Meet the Campaign Working Cabinet

With the impact of COVID-19 being felt in every corner of our community, this year’s Annual Campaign may be the most important in our community’s history. The ongoing needs still exist, and now there is an added layer of demand due to the pandemic. It is nothing short of a seismic shift being felt by the thousands of community members who rely on the Annual Campaign and the dozens of partner agencies who serve them.

Leading this year’s Annual Campaign is a group of extraordinary volunteers—the ­­Working Cabinet.

Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, Campaign Chair
Now in in his third year as Campaign chair, Jonathon has held many volunteer leadership roles within the Jewish community. A member of the Board of Directors for Vancouver Talmud Torah for 10 years, three of which he was President, he currently serves on the Boards of King David High School and Jewish Federation. Jonathon is also Vice President of the Schara Tzedeck Synagogue Board.
Alex Cristall, Immediate Past Campaign Chair
Alex has helped steer organizations in Vancouver’s Jewish community for many years. Currently chair of Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors, he previously served as chair of the Federation Annual Campaign, co-chair of Major Gifts, and as a member of the Board. Alex is a past president of the Jewish Community Centre and a former Board member for Maccabi Canada.
Lana Pulver, Incoming Campaign Chair 2021
Lana comes to her Annual Campaign role with a wealth of experience with Jewish Federation. She previously served as chair of Major Gifts for the Annual Campaign following terms as chair of Women’s Philanthropy. She also was a long-time member of Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors and a governor of the Jewish Community Foundation.
Shawna Merkur, Co-Chair, Women’s Philanthropy
Shawna has held many leadership positions in the Jewish community, including co-chair for three years of Jewish Federation’s popular Choices event, and fundraising chair for Camp Hatikvah. She has divided her active volunteer career between many organizations, including the Jewish Food Bank, Vancouver Talmud Torah, the Jewish Community Centre’s Bagel Club, and Jewish Family Services.
Sue Hector, Co-Chair, Women’s Philanthropy
Sue Hector has brought her organizational and fundraising expertise to a number of Jewish institutions. Previously chair of Canvasser Development for the Annual Campaign, she served on Vancouver Talmud Torah’s Board of Directors for 15 years, twice as president, and as president of the Jewish National Fund—Pacific Region, among her many roles.
Michael Averbach, Co-Chair, Men’s Philanthropy
Michael’s involvement with Jewish Federation began more than 15 years ago, when he started canvassing for the Annual Campaign as a member of the Ben Gurion Society and served as co-chair of Young Leadership. In addition to his work with Jewish Federation, Michael sits on the Board of Directors of O’hel Yaakov Community Kollel and is the Sponsorship Chair for the successful JCC Sports Dinner.
Dr. Daniel Dodek, Co-Chair, Men’s Philanthropy
Daniel is committed to giving back to the community, both through his volunteer work and his professional practice as a family physician. He has been involved as a volunteer with the Federation Annual Campaign for many years, initially as a canvasser and head of the Maimonides Division, and more recently as co-chair of the Men’s Division.
Shay Keil, Chair, Major Gifts
Shay is passionate about giving back to the community, and volunteers much of his time in support of local Jewish day schools, Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services. In addition to his work with the Annual Campaign, Shay served on Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors and Jewish Federation’s Task Force on Jewish Education.
Al Szajman, Chair, Marketing
Al has lent his decades of marketing strategy and communications expertise to the Federation Annual Campaign team for over 10 years. During his more than 30-year career in marketing and advertising, he worked with some of the most recognizable global and regional brands, as well as many non-profit organizations. Al also serves on the Board of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.
Alvin Wasserman, Campaign Adviser
Chair of Wasserman + Partners Advertising, Alvin has been a guiding creative hand in the Federation Annual Campaign for more than a decade and has served on the Working Cabinet in multiple capacities. He has also volunteered with Jewish Family Services, the Jewish Seniors Alliance and the Chutzpah! Festival. Currently, Alvin is a board member and a past president of the Jewish Community Centre.

Catherine Epstein, Agency Liaison
Catherine has played a role in the Annual Campaign for years, both as a canvasser and a member of the Working Cabinet. Active in and beyond the Jewish community, she serves on Jewish Federation’s Board of Directors and as a Member-At-Large on its Executive Committee. She also has held leadership positions with Crofton House School, Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, and Congregation Beth Israel.