Welcome to Congregation Kol Ami online. I hope that as you investigate our community in virtual space you will be encouraged to investigate us at our physical home in beautiful Vancouver, WA. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you there as well.
There are a few things you should know about our community. We are inquisitive and outspoken. We are participatory and interactive. We are socially conscious and connected to our greater community. Overall however, we are warm and loving, and a community in the best sense of the word. We work very hard to take care of each other in our best and our worst times. Our congregation was created and grew because our members took seriously the commitment to creating the kind of community they wished to be a part of. A community we could call “home”.
We hope you will join us for a Shabbat, and introduce yourself to us. If I can be of any assistance please contact me through email or the telephone. I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you to our community.
Rabbi Elizabeth Dunsker grew up in Rochester, New York and spent many hours learning at Temple Sinai in Penfield, New York. She first visited Israel in December 1985-January 1986 when she attended the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program. The program introduced her to the history and culture of Israel and helped her fall in love with our homeland.
Rabbi Dunsker attended Simmons College in Boston where she graduated with a degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. During her time there, Rabbi Dunsker earned the C. Wright Mills award as the student most dedicated to social change. During college she also spent a summer and a fall semester studying at Tel Aviv University and working in the Kerem (grape vineyards) of Kibbutz Gezer. This time solidified her connection to the land and the people of Israel.
She went back to Israel to study when she spent her first year of Rabbinical school in Jerusalem. She was ordained from the Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in 1996, after which she served Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas for seven years.
She served four years as the final rabbi for the Reform Temple of Suffern-Shir Shalom in Suffern, New York helping that congregation close its doors with spirit and dignity and merge into a new congregation, Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, New Jersey where she served for a year helping them transition from two congregations into one.
Rabbi Dunsker married her husband Jeff in 2000, together they have been blessed with two wonderful children.
She arrived in Vancouver in 2008 where she has been proud and honored to serve as the Rabbi for Congregation Kol Ami. Rabbi Dunsker leads with spirit and joy bringing wisdom and love for Judaism and the Jewish people to all that she does.