President, Temple B’nai Tikvah
Sometimes when I visit another synagogue, I sense the unasked question: “What’s a blonde named Jameson doing in a place like this?” Complexion and name notwithstanding, I am a Jew by both choice and by birth. My ancestors include Orthodox rabbis and equally orthodox lefties. My great-great-great grandfather is considered the father of modern Orthodoxy. The original family name was Baruch. How it became Jameson is a good story.
All this history aside (by vocation I am a historian) my path to Temple B’nai Tikvah is a bit more straightforward. I was raised in a reform congregation, Temple B’nai Israel, in Galveston, Texas. My Jewish upbringing gave me both a sense of our history and a commitment to social justice, as my parents and my congregation were actively engaged in the African American civil rights movement. I moved to Calgary with my son Daniel in 1999, when I joined the history department at the University of Calgary. Temple B’nai Tikvah has been my Jewish home since I got here. I served as Social Action Chair from 2003-2012 (I think; like most historians, I am not great on dates), and have served on the Temple Executive since 2012.