How Heidi Coleman tapped into Kamloops’ Jewish community—and quickly became their leader

Heidi Coleman biking the trails around Kamloops.

When Heidi Coleman moved to Kamloops from Montreal in 2012, she had to deliberately seek out its Jewish members—asking around, searching for information that was not widely available. Once she found them, however, they welcomed her warmly… and then quickly asked her to become their president.

A charismatic natural leader who is the CEO of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, Coleman has remained the community’s president ever since, mostly because, as she says, nobody else wants to do the job. On this episode of Yehupetzville, Coleman joins to describe the beauty of their faraway Jewish enclave, the struggle of being more visible for newcomers, and how Kamloops Jews interact with their neighbours—including the Indigenous Canadians who infamously stood at ground zero of the unmarked graves detected under residential schools.


Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, watch this video.