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Our Leadership

Kol Ami is represented by a Board of Directors responsible for the general management of the affairs of the congregation and for overseeing matters of policy. The Board, which meets on a monthly basis, consists of a maximum of 16 elected members, each serving a two-year term from July to June.

To contact the Board of Directors, please email president@kolami.ca. 


Board of Directors, 2023-24

Executive  

Jay Kowal President
David Mintz 1st Vice President
Sara Hollander 2nd Vice President
Sam Frisz Treasurer
Dot Bernhard Secretary

         

Board Members  

Jeff Bornstein Jenifer Kowal
Richard Bornstein Rich Kowal
Marc Flisfeder Lynda Levenstein
Wayne Haymer Annie Papernick
Eward Yudin  

 

Ex-Officio  

Dana Glickman                 

Immediate Past President 2019- 2022 

 

 

 

Board duties include partnering with clergy and staff and acting as the liaison to (and sometimes the chair of) task forces and congregational committees. Portfolios encompass many of Kol Ami’s activities, such as ritual policy and practices; lifelong learning and education; social and festival events; social action initiatives; communication and membership; financial management and governance.

The Board of Directors also elects specific Officers from among the Board members. The list of elected Officers is as follows:

  1. President
  2. First Vice President
  3. Second Vice President
  4. Treasurer
  5. Secretary

 

These Officers, plus the Past President and the Rabbi, form the Executive Committee. This committee assists the Board in setting long-term goals and strategies as well as identifying key issues for action and policies for approval by the Board. There are also ex-officio (non-voting) members of the Board, which include the Immediate Past President, the Rabbi, the Cantorial Soloist, the Director of Education, the Office Manager, presidents of auxiliaries like the youth group and past presidents of the Congregation.

Kol Ami has a constitution and documented bylaws that are reviewed as needed. The articles of the constitution provide guidance on most congregational governance matters, including definition of membership, direction concerning meetings and elections, and duties of the Board and the Executive. 

Board bios 2023-24

      Jay Kowal

For the last 17 years my family and I have been active members of the Kol Ami community and I look forward to a productive and successful year ahead. I am returning to the board for my 10th year after a 1 year hiatus. Having in the past acted as 2nd Vice President and Secretary, and chairing committees such as the Festival and Sabbatical, I anticipate taking a key role as we move forward in our new building and with our new staff. Kol Ami has been key in our family's involvement, celebration, and education around issues of Judaism and Jewish life in Canadian society today and in the future.

 

 

     David Mintz

My family joined Kol Ami when Rabbi Nancy Wechsler started. Our son, Ari, was the first Bar Mitzvah at the Atkinson location. After several years' hiatus, my wife, Gita, and I rejoined Kol Ami two years ago when our daughter, Adine, became choir director for the synagogue. I have been involved in social action and Israel engagement committees. I have also participated in services as the Gabbai, helping choose some of the in-service honours and helping with the Torah service.

I received my PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto. I participated in student government both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. After graduation, I was a Research Scientist at Ontario Hydro’s Research Division and its successor, Kinectrics, for 25 years. During that time, I was a delegate and Local Vice-President of the professional union.

After retirement, I was at various times a Director, the Treasurer, the Vice-President, and twice the President of the Pensioners’ Chapter of the Society of United Professionals. This professional union evolved from the former Ontario Hydro union. My experience has given me a familiarity with working in a governing body composed mostly of volunteers and some paid staff.

These days, I enjoy cycling and being at the cottage with my family. I am a fan of all Toronto sports teams. I watched the Leafs win 4 Stanley Cups in the 1960s. I have been waiting for the 5th for a long time.

 

 

     Edward Yudin

My wife Annie and I have been members at Kol Ami for more than a decade and have made valued friends here. Our son Jeremy had his Bar Mitzvah at Kol Ami while our daughter Hannah actively participates in services and as a volunteer for social action.

I’ve been a board member for a total of six years, including three years on the executive as First Vice-President and for the past six years as Membership Committee Chair. I had a 30-year career in the Ontario Public Service as a communications and public relations advisor. Prior to that, I was a journalist in print, radio, and TV platforms. I am now semi-retired and using my career experience to contribute to Kol Ami.

 

 

    Sara Hollander

When I was growing up, my family never belonged to a congregation, and it was always something I felt was missing in my Jewish life. My husband, Brian Elkin, and I first joined Temple Kol Ami in the fall of 2017 to try out the High Holiday services and Hebrew School for our then 5-year-old son. After attending a most inspiring and beautiful Simcha Torah service & celebration led by Rabbi Streiffer, we knew we belonged here and were immediately welcomed by the community. Since then, I have joined several TKA committees and become more immersed in the wonderful events and programs that Kol Ami has to offer. Outside of Kol Ami, I am a graphic designer with over 20 years of experience working in-house for a variety of industries including healthcare, legal & financial, and real estate.

I am honoured to join the Board and look forward to contributing my ideas and supporting the development of the Kol Ami community.

 

 

    Sam Frisz

Barbara and I have been members of Kol Ami since 1988. Our family has grown up through Kol Ami and watched it become a vital part of the Jewish community. I am returning to the Board to help guide and sustain this wonderful community.

