Trustees

Candace

Candace Vogel, President

After being a longtime member of a large Toronto congregation, Candace and her family set out several years ago to find a new synagogue that better suited their needs. The search started -and ended- at Beth Torah. Since then Candace has become a Shabbat regular and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Beth Torah community that has welcomed them so warmly. Candace and her husband David Goodbaum are the parents of 4 children ranging in age from 20 to 26.

Candace has served on the Beth Torah Board and Executive for the past 6 years. She brings tremendous energy, enthusiasm and organizational skill to the table. She looks forward to playing an active role in the future of Beth Torah as a hub of Jewish family and community life.

Shabbat Remarks, November 12

Over the past couple of years, as our nest emptied, David and I have opened our home to students from Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Japan for anywhere from two to six months at a time. We keep in touch with one of them periodically and have never heard again from others but I must tell you that we have never forged a connection- as quickly or as deeply – as we did with Gil and Assaf, the two Israeli combat veterans we had the honour and privilege of hosting last week, as part of the Peace of Mind program.

As you may know, the veterans engaged in intense therapy sessions from the moment they arrived at Beth Torah. Throughout the week they dealt with the tragic and painful loss of three members of their unit, as well as other trauma they experienced during their years of service. The program is designed so that the therapy is balanced with sightseeing as well as time with the host families, and their community.

It was inspiring to witness the deep bond shared by these men- they are more than friends and even family. Their desire to spend time together at every opportunity- even though they had spent the day as a group- and they see each other regularly in Israel was remarkable. Their profound affection, respect and admiration for one another was so very moving and made us feel incredibly proud- even though we had nothing to do with it.

What we were able to do was provide a soft landing, and a warm environment for the soldiers to return to at the end of each day. Beth Torah hosted a beautiful Shabbat dinner, where members of the community were able to meet these wonderful men and express gratitude for their service. On Shabbat the soldiers and their hosts were honoured with an Aliyah. It was clear they felt at home, and had been warmly embraced by the Beth Torah Community. We had a terrific goodbye party on Saturday night and I have to say I have never felt more comfortable leaving my 21 year old daughter in a bar than with her 18 new “big brothers”.

The willingness to undertake this type of powerful and life-altering initiative is one of many reasons that I’m proud to be part of, to serve and now to lead our vibrant and caring community.

Shabbat Shalom

Ephraim

Ephraim Fiksel, Immediate Past-President

Ephraim met Rabbi Yossi in 1994 when he was hired to tutor Ephraim’s daughter, Zoey, for her Bat Mitzvah. From that experience and the many others over the years of Ephraim’s involvement in the shul—from joining as a member of the shul in 2000 to becoming a member of the executive committee in 2008 and, for the last two years, serving as president–Ephraim has been inspired to give back. “I have very much enjoyed and benefitted from all of my years, in all phases of my involvement, in the synagogue. My experience here is a true example of getting back much more than one gives.” Ephraim is married to Penny Fiksel, with whom he has two grown children. Outside of Beth Torah, Ephraim is busy practising law, and, on those days when he has the time to relax, he spends time with his grandson, roots for his favourite sports team, and keeps fit walking his dog, riding his bicycle, and swimming.

Andrew Weisberg

Andrew Weisberg, 1st Vice President

Andrew was born and raised in Toronto. He is married to Dr. Fay Weisberg with whom he has two daughters. Andrew is an active volunteer, serving on the admissions and tuition committee at Bialik Hebrew Day School as well as the finance committee of Jewish Vocational Services.  He is also a member of the board of governors of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal. Andrew was drawn to Beth Torah because of Rabbi Sapirman’s progressive vision and direction for the synagogue that also encompassed traditional values. When not hard at work or volunteering his time, Andrew is travelling or rooting for his favourite sports team.

Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg, Treasurer

Michael is married to Daniela Tiger, who together with their 2 boys, joined Beth Torah about 15 year ago. Michael became more active in the synagogue during the planning stages of Beth Torah’s addition; he first joined the building committee for the Shul addition and lent his expertise to the project as a practicing urban planner. Since then Michael has been on the Board of Trustees, participating on various committees. He joined the Executive Committee three years ago, focusing on the business and operations of the Shul. He enjoys collaborating with the Executive, the Board, and Rabbi Yossi in guiding the Shul toward the successful management of its many activities.