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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, 2022-23

Executive  

Jay Kowal President
Jenifer Kowal 1st Vice President
Lynda Levenstein 2nd Vice President
Sam Frisz Treasurer
Dot Bernhard Secretary

         

Board Members  

Shawn Saraga Jeff Bornstein
Richard Bornstein Wayne Haymer
Sara Hollander Rich Kowal
Janelle Alter  

     
 
Ex-Officio  

Dana Glickman                 Past President 2019- 2022 

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 2022-23

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 families involvement, celebration and education around issues of Judaism and Jewish life in Canadian society today and in the future.

 

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. The 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. 

Sam Frisz

Barbara and I have been members of Kol Ami since 1988. Our family has grown up  through Kol Ami and watch 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 the most part 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 and 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.

       

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.

 

Janelle Alter

Janelle was born and raised in Thornhill. Her parents, an appeal court judge and an accounts receivable specialist, were firm believers in academics & achievement. They enrolled their two daughters in the French Immersion Program, where they remained through high school. Janelle would continue on to Seneca College, and graduated top 5 in her Law Clerk class. Her career included working for lawyers specializing in corporate, litigation & estates ,freelance work, and starting a paralegal  business. Today, Janelle is happily married and dedicates most of her time to helping others through her                                    donations of handmade winter apparel, distributing food, and various social action causes.

 

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 “The Kowal Cottage” as much as                                             possible.

                               I have a “Get ‘er done!” attitude. I would like to bring that attitude to the Kol Ami board.

 

Mon, October 3 2022 8 Tishrei 5783