise due to the philanthropy of civic-minded individuals, or to the unheralded, off-the-record, “quiet” assistance that one person extends to a needy individual, family or a cause, Jews – in the main – have always strived to make things better for the next person, for the community.

Responding affirmatively to the call for help stems from the values that are part of the remarkable legacy bequeathed to each one of us by our ancestors.

In his commentary on this week’s Torah portion, Trumah, Rabbi Marc D. Angel observes “the money we spend is a reflection of our values. The way we allocate our funds… tells us much about the meaning of our prayers and aspirations, and about who we really are.”

Of course, the very entire enterprise of making Jewish education more affordable is one of pleading with members of the wide Jewish community personally to play a role in substantially reducing the tuition costs of Jewish schools and to thus spend money in a manner that also champions the value that sustains Jewish life in perpetuity.

It is therefore in the spirit of Rabbi Angel’s words, that GAJE advises readers of a new fundraising effort in our community — the ORT Toronto Gala 2019 for Jewish Education — a project aimed at benefiting Toronto area Jewish schools, camps, after school programs and ORT’s youth village in Kfar Silver, Israel.

The ORT Gala for Jewish Education is a fixture on the annual communal calendar of Montreal Jewry. Proceeds from the gala are shared there each year with the participating educational institutions and provide invaluable assistance to the schools. ORT Canada is attempting to introduce the Gala in Toronto to benefit formal and informal Jewish education here and to establish the GALA, as in Montreal, as a cherished annual event.

The Toronto GALA takes place on Tuesday March 26 at 7:00 pm at the Mattamy Centre, formerly Maple Leaf Gardens. The event itself is a musical celebration of The Beatles’ music led by The Classical Mystery Tour and a 26-member U of T Symphony Orchestra.

Some readers might be unfamiliar with ORT. It is well credentialed as one of the pre-eminent educational institutions of the Jewish world. Founded in 1880 in Russia to help Jews become economically self-sufficient, ORT today is a renowned educational program –- especially in Israel where it plays a key role in the broader educational system. ORT provides occupational training and vital life skills to hundreds of thousands of students in 59 countries.

For more information about the event and about the unique way in which local educational programs benefit from the GALA, call the ORT Toronto Office at 416.787. 0339.

Tickets can be purchased through the ORT website at: or directly through the online form:

We urge readers who are able, to take part in the event.


Shabbat Shalom.


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