The 1990 Walk for Israel, called "Operation Exodus," helped launch the UJA campaign of that name for 1990. The theme was Soviet aliyah, reflecting the tens of thousands of Soviet Jews leaving the USSR since the late 1980s. Each checkpoint was planned to inform participants about a different phase of the emigration-absorption-integration process.
The 1990 walk, which took place on Monday, 21 May, was chaired by Elaine Lightstone and David Engel, with coordination by Federation staff member Rosie Sosnowicz. Recruitment at this time was carried out in day schools across Toronto, where volunteers made presentations to student assemblies in which the personal story of one young Soviet 'oleh' (immigrant to Israel) was shared. In addition to the Recruitment Committee and the overseeing Walkathon Committee, there were committees for the following functions: sponsorship, checkpoints, food, and the festival. Public relations and advertising, carried out by an ad-hoc Publicity Committee, included the design of hats and shoelaces as giveaways to participants.
The fifteen-kilometre route made a square along Sheppard Avenue West, north on Yonge Street, east on Steeles and Clarke, and south on Bathurst to the BJCC, where the festival was held in the north parking lot. The festival featured games, rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment, and plenty of food.
Scope and Content
Sub-sub-series contains textual records and photographs from the 1990 Walk for Israel and the festival. The files are arranged by function in this order: Walk oversight (the Cabinet Committee and chairs), recruitment of participants and volunteers, logistics, publicity and design, corporate sponsorship, finances, the Walk event itself, the Festival and post-event evaluation and follow-up.