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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ilana Hirt is a seasoned Development Director with expertise in donor relations, major gifts fundraising, and event planning. With previous roles as Director of Development at Tel Aviv University Canada and the Ashkenaz Foundation, she is highly engaged within the Jewish community. Ilana has also contributed her skills to organizations such as the MS Society of Canada, MNjcc, and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. She holds a joint B.A. in Sociology and English Literature from the University of Toronto, along with a certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. In her leisure time, Ilana enjoys volunteering, spending quality time with family, and crafting bespoke cookies.
Klara is passionate about the non-profit sector, leading social impact initiatives, and working with her community. A graduate from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, Klara has worked for different charitable organizations such as Shorefast, where she worked on rural community economic development, Experiences Canada, where she worked directly with youth across the country, and the Banff Forum, one of Canada’s preeminent public policy forums. Klara was most recently Director of Communications for a candidate in the recent Quebec provincial elections. In her free time, Klara enjoys running ultra-marathons and participating in triathlons – another way in which she connects with her community in Montreal.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.