Or Shalom is a registered charitable organization.
The 2021-22 (5782) Board of Directors are:
- David Kauffman – Co-chair
- Dalia Margalit-Faircloth – Co-chair
- Martin Gotfrit – Secretary
- Paul McCurry – Treasurer
- Emet Davis
- Abby Fitch
- Alexis Kellum-Creer
- Alex Lyon
- John MacDonald
- Malcolm Steinberg
The board meeting schedule is listed in the Or Shalom event calendar.
You can send comments, ideas and feedback to the board at any time with the email
board (at) orshalom.ca
Or Shalom Board of Directors 5782
Emet Davis’s professional background includes more than 30 years in the areas of campaigns, communications, resource development, and community engagement, working and consulting for progressive labour organizations, non-profits, and businesses to advance social justice causes. Currently, Emet is the Programs & Partnerships Director with the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation, a private foundation that supports an array of causes in the Jewish and broader communities in BC, Canada, Israel, and internationally. Emet is very familiar with governance roles, having served on numerous non-profit boards, including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Vancouver Friends for Life Society, JQT-Vancouver, and others; presently, Emet is the Chair of the Wilderness Committee. A member of Or Shalom for more than 20 years, Emet joined the Board of Directors in 2021 and chairs the shul’s HR committee.
Martin Gotfrit is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer living in Vancouver. His work often involves both improvisation and collaborations with artists in theatre, dance and film. Currently he can be heard playing at Kabbalat Shabbat services, with the Jewish world music group Sulam, the Chanting & Chocolate band, the improvisation ensemble AEM(S) and with singer/songwriter Harriet Frost. Martin was on the faculty at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University from 1981 to 2016 where he served as Department Chair from 2001 – 2009 and as an Associate Dean from 2013-2016. Since 2006 he has been an active member of Or Shalom – serving on the board and as Secretary or Co-Chair at various times. He is married to film maker Patricia Gruben and they have two adult children.
David Kauffman grew up in Edmonton where he attended Talmud Torah, and grew to be involved in BBYO a Jewish Youth Organization as a teenager. He attended Kallah & LTC in Starlight Pennsylvania where he learned song-leading skills and worked at Camp B’nai B’rith in Red Deer as a song leader for a few summers. Dave moved to Vancouver to attend UBC and graduated Electrical Engineering, after which he had several jobs in audio and software engineering around Canada. Dave was introduced to Or Shalom in the mid-80’s and both our children celebrated Simchot Mitzvah. Dave also helps the technical aspects of Or Shalom’s network, website and live streaming.
Alexis Kellum-Creer For Alexis, Or Shalom represents a rare intertwining of both diversity and commonality, flourishing alongside a central core of strong shared values, that is the hallmark of this unique synagogue.
She was first drawn to this remarkably welcoming and inclusive community in the autumn of 2017, and has found tremendous satisfaction in becoming more involved in the many online gathering, worship and learning opportunities offered.
Currently serving as co-chair on the Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee, she’s also had the pleasure of volunteering for Or Shalom’s annual fundraising campaign for the past several years,
With a hopeful eye to the future, Alexis looks forward to strengthening her relationships at Or Shalom and deepening its contributions to the wider community for many years to come.
Alexandra (Alex) Lyon. I grew up in Southern California with a mix of secular Jewish family on my father’s side, and a non-Jewish mother who raised me to appreciate a wide range of spiritual traditions. My
childhood included occasional services at my paternal grandmother’s shul as well as her poppyseed cake and latkes, yet it was not until young adulthood that I rediscovered Judaism for myself. My career in academia has taken me to many places, as a result I had the opportunity to be part of Jewish communities in Northampton, Massachusetts; Madison, Wisconsin; Berlin,Germany; and Middlebury, Vermont. Finding vibrant and welcoming communities in such disparate places has been one of the rewards of Jewish life for me, and continues to inspire my involvement in Or Shalom. In 2016 I moved to Vancouver with my husband and our three-year-old son. We found Or Shalom that year, just as the Shabbat Sheli children’s program was starting. In 2017 we welcomed our younger son, who is now in the children’s program as well. In 2021 I was honored to join the Board of Directors. Some of the issues I am motivated by as a board member include creating a supportive and nurturing community for parents and children at Or Shalom, fostering
intergenerational connections, and increasing inclusion and accessibility of Or Shalom for all members, particularly those whose path to Judaism has been winding like my own.
Professionally, I am a Faculty Member in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and in my spare time I am slowly studying for my Bat
Mitzvah in hopes of completing it before my children have theirs.
John Macdonald I have since 2016 been learning more and more about my Jewish heritage. I grew up with a Catholic father and a non-practicing Jewish mother. In my early 20’s like many other young people, I became an atheist. It was in 2016 that I started to yearn for more knowledge of my Jewish side and I embarked on this starting with Shabbat dinners. My journey led me to Or Shalom and I have been a member since 2017. I am proud that I had a Simchat Mitzvah 2 years ago at the age of 73!
In my professional life I am a psychologist and have been practicing for over 46 years. Most of my career was in the public sector and since 2010 I have been in private practice on a part time basis. In these past decades, I had been on nonprofit boards, including psychological organizations and those involved in delivery of health & wellness services. One particular organization I am particularly proud of being apart of is the Friends for Life Society. This organization started as a needed response to the AIDS epidemic when young men were dying and had been left alone by families. I started to help an original group form a board of directors and a few years later I joined this Board and stayed on it for 15 years. It now provides services to people with life threatening/managing illnesses, including cancer and hepatitis C.
I feel that Or Shalom has given me a great community to be apart of and I wish, by my participation on the Or Shalom Board to give back.
Dalia Margalit-Faircloth Dalia moved to Vancouver 6 years ago from Toronto, originally from South Africa. She has been involved in Jewish community life both professionally as a counselor at Jewish Family Services, and as a volunteer on various boards and committees. She is currently retired from paying work and spends much of her time volunteering and travelling. She has three awesome children and 4 even more awesome grandchildren. She is a certified scuba diver and loves forest bathing.
Paul McCurry is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of business experience including private equity investment and executive level management in a variety of industries. Prior to co-founding A&H Steel Vancouver, he held executive level operating positions for No Limits Group covering distribution, third party logistics and consumer products. In addition to the Or Shalom board, he hold board positions with A52 Warehouse; No Limits Group; A&H Steel Vancouver; and Storm Guard Water Treatment. Paul lives in Vancouver with his wife, Tammy (Chavah), and two of their four kids.
Malcolm Steinberg immigrated to Vancouver in 2004 from South Africa and is thankful for being a guest on these beautiful Coast Salish territories. He is a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU where he teaches public health. Malcolm’s research focuses on supporting Indigenous healers in positioning, and retaining ownership of, herbal medicines alongside Indigenous knowledge. Malcolm was drawn to the Or Shalom community because of the vibrant and varied educational programs and spiritual activities offered to the community and looks forward to working with the Or Shalom board and Rabbi Dresner to support the exciting journey ahead for our community. Malcolm is blessed with three children and two grandchildren. He enjoys hiking, jogging, kayaking, and cycling, and is passionate about his continuing exploration of his long-standing interest in herbal and Ayurvedic medicine.
There are numerous committees within the governance structure of Or Shalom, and joining any of them can be an excellent way to introduce yourself to the community and make a contribution of time and energy.
Ideas, questions, and suggestions? Contact us via email at board (at) orshalom.ca