Introducing the Candidates


Renata Militzer

I’m pretty excited about getting involved in MECh organizing again! I’ve been a member since 2017 and participated in the Shabbat, social justice, and HH committees.

The recent events in I-P make me want to dig even deeper into my Judaism and especially with a community that aligns with my values. I love the intergenerational, participatory events we host and I want to make sure they continue to happen! 

I’m a social worker by trade and a community organizer by passion: over the past 20 years I’ve been involved with a number of orgs in Montreal working around food security, gender-based violence and advocacy with LGBTQI+ migrants. Through this work I’ve learned about collective decision-making, event planning, yearly org work plan development, volunteer and staff team leadership, HR and fundraising.

Some of my ideas on how to strengthen the Chavurah: A period of strategic planning; updating policies; rekindling committees; securing additional funding to increase staff hours. And if there’s interest, I’d love to see a LGBTQI+ group.

It’s exciting that the Chavurah is entering a phase of growth. There are so many wonderfully talented people in this community, I feel pretty confident that together we’ll be able to strengthen the Chavurah!

Rebecca Hamilton

I am a newer member of the Chavurah, having mainly attended High Holy Days services the last few years, and I am very grateful that it exists! This year, I am teaching the MECh JEDI B~Mitzvah class, and I am interested in serving on the board because so I can contribute to and learn from the broader community.

I study part-time at McGill and am a leader at McGill Chavurah: a student group with a similar democratic, progressive, and community-centred Jewish ethos to MECh. The intergenerationality of MECh is meaningful to me, and I’d be excited to help build bridges between our chavurot. I grew up attending and working at Habonim Dror Camp Miriam in BC, which got me excited about social justice-connected Jewish community and self-governance. For the last six years I have been heavily involved in climate and economic justice organizing in a variety of grassroots and non-profit roles, including: event planning, finance, fundraising, strategic planning, grassroots organizational development, and facilitation.

Currently, I am involved in building out a distributed volunteer leadership structure in an economic justice organization, aiming to redistribute work which has fallen to one staff person; I’d love to bring lessons from this work to MECh.

Noelle Sorbara

To the members of the Mile End Chavurah, 

I’m writing to offer my services as a board member.

I’ve spent the past two decades working at the intersection of entrepreneurship, social activism, and leadership development. I am a lawyer by training and a community builder by nature. I am a founder of Pop Montreal and Welcome Collective, and served as the first executive director for both of those organizations. I have been an advisor/board member to several nonprofits, including Apathy is Boring for seven years, and Mile End Legal Clinic. I have a passion for building, restructuring and evolving social enterprises whose missions I believe in.  

My most recent project draws on my training as a somatic practitioner and my studies in Buddhist philosophy to evolve a model of leadership development that focuses on personal and emotional exploration and growth. The goal of the work is to support those in positions of power to learn how to respond to challenging issues in a mindful and non-reactive manner.

I’m interested in working with the Mile End Chavurah because I am drawn to the community, its mission, and its incredible potential to support a progressive and inclusive faith-based community. 

Please note: Noelle has expressed a strong preference to serve alongside Hilary Leftick.

Karl Ponthieux Stern

I am an international student in the MA program at Concordia University, where I work in the field of Oral History of Activism. Before moving to Montreal, I was a team manager at an audit firm in France. 

I have been looking for a Jewish community to join for quite some time now, and I have found that in Mile End Chavurah! I am now interested in joining the MECh Board of Directors. 

What can I bring to the table? My experience in community organizing comes from my previous involvement in a wide variety of initiatives, such as queer advocacy, prevention of antisemitism, and workers´ rights. My ‘outsider’ perspective, both as a francophone in a largely anglophone space and as a recent arrival in Canada and Montréal, can add to the diversity of the MECh community. I also have many contacts at Jewish organizations outside of Canada dedicated to Yiddish culture, Queer practices in Judaism, and diasporic approaches to Judaism. 

In summary, I want to use my ideas, enthusiasm, time, organizational, and communication skills towards the service of the MECh community!

Hilary Leftick

Hi, I am interested in serving on your board. Despite living in Ottawa, I have strong roots in Montreal and have a special place in my heart for the Chavurah. I have the time and feel I could be a good contributing member. For many years I was the ED of POP Montreal where I led on sponsorship, fundraising and partnerships. In 2014, I became  Director of volunteer mobilization at the Liberal Party,  my program saw over 80, 000 volunteers active across the country. Recently, I worked in the Prime Minister’s office as the Director of Public Appointments.  I developed a passion for governance and oversaw appointments for all federal boards, agencies and institutions. This included performance evaluation and HR policy.  I met people from all across the country, working both within and outside the government and have a wide breadth of contacts. I’m also a member of  POP Montreal and the Maurice Pollack Foundation (both in Montreal). I would like to serve on the board as I have a deep respect for what the Chavurah does. Making jewish culture and traditions accessible is something I did not have growing up and I think it’s a wonderful thing.   

Please note: Hilary has expressed a strong preference to serve alongside Noelle Sorbara.

Geneviève Nevin

I’m originally from the West Coast of Vancouver Island and grew up on unceded and unsurrendered Lekwungen and WSANEC  lands. I started attending Mile End Chavurah services when I moved to Montreal in 2019 to attend law school. I graduated from McGill Law last May and also have an honours degree in International Development and Globalization with a minor in Indigenous Studies from the University of Ottawa.

I am passionate about social justice and have spent the last 10 years working in political and community organizing, including around issues of migrant rights and global anti-colonial struggles for Indigenous sovereignty and Palestine solidarity. During my time in law school, I worked with the Texas-based organization Las Americas, a migrant justice organization that provides legal services to migrants detained along the Mexico–United States border.

Prior to moving to Montreal, I worked as the Membership and Fundraising Coordinator for the Jewish Palestinian solidarity organization, Independent Jewish Voices.

I am very proud to be Jewish and proud of Palestine solidarity activism and am grateful for spaces like Mile End Chavurah for creating Jewish community where all people feel welcome and affirmed in their Jewishness regardless of their political stance.

Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw

I am a musician and multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal, currently most active as a teacher and a creator-performer of musical works in which I explore themes of Jewish heritage, memory, ritual, and belonging.

I have degrees in piano performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Ecole Normale de musique de Paris, and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and I am grateful for support received most recently from the Foundation for Yiddish Culture, the Fulbright Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts et lettres de Québec. Along the way, I also honed (and continue to hone!) skills in singing, composing, visual and puppetry arts.

My interest in becoming more involved with the Mile End Chavurah comes from my own need for a spiritual “home” in a vibrant, open-minded Jewish community. I am grateful for everything the MECh does already. I question how to understand and carry our traditions forward in ways that allow for many perspectives and lived experiences. I can offer my creative thinking skills, a good listening ear, attention to detail, and mediation skills that I continue to improve through my work as an artistic creator and collaborator.