City News
Mount Sinai Recognizes its Youngest Supporters

These young students were inspired to raise awareness for Mount Sinai Hospital by a special school project. Project Give Back ……

Cantor’s family raises $25K for breast cancer research

Cantor Eric Moses and his family decided to participate in the Sept. 30 CIBC Run for the Cure, presented by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, after his son, Sammy, a student at Associated Hebrew Schools, came home with Project Give Back.

OFCP – InformAction Newsletter

The OFCP was recently chosen by grade four student as her Project Give Back charity.
OFCP manager Scott McArthur had the privilege of speaking to Samara’s class about the OFCP and what it is like to have Cerebral Palsy.

Village Living Magazine

Jacob’s Ladder co-founder, Ellen Schwartz, explains why and how her newest project is inspiring young students across the city to make positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.

A new generation of Baycrest Supporters

A message from students, and a Lemonade stand provides a lesson in philanthropy

Kid philanthropists: Charity begins at grade school

For Mark Mannarn, coming up with the concept for his charity event was simple. “I love hockey. And I hate cancer,” the 12-year-old says.

What’s with kids these days?

Project Give Back teaches community spirit: The learning-by-doing approach is helping these kids internalize the value and rewards derived from helping others

Project Give Back Teaches Philanthropy to Grade 5s

Among the highlights of the year for the Grade 5 students at the North Campus was their participation in Project Give Back, a passion base program designed for elementary students to develop empathy, build character and ignite community minded citizens.

Events raise cash, and hope, for Haiti

They will never walk a mile in their shoes, but students at nine Toronto public and private schools are making sure kids in Haiti won’t go barefoot.
More than 500 Grade 4 and 5 students from Allenby, Hillcrest, John Ross Robertson, Crestwood, Leo Baeck North and South, USDS Bathurst and Bayview, and Netivot HaTorah schools collected more than 5,000 pairs of shoes. Project Give Back and the students worked with shoe retailer Soft Moc and Soles4Souls to deliver the shoes to earthquake victims…

Students Collecting Shoes for Haiti

Students at The Leo Baeck Day School – North Campus in Thornhill, Ontario, enthusiastically packed shoes this morning collected from the student body over the week…

Project Give Back on

The goal is to take children on a journey where they realize the power they have to make a difference in the world. They quickly learn that if they throw kindness out there…

Sometimes, Fortune Strikes In Unexpected Ways

Students at USDS chose CHW (Children, Healthcare, and Women) as their “charity of choice”.

JNF’s October Publication

Student from Leo Baeck Day School “Project Giveback” to JNF

Baycrest Foundation

Touring Baycrest Makes Project Meaningful
For 10-year-old Jake Gottlieb, touring Baycrest for the first time brought his upcoming school fundraising project to life…

School project develops future philanthropists
Thursday, 14 May 2009

TORONTO — Project Give Back, a unique program for students in grades 4 and 5, has left an indelible mark on the students who participated in it, their teachers say. Ellen Schwartz, a Grade 4 teacher at Eitz Chaim Day School, developed the project in her general studies class four years ago. The goal was to teach children empathy, compassion, philanthropy and communal responsibility, all of which require the efforts of both the home and the school. It has received rave reports from educators and charitable organizations.

The students participating in Project Give Back choose a charity and then learn to research information about their chosen charity, its mission and its activities. They then put the information into their own words.

Each student creates a visual presentation and a speech on the chosen charity and speaks about why that charity inspired him or her to try to help raise funds for the charity

“The children raise awareness for their chosen charity,” Schwartz says.

The project, which closely follows the Ministry of Education’s guidelines to enhance the grade 4/5 language arts program, has helped more than 160 different organizations, and many students have exceeded their teachers’ expectations.

“The children have risen to the challenge,” says Schwartz, who has experience and a passion for establishing charitable activities. She co-founded Jacob’s Ladder in 1998, a charity named for her son, Jacob, who was born with Canavan disease, a severe neurodegenerative disorder.

The escalating success of the project is reflected in the expanding number of Hebrew and public schools that participate and the increasing number of teachers being trained for the next school year.

Schwartz told The CJN that more than 500 students in classes in Hebrew and public schools are now participating in Project Give Back, including Crestwood School, Eitz Chaim’s Spring Farm and Viewmount branches, Netivot HaTorah Day School, United Synagogue Day School’s Beth Tzedec campus, Leo Baeck Day School’s south campus, and the Allenby and John Ross Roberston public schools.

“We hope to double the program in both public and Hebrew schools next year,” Schwartz says. “I believe that the project develops character, builds confidence and life skills.

“We all know that if we give our children the proper tools, positive guidance and a belief in their accomplishments, the sky is the limit.”

Schwartz’s son Jacob visits the classes so that the students can see the source of her desire to help other children with special needs.

“The students ask well-thought-out questions about Jacob to learn how his day to day life differs from theirs, and they learn that even though he can’t walk, talk, see, eat or even breathe easily, he can easily smile,” Schwartz says.

“They learn the power of a smile, and actually see the contagious nature and impact a smile can have on others. Over the course of that one class, their attitudes are quickly transformed from fear to acceptance.”

Project Give Back was launched with the help of several corporate sponsors, including Starbucks. It’s operating in partnership with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, where individual donors can receive charitable tax receipts for directed gifts supporting Hebrew day schools.

For information and the complete list of charities chosen by the children, go


Lifestyles Magazine
Children all over Ontario are learning that the true spirit of philanthropy doesn’t depend on age or the amount of money given…

Defying the odds, his life inspires all


Child with Canavan disease is at heart of program to help schoolchildren learn empathy.
At 2 months old, Jacob Schwartz’s head still flopped and his eyes didn’t track. After weeks of tests, the doctor finally gave his parents the diagnosis. All strung together were the worst words they could have imagined: “fatal,” “degenerative,” “no cure,” “no treatment.” At 2 months old, Jacob Schwartz’s head still flopped and his eyes didn’t track. After weeks of tests, the doctor finally gave his parents the diagnosis. All strung together were the worst words they could have imagined: “fatal,” “degenerative,” “no cure,” “no treatment.” …

Importance of charity taught through Project Give Back

HOWARD GOODMAN – North Toronto Town Crier
Next year, two classes of grade 4 or 5 students at John Ross Robertson will have a different kind of lesson…

A Little Girl Goes A Long Way

MEGAN – Mount Sinai Newsletter
Although she only just finished 4th grade, Aliza has already made her first donation to Mount Sinai Hospitals…

The joy of being a giver

Area education inspires children to embrace volunteerism
Ten Years Ago, local teacher Ellen Schwartz launched the charity Jacob’s Ladder in honour of her son Jacob, who suffers from an incurable degenerative illness. This month, she’s launching Project Give Back in nine schools, reaching 430 students…

Attach Your Name To Baycrest

Fundraising helps students learn about Baycrest

Leo Baeck Newsletter

JESSICA LANGER – Director of Communications
South Campus Grade 5 Sudents Become Budding Philanthropists