Annual General Meeting 2023

Or Shalom’s 2023 Annual General Meeting 

Sunday November 5, 2023 from 2-4pm.

Zoom link is

Note: Only Or Shalom Members in good standing can vote at the AGM. Members in good standing have paid some form of membership in the previous fiscal year July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023


    1. Call to Order
    2. Review of Agenda
    3. Acceptance of Previous AGM Minutes Or Shalom AGM 2022
      1. Motion to accept minutes of the 2022 AGM
        1. Moved by: 
        2. Zoom poll result (needs 51%): 
    4. Kavannah – Rabbi Hannah Dresner
    5. Report from the Chair – Dalia Margalit-Faircloth
    6. Report from the Rabbi 
    7. Financial Report – Russil Wvong
      1. Or Shalom Financial Statement 2022-2023
      2. Motion to accept the 2022-2023 Financial Statement
        1. Moved by: Russill Wvong, Treasurer
        2. Zoom poll result (needs 51%): 
    8. Constitutional amendment:
      1. Motion to change the Or Shalom Constitution Section 2.A regarding purposes of the Society:  From: to offer a place and atmosphere where male and female people equally can worship in accordance with Jewish religion; To: to offer a place and atmosphere where all people can equally worship in accordance with Jewish religion;
      2. Motion to change the Or Shalom Jewish Spiritual Community Association Consitution to replace the phrase “male and female people” with “all people”?
        1. Moved by: David Kauffman
        2. Zoom poll result (needs 67%): 
    9. Election of Board Members
          1. Status of board membership:
            1. Retiring Board members
              1. David Kauffman
              2. Alex Lyon
            2. Board members entering their second year of a two-year term
              1. Abby Fitch
              2. Dalia Margalit-Faircloth
              3. Russil Wvong
              4. Jane Wyllychuk
              5. Avi Yan
            3. Board members seeking re-election
              1. Emet Davis
              2. Malcolm Steinberg
            4. New Board Nominees
              1. Avril Orloff
              2. Jodie Eaton
              3. Marty Puterman
          2. Motion to increase number of directors
            1. Is there a motion to set the number of Directors to ten (10)?
              1. Moved: 
              2. Zoom poll (needs 51%)
          3. Election of board members for 2023-2024
            1. Is there a Call for Acclamation to accept all renewing board members and the nominees as board members for 2023-2024?
              1. Called by:
              2. Are there any objections? (if there are, we have to move into a vote, if none object,  then the renewing and new board nominees are all acclaimed as directors)
    10. Committee Reports – attached
    11. Q&A
    12. Adjournment
      1. Is there a motion to adjourn?
      2. Moved:
      3. Zoom poll: (51% required)

Please direct questions to


Avril Orloff

Hi, I’m Avril Orloff: member of Or Shalom’s Tikkun Olam Committee, enthusiastic singer and leyner, and inveterate kibitzer. I’m one of the rare Vancouverites who was actually born and raised here, but I left for greener pastures in my 20s and spent the next 3 decades living elsewhere – mostly in Toronto, but also in Israel, South Africa, Montreal and Philadelphia – before returning to Vancouver in 2003. I’ve worked variously as a graphic designer, project manager and graphic recorder, and am now shifting into the field of facilitation with a focus on facilitating connection, collaboration, and culture change in organizations.    

Growing up in a traditional but not religious home, I attended Talmud Torah, Camp Hatikvah, and Schara Tzedeck in my younger years – none of which made me feel closer to Judaism. It was only when I discovered much later that there were liberal streams of Judaism and many different ways of relating to Israel that I found my way back to the Jewish community. Or Shalom has given me a place where I can be myself among other like-spirited souls, and for that I’m profoundly grateful.  

I’m honoured to be asked to serve on the board and look forward to contributing my strong commitment to dialogue, communication and transparency; a questioning perspective; slightly terrifying organizational skills (Systems R Us!) … and my reliably irreverent sense of humour. 

Jodie Eaton

Jodie Eaton (she/her) and her family began coming to services at Or Shalom in 2015, and has been a member for four years.  She is a high school teacher who is passionate about education and making educational experiences better for all kids, and is currently working in the Coquitlam School District.  She has been a member of the Families and Youth Committee at Or Shalom for the past two years, and is hoping to help continue the integration of new families into our community.  She is a parent to Ilon (9) and Lila (5).

Martin (Marty) Puterman

Marty has been a long-time Or Shalom member.  He was treasurer and board member several years ago and currently sits on the Or Shalom Cemetery Committee,  He is a retired prof from UBC’s Sauder School of Business where his areas of focus included decision-making under uncertainty, statistical analysis, and health care system efficiency improvement.  He believes his strategic perspective will be valuable to the board as Or Shalom faces many major (and exciting) changes in the coming years.



