Volunteer Excellence: The Community Honours Its Own
These award recipients have made tzedakah, tikkun olam and community involvement constant priorities in their lives. Their unrelenting commitment to Jewish values helps enrich the lives of so many.
Israel Engagement Award
Past president, Lorne Bernstein accepted the award on behalf of Temple Sinai.
The Israel Engagement Award recognizes an individual or an organization whose leadership is committed to making Israel Engagement a core part of its mission and vision, and to integrating Israel into all areas of institutional life. It honours excellence in cultivating deep, real, and multi-faceted relationships between its stakeholders and Israel.
Temple Sinai is an inclusive, accessible, caring Reform community that aspires to a dynamic, constantly evolving Judaism, and is committed to life-long learning, traditional Jewish culture, ethics and meaningful worship. It is a spiritual home to its many congregants of diverse ages, backgrounds and capabilities. Temple Sinai embodies the highest ideals of tzedakah within its own walls, in its outreach to the multi-faith community of Toronto, and to the wider sphere of the global community.
- Deepening the connection between our Temple Sinai community and Israel through advocacy, travel, education and celebration.
- Embedding Israel into the life of Temple Sinai.
- Encouraging all Temple Sinai committees and auxiliary groups to plan with the intention to include Israel into their own programming.
- Serving as a resource regarding speakers and programs related to Israel on a wide variety of topics including politics, the arts, technology, Torah, and more.
- Liaising with ARZA Canada and other appropriate organizations.
“Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto would like to express our appreciation to UJA Federation for this significant honour. Receiving our community’s Israel Engagement Award is very meaningful for our volunteer leadership, professionals, and Temple family who all value the strong bond with Israel and Israelis that we have built at our congregation. Our volunteers, donors, activists and community leaders have all worked for many years for us to receive this honour. We are excited to share the news with our two partnership synagogues in Israel, Kehillat YOZMA of Modi’in and Kehillat Ramot Shalom of Be’er Sheva.
We are grateful to UJA Federation for the opportunity to participate in the incredible UJA Shinshinim program, which has created such fertile ground for our Israel Engagement efforts. We are pleased to be piloting the Cafe Hafooch Engagement program and look forward to additional partnership opportunities in the future to strengthen the bonds between our community and the land and people of the State of Israel.” Lorne Bernstein
Shem Tov Award
Adam Goodman graduated with a Commerce Degree from Queen’s University in 2004 and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in 2007. Adam runs a criminal and administrative law practice in Toronto where he represents clients in criminal trials at various levels of court. Adam serves on various professional committees and is the defense representative for the provincial courthouse in downtown Toronto. Adam is a partner in Destination CPD Inc., a company which delivers professional development conferences for lawyers annually in Las Vegas, NV.
In addition to BBYO, Adam has taught various grades and subjects at the religious school of Temple Sinai Congregation in Toronto. He is also a youth softball umpire. While in law school, Adam was the advisor for USY chapters at Shaar Shalom Synagogue and Beth Tzedec Congregation. Adam has also been a volunteer director for Tourette Canada. Adam resides in midtown Toronto and has varied interests including politics and current events, travel, and Blue Jays baseball.
“BBYO has provided an opportunity for me to impact future leaders in the Jewish community. My role has also helped me develop skills which I utilize in my own career. It’s also a lot of fun.”
Harold Lederman Award for Philanthropic Leadership
Lori & Jeffrey Rosenthal
This award, named for Harold Lederman z”l, is presented by UJA’s Past Chairs Council to an outstanding philanthropic leader and volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and achievement of innovative approaches to challenges in the community. Harold, driven by a keen social conscience and strong support for Jewish communal life, believed in the importance of continuity. His message to future generations was to be responsible, a legacy of a real philanthropic leader.
“UJA Federation of Greater Toronto plays a critically important role in our community and directly impacts the lives of so many people. UJA Federation has connected us to the Jewish community in many ways, and through our involvement, we have met many of our closest friends. UJA has helped us to define the role that we want to play in improving lives in our city and in Israel. We are very fortunate to live and volunteer in such a vibrant Jewish community and are so very honoured to be receiving the Harold Lederman Award for Philanthropic Leadership this year.”
