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



Interim Chair of the Board, 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.


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.


Esther Blum defined herself, in her younger years, as both a Canadian and would-be Israeli. She studied at the Hebrew University, volunteered on Kibbutz Be’eri for a year in 1973, was a social worker in a High School in Tel Aviv, taught at Bar Ilan Faculty of Social Work and spent a Sabbatical Year at Ben Gurion University. However family kept her grounded in Canada. She’s a transplanted Montrealer, who taught at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and has been living in Winnipeg for 40-plus years. Her teaching, research and community work focused on immigrant and refugee issues, cross-cultural and anti-racist training and forwarding educational equity policy and programming. In her retirement years, understanding, exploring and working towards Palestinian-Israeli co-existence has become a priority.


Felicia Brooker was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and moved to Kibbutz Nahal Oz in Israel three weeks after graduating high school. After completing her military service in the air force, Felicia returned to the kibbutz and worked in the dairy, eventually moving to Tel Aviv and attending law school. While in law school Felicia taught both ulpan and ESL, and also volunteered for the Peace Now movement and the political party, Meretz.

After finishing law school, Felicia made a sharp pivot to follow her dream of being a screenwriter, returning to Toronto to study film. While in film school, Felicia also worked forVe’ahavta, as a grant proposal writer and fundraiser for their AZT initiative for an AIDS hospital in Zimbabwe, and was also a leader on a mission to the Jewish community in Cuba.

After graduating film school, Felicia continued to work in the law at the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Public Guardian, while working to break into the film and TV business. Her first big break came when one of her pilot scripts was chosen for the CanWest Global Prize at the Banff Television Festival in 2010.

Now a full-time television writer/producer and a super proud mom of two boys and a girl, ages 8 to 18, Felicia is also an active member of the downtown Toronto Jewish community, including serving on the board of Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism. A life-long believer in a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine, Felicia is very excited to join JSpaceCanada and work with like-minded people to bring about change.


Dr. Matthew Flisfeder is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communications at The University of Winnipeg. He is the author of Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (2021), Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner (2017), and The Symbolic, The Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film (2012), and he is also the co-editor of Žižek an Media Studies: A Reader (2014). Dr. Flisfeder’s current research focus centres on defending the renewal of universal humanism as a rhetorical, aesthetic, and political orientation for grappling with contemporary problems tied to climate change and the rise of digital automation and artificial intelligence. Dr. Flisfeder’s interest in Jewish advocacy comes at the intersection of his focus on universal humanism and Labour Zionism. Originally from Toronto, Dr. Flisfeder moved with his family to Winnipeg in 2016, and enjoys being part of such a vibrant and tightly knit Jewish community, and one that values ideals of progressiveness and equity. Dr. Flisfeder is interested in progressive Jewish advocacy, the building of a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, and campus activism pushing for Jewish inclusion and diversity.


Hilla Kabazo was born in Ramat Gan, Israel and immigrated to Vancouver with her parents shortly after. She is currently based in East Vancouver as a fourth-year student studying Sociology and Jewish Studies at the University of British Columbia. Hilla has been heavily involved over the past few years in Habonim Dror North America (HDNA), predominantly through her work and leadership at Camp Miriam since 2018. During the past few years, Hilla has also been recently involved in her local Jewish community through teaching Israeli dance at the local JCC, facilitating educational programs with Ameinu Canada for other Jewish college students, and holding various volunteer positions at Hillel BC.


Jacob Kates Rose was born and lives in Toronto, and is a proud boger of HaShomer HaTzair Canada at Camp Shomria. After studying Peace, Conflict and Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Jacob began working in municipal politics in communications, relationship building and strategy. Jacob was a leader at UofT Hillel, where he co-founded Peace Now at UofT, a student organization aimed at promoting dialogue and understanding amongst Jewish and Palestinian students on campus. At the same time, he was the Jewish programming intern at UofT's Multi-Faith Centre. Jacob joined JSpaceCanada out of a deep conviction that there is a better way for Israelis and Palestinians, and that the diaspora has a role to play in promoting peace, justice, dignity and equality for all in the region.


Jeffrey Larry provides clients with practical, business-focused advice. He has extensive experience in complex commercial, securities and insolvency litigation. Jeff also represents clients frequently in shareholder disputes, banking litigation, fraud, and commercial real estate proceedings. Jeff is also an active part of the firm’s class action practice. He acts regularly before the Superior Court of Ontario, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Securities Commission, and has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada. He has received recognition from Lexpert, Best Lawyers in Canada, and Benchmark Litigation as a recommended and leading lawyer.