Phyllis Segal Denaburg, President
I married into a 3rd generation Holy Blossom family when I moved to Toronto, after having moved around the world and studied in the US. I grew up in Montreal, attending conservative and modern orthodox synagogues and moved to Israel with my family when I was in high school, and like most Israelis, didn’t attend any synagogue! Holy Blossom Temple (HBT) was different than all my other Jewish communal experiences.
It didn’t take long for me to engage as a parent in HBT programs, celebrating Shabbat as a family at the Family Service with Judy and David and enjoying the camaraderie of Family Camp. We had found a welcoming community that engaged us as parents as well as our children. Lifelong friendships were created! As well, I enjoyed Women of Holy Blossom (formerly Sisterhood) events and retreats where more friendships were made or strengthened. As our children grew, I found other meaningful volunteer roles including the Out of the Cold program, as a server, dishwasher, security lead and program co-chair, leading one of the 5:30 am breakfast crews, and as a Gabbai for Shabbat and High Holy day services which I still do.
Stepping up to the Holy Blossom Board, was a natural next step, chairing the Department of Jewish Living, and as an officer of the Board. I am also a North American Board member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). which has helped me to continue my learning and contribute to the Reform movement – in North America, Israel and around the world. I now also serve as President of the HBT Board as of December 2022.
Professionally, I specialize in enterprise risk management, primarily in large financial institutions, with experience in process reengineering and change management. My husband Jeff is a long-time Shacharit service leader and has led multiple search committees for our clergy. He also serves on the board of ARZA Canada. Our two children Beth and Rob (& his wife Valerie) live very conveniently, near each other in the US. In my spare time, I visit family and friends in Israel or the US or am training or racing with my powerwalking friends.
I look forward to hearing YOUR Holy Blossom story!