MERCAZ-CANADA Board

Executive Board (3 year term)

David Sefton, President, (Toronto) was born in Berkhamsted, England and immigrated to Canada in 1952. He is a Civil Engineer involved in real estate, construction and Property Management. David was a founding member of Shaar Shalom Synagogue [1974], and is now involved with Kehillat Chaverim and Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda. He is a Past President of Toronto Jewish Free Loan Cassa. David and his wife Marlene have two children and five grandchildren.

Stan Greenspan, 1st Vice President, (Toronto) was born in Trail, BC and raised in Toronto, ON, where he lives with his wife of over 39 years, Vanessa. They have two children: Nicole (Ramat Gan) & Jessie (Toronto). A graphic artist and internet developer, Stan graduated in Ryerson Polytechnical University’s first baccalaureate class in Image Arts. He operates Interactivepages, working with many Jewish organizations. Stan has been involved in both synagogue organization and Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs (FJMC) for over 30 years, beginning at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue and the Sunnybrook Hospital Jewish Chapel, which he worked to build, along with the chapel's Men's Club, and coordinated the Toronto Brotherhood Shabbat Programme. Stan is the first Canadian citizen and resident to be FJMC's International President since 1979. Stan travels extensively for the FJMC, leading training programs around the continent. He recently earned his private pilot licenses for the USA and Canada and may be found in the air at the controls on sunny days.

Nola Lazar, Secretary (Winnipeg) was born, raised and educated in Winnipeg, and is an active volunteer in her local Jewish community. She held positions on two Synagogue boards (Beth Israel, and Congregation Etz Chayim), and served as Branch Co-Chair for National Council of Jewish Women. Nola is currently Co-Vice President of JNF Manitoba and Saskatchewan region and serves as member at large for the CZF Board of Directors. Passionate about increasing youth involvement in the synagogue, Nola Chairs the Congregation Etz Chayim Youth Committee, and oversees successful programs, such as weekly Junior Congregation, Purim Carnival, and Tu B'Shevat Seder. Nola and her husband, Dr. Matthew Lazar, developed the annual Passover Chocolate Seder, where the attendance has grown each year. Trained in design, Nola expresses her love of Judaism through art in various media. Her most recent project is painting Jewish themes on silk for Tallitot. Two of Nola's four children have made Aliyah and served in the IDF.

Arthur Andrews, Treasurer, (Toronto) was born and raised in Toronto. He is involved with Beth Tzedec Synagogue, Toronto, where he has been a member for over 50 years, and where he served on the board of Directors, and as Chairman of Beth Tzedec Memorial. Art is on the Executive of the Beth Tzedec Men's Club, and chairs the Beth Tzedec Golf Classic. He is the owner of Arcade Press Limited. Art and his wife, Carole, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

Marion (Blonder) Mayman, Immediate Past President, (Toronto) was born in Sydney, NS. Married to Shlomo, they have 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 5 grandchildren. In 1957 Marion and Shlomo made aliyah to Israel, where they lived for 5 years. Marion is President of MERCAZ-Canada and Vice President of MERCAZ Olami. She also serves on the Va'ad HaPoel of the World Zionist Organization and as a committee member of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors. Marion chairs the Speakers Bureau of the Israel Committee of USCJ. She also sits on the Boards of the Canadian Zionist Federation, the Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism and JNF Toronto. Marion served as National President of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, President of Agudath Israel Congregation (Ottawa), and President of JNF Ottawa.

Board members (2 year term)

Lori Abernathy (Term expires 2021) (Calgary)

Uriel Bard (Term expires 2019) (Thornhill) born in 1967 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Uriel's family made Aliyah when he was six months old. After completing his army service, Uriel came to Toronto to complete a BSc in Computer Science from York University before returning to Israel. He also holds an MBA from Tel-Aviv University. In January 2016, Uriel returned to Canada reuniting with his family. While in Israel, in addition to a career in the IT industry, Uriel was always involved in the Masorti Movement: as a youth leader in NOAM- the Masorti youth movement, and as cantor in Kehillot Moriah, Haifa, and Tiferet Shalom, Tel Aviv. Uriel also participated in Kolot (Voices)- beit midrash for social action leadership, and studied Talmud at the Schechter Institute of Jewish studies in Jerusalem. Uriel is passionate about building bridges between the Jewish streams here and in Israel, and creating awareness of these movements within the Israeli secular community.

