375 Aberdeen Ave., Hamilton, ON L8P 2R7 | 905-522-1351 | office@bethjacobsynagogue.ca

Our Team

Our Team

Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli

Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli was born and grew up in Richmond, BC. He knew he wanted to be a rabbi from the age of 4 or 5. He studied rabbinics in the United States and Jerusalem. Later, he taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and served as the rabbi of Conservative congregations in Netanya, Israel and Gothenburg, Sweden before becoming Beth Jacob’s rabbi in the summer of 2015.

Rabbi Lavery-Yisraeli is always available to his congregants, whether to give guidance and assistance, celebrate the good times with them and provide comfort when times get tough.

In addition to all things Jewish,  Rabbi Lavery-Yisraeli is an activist for human rights, women’s rights, anti-racism and LGBTQ rights, a music lover and a musician, singing and playing a handful of string instruments. In Hamilton, he started a band called “The Mixed Blessings” together with a Benedictine monk.

Rabbi Hillel is married to Yonah who is also a rabbi and an artist. He is the father of four children. You can contact him anytime at r.hillel@bethjacobsynagogue.ca.

Shira Kates, Synagogue Manager

Shira Kates joined the Beth Jacob family in June 2019 with a mission to build relationships and programming within our shul and through the wider community. She moved from Toronto for this role, where she held positions supporting senior clergy and engagement efforts at multiple synagogues for many years. 

In 2017 she was awarded a Lishma Fellowship at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and brings to Beth Jacob her experience studying Jewish texts and networking with fantastic Jewish leaders from around the world. Shira is an advocate for free and accessible healthcare, and spends her spare time studying plant medicine at the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing. 

She’s looking forward to meeting every congregant and getting to know your individual wants, needs, interests, and even your complaints! “Let’s work together to make Beth Jacob everything we want our synagogue to be.”

Email Shira at shira@bethjacobsynagogue.ca

Aimee Wigley, Hebrew School Director

Aimee moved to Canada in 2012, immigrating from her beloved Wales. She holds a BA (honours) in English Literature and an MA (Merit standing) in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing.

Aimee has been a part of the Hamilton Jewish community since 2014. She has worked for Hamilton Jewish Federation, JCC, Camp Kadimah, PJ Library, Kosher on Wheels and currently for Hamilton Jewish Family Services, in conjunction with her role at Beth Jacob.

Along with her passion for education, she plays the ukulele, loves to bake and tend to her ‘urban garden’. “I am here to support our students, staff and Shul as we learn and grow together. I’m honoured to be a part of the Beth Jacob family!”

You may contact Aimee for any school or youth programming related inquiries at aimee@bethjacobsynagogue.ca.

Maureen Price, Administrative Assistant

Maureen has been on the staff of Beth Jacob as administrative assistant since the summer of 2009. Prior to joining the staff in an official capacity, Maureen was involved in various volunteer functions. For the past 10 years she has worked on the Book of Remembrance and the seating committee for the High Holy Days. As administrative assistant, Maureen is responsible for keeping the synagogue membership and yahrzeit records up to date, sending out yahrzeit reminder notices to members, and assisting the leadership team in whatever way is needed. You can reach her at maureen@bethjacobsynagogue.ca, or by calling 905 522-1351 ext. 13. She is generally in the office all day Monday and on Friday mornings; although you may find her around on other days as well, particularly in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah

Craig Starrs, Bookkeeper

Craig came to Beth Jacob with over 35 years experience in all aspects of accounting, as well as continuing to run his own income tax and bookkeeping business for the past 20+ years. He has made himself very familiar with every member’s account and is available to discuss any concerns you may have. He can be reached at bookkeeper@bethjacobsynagogue.ca or by calling 905-522-1351 ext 14. He is in the office from Monday to Friday from 6:30 am until noon. You can leave him a message after those hours, and he will return your message the next business day.

Our Elected Leadership 

President: Lorne Richter
Vice Presidents: Ted Lax, Dan Levy, Hanna Schayer
Treasurer: Brenda Burjaw
Secretary: Stephen Yanover
Gabbaim: Victor Abraham, Stephen Johnson, Lloyd Orson, Philip Price (head Gabbai), Lou Rottman, Peter Smurlick (assistant head Gabbai)
Board of Directors: Garry Barankin, Elliot Biro, Abigail Cukier, Sophie Geffros, Murray Gerson, Dina Honig, John Levy, Anna Lilliman, Alan Livingston, Shayla Notman, Philip Price, Cindy Richter, Jamie Richter, Michael Sherman, David Walman