Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Our Staff

Mark Waldman

Executive Director

Mark Waldman is the current Executive Director of CJPAC, as well as a founder and former Deputy Chair. He is also the founder, Chair and acting Managing Director of CJPAC’s predecessor CIJA-PAC. Born in Toronto, Mark holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business, with a background in sales, finance, business development and operations. He previously held senior positions at Sandylion, Labelad and Marnlen Management. He has been involved in many political causes, including in 2003 co-founding “Friends of America” to counter anti-American sentiment in Canada. Mark is very active in raising funds and awareness for ovarian cancer and related familial BRCA mutations.



Rachel Chertkoff

Deputy Executive Director

Rachel Chertkoff’s passion is political engagement. For over 20 years she has fostered leaders and connected them to politics and government, in both Canada and the US. Rachel was instrumental in CJPAC’s founding and development before it launched in 2005 and throughout its existence. She was the Leadership Development Director for the Valley Alliance/Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and held executive positions on the board of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats. Rachel has worked in volunteer and staff positions on election campaigns for all levels of government. She volunteers for a dog rescue and loves books, travel and proper punctuation.


Amanda Blitz

Director of Marketing & Communications and General Counsel

Amanda Blitz has a varied career centred around communications and law. She previously worked in marketing at the global law firm Fasken and in media and corporate relations at the Ontario Science Centre. Amanda was a national news anchor for CTV News Channel, and a reporter at CHCH and other media outlets. She has practised as a banking and finance lawyer in London, England at Clifford Chance LLP, and as a corporate lawyer at Goodman & Carr LLP in Toronto. Amanda received her M.Sc from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her LL.B. at Osgoode Hall Law School.


Rabbi Jennifer Gorman

National Director of Outreach & Programming

Rabbi Jennifer Gorman has been active in the Jewish community since her teen years in USY, continuing throughout her career. A graduate of Brandeis University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, she has a diverse background working with the US Navy and civilian communities in the United States and Canada. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of MERCAZ-Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism, and now serves on the MERCAZ board. She is active in the Toronto Board of Rabbis and Rabbinical Assembly. In her free time, she follows theatre, loves to read or binge tv and movies, cook, and spend time with her spouse, kids, and cats.


Dovi Chein

Director of Campus Programming

Dovi Chein has had a diverse career in politics, education, and the nonprofit sector. Dovi comes to us from Hillel Ottawa, where he was the Director for three years, and fostered an unprecedented period of growth for the organization. During his time at Hillel, Dovi developed expertise in programming, relationship building, conflict resolution, political mobilization, and creating inclusive spaces, all while mobilizing hundreds of students to defeat BDS three times. Prior to this, Dovi worked as a teacher in South Korea, and as a Parliamentary Assistant in Ottawa.


Vanessa Fhima

Regional Director, Quebec & Atlantic Canada

Vanessa Fhima is an attorney and received her law degree from the University of Montreal. She has extensive experience in law & management in the private and not-for-profit sectors She has practiced as a litigator at Simon & Associés for nearly ten years and was later the General Counsel at UPCLICK Inc before practicing on her own. Most recently she was the Project Manager for Centennial Events with Federation CJA. Vanessa also served in many capacities on the Board of Directors of Maimonides School including President and legal counsel.


Kara Mintzberg

BC Regional Director

Kara Mintzberg has been involved with British Columbia’s Jewish community for years. She has won local and provincial awards for projects she’s developed for several mission-driven organizations, including being the youngest recipient of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver’s Young Leadership Award. Kara earned her MBA and MA from Brandeis University, and her BA from the University of British Columbia. She is an avid skier – snow and water – and currently volunteers as a Board member for Jewish Addiction Community Services (JACS) Vancouver.


Joshua Wolfe

Director of Outreach and Programming for Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Joshua Wolfe is a government relations and community outreach specialist who graduated from Princeton University. After graduation, he spent five years as a political advisor to a Member of the Quebec National Assembly. In 2012, and prior to coming to CJPAC, he joined CIJA’s Quebec office to lead their government relations team. He has been politically active at all levels of government, and was most recently named by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante as a member of her newly-created Roundtable on Diversity, Inclusion and the Fight Against Discrimination.


Noa Farage

Assistant Director, Programming and Engagement

Noa Farage has been involved in Jewish Community life since she was born. She has worked for both BBYO and for Hillel, in Winnipeg, and Vancouver, respectively. Working on many diverse projects through her experience at both organizations, she has developed an expertise in community programming, building relationships, and connecting with young people. She has been a volunteer with the Rady JCC in Winnipeg for over a decade. She is currently a member of CIJA’s LGBTQ2+ National Advisory Committee, leading the way for Jewish and Queer initiatives across Canada. In her spare time, you can find her cycling, watching documentaries about rockstars, or trying a new recipe.


Mitchell Gould

Assistant Director, Political Outreach & Programming

Born in Toronto, Mitchell holds an Honours BA in History and English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts in History from Queen’s University. Prior to joining CJPAC, Mitchell lived in the UK for six months, completing coursework. He then worked at Hillel Ontario as an Advocacy professional, and developed experience in outreach, programming, communications, and developing educational content. In his spare time, you can find him conducting genealogy research, reading a book, attending concerts, or listening to a podcast while out for a walk.


Regina Shimov

Database and Donor Relations Specialist

Regina Shimov is an experienced database specialist working with Salesforce for over 6 years. She was born in the USSR and raised in Israel, where she completed a BSc at the Technion in Haifa. She has been operating in the philanthropy sector in Toronto since 2015, specializing in reporting, integration, and optimization of the Salesforce database. Regina believes that the non-profit sector is vital for the solidarity and resilience of every community, and is proud to be part of it. Thus, she is a big supporter of Chai Lifeline Canada and volunteers in her free time at the JRCC.


Rebecca Vath

Digital Design Coordinator

Rebecca Vath has a Master of Library and Information Science and a B.A.(Hons), with degrees in English and Developmental Psychology. Before coming to CJPAC she worked with special needs infants, toddlers and preschoolers in London, Ontario and volunteered as an adult literacy tutor. She spends her spare time curating and selling vintage clothes, growing and maintaining her extensive plant family, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with her cat “Regular Sized” Meatloaf.


Tevy Pilc

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Tevy Pilc is a Toronto-based media professional with a diverse background that includes extensive experience in journalism, communications, and Jewish advocacy. He previously worked as a television producer for Sun News Network, Writer/Editor and Multimedia Content Producer for B’nai Brith Canada and Marketing and Communications Specialist at the Beth Emeth Synagogue in Toronto. He graduated from the University of Toronto and Centennial College’s joint journalism program. He is passionate about the growth and well-being of the Canadian Jewish community. Tevy is a sports, music, history, politics and all-around pop culture nerd and an advocate for mental health awareness.


Lesly Weinstein

Executive Assistant

Lesly Weinstein was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently the Executive Assistant of CJPAC. Prior to her role at CJPAC, Lesly was the Human Resources Manager for the first international expansion of a large American retailer. Lesly has sat on committees and volunteered at organizations including The Hospital for Sick Children, Chai Lifeline Canada and Beth Tzedec
Congregation. Along with her husband Peter, Lesly is very active in advocacy and fundraising for childhood leukaemia research.


Courtney Carstens

Office Administrator

Courtney is a born and raised South African that has recently joined our team as the Office Administrator. Her career has involved working in sales at a telecommunications company, becoming the Senior Administrator at a luxury import/export company as well as being an Artist Manager at one of the top Artist representation firms in South Africa. In 2018 she moved to France for a year where she spent time teaching English before moving to Canada in September 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, walking around High Park and making friends with all the dogs in her building.