The membership committee is a vital group of people committed to extending a loving Bruchim Habaim to new members who join our Shul and ensuring that they are given ample opportunities to connect and participate.  One way we do this is through our yearly:

New Members and Family Picnic where all new members were introduced.  There was also a Kabbalat Shabbat and Hamotzi with Rabbi Hannah.  We played games and sang together. There were lots of families with children.  It was a delightful experience on a beautiful sunny day.  The Picnic will be held again in June (date TBA) and although the site has not yet been reserved, we will likely meet again at the Jericho Beach Picnic area.

Communicating with New Members

The committee calls each new member and sends a welcome email.  The membership committee rotates the role of caller – a person who asks detailed questions like have they met Rabbi Hannah? Would they like to volunteer on a committee? Sign up to receive the Doar?  The caller creates new member bios which are read to the board by the membership liaison to the board and ratified at the board level.  The membership committee is always on the lookout for fun new ways to integrate members.  

Getting to Know You

One very successful ongoing initiative is the Getting to Know You section of our website where you can read about members and their favourite pastime, how they found the OrShalom community among other things.  The committee is looking to revise this project especially to include new members.

Shulchan Shabbat

Shulchan Shabbat is an initiative that is in progress; the idea being that people get to know one another by enjoying a Shabbat dinner together.  We are coming up with ways for more people to connect at Shabbat dinners and participate in this initiative.  

Kiddush Lunch or Shabbat Evening Dinner 

We like to plan a Kiddish lunch or a Shabbat evening service and Shabbat dinner in honour of and to introduce new members to the community.

About Our Meetings 

The newest member of the committee had this to say about the membership committee: “Well run meeting, enthusiastic, caring, sensitive to the needs of the community, active, dynamic, full of the Best ideas! great follow up”.  

If you’d like to join our committee you are welcome!  

Lovingly, your membership committee,

Carol Ann Fried, Joy Fai, Hana Wosk, Kathy Brandon, Pedro Santos, Katy Ormiston, Sophie Macdonald and Jane Wyllychuk


The past year has been very active for Or Shalom’s Human Resources committee. 


Since last year’s report, we revised Or Shalom job descriptions and introduced our first Employee Handbook; this has brought more clarity and consistency to our operations. This year, we will design and implement improvements to some administrative systems (ie: tracking staff vacation days, sick time, and compensatory time). 


In the summer, Or Shalom secured a generous grant from the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation to support our renovation project; this grant included three years funding for a full-time Executive Director to help project manage relocation and renovations. The ED will also oversee administration and HR as well as grant writing to support operations and programming. The ED position will significantly reduce the Rabbi’s administrative workload and create more administrative efficiencies. Our hope is to fill this position before the end of the calendar year. 

Also in the summer, Rabbi Hannah notified the Board of her intention to retire in November 2024 and requested to move to a part-time Senior Rabbi role during this final year. The HR committee collaborated with Rabbi Hannah to revise her employment agreement and also contracted with Rabbi Arik Labowitz to assume a part-time Assistant Rabbi position. The Rabbis will divide and share duties this year. Thanks to Rabbi Hannah’s gradual transition, the Board is fortunate to have this year to develop a succession plan in advance of her retirement.

In consultation with the Board of Directors, following a series of strategic planning sessions examining Or Shalom’s priorities relative to our finances, we made the difficult decision this year to discontinue the Master Teacher position at the end of October. Children and adult educational programs will be provided by various independent contractors, along with Rabbi Arik. We are grateful to Matthew Gindin for his many contributions to Or Shalom’s educational programs over the past few years. 

The HR committee is deeply appreciative to our dedicated staff—Katy Ormiston and Tracey Fagg—as well as to Rabbi Hannah for her leadership. We are also pleased to welcome Rabbi Arik and look forward to welcoming a new Executive Director soon. 

Emet Davis, Chair, Dave Kauffman and Dalia Margalit-Faircloth, members


Committee Members: Kim Rathbone (Chair), Alex Lyon (Board Liaison), Jane Wyllychuk, Ohad Gavrieli, Ilana Gavrieli, Jodie Eaton, Emma Mass, Richa Dwor, Mia Amir

This has been a rewarding year of growth for the Family Youth and Children Committee. Our committee grew, with two new members joining. In January we received a $5,000 grant from the Betty Averbach Foundation and another $5,000 from the Jewish Foundation of Greater Vancouver to support new programs to draw families with young children together at Or Shalom. Many thanks to Ohad Gavrieli and board member Emet Davis for their work to secure these grants. The funding has allowed us to have a series of catered Shabbat dinners and Havdalah events which provided a welcoming and accessible space for families with young children to meet each other and build community. This was particularly needed after being isolated from in-person gatherings due to Covid-19. Our committee has also hosted a few potluck dinners, which we hope to continue in the next year now that the grant funding is over.

