NO: What kinds of volunteer work have you done in the past?
DM: Volunteer work? Well, I worked for approximately eight years with Beth Tikvah in the capacity of President, past-President, involvement in education committees and various other committees over a period of eight to ten years.
NO: When was Beth Tikvah founded, what year?
DM: Well Beth Tikvah was started originally as a Jewish community in Richmond and that was in 1970/71 and after four or five years as a Jewish community association it became a synagogue, and was originally started in 1970. In the summer of 1970 on of the rabbis in Vancouver by the name of Harold Rubin, he was the rabbi of the Temple Sholom, he was living in Richmond and he found that his children were discriminated against when they missed school to go to the synagogue for Jewish holidays, so he was quite concerned that the community was not aware of Jewish holidays in the area. So he proceeded to send out notification tall the Jewish families that he knew of in Richmond for a meeting, and this took place in June of 1970. And from that meeting a loosely arranged group of families got together over the summer and met to try and form a community association. In the fall of 1970 we had a meeting here at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver at which there were about sixty or seventy families and we got together and formed Richmond/Delta Jewish community association. I was chosen first President because I had kept notes over the summer and nobody else wanted to take on the job. So from the fall of 1970 we met regularly in different members’ homes to develop a constitution, to set up various committees; we had a President, vice-President, secretary, treasurer, social committee, education committee, ways and means committee, we had a welcoming committee who would welcome new families into the community and this is how we started. The first fund-raisers occurred in the fall of ’71 and our goal as the time was to set up a pre-school and an after-school Hebrew school, so in the fall of ’71 we had a bazaar and we had a raffle, we built a playhouse for children and we raffled this off and we also had a bazaar at the same time and we raised money towards setting the school up. Finally in the fall of ’71 we were able to set up this pre-school.
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Black and white image shows children gathered around a man wearing a kippah and holding a book; bimah and ark in background, with another man wearing a kippah covering the Torah scroll. This photo was taken in Beth Hamidrash B'nai Jacob, Vancouver's only Sephardic synagogue, established in the late 1960s and located at 3231 Heather Street. Gamliel Aharon is teaching at the Sephardic Sunday school class. President Naxem J. Aboody (top) is displaying an ancient scroll of Law from Congregation Magen David in Bombay, India.