Marching our Torahs Home to our New Sanctuary, September 2011
In 1988, a small group of families came together to create a special Jewish community. Their vision was to establish a Reform synagogue that was inclusive and welcoming, where prayer was joyous, personal, and meaningful; and so Kol Ami began. The first services were held in members' homes, and later at the Dufferin Clark Community Centre.
In 1990, Rabbi Nancy Wechsler joined us as our first rabbi and inspired us with her spiritual leadership and her gift of music. By then we were holding services and religious school within the Leo Baeck Day School, first on Kenton Avenue in North York, and later at Leo Baeck’s new campus on Atkinson Avenue in Thornhill. Cantorial Soloist Dawn Bernstein added her vocal talents to our services in 1994, ensuring that our worship and prayers, whether chanted or sung, really made us kol ami – the voice of my people.
Rabbi Daniel Gottlieb became our rabbi in 1996 and continued to 2011. During his tenure the Kol Ami community grew exponentially, truly becoming a presence in York Region. Throughout this time we pursued our dream of establishing a permanent home for ourselves. Spurred on by the generosity of Leslie and Anna Dan and that of many other major donors who all who contributed to our building fund over the years, we explored several options, such as building our own facility or joining the community campus on Bathurst Street.
Finally, the seeds were planted of what can best be described as a “There’s no place like home” movement. If building our own facility was not feasible, why not stay at the Leo Baeck Day School and use our resources to enhance our shared worship and communal spaces? Why not re-vision our relationship with Leo Baeck and turn it into an innovative partnership? And that’s exactly what we did.
With the appointment of Rabbi Micah Streiffer in the summer of 2011 and the redesign and renovation of our sacred spaces within Leo Baeck now completed, Kol Ami finds itself spiritually and physically at home, nestled comfortably in the heart of Jewish York Region. Our beautiful sanctuary doors are open and we welcome all to join us, to worship and learn, to gather and to celebrate with our community.
Temple Kol Ami 36 Atkinson AvenueThornhill, ON, L4J 8C9
Tel: 905-709-2620Fax: 905-695-9232
© Temple Kol Ami - Thornhill, Ontario