One of our key accomplishments as a committee this year was organizing our first-ever community seder for families with young children, a collaborative and community-based event that was attended by roughly 65 people. Rabbi Arik provided beautiful and engaging seder leadership, including having parents hold up rippling sheets of blue fabric to create the Sea of Reeds for children to pass through. We also supported the Membership Committee in hosting children’s activities at the New Member Potluck at Jericho Beach Park. 

Over the summer we organized a series of team-building sessions for our committee, which helped us identify our values and dreams for children and families at Or Shalom. We will be revising our Terms of Reference to reflect more specific goals based on these exercises. We will be working with Program Coordinator Katy Ormiston to identify opportunities to have more child-oriented activities at holidays in the next year, to supplement the Shabbat activities.

Our hopes for the next year are to work on getting a more detailed understanding of the needs and wishes of families with young children, and to support families in becoming more engaged. We hope to continue to create a community environment that is not only more accessible to children and their parents, but also nurtures intergenerational connections between Or Shalom members of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest.

We would like to thank Rabbi Hannah, Rabbi Arik, and Katy Ormiston for all of the work they have done to support us this year, as well as all of the parents who have shown up and brought their children to events. Looking forward to seeing you more in the future!


OSSRI, having been an active informal committee within Or Shalom, this year applied to be admitted as a formal subcommittee. Terms of Reference were established which were finally accepted by the Board and OSSRI is now pleased to be a full and formal subcommittee of Or Shalom.

Our most recently sponsored  family (parents who are both doctors and two preteen children) arrived from Syria in June.  A settlement team is working with the family who are establishing themselves into their new lives.  We are responsible for each new family for one year.

The process of sponsoring families is both expensive and frustratingly slow. We have sponsored another Syrian family who have been formally accepted by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) yet it may take another two years before they actually set foot in Canada.

Our committee has spent much of its time this year formalizing our own processes. First came developing the Terms of Reference and now we are in a process of developing guidelines for managing the financial support of families, of considering priorities and guidelines  for deciding whom to elect to sponsor.

We remain cognizant of our need to continue to fundraise for new families and for us to keep the community informed of the activities of OSSRI and of the progress of the families.

We also are appreciative of the SAHs (Sponsorship Agreement Holders), our conduit for sponsorship. These have been the Anglican, Lutheran  and United churches.

Submitted by David Berson and Maurice Bloch (co-chairs)


Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee’s (TOCC) mandate is to inspire, inform, educate, and organize the Or Shalom community and others to consider and act on repairing and healing our world. In 2022-2023, concentrating chiefly on three areas of concern, we too the following actions:

  1. Indigienous and Reconcilliation:
  • Created a process to engage community involvement in proposing a land acknowledgment for Or Shalom in the coming year;
  • Delivered a well-attended educational session with Jill Goldberg and residential school survivor Elder Sam George;
  • Made a donation to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS),
  • Encouraged members to wear their orange shirts in recognition of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
  • Invited members to attend, alongside members of the TOCC, the Red Dress March in commemoration of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

2. Climate Crisis

  • Encouraged attendance by the wider community to join us at several climate marches carrying the Or Shalom banner;
  • Renewed the “plastic assessments” for the community during Chanukah and Passover, pledging the reduced use of non-renewable plastics.

3. Equity and Anti-Racism

  • At an interface conference, in Abbotsford, to TOCC, members presented a Jewish perspective and context on the issue of anti-racism;
  • Hosted a new Israel Fund event with Lihi Shmuely, Deputy Director at Israel Hofsheet, working towards pluralism, and peaceful, coexistence in Israel;
  • Advocated with leadership for more community dialogue events centring on Israel;
  • Encouraged members to attend Ilana, Kaufman’s Jews of Colour speaking event;
  • Several TOCC, members continue to make a presence at UnXeptable, a grassroots movement, in support of a democratic Israel;
  • Invited community to attend the Vancouver Pride Parade alongside TOCC members;
  • Sent letters to Smithers Library and the United Church in Ladner to epress support and solidarity for their actions educating the committees regarding LGBTQ2S+ hate and discrimination;
  • Wrote a letter of support to two Jewish communities subjected to violence and intimidation; the Beth Israel Community of Fort Worth, TX and the Congregation of Detroit, MI.

Other actions in the community and beyond:

  • Updated a High Holy Days self-assessment to support personal actions of teshuvah;
  • Initiated a Winter Sock Drive providing 300 pairs of socks for All Nations Outreach and members of the downtown east side;


Goal:  To support Or Shalom members in times of need by providing direct help for their physical, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.

