Our Staff

The people who work at Temple Israel are not just staff.
Here’s your chance to get to meet them online.

Heather Cohen Executive director

Heather Cohen has been Temple’s Executive Director for thirty years. She is often the first person from Temple that newcomers and members speak to or meet. She is able to connect people to each other and to what Temple has to offer. When someone is in need, it is usually Heather who offers up a kind word and makes a connection to someone who can help. Heather is a source of knowledge, advice and assistance, often behind the scenes and outside of the limelight. With a warm smile and kind word. And with a special interest in dogs large and small.

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Executive Director Heather Cohen and friend

Cathy Loves Administrative Officer

Cathy Loves is Temple’s Administrative Officer and your first point of contact for questions regarding Temple. She is part of the office team that handles the Temple activity and services calendar, membership and administration matters. She sends the weekly emails and publishes the Temple Bulletins. Cathy ensures that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when they need to be there. If you have questions about Temple or any events at Temple, get in touch with Cathy.

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Sue Potechin Temple Israel Religious School Principal

As the child of founding members of Temple Israel, Sue has been involved as a volunteer and/or staff person since it’s inception. She and her daughters are all products of TIRS and FROSTY. She was also the FROSTY Advisor and taught for over 20 years at TIRS before becoming the Principal in 2015. 

Sue is a long-time tutor of children and adults for B’nai Mitzvah, has taught Hebrew in a public high school, been the Executive Director of a synagogue and is an avid volunteer at Temple Israel. Music plays an integral part in Sue’s life as a devoted Shlicha Tzibur (Lay Cantor and service leader) and a member of the Temple Israel Choir (with her husband). Sue is currently working to obtain an EMA in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR. 

My vision for TIRS

Her vision for TIRS is to provide an innovative, interactive and high-quality Jewish education that is inclusive and welcoming regardless of affiliation or exceptionalities. As the Principal, she provides programming for children and youth from birth to the end of high school and their families.

Sue Potechin, Temple Israel Religious School

Ranit Braun Youth Group Leader

Ranit Braun has been a staff member of Temple Israel Religious School (TIRS) for nearly 15 years. She teaches Hebrew, Tanakh, Jewish history, tikkun olam, tzedakah, and gemilut hasadim.

In addition to teaching, Ranit has been the Junior Youth Group adviser for Temple and creator of the JBaby programs, in which parents and their children under two years of age gather to socialize in a group setting.

Ranit is Ottawa’s 2019 recipient of the North American Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. You can learn more about Ranit’s accomplishments in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.

Ranit Braun