Betsy Jameson

President, Temple B’nai Tikvah

Sometimes when I visit another synagogue, I Betsy Jamesonsense 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.

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