Community member honoured for professional and civic leadership

Long-time leader in the Jewish community, Lawrence Silber, was awarded the Abe Feinstein Solicitor Award by the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA). The annual award is given to a solicitor who has distinguished themselves throughout their career by exemplary service to the legal profession and commitment to the community.

First and foremost, Lawrence pointed out what a well-respected solicitor Abe Feinstein was and how honoured he was to be selected for this award named in Abe’s honour.  Abe was also known for his leadership and volunteerism within the Ottawa Jewish community.

Lawrence is originally from Montreal and moved to Ottawa in 1984. When he and his wife Shari started a family and decided to send their kids to Hillel Academy (now Ottawa Jewish Community School), he saw a natural entry into volunteering. At the time he did not consider himself actively involved but was inspired to support the activities of his children’s school and was hoping to make social connections for himself and Shari. It was a successful venture and springboarded him into a life of volunteerism. He stated that he is still friends with many of the other parents he met during those school years.

From 1996 to 1997, he was ready to become more formally involved and joined the board of the Jewish Community Centre. At that time the JCC was still on Chapel Street. While on the Board, he participated as part of the Executive and Governance Committee, the Fundraising Committee and the Sports Dinner Committee, finally becoming Chair in 2004.
He was motivated by the challenge of the relocation of the JCC from Chapel Street to Nadolny Sachs, which occurred in 1998 and acknowledges that this was a tumultuous time for the community, but he embraced the challenge and was part of the team responsible for the transition to the Broadview Campus.  Following his two years as Chair he remained on the Board as Immediate Past Chair until 2006. He was also instrumental in drafting the by-laws for the Soloway JCC at the time of the move. For all his efforts, he was awarded the 2006 Ben Karp Volunteer Service Award which honours a volunteer who best exemplifies communal ideals and sets an ongoing example for others. He remained involved with the SJCC and answered the call of duty again in 2010, when the by-laws needed redrafting.

His additional volunteer posts at that time included the Canadian Council of Jewish Community Centres, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), and being on the board of Agudath Israel (now part of Kehillat Beth Israel).
Like many, Lawrence’s volunteer work is not restricted to the Jewish Community and has volunteered for the Ottawa Board of Trade, Canadian Mothercraft of Ottawa -Carleton, Tulip Festival, Habitat For Humanity and the Women’s Business Network, to name just a few.

Right now, Lawrence, a partner with Kelly Santini LLP, is focusing on mentoring the next generation of young solicitors and supporting his professional association, the CCLA.  For Lawrence, volunteering is deeply rewarding. Being a part of the evolution of an organization inspires him to look for the next role or mentor the next young professional. The Jewish community will certainly benefit from his experience and dedication again soon.

We wish you a huge mazel tov on your accomplishments!