Professionally, for most of the past 40 years, I have been in the real estate development and property management industry. As a licensed accountant and with my business experience, I look forward to assisting in a stewardship role on the Board.

 

 

     Dot Bernhard

Kol Ami has played a crucial part in my Jewish journey. I reached out to Kol Ami in 2020 when I was ready to take the first step towards converting to Judaism. I was invited with open arms to join Shabbat Services and Torah studies and have been an active participant since day one. Through the love and support of the Kol Ami community, I successfully converted to Judaism.

Outside of Kol Ami, I am in the Digital Leadership team at Best Buy Canada. I manage the Best Buy digital strategy, and I am honoured to share my digital and marketing knowledge to support Kol Ami and the community. I am co-chair of the Marketing Committee, and I run Kol Ami's Social Media channels. Our work increases Kol Ami's exposure through our marketing activities and reaches out to those looking for a Progressive, Inclusive, Musical, Reform Jewish community.

 

 

   Jen Kowal

I have been a member of Temple Kol Ami since 2005. My husband Jay, and my children Benjamin and Sydney are all active members as well. As soon as we joined, we felt welcomed and embraced by the TKA community. I have been enjoying singing with the choir for the last 17 years. I am a member of the book club and Chair of the High Holiday Committee.

Outside of Kol Ami, I am a stage manager primarily for the Canadian Opera Company. I am originally from Texas but am proud to have obtained my Canadian citizenship! I am looking forward to this new chapter as a 1st Vice President and look forward to the exciting opportunities that will arise in our new space.

 

 

Lynda Levenstein

My husband Ralph and I have been members of Kol Ami for over 18 years. This is my second stint on the board. I am chair of our religious school, which suits me well since I am a semi-retired secondary school teacher with the TDSB. I have two adult children, Ari and Esty—both had Bar/Bat Mitzvahs at TKA. They also finished the entire school program, confirming at age 16. We are members of a Chavarah at Kol Ami and have made many friends over the years.

 

 

  Marc Flisfeder

Our family joined Kol Ami in 2018 and has been active members ever since. My wife was previously a member of the Executive, and our daughter attends the supplementary school program. In addition to being a member of the Board, I am also the drummer in our house rock band, Shtyx.

Outside of Kol Ami, I am a lawyer at a national law firm and an avid baseball fan. I am honoured to join the Board and look forward to helping build a community where young families can be Jewish the way they've always wanted to be!

 

 

 

Richard Bornstein

I have been a member of TKA since around 1995 and joined the choir about 10 years ago. Many of our friends (Wendy and myself) are currently members. I have been a Chiropractor for about 42 years and was a peer assessor for my profession for 12 years and sang with the Toronto Jewish Chorus for about 6 years.

 

 

 

 

 Rich Kowal

When our kids were young, we were looking for a place to send them to Hebrew School (or as Cara, my wife, would say, "Religious School"). Kol Ami was the obvious place for us. We had attended a Bar-Mitzvah at Kol Ami; at the same time, there was a “Baby Naming” for two Chinese girls that had been adopted. The girls were dressed in traditional Chinese dress. The message I got from Kol Ami was “Welcome to Judaism. We accept all, but expect that you always remember who you are.” We joined, our kids Julian and Hanna went through the school and were teaching assistants in the classrooms too. We often (before COVID, that is) come to the Rock Shabbat services. I worked on the education committee for a number of years.

Outside of Kol Ami, I’ve worked as a Software Developer since the Internet was called “Bulletin Boards”. I love to learn and see new things, hang out with family and friends, and get up to “The Kowal Cottage” as much as possible. I have a “Get 'er done!” attitude, and I would like to bring that attitude to the Kol Ami board.

 

 

     Annie Papernick

I am honoured to be a member of the Kol Ami board, where I can utilize my skills as a clinical social worker to contribute to the future of our synagogue. I have been Chair and now co-chair of the Social Action Committee of Kol Ami for six years. I was co-chair of the Family Advisory Council at Baycrest in the past few years.

I have belonged to Kol Ami with my husband, Edward, and our young adult children, Hannah and Jeremy, for more than ten years. I have been particularly drawn to Kol Ami because of the warmth of its members and the beautiful component of the music, which intersperses the service. I recognize the importance the congregation continues to have in my life, from celebrating my adult Bat Mitzvah to comforting me on the loss of my parents. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the congregation as a board member.

 

 

    Wayne Haymer

I have been an active member of Kol Ami since 1990, where I experienced much personal growth and made lasting friendships. I have been on several committees, enjoy leading and learning Torah study, have provided accounting support for 16 years, spent 20 years on the Adult Education committee, where I established partnerships with York University Jewish Studies Program, a Muslim community at the Noor Cultural Centre, Beth El Congregation in Windsor, and brought in several Indigenous speakers.

Some of my volunteering outside Kol Ami includes helping over 50 new Canadians obtain their first job in Canada, setting up and running a university memorial scholarship, mentoring university business graduates, teaching college business students in Xi’an China, developing and presenting tax seminars for accounting students, and participating on a committee to organize professional development programs for a consortium accounting firms in Toronto.

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyar 5784