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Sunday, July 13, 2014

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Young adults come “TOgether”

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Jay Klein and Emily Burnett, event co-chairs [Cara Edell photo]

TORONTO — Almost 800 young Jewish professionals recently attended “TOgether 2012” to party and support the United Jewish Appeal’s 2012 campaign.

The lavish event, held Jan. 21 at the Royal Ontario Museum, transported guests back to a golden era of hip hop. The lineup of live entertainment included Maestro, Young MC (Bust a Move), Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock (It Takes Two), Naughty by Nature and Rapper’s Delight (formerly the Sugar Hill Gang).

Attendees were asked to make a donation to the 2012 campaign in order to participate in the evening, said Dan Horowitz, editorial director of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

“Funds raised by annual campaign gifts will go toward the entire array of what UJA supports annually. Whether it’s caring for our community’s vulnerable, strengthening Jewish identity or standing with Israel, UJA annual campaign gifts ensure that Toronto is one of the great Jewish communities of the world,” Horowitz said.

The event is “a vital initiative in that it will engage and educate the next generation of leaders throughout Jewish Toronto as to the full extent of UJA’s reach,” he added. “A gift to UJA connects us with our Jewish values and to each other so that we can create a compelling and caring community for today and ensure that Jewish Toronto continues to build for a better tomorrow.”

Emily Burnett, who co-chaired the event with Jay Klein, said she got involved to help build “a sustainable movement” for UJA. “I thought it was important for our generation to begin a more widespread contribution to UJA, rather than leaving it to our parents’ generation.”

Klein said he has been “inspired and energized by seeing so many leaders in the community give their time and resources to UJA, so it feels good to be able to give something back that will engage so many people.”

As young people grow, so, too, does their interest in giving back to their community, Horowitz said. “I think it’s important for young people to start making their own gifts and to take ownership in our community. They should take pride in Jewish life in this great city and our responsibility to Israel and Jews in need everywhere.”

While UJA’s 2012 campaign closes on Feb. 9, there are still upcoming events. On that date, Richard Lewis, standup comic and star of Curb your Enthusiasm, will be the featured performer at Events on the Park. On March 1, the SMASH ping-pong tournament with celebrity players will take place at Koolhaus.

For more information, visit www.jewishtoronto.com.

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