Dr. Berkowitz has a long track record of leadership and volunteerism both in the Jewish community and in the general community.
Highlights of his leadership in the Jewish community are serving as president of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and General Chair of its annual campaign, president of Congregation Beth Israel, and vice-president of Vancouver Talmud Torah School. He was named honorary life director of Jewish Federation in 2001. Other selected activities for the Jewish community include serving as a member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation, member of the organizing committee for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) local celebrations, and member of the board of directors of Vancouver Talmud Torah High School (now the King David High School). For more than 25 years he has been a canvasser for the annual Federation Campaign. He has been a master of ceremonies for gala events of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, the Vancouver Hillel Foundation, and Congregation Beth Israel.
Among the many awards and honours he has received are:
- Yakir Award from United Israel Appeal / Keren Hayesod, in celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary (1998)
- Arthur Fouks Award for outstanding leadership, from Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver (2002)
- President’s Award for Exceptional Volunteer Service, from Congregation Beth Israel (2012)
- Young Leadership Award, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver (1995)
Recent activities include serving on the national board of Canadian Jewish Federations–United Israel Appeal, and on the head of school search committee for Vancouver Talmud Torah. With his wife, Heather, he co-chaired the Jewish Federation 30th anniversary video commemoration. A graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program in 2000, he currently serves on the Wexner Foundation Alumni Council, and has spearheaded a return of the Wexner Heritage program to Vancouver in 2020.
Jonathan also has a long history of educational volunteerism, with presentations on fun with mathematics and fun with words, given at all grade levels (K to 12) at many schools (Vancouver Talmud Torah, Vancouver Hebrew Academy, Richmond, Jewish Day School, Crofton House, Fraser Academy, Magee High School). He has also performed at Science World British Columbia, with Main Stage Presentations on Math Magic and Wizardry, and at Arithmetricks’ Puzzle Day. And he was twice the keynote speaker at the BC High School Math Contest, held at Thompson Rivers University.
Jonathan twice cohosted (2002 and 2015) the annual convention of the National Puzzlers’ League. Since 2016 he has served as the quizmaster and co-emcee of ONE TO ONE Literacy’s annual spelling bee fundraising event.