Holy Blossom Temple is pleased to announce the appointment of Russ Joseph as our new Executive Director.
Russ grew up in Toronto and attended high school here. He was very involved in synagogue life as a teen and held local and national leadership positions in several Jewish youth groups. He went away for his undergraduate education but returned to the Schulich School of Business at York University for his MBA. Russ then joined General Motors of Canada and was transferred to Alberta. Subsequently, he left that company and had a long, successful career in the retail, automobile business, mostly with Toyota. He has held numerous local, provincial and national industry positions and was recognized by his peers on many occasions for his contributions.
In 2010 Russ decided it was time for a major change and he assumed the role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. By bringing his financial and business acumen to the position, Russ has crafted a major turn-around in the Community. He has helped to lead three successive record fundraising campaigns; he has developed a small, but professional team of program and marketing individuals; he has disposed of an aging facility and led the move into more modern space; he has brought the Community back to the national federation table and, perhaps more importantly, he has helped to bring together the disparate membership and unite them around the common theme of Jewish peoplehood.
Russ and his wife Jan are lifelong Jewish community volunteers. Russ has served his Edmonton synagogue for over thirty years and has held virtually every board position; he was made an honorary life trustee when the bylaws precluded him from re-election. Jan has been very involved in various women’s organizations and founded a support group for Jewish women living with cancer (patterned after the Toronto organization, L’Chaim). They have two, grown married daughters, both of whom live in the GTA, along with three energetic young grandsons and they look forward to having their extended family join with them at HBT.
Russ is beginning the process of winding down his time in Edmonton as they now begin to search for his replacement. He will try to visit with us a couple of times before officially starting, full-time, on March 4th. Russ and Jan look forward to meeting the HBT family and are excited about the prospects that this great opportunity brings.
Please join me in welcoming Russ to Holy Blossom. We are very excited about working together with Russ and benefitting from the great skill and experience he brings to our Temple.