We are Canadian Jews from a variety of backgrounds. We are academics, civil servants, trade unionists, authors, and activists who want to provide a progressive voice for Canada’s Jewish community.
Board of Directors
Zack Babins is an activist, writer, political junkie and Recovering Jewish Professional who has been active in Jewish advocacy since his time on campus at the University of Guelph. His time on campus imparted on him a deep commitment to community organizing based on the principle that “no one is too important to stack chairs and serve food.” By day, Zack is a consultant and lobbyist with Blackbird Strategies, focused on social justice and reconciliation. He is also a student at the Academy for Jewish Religion, working towards a Masters in Jewish Studies and Rabbinical Ordination. His hobbies include cooking, playing music, baking challah, and scrolling through Twitter. Born and raised in Thornhill, he currently resides in Ottawa, ON.
David Berson is the Executive Director of Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (British Columbia and Alberta Region). He has served as campaign director for numerous community organizations including the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, Congregation Beth Israel and has served as a fundraising consultant for BC Aboriginal Mining Training Association, Or Shalom Synagogue and the Vancouver Shambhala Centre. He is a member of CIJA’s Pacific Region Local Partnership Council, is a Board Member of the Canadian Zionist Federation, and serves as the Chair of Ameinu Canada. David co-chaired OSSRI, Or Shalom’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative, and is a member of the Momo Minyan which has been active in sponsoring displaced Tibetan migrants.
Robyn Fishbein is currently a graduate student in Carleton’s Master of Political Management Program, an intensive master’s degree designed to provide a professional foundation for students who will go on to leadership roles in the political sphere, public affairs, or non-governmental organizations. Previously, Robyn worked as the Political Outreach and Programming Coordinator at CJPAC, where she worked to engage members of the Jewish and pro-Israel community in the political process. Prior to working at CJPAC, Robyn was a CIJA parliamentary intern in the office of former MP, Sheila Malcolmson. Robyn graduated from McMaster University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, where she was actively involved in her campus Hillel executive.
Meirav Jones is Assistant Professor of religious studies at McMaster university and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She earned her PhD in Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2013 and has since taught at Yale and Tel Aviv University and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Meirav arrived in Canada with her family in August 2020 and has been a leader in grassroots Jewish, Arab, Muslim coexistence in Toronto, working to recreate the sort of cooperative peace efforts she participated in in Israel. Her passion in research and activism is recovering common languages between peoples and approaches usually understood as conflicting.
Reut Kaddar is an experienced educator who is motivated by the promise of a just society. Reut grew up in Israel, on a Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz, and as such, activism is part of her DNA. After graduating, Reut created an after-school program for youth ages 6 to 18, educating and inspiring young Israelis to participate in demonstrations for coexistence and peace. In Canada, Reut served as a Shlicha (emissary) for the World Zionist Organization, leading the Hashomer Hatzair community in the GTA and supporting the Heart to Heart summer camp. Today, Reut works as a teacher in a Jewish day school in Toronto. Reut’s motto is: “Al Tagidu Yom Yavo. Havioo Et HaYom — Shir LaShalom" (Translation: Do not say the day will come. Bring that day — Song for Peace).
Maytal Kowalski was born in Winnipeg to an interfaith family and made Aliyah in 1994. She has lived on a Kibbutz, Moshav, and in the mixed city of Nazereth Illit/Nof Hagalil, and attended junior high and high school within the kibbutz schooling system. She currently lives in Vancouver. Maytal is the co-founder of Press Pause Collective, a fundraising and marketing consulting collective, focusing on inclusive and equitable practices within the field. Maytal also serves on the board of directors for the New Israel Fund of Canada, and is a 2021 Israel Policy Forum Atid Charles Bronfman Convener.
Joe Roberts serves as chair of the board of JSpaceCanada and is an experienced senior executive, organizational leader, and development expert. Founder & CEO of two startups, Roberts has also served in C-level roles in Jewish Federations and pro-Israel organizations in London, Ontario, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio. Beginning his career in politics, Roberts managed strategy for electoral campaigns, issue advocacy initiatives, ballot measures, and lobbied members of the United States Congress, Senate, and the House of Commons. After nearly a decade of political work, Roberts ran for and won the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District in Ohio. Roberts has raised over $100 million dollars for philanthropic causes that matter and led the effort to build support for Birthright Israel in Los Angeles. A committed progressive Zionist, Joe also serves as Chair of Meretz Canada and is on the board of directors of the Ontario Autism Coalition. He currently lives in Cobourg, Ontario with his incredible wife and their two young sons.
Noah Tepperman is an active business and civic leader with a broad set of skills & experiences built through his involvement in numerous community initiatives and his years as an owner and leader of Tepperman’s, a 3rd generation family-owned home furnishings retailer. Noah is the founding co-chair of ProsperUs, an initiative he co-convened in 2017 to inspire residents with a shared vision of a prosperous Windsor-Essex County. Noah sits on the Board of United Way Windsor-Essex, serving on its Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and previously chairing its Emerging Philanthropists program. He is the President of the Windsor-Tecumseh Federal NDP Riding Association, serves on the National Advisory Board for CJPAC, and is a member of the community advocacy group 42 Forward.
Howard Adelman CM (Founder and Past Director of York Univeristy’s Centre for Refugee Studies)
Jon Allen (Former Canadian Ambassador to Israel and Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs)
Mark S. Anshan (Past Chair of ARZA Canada, ARZENU and Former President of Holy Blossom Temple)
Francine Dick (Past Secretary of JSpaceCanada and Certified Financial Planner)
Marc Dolgin (Former Executive Director of the World University Service of Canada)
Rabbi Ed Elkin (Rabbi, First Narayever Congregation)
Rabbi Lawrence Englander (Rabbi Emeritus, Solel Congregation & Past President of ARZENU)
Bernie Farber (Chair, Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Frmr. Exec. Director of Mosaic Institute and CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress)
Joan Garson (Past President and Board Member of the New Israel Fund of Canada)
Nora Gold (Founder of JSpaceCanada, Prize-Winning Author, Editor of Jewish Fiction.net)
Maurice Green (Past President of the New Israel Fund of Canada)
David Groskind (Past Communications Chair, JSpaceCanada, Web Developer & Long-Time Volunteer)
Ron Kanter (Former Toronto City Councillor and Ontario MPP)
Barbara Landau (Coordinator, J-Link: International Progressive Jewish Network, Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims)
Israel (Issie) Lyon (Past Chair of JSpaceCanada, Canadian Representative to the 2010 World Zionist Congress)
Diane Mandell (Past Conference Chair, JSpaceCanada)
Rabbi Miriam Margles (Danforth Jewish Circle, Founder of Encounter)
Dr. Karen Mock (Past President of JSpaceCanada, Frmr. Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada
Derek J. Penslar (William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History at Harvard University, Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto)
Henry Ruschin (Past Treasurer, JSpaceCanada, Retired Pharmacist and Educator)
Tema Smith (Director of Professional Development for InterfaithFamily, Columnist)
Hart Schwartz (Founding Member of JSpaceCanada and 2016 Acting Chair, Co-President of the Board of Directors of the First Narayever Congregation)
Judith Wiley (CEO, Central Community Health Centre, London)