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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, 2016-17

Executive     

Mark Wolpert 
Elliot Miller
Caryn Silver
Aviv Haras
Nicole Arnold

President
First Vice President
Second Vice President 
Treasurer
Board Secretary

       
Board Members        
Heather Berger        
Tom Siklos        
Jay Kowal
Elaine Page        
Jeff Haymer 
       
         
 
Ex-Officio  

Tal Schierau
Michael Sharivker

Past President
TAKAY President  
 
 

 

Board duties include partnering with clergy and staff and acting as the liaison to (and sometimes the chair of) taskforces 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

Mark Wolpert 

My wife Susan and our daughters Sydney and Amy have been members at Kol Ami since 2001 and joined Kol Ami at that time when our kids were old enough to enroll in Religious School. While we joined for the school we have stayed for the community. We have developed strong friendships with other families and are thrilled that our kids have made and maintained the friendships they developed with their Kol Ami classmates. We have been regular participants in Torah Study breakfast and other Adult Education programs for many years now and love the musical services that are so well known throughout the community. I was a committee member of the Building Committee that oversaw the major renovation project in 2009 and I have been a Board member for 6 years, serving as Chair of the Adult Education Committee, Vice President and President of the Board. In my day job, I am in Sales Management at a plastics manufacturing company.

 

Elliot Miller 

 

About 6 years ago Leanda and I were looking for a congregation both for high holidays and in anticipation of Ethan's Bar  Mitzvah. We had tried different shuls in the preceding 4 years but none of them felt quite right. When we attended the Kol Ami high holiday services, we knew we had found something. We both loved the music, warmth, English/Hebrew split, and a few other nice touches like the sign language interpretation.

 

A year after joining Kol Ami, I started attending services and Torah Study in particular. My immediate interest in Torah Study led to several occasions where I led the discussion, a few others where I read from the Torah, and to an invitation to join the Adult Education Committee. That in turn lead to serving as Co-Chair of the Committee and to joining the synagogue Board of Directors. I enjoy meeting and working with a group of engaged, enthusiastic, friendly and intelligent people, including our excellent Rabbi, and hope to continue contributing what I can to Kol Ami.

 

Caryn Silver

Our family have been members at Kol Ami for over 20 years. I have been a part of the community in many ways, including working within the religious school and helping to orchestrate the confirmation program. I am enjoying my new role as a board member, and am dedicated to prioritizing community, creativity, and inclusivity within our congregation. Together with my husband Shimmy, I own a children’s furniture store, and am very committed to using the experience I have as a small business owner to benefit the community. Outside of Kol Ami, you can find me crocheting, spending quality time with my daughter Rena, and, most importantly, drinking copious amounts of coffee.

 

Nicole Arnold

My husband Pascal and I joined Kol Ami over 10 years ago. I was attracted to the Shabbat Family Program. I loved the idea of being able to attend Torah study and services while Katie was in school. Pascal enjoyed the welcome and warmth he received as a non-Jewish partner. Our three kids have all attended religious school at Kol Ami and benefitted from the education and the sense of community. We continue to enjoy the engaging Adult educational offerings, the music in the services and the strength of our community.

I have served on various committees over our time at Kol Ami, as well as on the Executive of the Board. I’m really proud to be a leader and builder in this dynamic community.

 

Elaine Page 

I am a proud member of Kol Ami and served on the Board for 5 years, as well as being a member of the Adult Education and Interfaith Families Committees.  I have previously been a member of the choir and a lay-leader.  I am the Canadian Director of the Memorial Scrolls Trust, a wedding officiant and by day a practicing paralegal.

 

 

 

Tom Siklos

Our family (Judi, Danny, Mary and I) joined Kol Ami in 1991. We were recent immigrants from Hungary at the time and wanted a Jewish upbringing for our kids. The Reform environment with music and instruments and a congregation of mostly similar age members attracted us.

Judi and Danny went through the school system in Kol Ami and Danny had his Bar Mitzvah in November 2000. Post Confirmation, both of our kids taught younger grades at Temple Kol Ami’s Hebrew School.

I was a member of the Brotherhood and participated in the Bingo fundraising program for several years.

I'm a Mechanical Engineer and a Project Management Professional and I plan to improve the coordination and management of Kol Ami's communication.

 

 

Jeff Haymer

I believe that most Jewish people, at some level, have a desire to connect with their Jewish identity and to gain some knowledge of their heritage. Since joining Kol Ami, I have found that a wealth of knowledge can be obtained by attending services, Torah studies, and other supplemental activities offered at Kol Ami. At Kol Ami, I have found that the Rabbi and other members are very receptive - nobody need feel that they are lost in the crowd.

I am a retired mainframe software developer. In my retirement, I give back to the community as a tutor for “Pathways to Education” in the Lawrence Heights district. I also coach high school wrestling. One of my passions is wilderness canoeing. I will often join a small group to explore the quiet lake or running the rapids of rivers in Northern Ontario.

 

 

Jay Kowal 

I live in Thornhill and am a dedicated husband, father and Realtor. I came to Kol Ami because of the music and casual, modern approach to Judaism. It's a community that fits my family. As chair of the Festival committee I get to engage with entire Kol Ami community in our celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Berger

I’ve been a member of Kol Ami since 1998 when I converted to Judaism and right from the beginning I have been passionate about the musicality of the congregation. I married my wonderful husband Michael here and we were both members of the choir. We took a break from Kol Ami when Michael’s job brought us to Vancouver but we returned in 2012 with two children (Jessica and Ryan).


We were attracted back to Kol Ami by the musicality and the wonderful Hebrew school program. I liked the school so much that I’ve been a proud teacher for a number of grades. I have been on the Board for 3 years now. In my spare time I am super crafty – chocolate making, scrapbooking and stained glass - as well as reading and travel.

 

 


 

Monday, May 29 2017 4 Sivan 5777