Like many South African boys, Anthony Lipschitz’s life revolved around sports. He grew up in Victory Park, a Jewish neighbourhood in Johannesburg whose claim to fame was that it had a Jewish day school. Though not especially devout, the neighbourhood had a strong traditional Jewish identity and Anthony fondly remembers walking across the street with his sister to attend Shul on holidays.
As a child, Anthony played sports with a diverse group of friends that included Jews, Italians, Greeks, and Lebanese. It was through sports, and especially soccer, that Anthony came to view athletic pursuits as “the ultimate equalizer” because it brought people together from different backgrounds. This was especially true as he advanced in his career as a soccer player and began playing in mixed-race teams.
As an adult, Anthony lived and studied in several countries including Israel and the United States. He studied Media Arts at Long Island University on a full soccer scholarship and co-founded a software business called Advanceware Solutions with a childhood friend, which they sold in 2006. Since then, Anthony has held leadership roles at numerous companies including Brightspark Ventures, iStopOver, a peer-to-peer vacation rentals marketplace that he co-founded, and StubHub, an eBay, Inc. company. Today, he is a Partner at FirePower Capital, where he runs their Private Equity practice.
In 2000, Anthony met his future wife, Lisa, whom he married in March 2003. In 2004,the couple moved to Toronto which is where Lisa grew up. Anthony has two sons, both of whom attend Bialik Hebrew Day School.
Johannesburg (South Africa)
00:33 Anthony's grandparents came to South Africa from Vilnius, Lithuania in the late 1800s to escape pogroms.
01:02 Anthony was born in Johannesburg on 17 October 1973.
01:15 Anthony's parents were born in Johannesburg. His father was a lawyer. Anthony's mother was a legal secretary. They divorced when Anthony was five. Anthony has a brother in Johannesburg and a sister in Sydney, Australia.
02:28 Anthony discusses Victory Park, his neighbourhood in Johannesburg.
03:22 Anthony discusses the make-up his childhood friends.
03:55 Anthony shares memories from his childhood in Johannesburg.
05:34 Anthony discusses his involvement in soccer.
08:03 Anthony describes the make-up of his soccer teams. He discusses the impact of playing on a mixed-race sports team on his personal growth.
10:28 Anthony explains why, with political changes in South Africa, the make-up of his team became more mixed-race.
11:20 Anthony discusses the role of Judaism in his youth while growing up in Johannesburg. Anthony attended a Jewish day school.
12:50 Anthony describes his bar mitzvah.
14:28 Anthony discusses the impact of apartheid in his life. He describes the challenge of filtering out propaganda while growing up in a liberal home.
16:45 Anthony describes his education. He attended Jewish nursery and Jewish day school.
17:43 Anthony attended Betar summer camp for seven years.
18:55 Anthony explains some of the factors that contributed to his decision to leave South Africa.
20:30 Anthony briefly attended Boston University in South Africa.
21:05 Anthony left South Africa at age nineteen for Israel with the intention of soccer.
22:55 Anthony describes his mother's reaction to his decision to leave South Africa.
23:00 Anthony describes his five month stay in Israel and the factors that influenced his decision to move to the United States.
25:47 Anthony discusses his travels to London and the United States.
26:45 Anthony received a scholarship to play soccer at a university in the United States.
27:15 Anthony discusses his first impressions of the United States.
29:30 Anthony attended Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York to study media arts. He discusses his university stay.
33:50 Anthony discusses his first job after graduation.
37:27 Anthony explains how he partnered with a childhood friend to start their own web design business in 1998. He discusses the growth and metamorphosis of the business. They sold the company in 2006.
40:30 Anthony describes how he met his wife, Lisa, in July 2000. They married in March 2003.
42:33 Anthony explains their decision to move to Toronto in January 2004.
43:55 Anthony shares his impressions of Toronto.
44:50 Anthony explains why they chose to live in the Annex.
45:40 Anthony has two sons: Zachary and Matthew.
46:28 Anthony discusses their decision to send their children to Bialik Hebrew Day School.
47:53 Anthony describes his sons' involvement in sports.
48:50 Anthony discusses his own involvement in sports.
49:40 Anthony discusses his business pursuits in Toronto.
54:50 Anthony shares points of pride from his career.
55:26 Anthony describes his Jewish life in Toronto.
57:10 Anthony explains why his family chose to become members of the Temmy Latner Centre in Forest Hill.
58:40 Anthony describes South African traditions that he has passed on to his children.
1:01:00 Anthony discusses his ongoing connection with South Africa. He notes that his mother, brother, father, and grandmother continues to live in South Africa.
1:01:58 Anthony discusses his impressions of current day South Africa.
1:03:00 Anthony muses about what it means to be Canadian.