Jewish Toronto's philanthropic leaders enjoy UJA Top Gifts Dinner

Event featured guest speaker Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer and YouTube sensation the Fountainheads.

Published: May 26th 2011
in News » Local

Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, centre, was the featured speaker at UJAs recent Top Gifts Dinner. The ambassador is flanked by the Chairs of UJAs upcoming Campaign 2012, Barbara Bank and Gil Palter.

More than 350 of Jewish Toronto’s community and philanthropic leaders gathered at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel Tuesday night for UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s annual Top Gift Dinner chaired by Judy Bronfman and Michael Kalles.


The event’s featured guest speaker was Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, who was appointed by Bill Clinton as the United States Ambassador to Egypt from 1997 and 2001 before becoming the United States ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005.


Kurtzer’s expert perspective on the policies and politics of the Middle East was very insightful. His vast experience in the region and understanding of the Arab world was evident and made for another fascinating UJA guest speaker.


The incoming Chairs of UJA’s 2012 Campaign, Barbara Bank and Gil Palter also addressed the crowd.


“Whenever any of us travel, people tell us how lucky we are to live in a great Jewish community like Toronto, and we nod, and say yes. But, few of us stop and think, what makes a community great,” said Bank. “Toronto isn’t regarded as one of the most, if not the most, robust and philanthropic Jewish communities in the Diaspora by accident or happenstance. It is largely as a result of the generosity of time, leadership and, yes, financial commitment, exhibited by you, our top donors.”


“A generous gift to UJA’s Annual Campaign achieves outcomes that no other philanthropic gift can,” said Palter. “It enables us to strategically address issues and challenges that require the collective power of the entire community. To pick one relevant example is that Israel is currently fighting in the court of international opinion and, only a strong, well funded united community can ensure that our government takes a clear firm and vocal stand against the delegitimization and demonization of Israel.”


The Launch of UJA’s Campaign 2012, set to take place on Tuesday, August 23 at Toronto’s Sony Centre, will feature Seinfeld star, Jason Alexander.


A last minute addition to the event was the YouTube hit makers, the Fountainheads. The music group is made up of Israeli dancers, singers, actors and artists, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership.


Shalom Life had a chance to interview the Fountainheads yesterday. You can read the interview and watch one of their hit music videos here.

Related articles: (UJA, Toronto, Daniel Kurtzer, Fountinheads, YouTube, )

Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 0 times