Jeffrey Rosenthal is a Managing Partner of Imperial Capital Group, which he co-founded in 1989. He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). Previous roles include those of Co-Chair of the UJA Annual Campaign, Vice-Chair of the Sinai Health Foundation and the co-founder of Venture Sinai, and Chair of the Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation.
Lori Rosenthal is a past Co-Chair of the UJA Annual Campaign and a past Chair of UJA’s Woman’s Philanthropy. She is a past Vice-President of the Mount Sinai Women’s Auxiliary. Currently, Lori serves as Chair of the Jewish Foundation’s Book of Life event, which will be held in 2020. Lori is an active mentor to future leaders in the community. She founded and co-chaired many fundraising initiatives, including the Tikun Olam Project, Fashion Conscience and Share Your Style. Lori is the 2018 recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award.
Both Jeff and Lori are JFNA Fisher Flight Fellows.
Jeff and Lori have been married for 27 years and are parents of three children, Rachel, Lilah and Benjamin.
Gerda Frieberg Teen Philanthropy Award
Jordan Van Slingerland
UJA Federation’s Gerda Frieberg Teen Philanthropy Award shines a spotlight and identifies exceptional teens in the Toronto Jewish community who are involved in inspiring tzedakah, tikkun olam and leadership. The Gerda Frieberg Teen Philanthropy Award teaches that philanthropy and leadership at any age is paramount for the future of Jewish Toronto.
“In a world so plagued by a terrible rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel movements, it is of the highest importance that we, as a community, both share and discuss the Jewish culture with those who are not Jewish, while at the same time making every best effort to support our community from within; supporting our key values and ideals. Staying true and one with your roots, and with values such as tzedakah and tikkun olam can and will make one a better person and more valued member of their community.”
Jordan Van Slingerland is a teenage philanthropist, entrepreneur and leader, currently in 10th Grade at Upper Canada College. He has heldmany leadership positions (such as CEO) of various start-up companies at and through the BizSmart program, both at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. He won the Invitational Accelerator Program in 2018 and 2019—a distinguished business program where participants are mentored by Silicon Valley executives.
Jordan is extremely globally-aware, a voraciously strong supporter of the State of Israel, and competes internationally in Model United Nations on one of the top teams in North America. With his experience gained, he mentors and works with kids from around the GTA on their public speaking skills. Jordan has worked with the Horizons program, helping disadvantaged children in the GTA. He volunteers as a Student Ambassador for his school and is the school’s “Hebrew-speaking Guide.” Jordan is a Diller Teen Fellow and is a former board member of the Jewish Teen Board of Greater Toronto. He is involved in his synagogue, his charitable endeavours at Ve’ahavta, and the Jewish Community both in Toronto and abroad. Jordan is proud of being Jewish and takes great pride in sharing the Jewish Culture with those of different faiths and ethnicities.
“It started as a dream in the hearts of a few, and few were strong enough and dedicated enough to implement that dream so that it would be a reality for their children and their children’s children.” — Saul Wolfe z”l and Geri Wolfe
For over 60 years, Temple Sinai has been a dynamic Jewish centre located in mid-town Toronto. In October 1954, Temple received its first Torah and as membership started to grow, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) recommended a promising student rabbi, Jordan Pearslon z”l. Temple meetings were held in a second floor apartment over a hardware store on Avenue Road. It was there that members started actively talking about the need for a building. The building was completed in 1958.
Today Rabbi Michael Dolgin and Cantor Charles Osborne head up our team of skilled clergy, inspiring educators, and dedicated administrators. Temple Sinai has approximately 1,600 member families — from single households to large families. It is considered one of the leading Reform congregations in the country, not for its size, but for its moving worship services, challenging educational opportunities, pioneering music program, and above all, its warmth.