The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto has announced the establishment of the Honey and Barry Memorial Arena, a new facility to be connected to the Schwartz/Reisman Centre in Vaughan.
This state-of-the-art arena, made possible through a historic donation, will honor the remarkable philanthropic legacy of Honey and Barry Sherman who were murdered in 2017. The initiative aims to have a lasting social impact within York Region’s Jewish community by providing funding for subsidies, enabling families with limited means to participate in arena programs.
Scheduled to open its doors in 2025, the Honey and Barry Memorial Arena will feature a twin ice pad facility, offering a wide range of activities for both youth and adult hockey, figure skating, learn-to-skate programs, and other on-ice initiatives. Besides enhancing the Schwartz/Reisman Centre, the arena will address a significant need in Vaughan, as indicated by municipal research highlighting gaps in arena access. This new facility will foster increased community engagement through sports.
The driving force behind this project is Jonathon Sherman, who ensured the necessary funding was directed toward this important community need in honor of his parents. Honey and Barry Sherman are fondly remembered as pillars of the Jewish community. In addition to fully financing the arena’s construction, the investment includes the establishment of an endowment to provide ongoing funding for community sports engagement and subsidies for families facing financial challenges.
“My mother and father were visionaries who believed that our community should be one in which everyone is welcomed and included in shared experiences,” said Jonathon Sherman, in a press release. “The Honey and Barry Memorial Arena will enhance Jewish life and the overall community experience in York Region. By prioritizing affordability as a core objective, it will enable more community members and families to forge strong connections and share their passion for sports within the broader community.”
Jeff Rosenthal, Chair of UJA Federation, expressed deep gratitude for Jonathon’s generous contribution. He acknowledged the lasting impact of Honey and Barry Sherman within the Greater Toronto Jewish community and stated, “from our experiences working with Honey and Barry, we know that this is certainly something they would be very proud of.”
Rosenthal emphasized that the fully funded arena opens up new possibilities for the community that would not have been possible otherwise. It provides community members with access to a state-of-the-art facility at the heart of Jewish life in York Region. The arena is designed to be self-sufficient and is expected to generate an annual surplus, allowing UJA Federation to invest more in community priorities throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
“This outstanding facility will encourage community members to participate in the diverse range of programs offered by the Schwartz/Reisman Centre,” said Andrew Levy, executive director of the Schwartz/Reisman Centre.