Rabbi David Bluman (Term expires 2019) (Vancouver) is a native of Vancouver, BC. He graduated with a BA in Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia. During his undergraduate studies he traveled to Israel to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he met his wife, Olga. After university, David studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and in May 2009 received Rabbinic Ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA. He began his rabbinate at Kadima Day School in West Hills, CA, as the School Rabbi. Rabbi Bluman joined Congregation Beth Israel in 2013, as the Director of Youth Engagement. He is in charge of the Hebrew School, USY, Chai School, B'nai Mitzvah class and the young adults program.

Frances Caine (Term expires 2019) (Toronto) was born in Rochester New York, and attended university in Buffalo. After marrying her husband Sy, they moved to Toronto, joining Beth David. Eventually, Fran, with Sy and other families, formed a new congregation, Sharei Tikvah, in the Don Mills area. After some time Sharei Tikvah merged with a Bayview group to form Beth Tikvah. Fran was a founding member of the Beth Tikvah choir, and has been singing with them for over forty years. In addition, Fran helped establish the Beth Tikvah Sisterhood, where she became active on the board. Over the years Fran became more active in both Beth Tikvah Sisterhood and Women's League of Conservative Judaism, holding many positions and becoming Beth Tikvah Sisterhood President in 2000. Fran also served as Vice President and President of the WLCJ International Northeast Region. Fran is active in UJA and as a Baycrest Hospital volunteer.

Marilyn Cohen (Term expires 2019) (Toronto) was the previous Executive Director of MERCAZ-Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism. Marilyn has worked as the Alumni Coordinator for Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT); sat on the Boards of UJA Federation Women's Division, Women's League for Conservative Judaism (Canadian Seaway Branch & International Board), and as an Executive and Board member of Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Toronto. In recognition for her work at Beth Tikvah, she received a Volunteer of the Year award from the City of North York and, together with her husband Bob, the 2002 Ateret Kavod Award from United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Canadian Region. Their two daughters, Naomi & Debra, are also very involved in the Jewish community.

Eleanor Diamond (Term expires 2019) (Montreal)

Catherine Epstein (Term expires 2019), (Vancouver) was born in Lachine, Quebec and has lived in a number of Canadian cities including Halifax and London. She now resides in Vancouver with her husband and 3 children. Catherine was employed for ten years with the Royal Bank of Canada, specializing in the areas of Retail, Audit and Human Resources. Her numerous volunteer activities include being a member of the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO National Executive Board and serving as a National Trainer for Hadassah-WIZO. In 2005 she was the Publicity Chairperson for their National Convention. Catherine has served as a Board Member of The Women's League of Congregation Beth Israel and Fundraising Chairperson and President for the synagogue. She fundraises for her children's school and is also a Lab Instructor/Docent of school programs at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl (Term expires 2021) (Toronto) is the Anne & Max Tanenbaum Senior Rabbi of Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto. He is deeply involved in work across the Jewish community. Rabbi Frydman-Kohl has been involved with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and has served as President of the Rabbinical Assembly of Ontario and the Toronto Board of Rabbis. He helped to initiate the Jewish Leadership program of the Kellogg School of Management, serves on the University of Toronto's Jewish Studies Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly. The recipient of a Coolidge Fellowship for research in an inter-faith community at the Episcopal Divinity School at Harvard University, Rabbi Frydman-Kohl is a leader in interfaith activity in Canada, helping to organize the Path of Abraham missions to the Holy Land and serving as a member of the Canadian Jewish-Catholic Consultation process. He has doctorate in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary and serves as a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem. Rabbi Frydman-Kohl and Josette, his wife, are the parents of Yakov (married to Sarah), Rafi, and Amir (married to Amanda), and proud grandparents.

David Goldberg (Term expires 2021) (Toronto) is one of Canada's leading authorities on issues affecting Israel's government and politics, relations with its Arab and Muslim neighbours and the broader international community, Israel-Diaspora affairs, Canada-Israel bilateral relations and Canada's Middle East policy. David holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University. He is author of and contributor to multiple books, chapters, scholarly articles and reviews. Following teaching International Relations at York University, and a long career of service in Canadian Jewish communal organizations, including Canadian Professors for Peace in the Middle East, Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and the Canada-Israel Committee, David established Dynamic Global Information Service, an independent research, education and policy analysis consulting firm specializing in issues affecting Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world. He completed a long-term contract as Educational Consultant/Project Manager for "None Is Too Many", Canadian Jewish Congress's project with the Canadian government designed to memorialize the historical injustice in Canada's 1939 refusal to admit Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism aboard the MS St. Louis. A native of Toronto, David is an active member of Beth David B'nai Israel Beth Am, founding the Israel Committee and serving in various other leadership capacities.

