Shalom Life | July 10, 2015

Torontonian Receives Prestigious Young Leadership Award

Keren Hayesod presents Prize for Exemplary Young Leadership to Toronto’s Jason Rubinoff

By: Dan Horowitz

Published: July 9th, 2015 in News » World

Torontonian Receives Prestigious Young Leadership Award

Photo: Toronto’s Jason Rubinoff with co-recipient and past co-chair from Amsterdam, Fabienne Meijers

Credit: Courtesy


More than 200 Keren Hayesod leaders and donors from across the globe gathered from June 16 to 19 at the Cramim Spa Hotel in Kiryat Anavim for the organization’s annual World Conference, and despite the global representation, it was a Torontonian who stole the spotlight.

In a moving ceremony, former Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal World Chairman, Avraham Avi-hai presented the eponymously named Avi-hai Prize for Exemplary Young Leadership to Toronto’s Jason Rubinoff who cut his teeth as a volunteer with a number of important leadership positions throughout Canada’s Jewish community, including his role as Chair, past Young Leadership and General Business Campaigns for UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Rubinoff, a 44-year-old father of two boys - Daniel, 12 and Zachary, 10 - and a past chair of Keren Hayesod’s International Young Leadership Board, received the prestigious award along with Amsterdam native Fabienne Meijers.

And it’s clear that, despite their youth, Rubinoff’s message of tzedakah and volunteerism has resonated with his sons.

“Everyone has their own unique journey and experiences, and yet we all have the common purpose, to help those less fortunate,” Rubinoff said in his acceptance speech. “Whether its providing food in the Former Soviet Union, or subsidizing Jewish education at home, or providing care to seniors here in Israel, it is all part of Tikkun Olam and being part of the collective response to improving the world. It is about setting an example for those around us. My son Daniel has spent this past school year on his Jewish Day school’s student council in the portfolio of Deputy Minister, Tikkun Olam, setting up projects and fundraisers in his community. And I am proud to see him develop along with Zachary into young leaders.”

Clearly these apples have not fallen far from the tree.

Looking back at more than a decade of active Young Leadership, Rubinoff is grateful for his role that has seen him travel the globe and volunteer from Israel to Ethiopia, to Zimbabwe, Guyana, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Romania and Hungary.

“In my travels with Keren Hayesod, I was able to learn about the history of the region, the people, their challenges and hopes for the future,” says Rubinoff. “So many of these experiences have helped me to develop an understanding where the money that is being raised is going, and how it makes a difference.”

“Toronto should feel very proud that a leader like Jason is one of ours,” said another Torontonian, David Koschitzky, Chairman of Keren Hayesod World Board of Trustees. “He is dedicated to Tikkun Olam, and through his service to KH, Jason has overseen the maturation of literally hundreds of new young leaders worldwide who will help ensure the continuation and more importantly, the growth of the Diaspora's deep connection to the land, people, and State of Israel.”

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