The Board of Directors


Benji Loomer

Co-Chair of the Board
Executive Committee
Education / Families Committee

Me, myself and I grew up in the small Jewish community of Edmonton, Alberta. I have lived in Montreal since 2003. I am a high school teacher, currently working with Quebec’s English school boards to develop a network of community schools. How good and how pleasant is it for us to do Jewish in our own neighbourhood. To have the spiritual, learning opportunities and communal fun right within walking distance. Driving around can be such a drag. Especially parking. Feh.

Cara Leibovitz

Education / Families Committee
Welcome Group
Communications Commitee

I grew up in Philadelphia where, being from a nice Jewish family, I went to Quaker school. I guess you could say my cultural identity is influenced by a mishmash of beautiful people, from my old-world Bubbies and Zaydas to my socially conscious parents in addition to my activist teachers and friends. My family belonged to the reform synagogue where I went to Hebrew school once a week and had my bat-mitzvah. In the many years that followed, aside from spending the major holidays with my family, I spent little time thinking about my Jewish identity. It wasn’t until I moved to Montreal from New York City, and then got married and had kids, that I decided to look deeper into my roots. My lovely, supportive and “Jew-ish” husband and I joined the Chavurah. I was the co-chair of the Families Committee for several years and help decorate for events whenever I can.

Cara is a co-founder of Caramel Studio, an interior design and styling company.

Daniel Seligman

I have a degree in religious studies from McGill University, which is where I first met our spiritual leader Rachel Kronick, back in the 1990s, and i have been involved with MECh in one way or another since it began over 10 years ago. I am deeply connected to the Montreal cultural and music scene and I am eager to use my experience in organizing events and working within the diverse landscape of the Montreal arts scene towards helping MECh continue to grow as an important community institution in Montreal.

Dan is a music manager, most notably  for Jewish hip hop wizard Socalled. He is a co-founder of the POP Montreal Music Festival and is the festival’s creative director

Eva Margo Dermer

I grew up in Ottawa in a family of active Chavurah-goers and am so glad to have joined MECh. I first attended Shabbat in the Park last summer and immediately felt very at home. Jewish community engagement has always been an important part of my life, so I am thrilled to have found such a welcoming group and have so enjoyed getting to know our community over the past year. Over the next two years, I look forward to contributing ideas, helping plan events and engaging with members to contribute to MECh’s growth as a diverse and inclusive community.

 Eva is currently completing her master’s in health systems research and will begin medical school in August 2020. She is an avid downhill skier and instructor, houseplant enthusiast and rarely goes more than 2 days without calling her grandma.

Melanie L.

High Holy Days Committee
Passover Commimttee

As a member of the board I would hope to maintain and build on MECh’s role as a place that celebrates diversity and fosters engagement, both within the MECh community as well as by building bridges and collaborating with the larger Jewish community and the larger Mile End & Montréal communities. I hope to continue to build a place where all feel welcome to celebrate, challenge, question, doubt, build, and create; to create a space that welcomes the black sheep, the rebels, the literal and figurative orphans, the doubters, the seekers – all around the same table.

Mindy Stricke

I’m a new Montréaler who is thrilled to be here and become a part of the leadership of Mile End Chavurah. I’ve always been drawn to vibrant Jewish communities that are open, warm, experimental, and willing to ask questions about what it means to be Jewish and how we make it engaging and relevant to our lives. I’m excited to be a part of this one now and to help build and grow it.

Mindy is a photographer and socially engaged artist. Check out her website at

Nancy Rotman

Families Committee

I am so happy to be joining the Board of Mile End Chavurah!  MECh has been such a warm community over these last years and I’m excited to deepen my commitment and become a board member. I’m a native Montreal and a long-time Chavurahnik. I’ve lived here my whole life with the exception of a brief American hiatus during my teenage years. With both Sephardic and Ashkenazi ancestry, I have strong feelings about bulgur to parsley ratios in tabouli, but I hold a neutral position in the Mile End  bagel wars. I like to spend my weekends roaming Outremont and Mile End sipping coffee, riding my bike, and running after my adorable toddler.  

Nancy works as a social worker and couples and  family therapist working with youth and families who are dealing with mental health issues.

Sarah Leila Manolson

Co-Chair of the Board
Executive Committee
Finance committee

I’m a native Montrealer, also having lived in the USA for 6 years. I’ve been involved with the Chavurah since its inception, soon after I returned to Montreal in 2008 for my Masters studies in Human Systems Intervention.  I didn’t grow up with much Jewish culture or religion, and I appreciate the MECh community for its flexibility, open-mindedness, and spirited approach to Judaism. My passion is in bringing people together in meaningful ways, and I am honoured to finally and officially serve on the board.

Sarah is a professional consultant and facilitator of Organizational Change and Development, as well as a representative and Retreat Guide in the universalist Inayati Sufi Order.

Yaakov Stern

Shabbat Committee

I arrived in Montreal over a decade ago as a student, and my discovery of amazing Jewish communities like the Chavurah that uphold the values and energy I was surrounded by growing up has been among the true gems of my experience here. I have progressively become more involved with the Chavurah over the past four years and am excited to be joining the Board of Directors! I look forward to expanding Shabbat and other event planning, and working to make sure we address our diverse community’s needs in our approach to Jewish life in Mile End.

Yaakov is a graduate student in biochemistry, an American expat and an enthusiastic hiker when not socially distancing.


Board Alumni

Adam Bright
Adam Sargon
Andrea Robbins
Anique Vered
Auriel Manolson
Ben Yunis
Carine Elkouby
Dan Levy
Diana Yaros
Elizabeth Moorhouse-Stein
Erica Lehrer
Gueula Rabkin
Isaac Stethem
Jacqueline Celemecki
Joseph Rosen
Julia Appel
Layla Dabby
Lisa Goldman
Myrite Rotstein
Peter Horowitz
Rachel K
Rimma Orenman
Rodney Handelsman
Samara Yesovitch
Saul Carliner
Shira Gilbert
Sofia Danna
Stephanie Marchal
Steve McFadden
Steven Schnoor
Tamara Kramer
Vera Kisfalvi