Board of Directors


Dr. David Blades, President:

David is a Professor of Science Education and Curriculum Theory at the University of Victoria, where he has held numerous administrative positions. He and his wife Edith have been members of Congregation Emanu-el since arriving in Victoria 13 years ago, and previously were members of Beth Shalom in Edmonton and Congregation Agudas Israel in Saskatoon; David has served as a board member of all three shuls and currently serves the Jewish community as a Trustee of the Victoria Jewish Cemetery Trust. David and Edith live in Oak Bay, where they once founded the Village Cafe; they are now happily retired from the restaurant business. David has served on the JFVVI Executive as Vice-President over the last year.

Sharon Fitch, Vice-President:  Bio coming soon!

Dr. Aaron Devor, Past-President:

Aaron Devor has been the President of JFVVI since 2013, and on the board since 2011. He has served on the Board of Hillel BC since 2007. He was a President, Past-President, Vice-President, and a board member of Congregation Emanu-El (1999-2003). He represented the Jewish community on the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2010. Aaron Devor is a professor of Sociology, and a former Dean of Graduate Studies (2002-2012), at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is also the world’s only research Chair in Transgender Studies, the Founder and Academic Director of the world’s largest Transgender Archives, and a national-award-winning teacher.

Jeff Kushner, Treasurer:

Jeff grew up and lived in Winnipeg where he obtained his Engineering degree from the University of Manitoba.  While in Engineering, Jeff took a year off to serve as President of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union.  He also served on the Boards of Directors of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association and Bnai Brith Summer Camp.

Upon graduation Jeff moved to Calgary where he was employed in the oil industry, and ultimately held leadership positions in drilling, business process design and implementation, and major project execution.  Jeff has always been a strong believer in tikun olam.  He was a long standing volunteer at the Calgary and Drop In and Rehab Centre, doing everything there from cleaning the bathrooms to serving as President and Board Chair.  Jeff was a long time member and supporter of Temple Bnai Tikvah, where he served on the Board of Directors.  As well, Jeff served on the Boards of several neighbourhood community associations.

Jeff and his partner of 25 years, Dr. Randall McGinnis, recently retired to Victoria.  Randall has completed the Visual Arts program at Camosun College and Jeff has been an active member of the Avodah team at Congregation Emanuel while embarking on his second career as a compact landscape tractor owner/operator.  In addition to art, tikun olam, and tractor work, Jeff and Randall look forward to enjoying everything that the green winters, beautiful forests and beaches, ocean and surrounding small islands have to offer to those blessed with the chance to retire on Vancouver Island.

Arie Kelerstein, Secretary:  Bio coming soon!

Also on the JFVVI Board of Directors…

  • Harry Abrams
  • Arlene Ackerman
  • Harriet Bull
  • Mike Goldstein
  • Larry Gontovnick
  • Selma Linzer
  • Isa Milman
  • Jack Shalinsky
  • Ora Stefanic
  • Michael Tripp

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