Margot Montgomery

“I believe deeply in giving back. When I appreciate something, I want to make it stronger.”

Margot Montgomery, Current President, Temple Israel, who has signed a Letter of Intent for Temple’s Life and Legacy Program. 

Sustain ‘something wonderful’ for Temple Israel through Life & Legacy

Supporting the Life & Legacy program came naturally to Temple president Margot Montgomery.

“I had already put Temple in my will because of its importance in my life,” she says. “And so it was not a big deal when the legacy program came along to file the proper pledge to designate part of what’s in my will. The Life & Legacy program is wonderful.”

Margot and her then husband Peter joined Temple in the early 1990s because their daughter was school age. “My husband was Jewish and secular, and not keen on ritual,” she says. “But Peter’s mom, a Holocaust survivor, was invited back by Aachen, the German city she came from for a week of reconciliation activities. Peter went with his mother to visit the small mediaeval city where she spoke in the school and at other events. When he came back, he wanted to give our daughter more exposure to Judaism in a formal way. What was pretty surprising as that evolved, was that I liked the Judaism and Temple more than he did.”

Margot appreciated the sharing and the ritual, took several Introduction to Judaism courses and “lapped it all up.” In 2005, she went through a conversion even though she and her husband were separated. 

At Temple, she loved celebrating life cycle events with her Temple friends, and appreciated “the variety of people, old, young, all lifestyles, always stimulating.”

“What’s very important to me is my wonderful Jewish mother-in-law who is 96, and my other Jewish relatives, and I cherish them. They came to Israel with Rabbi Garten and my family.” 

A trained librarian, she has worked everywhere from the National Research Council to Parliament and Algonquin College.

She does school visits weekly with Marty, her little Therapy Dog, helping school children practice their reading.

Margot originally joined the Temple board in 2010, took a break and then came back in 2017. “I could see that Temple faced challenges, and I could help…I wasn’t ever going to be president, and here I am.”

Whether it’s leading the Temple board or pledging to Life & Legacy, Margot says she believes “deeply in giving back.”

“When I appreciate something, I want to make it stronger.”

Temple Israel is already committed to the world of legacy giving because of the Temple Israel Foundation, she said, “and with this four-year Life & Legacy initiative we’re going to learn so much and it will lead to support for Temple. You don’t have to be a millionaire; just to have a vision that and your contribution will help sustain something wonderful.”