Shabbat Message - October 2, 2020


This message has 760 words and will take about 4 minutes to read.


If you did not have a chance to attend our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday evening, please join us in welcoming the outstanding volunteers who make up our 2020-2021 Board of Directors.
New directors elected for a two-year term are Hodie Kahn, Shay Keil, Kyra Morris, Lisa Pullan, and Stan Shaw. Each of them brings a sterling background of community leadership and past contributions to Jewish Federation.
Hodie Kahn is currently chair of our Jewish Federation’s Jewish Day School Council, whose important work addresses the ongoing enrolment and financial stability needs facing the day schools. She is also a member of the Community Recovery Task Force. She has served in various other community leadership capacities, including as a member of the Boards of King David High School, Vancouver Hebrew Academy and Congregation Schara Tzedeck.
Shay Keil is passionate about giving back to the community, and volunteers much of his time in support of Jewish day schools and Jewish Federation. Currently chair of Major Gifts for the Federation Annual Campaign and a member of the Jewish Day School Council, he is a past co-chair of Men’s Philanthropy.
Kyra Morris is the new chair of the Axis Steering Committee, which oversees Jewish Federation’s programs for young adults. Actively involved in the Jewish community since her youth, she is a lifetime member of Canadian Hadassah WIZO and has volunteered with Richmond Jewish Day School’s Alumni Committee and The Kehila Society's Rose's Angels program.
Lisa Pullan has lent her fundraising and leadership expertise to Jewish Federation for many years, including chairing  Women’s Philanthropy and serving on the Board in that capacity. Among her community contributions, she is a very engaged governor of the Jewish Community Foundation and also serves on their Fund Development Committee.
Stan Shaw has held several leadership roles with Jewish Federation, in addition to his other community endeavours. He co-chaired the Food Security Task Force and is now bringing his cybersecurity expertise to the new Cybersecurity and Information Protection Subcommittee.
Returning directors elected for a two-year term are David Albert, Bruce Cohen (Secretary), Alex Cristall (Chair), Jessica Forman, Rick Kohn (Treasurer), and Lianna Philipp.
They join the following directors who are in the middle of a two-year term, and will be continuing their service on our Board: Jim Crooks, Catherine Epstein, Marnie Goldberg, Candace Kwinter (Vice Chair), Melanie Samuels, and Pam Wolfman.
Joining or continuing to serve on the Board by virtue of their positions are:

  • Sue Hector, Women’s Philanthropy Co-Chair
  • Karen James, Immediate Past Chair
  • Jonathon Leipsic, Campaign Chair
  • Shawna Merkur, Women’s Philanthropy Co-Chair
  • Diane Switzer, Jewish Community Foundation Chair

We especially thank Penny Gurstein, Simon Margolis, Gary Segal, and Marvin Stern, whose terms have concluded, and Karen Levitt, who resigned her position earlier in the year.
I have made a gift in honour of our new, returning and outgoing Board members, which will go to the Community Recovery Fund. You can, too. And if you haven’t fulfilled your campaign commitment yet, you can do both at the same time by clicking here.
We were grateful that the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, joined us with greetings from the Government of Canada. She also announced her intention to formally support the proposed JCC site redevelopment as a new Jewish community hub, an important once-in-a-generation project that we have been working on with the JCC. A special thank-you to Minister Murray for her years of friendship to the Jewish community.
As a community organization, Jewish Federation is yours as much as anyone else’s, so I encourage you to watch the recording of the AGM, and to review the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation annual reports and the audited financial statements.
Speaking of Minister Murray, we were delighted to learn that she will be honouring two of Jewish Federation’s volunteer leaders as “Hidden Heroes” at a virtual ceremony on October 16. Karen James, immediate past Board chair, and Lana Marks Pulver, previous co-chair of Major Gifts—among their other roles with Jewish Federation—are recipients of the 2020 Hidden Hero Award in Vancouver Quadra, in recognition of their outstanding volunteer contributions. To us, Karen’s and Lana’s tremendous accomplishments on behalf of Jewish Federation and the community are anything but hidden, and we couldn’t be prouder to see them acknowledged in this way. Kol HaKavod!
While most of us think of Sukkot as a holiday where we gather outside in a sukkah, the Torah actually refers to Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah as “the time of our joy.” May this coming week bring you and your loved ones much peace and joyful time together.

Shabbat shalom.


Ezra S. Shanken
Chief Executive Officer