The theme of the 1991 Walk for Israel, which was held on Sunday, 2 June, was "Operation Exodus: The Journey Home." This corresponded to UJA Federation's campaign that year. The goal of the walk was to raise enough money for five hundred Russian Jews (two planeloads) to make aliyah to Israel. Each of the eight checkpoints portrayed a different theme or "step" to freedom: "invitation to freedom," "permission to freedom," "flight to freedom," etc. Great effort was made to expand recruitment from the traditional children who participated to reach parents and other adults from UJA's divisions. The chairs of the Walk were David William Brown and David Engel, and the UJA staff coordinator was Avrum Rosensweig. Sponsors included Shopper's Drug Mart, Spring Valley Spring Water, Beatrice Foods, and Meadowvale Security. There were 8,500 participants this year, but only 2,700 of these collected any sponsors, a fact that highlights a longstanding problem facing the Walk Committee. After the event, expenditures were estimated at $23,000 and revenue (from the festival) at $14,000. The difference was made up by UJA.
The festival in 1991 was called "The Journey Home: Sharing Our Ethnicity," and it focused on the multiculturalism in the Toronto Jewish community. This year, the festival was reenvisioned as a family-picnic type of event rather than the expansive carnival atmosphere of previous years. The staff coordinator of the festival was Mark Freedman, and the lay chairs were Judy Engel and Judy Shulman. The festival included arts and crafts, puppets, storytellers, games, pony rides, and a petting zoo. There was also a varied line-up of performers and musicians and an "Israeli café" food experience.
Scope and Content
Sub-sub-series contains textual records, photographs, and a T-shirt, hat, and pair of shoelaces from the 1991 Walk for Israel. 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, sponsorship and prizes, finances, the walk event itself, the festival and post-event evaluation.
A map of the 1991 walk route can be found in series 17-1-19 (1993), file 9.
Expenses of the 1991 walk (from July 1990 to June 1991) are in a report in Series 17-1-19, file 18 (1993).