Meet our President

President Stephen Asherman

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 Spring is finally here, bringing sunny days and welcome warmth, both physical and musical.

Temple Israel wishes to thank Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg of the Danbe Foundation for their generous contribution to the Cantor in Residence monthly weekends. Their gift has made it possible to bring Daniel Geigerman back to Ottawa in order to lead six weekends of wonderful music from January through to June. We are also very thankful for those Temple families who are providing home hospitality, including Shabbat dinner, to Daniel. We welcome additional financial and home hospitality congregational support to this worthwhile project.

On a less sunny note, we had a basement flood in April. We are working with our insurance company and restoration contractors to get our basement back for normal everyday use. This takes time and your patience and understanding are appreciated. Updates will be providedas milestones are reached. This flood had an immediate and drastic impact on our school. Through the hard work and perseverance of Principal Sue Potechin, Miriam Burke and the School Committee, and school staff, along with the assistance of Rabbi Morais, school was re-established at Kehillat Beth Israel (KBI). We are very grateful and appreciative of the rapid response by the President, Executive Director and the Rabbis at KBI to our situation. Thank you to Steve Elliot and Sue Potechin for their quick action in attacking the water. Thank you to Cathy Loves and Heather Cohen for interacting with and coordinating with our insurer and the restoration company.

Thanks to the great generosity of a Temple family who wish to remain anonymous, we are in the process of arranging for the purchase of new prayer books. The Mishkan T’filah will be used on an alternating basis with ourcurrent Siddur. The Mishkan HaNefesh will replace the Gates of Repentance for High Holidays.

As we prepare for Rabbi Mikelberg joining our Temple family this August, we look forward to many opportunities to get to know him and his family and warmly welcome them to Temple Israel. The Transition Task Force, co-chaired by Tamara Taub and Deidre Butler, will be co-ordinating events and programs over the next year to support building a sacred partnership between the rabbi and congregation. We welcome your suggestions and in-put! Please contact or to get involved.

Please join Rabbi Mikelberg for a friendly evening “fire-side chat” on Monday May 13 at 7 PM at Temple to welcome him and get to know him and his hopes for Temple Israel. Do you have a great question to ask the Rabbi?

We are gathering questions in advance and would love to hear from you. Light refreshments will be served. To help us estimate numbers, please confirm your attendance and submit your questions to Cathy Loves (reception@

Our Membership Committee, under co-chairs Sharon Behrendt and Sharon Evans, are working to reach out to new members and build an ongoing relationship with them. Some planned activities include the New Member Shabbat in November, home dinners hosted by Board members, Temple lunch with the rabbi, as well as sur- veying new members on event satisfaction and getting ideas for new activities. Please contact Sharon Behrendt ( or Sharon Evans – to add your helpful hands to this important work as well as adding some demographic diversity to this committee to mirror that of our new members.

June 15th will be Rabbi Morais’ last Shabbat with us. Please join with Rabbi Morais on that day for a special Oneg. In closing, on behalf of the congregation, staff, and the Board of Directors, we thank Rabbi Morais for the years he has shared with us and wish him all the best in his new pulpit. May he enjoy much success and happiness. Mazel Tov to Rabbi Morais and his family.

Stephen Asherman, President