The Gemilut Chesed Working Group is a hands-on group of five committee members and more than one hundred volunteers who provide temporary support to Or Shalom members in these areas:

  • Preparing and delivering meals
  • Visiting in homes, hospitals, care homes
  • Keeping in touch via email and phone calls
  • Driving to appointments
  • Running errands/shopping
  • Caring for a pet
  • Supporting the bereaved and their families

During this past year, we have continued to support our members in all these areas.  We are always proud of the response we get when the call is put out for willing workers – whether they are called on short notice to retrieve someone’s walker or to provide a ride for a flu shot.

We provided multiple meals to four families and various services, including shopping, to another half-dozen folks.  Families with new babies got “welcome to the world” cards.  We also supported 21 mourning families with meals of consolation, condolence cards, shiva set-up, memorial candles, and shloshim gatherings.  A sub-group, headed by Ross Andelman, offers “listeners-for-a-year” to grieving members.  Another task we have taken on is to send cards to folks whose loved ones are memorialized with a donation to Or Shalom.

Ann Daskal was attending monthly meetings of the Jewish Federation’s senior service affiliated organizations to share information and coordinate services for seniors and will do so again when the group reconvenes. 

We have begun work on our goal to update our volunteer lists and reach out to new members; and, of course, we will continue to provide the loving support our members need to the best of our ability.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Gill, Harriett Lemer, Fran Ritch, Ross Andelman, Ann Daskal     


The Or Shalom Cemetery, located on the southwest corner of 33rd and Fraser, is a small section of Mountain View cemetery. It contains 64 shared plots and eight cremains graves.

As of now, 17 full plots (11 in the Jewish area and six in the interfaith area), two half plots (one in each area) and two cremains plots have been sold. Several authorizations to purchase a plot are outstanding.

There have been two internments to date, one in the cremains area and one in the interfaith area.

Committee members are Catherine, Barris, Rabbi Hannah Dresner, Pat, Gill, Dodie Katzenstein, Reena Lazar, Martin Puterman, Marianne Rev, Laura Rosenthal, Susan Shamash, and Sam Znaimer.


More Or Report to the 2023 Or Shalom AGM by John Fuerst

As More Or enters its next phase, this is a good time to thank all involved.

I am joined on the More Or Renovation Committee by Martin Gotfrit, Dalia Margalit-Faircloth, Russil Wvong and Wendy Oberlander. Reva Malkin and Lynn Saffery continue their involvement and advice. Bonnie Sherr Klein has advised on accessibility issues.

I am joined on the More Or Capital Campaign by co-chairs Sally Thorn and Martin Gotfrit, and by members Mark Welch and Reena Lazar. David Berson and Emet Davis are trusted and skilled advisers.

There are a host of canvassers to thank:
Abby Fitch, Alex Leslie, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Avi Yan, Chava and Paul McCurry, Dalia Margalit-Faircloth, Dave Kauffman, David Berson, R. Hannah Dresner, John MacDonald, Kathy Brandon, Mark Welch, Mark Winston, Martin Gotfrit, Pat Gill, Ros Kunin, Russil Wvong, Sally Thorne, Sandra Cohen and Sophie MacDonald

Thanks to Linda Peritz, who cheerfully and efficiently has taken on the job of campaign coordinator. Thanks to Charles Kaplan who is planning the sukkah for our renovated east yard.

And thanks to the members who have worked on this project since it started in 2019; who have all contributed to getting More Or to where it is now; and, I am sure, who will contribute as the project continues:

Jackie Levitin, Karen Rabinovitch, Michael Geller, Marty Puterman, Moshe Mansur, Motti Lis, Philippe Tortell, Richard Wassersug, Shira Esseiva and Stepan Vdovine.

Throughout it all, Rabbi Hannah continues to be an inspiration, a guide, and available whenever called on.

Our architect, Erika Gerson, is both an excellent listener and an active doer. Erika has been able to fit most of what we asked for onto the small footprint allowed by the size of the lot at 10th and Fraser.

In October, the city issued the Development Permit for the project, marking the current phase.

What is happening now?
The membership capital campaign is underway. It starts off with close to 80% of the $3,800,000 project budget already raised in committed pledges, grants, and cash donations. I am sure all will respond when their canvasser calls.

Bonnie Sherr Klein And Wendy Oberlander held a meeting in October to hear from community members regarding observations and possible improvements regarding accessibility. Recommendations for lowering barriers for both physical and social access/participation were developed and will be shared with the architect.

Other fundraising activities are ongoing.

The Renovation Committee and Erika Gerson have interviewed general contractors. The RenComm will shortly make a recommendation to the board.

Architect Erika Gerson is starting on the architectural working drawings for the project.

What will the future bring?
If nothing else, I have learned over the past four years that project timelines are usually overly optimistic. Given that, if all goes well, we can expect the city to issue the Building Permit in late summer or early fall of next year. And if all continues to go well, we should have shovels in the ground shortly thereafter.