The Board of Directors
Strategic Planning Team
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.
An alumnus of MECh’s founding Board of Directors, I’m excited to step back in and help lead us through our next stage of growth and sustainability. My favourite MECh memories include co-organizing cultural salons around topics like circumcision and self-hatred, and our epic Purim parties. A fifth-generation Montrealer, I feel lucky to be part of such a vibrant and inclusive community rooted in the neighbourhood of my forebearers.
In his civilian life, Dan is a writer, father, and strategic communications professional.
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.
I was raised in a traditional Jewish atmosphere filled with ambivalence and self-hatred. I dropped out of university and ended up studying with Rabbis in Jerusalem, but never found a community I felt I belonged to. When I went to the first MECh High Holidays, I realized that you never find your ideal community: you can only create it. I joined the Board in 2012, and have always loved the creative, participatory nature of the community. Early highlights for me were lively Salon discussions, ‘Latkes & Vodka’ parties, and Seders with guests from ‘No One is Illegal’ and ‘Idle No More.’ But of course my all-time favorite event was my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah—it felt so meaningful to be surrounded by real community. I’m excited to re-join the Board and help MECh continue shaping Jewish life in Montreal.
Joseph is a prof at Dawson College, and moonlights as a writer for magazines and newspapers.
Education & Families Committee
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 www.mindystricke.com
I am so happy to be a member of 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.
My family and I – Jonathan, Rachel and Toby Kimmelman – have been longstanding members of Mile End Chavurah, even though we live in NDG. Rachel had the honour of being the first Bat Mitzvah of the Chavurah; what a joy to see how many B’nei Mitzvot have followed! Rachel and Toby have for many years offered an arrangement of Kol Nidre that I made for them when they were very young; needless to say it has very much grown with and by them throughout the years. Originally from Vancouver, I arrived in Montreal (via 14 years in the United States, and one year in Winnipeg!) in Fall of 2001. I joined the Board only recently as a replacement and have been happy to meet other members of the Board with whom I previously had no contact.
Sara is a Professor of Piano at McGill’s Schulich School of Music and Director of the McGill Conservatory of Music.
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.
Sarah Leila Manolson