Campaign Chairs

Josh Engel
Co-Chair, 2021 and 2022 Annual Campaigns

Josh was born and raised in Ottawa and has been an active participant in the Ottawa Jewish community throughout his life. As a child he attended and graduated from Hillel Academy, had his b’nai mitzah, along with his twin brother Eric, at Agudath Israel Congregation and attended Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa from 1980 to 1995, as a camper, staff member and supervisor.

In January 1996, after having graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Josh joined GGFL Chartered Professional Accountants to begin his career in public accounting. He was drawn to the firm for its reputation in the Ottawa community at large as well as its commitment to being a good corporate citizen, specifically as it relates to supporting and giving back to Ottawa’s Jewish community. After obtaining his CPA designation in 1999, Josh was admitted to the Partnership in 2010 and was named Managing Partner in 2019, a position he currently holds today.

Throughout his professional career Josh has made it a point to give back to the community that has given so much to him. In addition to being the chair of the accountant’s division for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Annual Campaign, he has also served as Treasurer for Tamir Foundation and as Treasurer for Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa Inc. Josh’s volunteer roles have extended beyond the Ottawa Jewish community as he has served as Treasurer for the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club and as Treasurer for DFK Canada Inc., the largest association of independent accounting firms in Canada.

Josh credit his parents, Cynthia and the late Abraham Engel, for giving him the opportunity to be educated and live “Jewishly” and strongly believes that this has contributed greatly to the success he enjoys today in both his personal and professional life.  

“I have had the privilege of working with, and learning from, so many of our great community leaders, including the most recent Annual Campaign Co-chairs, Karen Palayew and Rabbi Bulka, z"l. I am honoured to be in such great company and am hopeful that with their continued support I can bring a new energy to the campaign and inspire the next generation to give back to our great Ottawa Jewish community in a meaningful way.”


Karen Palayew
Co-Chair, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Annual Campaigns

Karen Palayew grew up in Montreal as an active member of the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue. She credits her parents, grandparents and community for instilling in her a love of Israel, strong Jewish morals and values, and an appreciation for the importance of tikkun olam

She began pediatric training at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and moved to Toronto in 1989 after marrying her husband Lorne. She completed her pediatric residency at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Her children - Noah, Matthew and Julie - were born in Toronto. The family moved to Ottawa in 2000 to be closer to extended family and to have access to the wonderful Ottawa lifestyle.  


Karen works as a primary care pediatrician. Both professionally and through volunteering, her passion is working with children. She have been actively involved with the March of the Living (MOL) program and was a chaperone with the Ottawa group in 2012. She helped to create the Ottawa MOL Committee which she chaired until 2018. She has been co-chair of the Coast to Coast MOL contingent for the past five years and accompanied the delegation on the MOL journey again last year. She feels strongly about engaging teens in this meaningful educational program - strengthening their Jewish identity, instilling in them the importance of remembering our past, and empowering them to speak out against racism, hatred and intolerance in our society.    


She co-chaired the Medical Division of the Federation’s Annual Campaign for several years. She feels honoured to take on this leadership role and greatly appreciates the encouragement and support of the many women who took on this responsibility before her. She believes strongly in the core values of Federation and its mandate to support and care for every aspect of Jewish life in Ottawa. She appreciates the importance of engaging individuals of all ages to become involved in the Jewish community, to connect in meaningful and personally fulfilling ways, ensuring that our community remains strong and vibrant for our children and for future generations.