Rabbi Philip Gibbs (Term expires 2021) (Vancouver) grew up in Marietta, GA, and attended university at Washinton University in St Louis, graduating with a dual major in Hebrew and Humanities, before attending seminary at JTS while also receiving a Masters in Talmud. At JTS Rabbi Gibbs worked in several synagogue communities. He led the Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute at Ramah un the Rockies. He served as secretary to the RA Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. Rabbi Gibbs is rabbi at Har El in Vancouver.

Ron Hoffman (Term expires 2021) Toronto) is a lawyer and businessman with a passion for involvement in Jewish life in Toronto. He is the current President of the Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism and a past President of JNF Canada. He also served as Chair of JNF Toronto and serves on JNF Canada's National Board with a responsibility for community outreach. Ron has served as Chair of the Reena Foundation, Vice President of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Ontario Region), Treasurer of Adath Israel Congregation and President of its Brotherhood. Ron is a recipient of the Shem Tov Award given by UJA Federation for exemplary involvement and leadership and was Toronto Chair of the JNF Mega-Tour in 1990. Ron and his wife, Heather have been blessed with children, Russell and Lori, Russell's wife Amy and grandchildren, Samantha and Jake.

Max Marmer (Term expires 2019) (Waterloo) was born and bred in Toronto. He has been involved in Jewish life and the Jewish community since birth. Throughout his middle and high school years, Max was an active member of the Eastern Canadian Region of United Synagogue Youth (ECRUSY), serving as an international Vice President for one term. Max has a degree in Administrative Studies from York University in Toronto. More recently, Max served as the ECRUSY Director of Youth Activities before becoming the Hillel Director in Waterloo. He was selected as a youth delegate for Masorti Olami to the World Zionist Organization Congress in 2015. Max continues to be committed to Jewish youth development and is deeply involved in synagogue life.

David Roytenberg (Term expires 2019) (Ottawa) was born in Winnipeg, and raised near Montreal. He is a life-long supporter of the State of Israel and the Conservative movement. In his youth he joined Canadian Young Judea, spending both a summer and year in Israel, before serving as Mazkir Ezor of CYJ Eastern Region. David married Dora Benbaruk in 1992, and is the proud father of Jonathan and Michael. He holds a Master of Computer Science from Carleton University. David served for six years as a member of the board of Agudath Israel Congregation in Ottawa, two as First Vice President and Ritual Committee Chair for AIC. Following the merger of Agudath Israel Congregation and Congregation Beth Shalom, David took on the role of chair of Adult Education for the new Kehillat Beth Israel Congregation. In 2018 the KBI board appointed David as their representative on the Board of MERCAZ-Canada. For more than past 20 years David has been an independent consultant providing software design and development services to clients in the public and private sector. He also serves as CEO of InterpretCan, which provides simultaneous translation services to meetings held throughout Canada.

Rabbi Adam Rubin (Term expires 2021) (Richmond) was appointed rabbi at Beth Tikvah Congregation in Richmond, B.C. in 2017. Before receiving his rabbinic ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2014, he was a member of the faculty at Hebrew Union College in that city for over ten years. Rabbi Rubin published a number of articles on Hebrew and Yiddish culture in Eastern Europe and pre-State Palestine. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in American and European history, and received his doctorate in modern Jewish history from UCLA. He is married to Judith Schleyer, a veteran educator at the elementary level. They have two children, Elior and Na'amah. He loves film, theater, and baseball, and is a recovering political junkie.

Trudy Sassoon (Term expires 2021) (Thornhill) was a very active member of Shaar Shalom, Thornhill, Sisterhood, and now Beth Tikvah, involved with many Sisterhood projects while serving on the Executive and Board and as President, also serving as President of Canadian Seaway Branch of Women's League for Conservative Judaism. Trudy was honoured as WLCJ Branch Sisterhoods' Women of Achievement for the Torah Fund and Eishet Chayil by her synagogue for all she has done over the years. Trudy sits on the Board of the Toronto Jewish Book Fair, Children's section, choosing books and booking programmes. Trudy and her husband, Claude, moved from Montreal in August 1977 and have a daughter, Lila.

