Ian Sherman, Chair

Ian Sherman first learned about the importance of volunteerism at the Shabbat dinner table where his extended family conversations often focused on giving back and building community life.  For Ian, community service represents an expression of fundamental Jewish values which are a cornerstone of his life. He stresses that Jewish Ottawa has a long legacy of outstanding leaders who recognize and exemplify that we must be devoted stakeholders contributing time, energy and resources to enhance our community. These leaders are intelligent, sensible and sensitive, caring and considerate, selfless and passionate, and they are respectful about creating a better community and a better world.

Ian expresses that he is both blessed and privileged to be able to give back to our city, our country and the Jewish people, an opportunity that makes his life and the lives of his wife and their three precious sons even more fulfilling.

Professionally, Ian has just recently retired as a Tax Partner and as the Tax Market Leader in EY’s Ottawa Office.  He will remain with EY as a Contractor on a part-time consulting contract leveraging his more than 35 years of public accounting experience to support a number of clients, business development activities and coaching.  Through his new company, Relationship Capital Inc., Ian also plans to engage in strategic advisory work consulting for corporate and family boards and continuing to promote, mentor and develop the next generation of business and community leaders.

In addition to volunteering with Federation, Ian is currently the Chair of the Ottawa Board of Trade and Chair of the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation where he is leading the implementation of recent strategic planning projects for both organizations with a particular focus on advocacy, branding, diversity, equity and inclusion and social justice.

"Serving on the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Board of Directors is truly an honour. Over the last 26 years, my family has been fortunate to experience the benefits of having a strong Jewish community, from Hillel Academy to Temple Israel Religious School, SJCC Day Camps and many swimming lessons at the SJCC. I look forward to contributing to the future of a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive community."

Kevin Barwin
Board of Directors

“Serving on the Federation’s board provides a fresh, new and direct opportunity to give back to the community.”

Harold Feder

Board of Directors

“Working with Federation is an opportunity to support and shape the Jewish community and Jewish experiences of Ottawa for me and my young family, for today and for years into the future.”

Stacy Goldstein

Board of Directors

“I feel fortunate to serve on the JFO board alongside others who are committed and passionate about the success of the Ottawa Jewish community. I am grateful to participate in effecting a thriving community today and into the future as so many past volunteers have ensured for me, my family and the larger Jewish community of Ottawa."

Jessica Greenberg

Board of Directors

"It's far too easy to take for granted the Jewish agencies and Federation services that our families benefit from and rely upon. However, these agencies and services only exist today through the dedication and effort of previous generations of staff and volunteers. It is an honour and a privilege for me to continue this work by serving on the Federation board."
Jeff Laks
Board of Directors

"My father instilled a simple yet profound philosophy into my life when I was a young child. He told me to plant seeds in my own garden to improve and create beauty in my surroundings. In this way, I would be leaving the world a better place, tying into the Jewish concept of tikkun olam.
In keeping with this, I am honoured to be a part of the JFO board, working alongside a remarkably dedicated group of individuals. I believe strongly in the core values of Federation and its commitment to support and care for every aspect of Jewish life in Ottawa, ensuring that our community remains strong and vibrant for our children and for future generations."
Karen Palayew
Board of Directors

A proud believer in our community, Michael has been active in fundraising and numerous volunteer activities.

Among his many endeavours, Michael co-founded and chaired the University Division of UJA in the ‘70s.  He served on the Boards of the Ottawa Jewish Community School and Agudath Israel. He canvassed for the Federation’s Annual Campaign, participated in the Steering Committee to build the Community Campus, and served on the High School Task Force. 

Professionally, Michael is a partner in the national law firm of Gowling WLP, Leader of National Municipal Law Group.


Past Chair
Michael Polowin

“Federation brings together not only our community and its diverse agencies, but also contributes to the global Jewish community through its support of, and affiliation with, global agencies that provide relief to the vulnerable around the world and invaluable support of Israel and her people.  It is an absolute honour to follow in my parents’ footsteps and serve on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa.”
Gillian Presner
Board of Directors

“I am honoured to serve on the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Board of Directors. This is an opportunity to give back to the Jewish community and its institutions which, in many ways, have shaped who I am today.”

Jacob Shabinsky
Board of Directors

“I am dedicated to my community to ensure a Jewish identity for my children. Through giving, I have found the more I give, the more I want to give whether it be time, donations or experience.”

Nikki Shapiro
Board of Directors

“My bubbie’s volunteer work and dedication to Israel has inspired me to be more involved. Having lived in a community with limited Jewish life, I realize how privileged we are to have Jewish Federation of Ottawa. I am honoured to be part of the Federation board.”
Board of Directors
Alice Retik

"I come from a family of proud volunteers. Volunteering is an opportunity to have an impact on individual lives and make our Ottawa Jewish community stronger - to ensure the continuity of our traditions while evolving to meet the needs of the future."

Danya Vered
Board of Directors