TORONTO — For the first time in 60 years, a husband and wife who have served as presidents of the Toronto and the Canadian arms of the Jewish National Fund will be the honorees at Toronto’s Negev Dinner.
Community leaders Alan and Sandy (Tater) Posluns, left, both come from
families steeped in a commitment to volunteerism and charitable work.
“Our parents gave us a profound sense of responsibility for our people and the State of Israel,” Sandy said.
“We are delighted that we are continuing in the footsteps of our parents. The icing on the cake and making this event even more meaningful to us is to be honoured on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel and the 60th Negev Dinner in Toronto.”
The Posluns will be feted for their communal leadership and dedication to Israel on Sunday, Nov. 23, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel.
Alan is a second-generation Negev Dinner honoree. His father, Abe Posluns, was recognized in 1984 for his contributions to the community, including his leadership in helping to build Baycrest Centre.
A Toronto native, Alan is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Finance. He served as president and CEO of Superior Acceptance Corporation and is a past president of the Association of Canadian Financial Corporations.
“When I graduated from Wharton and returned to Toronto, my father introduced me to Baycrest, where he was president for 25 years –quite an accomplishment,” Alan said.
“On a trip to Israel with my father, and [after] becoming involved when he was the Negev Dinner honoree, Sandy and I got deeply involved in JNF, something that has grown over the years.”
Alan has served on many committees at Baycrest, where he is a life director. He has also served as treasurer of the Israel Cancer Research Fund.
Sandy’s involvement in communal service began in 1975, when she joined the Noar Chapter of Hadassah-WIZO.
“I met all these wonderful and accomplished women at Hadassah who worked for a goal, and I learned a great deal from them,” she said in an interview. “This led me to many areas of need in the Jewish community.”
For more than three decades, Sandy served at both the local and national levels of Hadassah-WIZO, and in 1984, she was chair of Toronto’s legendary Hadassah Bazaar.
As well, she has worked in many areas of Baycrest’s Women’s Auxiliary, as well as on the board of directors of Baycrest. She has also been involved at Mount Sinai Hospital and served as chair of the Mount Sinai Ball in 1988 and 1989.
“My mother, who recently passed away, was a devoted volunteer at Baycrest for 14 years,” she noted.
Sandy said that her trips to Israel have enhanced her commitment to JNF.
“It’s very rewarding to be this year’s Negev Dinner honorees, because we’ve put our hearts into JNF. We fell in love with the work of JNF in Israel, particularly the Canadian influence.”
Funds raised at this year’s dinner will go to the Blue Valley Park in the names of Sandy and Alan Posluns. The park is located in Safed-Meron, near the Galilee hills.
Sandy said she is pleased that the park will have playgrounds and picnic areas for family outings.
The dinner will feature a unique march of Canadian, Israeli and JNF flags, as well as a performance by the student choir from United Synagogue Day School.
“We are very excited about being honoured at the Negev Dinner and for our children to be there to continue the momentum of being involved in the community – from generation to generation,” Sandy said.
For more information, call Lil Jacobson at 416-638-7200, ext. 27, or e-mail lil.Jacobson@jnf.ca.