Introducing the Candidates


Cara Leibovitz

I’ve been a proud member of the Board for the past two years. Being on the Board has given me the opportunity to work with amazing, creative people in helping to bring vision to life for the Mile End Chavurah. Having just completed serving a 2-year term on the Board, I am looking forward to continuing my journey with Mile End Chavurah while actively shaping its future.

Cara has just completed serving a 2-year term on the Board and is seeking re-election.

Daniel Seligman

I have been involved on some level with the Chavurah since the first few meetings when the initial idea was being formulated.

I have a degree in religious studies from McGill which is where I first met our spiritual leader Rachel Kronick in the 90s!! My professional experience is connected to the Montreal cultural and music scene where I have been working since 2000. I started as a music manager for my brother’s band Stars and currently work with the Jewish hip hop wizard Socalled among others. In 2002 I co-founded the POP Montreal Music Festival and I remain the festival’s creative director. I have a ton of experience organizing events and working within the diverse landscape of the Montreal arts scene. I look forward to helping MECh continue to grow as an important community institution in Montreal.

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.

Melanie Leavitt

Some of you might know me as the woman who always stands by the compost bin at our large events (I believe the official title is “sustainability coordinator”), but aside from my weird interest in waste management, I’m also a Board member, up for re-election! As a member of the Board I hope to continue to 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. Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to help organize a variety of events that build on our community’s commitment to social and environmental justice, including a climate justice event with Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a Salon in partnership with Auberge Shalom, an anti-fascist workshop, and a literary event in partnership with Independent Jewish Voices Canada. I’m always open to suggestions and ideas from community members, and I’ll do my best to help make them happen. While it’s a little difficult at this moment to imagine what the next two years will look like, 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 (socially-distanced) table.

Melanie has just completed serving a 2-year term on the Board and is seeking re-election.

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 came of age in and around New York City, and arrived here last year after 10 years in Toronto and sojourns in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Madison, Wisconsin and Washington, DC. I’m a photographer and socially engaged artist, and 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.

Nancy Rotman

I joined the MECh Board in August 2019; the experience of working with a highly competent and like-minded team of people to support MECh’s mission has been very rewarding. This year is shaping up to be uniquely challenging, to say the least. For me, Covid19, has highlighted the importance of our community in my life. I’m looking forward to continuing to be involved in planning events, programming and policies to support MECh’s long-term sustainability.

Nancy was appointed to the Board in July of 2019 and will have her appointment ratified at the AGM.

Yaakov Stern

I grew up in a defiantly Jewish family in a broad, progressive, welcoming and deeply open-minded Jewish community. I came to Montreal over a decade ago as a student, and while my journey has had its ups and downs, my discovery of amazing Jewish communities that uphold the values and energy I was surrounded by growing up has been among the true gems of my experience here. I’ve become more and more of a regular at Mile End Chavurah over the past few years, particularly through my involvement with the Shabbat Committee, and am excited to be a candidate for the upcoming term of the Board of Directors. As a Board member, I hope to focus on increasing our ability to connect through meaningful Jewish ritual and communal interest during the uncertain times ahead. I’m interested in building on the great culture of community leadership we have established over Zoom, and helping establish regular and reliable programming in-person when we can come together again. I’m particularly excited to help establish some of the great new ideas we’ve come up with over the last few years, including community retreats, Shabbat dinners, and musical Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah services together!