The Board of Directors
Co-chair of the Board of Directors
I grew up in Roslyn, a suburb of New York and studied or worked in Manhattan or Brooklyn from 1996-2014. In 2014, I moved to Montreal with my wife, former MECh board member Layla Dabby. Inspired by Layla’s example as well as by my father who serves as President for Life of The Roslyn Synagogue and my brother who is the gabbai of The East Hill Synagogue in Englewood, NJ, I am proud to help steer the ship that is the Mile End Chavurah.
Co-chair of the Board of Directors
Having been a member of this community for a few years, I fully appreciate the importance it holds in our lives – in interpersonal, cultural, and spiritual terms. I have been able to establish a sense of place with the Chavurah’s help. I would like the Chavurah to continue being a broadly inclusive space where we can build long-lasting relationships by being together in moments of happiness, grief (such is life), silliness, or reflection.
Rimma is a psychiatrist who spends part of her time in Nunavik.
Brought up by a feminist multiculturalist whose Master’s was about intolerance in the Jewish community, and a spiritual but apathetic traditionalist, my relationship with Judaism was rather … well, open. Cut to me as leader of my Anglican high school, to immersing myself in different cultural communities around the world, then on to living on a Kibbutz in the Negev, and you begin to get my drift. People are people. My Jewishness has never been in question. Jewishness itself is always in question. The world we live in needs attention and I believe there is no one way of giving and sharing in that care. The multitude of opinions that Jews are renowned for is exactly what is necessary. At MECh, we have a place that actually listens, and shares in the joy of difference while doing so.
Anique is an Australian artist-researcher, curator and cultural consultant passionate about interdisciplinary communities of practice.
I am delighted to be part of such a vibrant and colourful community. I have been living in Montreal since 2004 with the exception of three years in Israel. Prior to this I bounded about the verdant hills of Ontario, like a Jewish gazelle; my relationship to Jewish life was traditional in form, by which I mean regular synagogue attendance and religious education. I look forward to serving the Mile End Chavurah and Chavurahniks as best I can with my ideas, time, energy, and commitment.
Elizabeth is a historian researching Jewish life in small cities and towns in North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She is also a journal editor, a boxer, and a frequenter of low-cost classical music concerts around the city.
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 neighborhood. To have the spiritual, learning opportunities and communal fun right within walking distance. Driving around can be such a drag. Especially parking. Feh.
The People’s Yeshiva of Mile End
I was born in Montreal but grew up in rural Québec. I was really excited to discover the Chavurah in 2013 and to find a place thriving with such diverse and interesting expressions of yiddishkeit. I live near Mile End with my two kids who had a blast making dinosaur chanukiahs and eating far too many latkes at last year’s Chanukah party.
Michel Brews beer professionally and enjoys building stuff in his free time.
Born in South Africa, I too grew up as a prairie Jew in Edmonton Alberta. Much of my Jewish identity was forged in the socialist experiments of communal living and consensus decision-making as part of a labour-(post)zionist youth movement: HDNA. The pillars of that movement included social justice, self actualization, and environmental sustainability in addition to Judaism & Socialism. Since its early days, MECH has been a wonderful place for me to connect and feel at home. It’s been a place to practice a kind of Jewish pluralism that can be meaningful, fun, and upsetting, while offering spaces for personal and collective spiritual return, growth, and exploration. Having just returned to Montreal after a three year hiatus, I’m thrilled to be joining this inspired and inspiring board.
Rodney is an educator and proud partner of Rachel with whom he raises gorgeous little bundles of miracle.
I appreciate the ruach, sense of community, and beautiful music of the Mile End Chavurah. I have a broad range of volunteer experience and currently serve as President of Agence Ometz. In the past, I have chaired a civic transportation board in Rochester, Minnesota, a membership auxiliary of a natural history museum in Atlanta, and a global professional association. I have also served as Ritual Chair of Congregation Bet Haverim in Atlanta and as a board member of Am Tikvah congregation in Boston.
Saul is a Professor of Education at Concordia University, and travels a lot.
An Argentine-American convert to Judaism and to Canada, I struggled to find a Jewish community in Montreal that had the capacity to be both playful and meaningful. The Mile End Chavurah became the place where I could discuss my crush on the post-modern qualities of the Talmud, indulge in excessive Shabbat joyfulness, and cry humbly on Yom Kippur, all among friends. I look forward to continuing to build a MECh that weaves vibrant and diverse individuals into a unique, thoughtful community – a place for us to share our lives in celebration, mourning, and everything in between.
Sofia is pursuing a Master’s in Epidemiology at McGill University and makes chocolate peanut butter cups in her spare time.