Issue 54 | February 2017
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The charitable tradition of Jewish Family & Child dates back to 1868, when the Toronto Hebrew Ladies' Sick and Benevolent Society was granted a charter to raise funds and help the growing number of poor Jewish immigrants arriving in Toronto. There were no paid staff and a budget of only a few hundred dollars but despite this, the Ladies planted the seeds of what was to become Jewish Family & Child.

This September we will be kicking off our 150th anniversary year, and we are looking to our community to help us fill in our blanks.  We know what the archives have to say, but we want to hear from you!  Were your grandparents helped by JF&CS when they came to Canada?  Were you raised in Jewish foster care?  Do you know someone who benefitted from our financial assistance programs?  Were you personally helped by us at some point?  Do you have any old photos that might help us?  Basically - if you know anything about us, we want to know about you!   Consider this a fact-finding mission.   Nothing you tell us will be disseminated without your permission, and we encourage you to please share anything you know.  There are a few ways you can talk to us: email or call Jo Michaels at 416.638.7800 x 6262.  We can't wait to hear your stories!


JF&CS has been a member agency of the United Way since before that was even its name.  Our longtime relationship gives us great pride, and we are extremely pleased to share that we have just been chosen as one of the 52 newly-appointed Anchor Agencies of United Way Toronto and York Region. According to the City Centre Mirror, Debora Shime, a senior vice-president, confirmed that anchors are all current agency partners who are “invested in thinking about the big problems in the region and will be given five-year [funding] contracts."
The selection committee was very impressed with our proposal and the work we’re doing in our community and will work with us regarding the transition from the old funding model to the new funding model.  UWTYR will host a kick-off of the new model at an Anchor Agency Forum and Conference in May and we will also attend the United Way Centraide Conference from May 31st to June 2nd, which will allow us to strengthen and develop partnerships with other important agencies across the GTA and the country. Thank you, United Way!



"My experience as a JF&CS Big Brother has been nothing short of wonderful. 
When I turned 30 years old, I thought I could try to make a difference in someone's life.  I figured that becoming a Big Brother would be a great mitzvah.  Never did I think that it would change my life forever.

Eli and I met when he was 6 years old.  His father passed away the year before and his mother was connected with Jewish Family & Child shortly thereafter. After meeting Eli, I committed to being his big brother every Sunday.  This was our time.We started the day with brunch at his grandparents with his mom, sister and older brother who also had a big brother.  Our activities included family functions (his and mine), school events, sports, movies, meeting his friends and much more.  We started to travel down a road together. It didn't matter to me what we did, it was all about the bonding.
Most memorable was attending his Bar Mitzvah, and even signing the ketubah at his wedding.  

It’s been more than thirty years now but we still keep in touch with one another; I know we always will.  We even have the odd get-together but it's more difficult now that Eli is married with two young sons.  Truly there aren't enough words to express how gratifying and heart-warming it has been to be part of Eli’s life and watch him evolve into a man.  Through all this, I grew up too.  It has been a blessing. Thank you JF&CS for introducing us and allowing me to be part of Eli's life."

Mark asked us to please spread the word about the need for Jewish big brothers and sisters at JF&CS.  If you would like to learn more, please visit

April 7-9, 2017 | Toronto Centre for the Arts
Woman abuse exists in the Jewish community.

Taking you back to memories of singing by a campfire, this very special acoustic concert features songs you know and love along with some acoustic twists on a few you might not expect!  With amazing talent, new arrangements and stunning harmonies, you won’t be able to resist singing along.  Best of all, all proceeds from this show will help send kids to summer camp that otherwise couldn’t afford to go.  In 2014 Unsung Heroes raised over $30,000 for JF&CS which helped 30 children to camp - a place for them to gain skills, friendships, and new experiences.  It also gives single parents, who often have to say no due to financial constraints, a chance to say yes along with getting some much-needed reprieve.   Come join us by the fire and get ready to be transported into a world of great music, camp fires, good friends and amazing voices.  

Come join us by the fire and get ready to be transported into a world of great music, camp fires, good friends and amazing voices. 


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Jewish Family & Child | 4600 Bathurst St, 1st Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M2R 3V3
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