Rabbi Philip Scheim (Term expires 2019) (Toronto) is the spiritual leader of Beth David B'nai Israel Beth Am Congregation in North York, Ontario. Rabbi Scheim came to Beth David in 1981 as Assistant Rabbi under the late Rabbi Albert Pappenheim z"l. He assumed the senior rabbinic post in August 1984. Rabbi Scheim received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1981, where he earned his MA in Rabbinics in 1980. He holds a BA in Jewish Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Rabbi Scheim sits on the boards of MERCAZ-Canada and Masorti-Olami, as well as several other charitable and service organizations in Canada and Israel. He serves on the Committee of Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement, on the Administrative Committee and the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly, recently as the International President. He is a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was co-editor of Megillat HaShoah, a Holocaust liturgy produced by the Rabbinical Assembly and Schechter Institute of Israel.

Randy Schwartz (Term expires 2019) (Winnipeg) holds a Certificate in Management, and has been an Administrative Assistant in the Infectious Diseases Department at a major Winnipeg hospital for over 27 years. Also very active at her congregation in Winnipeg, Randy is a Past President of Rosh Pina Sisterhood. She served on the Executive Committee and as a member of the Synagogue Merger Steering Committee (merging three Winnipeg Synagogues), Chairing the Catering Merger Committee, the Sisterhood Merger Committee and the Official Opening of Congregation Etz Chayim. Randy served on the Executive Committee of the newly formed congregation and Chaired the Catering Committee. Randy is the Immediate Past President of Midwest Region Women's League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ) and is an International Vice President of WLCJ. Randy has one son, Jory, who is an Interior Designer in New York.

Rabbi David Seed (Term expires 2021) (Toronto) is a Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation, Toronto. He served as Toronto Board of Rabbis Vice President and President of the Ontario Region of the Rabbinical Assembly. He is also the current chair of the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto. Born in New London, Connecticut, Rabbi Seed attended the Joint Program of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University and was ordained by the Seminary. He also received his Master of Social Work from Columbia University. Rabbi Seed has always had an interest in social action projects and the mitzvah of gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness, and has helped to create meaningful programs at Adath Israel.

Judy Silver (Term expires 2021) (London) retired from being the owner of Silver Lining Information Solutions. Judy volunteered for many organizations. In Winnipeg, she was a member of a synagogue board for 8 years, and was an Ort executive member with various positions at chapter and city levels. In Regina, she was a Hadassah-WIZO executive member with various positions at chapter and city levels. In London, Judy held various positions with the Or Shalom Theatre Troupe, and Canadian Hadassah-WIZO at chapter, city, and national levels. Currently, she is a member of the Chevra Kadisha. Judy sits on the Or Shalom boar, is the Or Shalom synagogue librarian, is on the Or Shalom Sisterhood board and is the Co-Chair of the London Yiskor Project. Judy also finds time to be on her Condo Board. She is lucky to have 6 grandchildren.

Howie Sniderman (Term expires 2021) (Edmonton) is a senior litigation partner with the law firm Witten LLP in Edmonton, Alberta. He has served as the chair of Maccabi Canada-Edmonton and of Camp BB-Riback in Alberta. Howie held a variety of executive positions with the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, and represented the Jewish Federation of Edmonton on the Canadian Jewish Congress and UIA Canada. He is a member of the National Board of the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and an associate member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew U. Howie is a past president of Beth Shalom Synagogue, Edmonton, and served as the International Secretary and International Vice-President of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) and he currently serves on the USCJ Executive Committee.

Norm Spatz (Term expires 2021)

Stephen Werger (Term expires 2019) (Toronto) has been actively involved at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda, Toronto, for many years. He served as President of the Board of Directors and the Men's Club. Stephen served on many committees as Chair or member. Stephen married Beth 28 years ago at Beth Emeth. Their children, Tanya and Sam, grew up at Beth Emeth. Stephen also served as a co-Chair of the Eastern Canadian Region of United Synagogue Youth (ECRUSY) regional council. In 2016, Stephen became President of the Canadian Council of Conservative Synagogues. Stephen looks forward to contributing to the board of MERCAZ-Canada.

Charles Wrock (Term expires 2019)

Ted Zittell (Term expires 2021)