The Board of Directors


Benjamin Yunis
Co-chair of the Board of Directors
Executive Committee
Policies Committee

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.


RORimma Orenman
Co-chair of the Board of Directors
Executive Committee

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.

Benjj Loomer
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 neighborhood. To have the spiritual, learning opportunities and communal fun right within walking distance. Driving around can be such a drag. Especially parking. Feh.


Isaac Stethem


MZMichel Zabitsky
Finance Committee
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.


Rodney Handelsman
Executive Committee
Appreciation Committee

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. 


VeraVera (Veronika) Kisfalvi
Finance Committee

I have lived in Mile End for many years and was delighted to have found MECh several years ago. This is actually my second time serving on the Board, and I’m happy that MECh has provided me with an opportunity to contribute to building a robust, welcoming, progressive and diverse Jewish presence here and in the broader community. Previously, I was an active member of the steering committee of Chavurah Har Kodesh, which first brought Jewish Renewal to Montreal in the late 1980s. These experiences have revealed to me that the more active I am in my community, the more I feel connected and the more it feels like home.

Vera is a former professor of business administration, retired from HEC Montréal. She also currently sits on the Board of Aleph Canada.



Saul Carliner
Policies Committee

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.



Board Alumni

Adam Sargon
Andrea Robbins
Anique Vered
Auriel Manolson
Dan Levy
Diana Yaros
Elizabeth Moorhouse-Stein
Erica Lehrer
Gueula Rabkin
Jacqueline Celemecki
Joseph Rosen
Julia Appel
Layla Dabby
Myrite Rotstein
Peter Horowitz
Rachel Kronick
Samara Yesovitch
Shira Gilbert
Sofia Danna
Stephanie Marchal
Steve McFadden
Steven Schnoor
Tamara Kramer
Vera Kisfalvi