HomeNewsBusinessCultureHealthVideoShalomPages

Toronto MIT's Send 900 Toys to Children in Israel

A Toronto Madrichim-In-Training group organized a successful city wide toy drive for Chanukah
By: Rebecca Ihilchik
Published: January 26th, 2012 in News » World
Children in Israel receive gifts for Chanukah thanks to the MIT's efforts

For many young Jewish adults, a Taglit-Birthright trip is exactly that: a birthright. Exposure - for many, their first - to the land of Israel marks an important rite of passage in Jewish identity. And the people that make such a trip possible are more skilled than you can imagine.

Trip leaders, also known as madrichim, are a dynamic group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable individuals very much prepared for the daunting task of leading Birthright participants through the journey of a lifetime. They are prepped through the Canada-Israel Experience (CIE) Madrichim-In-Training (MIT) program, a relatively new leadership training initiative that ensures the best of the best make the cut. Part of the UJA’s Community Connect, the highly selective MIT program is recognized by Taglit-Birthright as one of the top trip leader training programs run by any organization. It aims to strengthen leadership and teamwork skills, educate participants about Jewish and Israeli topics of interest, and cultivate the desire and means to become involved in local Jewish communities.

The process to become a trip leader is intensive and takes almost a year to complete. Successful candidates must prove themselves through a series of interviews, a four-day training seminar in Quebec, and eight months of formal training sessions. MITs are also matched with mentors (veteran trip leaders) and lead community engagement initiatives.

A Toronto group from this year’s crop of MITs came through with a staggeringly successful city-wide toy drive.

“While brainstorming ideas for an impactful event, the MIT group recognized that many Jewish children were being forgotten during the winter holiday season,” said lead mentor Ehren Gluckstein. Hence, the group - consisting of eight MITs and four mentors, Gluckstein included - decided on the idea of a Chanukah toy drive.

The project, titled “Eight Days of Giving,” was put into action in early December. Corporate donors and members of the community were encouraged to contribute items for the cause, and the group ended up with about 450 toys. A generous toy-for-toy donation by Jordan Morra, another MIT mentor, brought that number to an impressive 900.

Toys were distributed to the students of schools in the Israeli city of Bat Yam. “Every Birthright trip is a gift, and every person who goes as a participant on a Birthright trip to Israel receives this gift and the experience of a lifetime,” said mentor Ashley Kochman.

“This [drive] is our small way of saying thank you for this gift. By taking toys to the community of Bat Yam, which welcomes many Birthright trips every year, we are able to give back and bring some joy to hundreds of children and their families during this holiday.”

The group plans to run further initiatives centered around the holidays of Purim and Passover.

Next up is a Purim carnival for elementary school students and is to be held Sunday March 4th in Lipa Green Centre Rooms 7, 8, and 9. For more information about the carnival and opportunities for young adults to get involved, please email PurimFun2012@gmail.com.

Related articles: Madrichim-In-Training, MIT, UJA, Community Connect, Israel, Children, Chanukah, Purim, Toy Drive, Ashley Kochman, Jordan Morra, Ehren Gluckstein, Birthright, Trip Leader, Mentor
0 times
Former UJA Campaign Chair, Rabbi Gunther Plaut Passes Away at

World renowned scholar was Rabbi of Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple

Heaven's Waiting Room

Boca Raton is the preferred getaway for many snowbirds and families. In this essay Bernie Farber gives us a lighthearted look intoa few weeks of Boca Raton life at Century Village and beyond.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Minister of Finance, Touchdown in Jerusalem

Ministers Baird, Flaherty in Israel for Series of High-Level Meetings

Celebrating the Success of PJ Library in York Region

More than 1,700 Families Have Already Received the Gift of Jewish Music and Books

Toronto MIT's Send 900 Toys to Children in Israel

A Toronto Madrichim-In-Training group organized a successful city wide toy drive for Chanukah

Ottawa Students Feed the Homeless

Chabad urges more university students to care for others

Former UJA Campaign Chair, Rabbi Gunther Plaut Passes Away at

World renowned scholar was Rabbi of Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple

Heaven's Waiting Room

Boca Raton is the preferred getaway for many snowbirds and families. In this essay Bernie Farber gives us a lighthearted look intoa few weeks of Boca Raton life at Century Village and beyond.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Minister of Finance, Touchdown in Jerusalem

Ministers Baird, Flaherty in Israel for Series of High-Level Meetings

Celebrating the Success of PJ Library in York Region

More than 1,700 Families Have Already Received the Gift of Jewish Music and Books

Toronto MIT's Send 900 Toys to Children in Israel

A Toronto Madrichim-In-Training group organized a successful city wide toy drive for Chanukah

Ottawa Students Feed the Homeless

Chabad urges more university students to care for others

news_scroll_down
Blogs
Take Responsibility for Your Own

The 19 year old sophomore sat on the exam table looking at the floor. A college student with obvious charm

The Stanford Prison Experiment at

In 1971, researchers set up a prison in the basement of Stanford University's Psychology Department. The idea was to

U.S. vs. Europe: Health Care

As I have tried to make abundantly clear the United States is the only country in the industrialized world that

Hands Off America

Alright, that does it.Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have been willing to do their part for

Fat Returns After Liposuction ...

A study appeared in a journal titled “Obesity” which was reported by a group from the University of Colorado. In

What does Victory Look Like?

Sixty-five years ago today, World War II officially came to an end. On September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister

Share This Story With Your Friends!

Your Name:

Friend's Name:

E-Mail:

Friend's E-Mail:

(This information will not be displayed publicly)

Optional Message: