New Israel Fund of Canada Board of Directors

Amy Block

Linda Hershkovitz
Vice President

Joey Steiner

Michael Kanter

Stav Adivi
Lorne Cappe
Joan Garson, Past President
Trudy Shecter
Sam Winer

Our work is made possible by our many committee members, volunteers, and our advisory council. If you’d like to get involved in our outreach or fundraising efforts, please email

Canadian Members of NIF’s International Council

Efrim Boritz
Isser Dubinsky
Rabbi Lawrence Englander
Joan Garson
Sharon Weintraub
Fred Zemans

Advisory Council

Established in August 2016, New Israel Fund of Canada Advisory Council will:

  • Serve as an information source prior and subsequent to board discussions
  •  Assist with enhancing the community profile of NIFC
  • Assist with fundraising activity
  • Provide input into NIFC programming
  • Occasionally volunteer to assist with NIFC activities

This committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the board of NIFC. Its role will be to advise on issues such as programming, increasing the community profile of NIFC both locally and nationally, and to assist with fundraising through activities as diverse as forging introductions to potential donors, participating in or conducting solicitations and other board activities such as communication and outreach.

More to come

Prof. Frederick H. Zemans is founding Director of Parkdale Community Legal Services – Ontario’s first community-based legal aid clinic that was established in 1971 – and of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Poverty Law. He was the Director of Clinical Education at Osgoode for many years and was one of the original faculty teaching in Osgoode’s undergraduate and graduate programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Professor Zemans’ publications have focused primarily on the Canadian legal profession, access to justice, legal services for low-income persons, and alternative dispute resolution and quality assurance of state-funded legal services. Full bio

Joyce Zemans is an internationally recognized scholar who has made profound contributions in the fields of Canadian art history, cultural policy, and arts administration. She is Senior Scholar and University Professor Emerita at York University and Director of the MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration at York’s Schulich School of Business. Her research focuses on cultural policy, curatorial practice, and 20th-century Canadian art with a particular interest in the development of abstraction in Canada and the work of Canadian women artists. She is a former director of the Canada Council for the Arts and former dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York. She currently serves as a member of the advisory committees of the Toronto Arts Council and Foundation, the University of Toronto Art Centre, Theatre Museum Canada, and the Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University, among others. Full bio

Sharon Weintraub began her involvement with Facing History in 1981. She was one of the first educators to connect with Facing History, and helped to introduce educators in Toronto to the organization. From the beginning, Sharon envisioned establishing a Facing History
“north” office in Canada. Her vision was realized in 2008 when she generously contributed the foundational gift that opened the office in Toronto, Ontario. Sharon has served as an integral member of the Ontario Advisory Board, and has advanced the growth of the office in major ways. In 2016, Sharon spearheaded efforts to organize the office’s inaugural fundraising event, which honored advisory board member Nate Leipciger. She also made a generous gift in support of the Building Bridges project. Funded in part by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, this project extends Facing History’s reach to northern Ontario and Manitoba for the first time. Through her commitment to Facing History, Sharon has played a significant role in bringing its resources and learning strategies to over 2,100 educators across Canada.

Rabbi Ed Elkin has served as the spiritual leader of the First Narayever Congregation since 2000. Hailing from Long Island, NY, Rabbi Elkin received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and was ordained from the Hebrew Union College in New York in 1990. He served as a rabbi and teacher in Montreal for several years, and as Hillel Director in Chapel Hill, NC, before moving to Toronto. where his special interests in the rabbinate include Bible commentaries, and the relationship between religion and state in the contemporary world.

Merle Kriss is a seasoned financial services executive with more than twenty years’ experience in domestic and international banking with a major Canadian bank. After a career that was principally focused on corporate and investment banking, she moved into personal finance, where she initiated a comprehensive Private Client Services offering. She subsequently formed Kriss & Associates Limited, a consulting practice in finance and wealth management. Mrs. Kriss earned a B.A. and an MBA from the University of Toronto and holds the ICD.D designation. She is an experienced director and currently serves on a number of boards and foundations.

Rabbi Larry Englander is a Member of the Order of Canada, for community service. He received his Doctor of Divinity degree, from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio and his Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1975 Rabbi Engalnder received his Rabbinical Ordination, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati. He received the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for highest academic standing, and the Morris H. Youngerman Memorial Prize for the best Senior chapel sermon. His Rabbinical Thesis: Enoch: the Development of a Biblical Patriarch in Apocalyptic, Mystical and Rabbinic Literature. Rabbi Englander has a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati and Hon. Bachelor of Arts, York University, Toronto. He is the is the Chair of Arzenu, since June 2014. Full bio

Yoni Gordis is a Partner at ChangeCraft, a consulting firm whose work drives organizations and teams towards heightened impact and creativity. A renowned designer and facilitator of retreats and conferences, Yoni has nearly 25 years of experience as an organizational consultant, strategist and coach. Yoni has offered strategic services to a wide range of organizations across five continents. His strategic services focus on the role of change management within the organizational process—alignment and support of organizational stakeholders, acquisition of skills, and strong interplay between strategy and organizational culture. An innovator in the design and facilitation of “crafted gatherings”—conferences, retreats and trainings—Yoni has designed and re-shaped conferences across the nonprofit world, including the Conversation, the ROI Summit, the Hollyhock YSPE Conference, the Association of Small Foundation’s Skilled Juggler Retreat, and the Hillel Summer Institute. Working with nonprofit and for-profit clients, he has been engaged to dramatically shift organizational processes and management approaches. As a leading trainer of facilitators, he has worked with in-house facilitators as well as a generation of independent consultants. Full bio

Hesh Troper is a professor at the University of Toronto. He is perhaps best known as co-author of None Is Too Many. His most recent book is More than Just Games: Canada and the Nazi Olympics, written in partnership with Richard Menkis of the University of British Columbia. Hesh’s work has received numerous honors and awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the American Jewish Book Award, the Canadian Historical Association prize for best book in Canadian history, the J.I. Segal Book Award and he is three-time winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Full bio

HakimfeerastaHakim Feerasta devoted almost 30 years in promoting participatory sustainable development in south and central Asia helping millions of people build capacity and confidence to take charge of their own future.
During 16 years as CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan (AKF) Mr. Feerasta successfully developed a portfolio of innovative programs aimed at improving the overall “living conditions” of over a million people in the remote mountain as well as in the urban centres. These programs are internationally recognized as among the most effective community based sustainable social and economic development programs focused on local capacity building. Read more here.

Harry Schachter Bio to come

David Lepofsky holds an LLB from the Osgoode Hall Law School (1979) and an LL.M from the Harvard Law School. He has been a member of the Ontario Bar since 1981, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law since 1991. From 1982 to 1988, David Lepofsky was counsel with the Crown Law Office (Civil) of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. From 1988 to 1993, he was counsel with the Ministry’s Constitutional Law & Policy Division where his practice focused primarily on litigating a diverse range of constitutional issues at all levels of the Canadian court system, and advising the Ontario government on constitutional matters. He has lectured widely on various aspects of constitutional and administrative law, human rights, disability rights and other topics across Canada, as well as in the U.S., Israel, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium. Full bio | Bio at Queen’s University Accessibility Hub

merrill_shulman_bam_5747-8x10-fix_crop-med-rezMerrill Shulman was the managing partner of VIP Communications Ltd. of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from 1974 until 1989, when he formed Shulman Communications Inc., providing telephone order processing services and Telecom industry consulting services to a wide range of clients in Canada and the United States. In 1992, Merrill became President of Integrated Messaging Inc., Canada’s leading direct response call centre service bureau, serving clients throughout Canada and the United States. Mr. Shulman has served as President of the RadioComm Association of Canada (RAC), Vice President of the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Communications Research Centre (CRC) in Ottawa.  He has also served as Chairman of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association from 1993-1995, was a member of the Economic Innovation Council of Manitoba and of the Manitoba Information Highway Advisory Council. Mr. Shulman, who retired from Integrated Messaging in 2007, has represented the Radio Common Carrier industry before the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Communications and has appeared on numerous occasions before the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba and the CRTC on various Telecom issues. Mr. Shulman has served as President of Rosh Pina Synagogue and on the board of its successor, Congregation Etz Chayim, as well as a board member of the Chesed Shel Emes, Winnipeg’s community funeral home. His current primary involvement with Jewish issues is as a member of the board of directors of the New Israel Fund of Canada.

Hugh Furneaux retired in 2015 after 25 years as founder and chairman of Ariad Custom Communications, a marketing communications agency based in Toronto. He began his business career with educational publishers McGraw Hill Ryerson and Copp Clark Pitman.   Through the ’80s he was president of Hume Publishing. Hugh has been Chairman of the Canadian Marketing Association and in 2001 received its Lifetime Achievement Award. He has worked in a volunteer capacity for the Ontario Trillium Foundation and served on the boards of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, JVS Toronto and Holy Blossom Temple. Most recently, Hugh completed a three-year term on the board of New Israel Fund of Canada.

Dr. Mark Guttman is a past board member of New Israel Fund of Canada and was the chair of the Fundraising Committee. He lives in Toronto and works as a movement disorders neurologist, providing specialized neurological services to patients with movement disorders. He is also involved with clinical research at the Centre for Movement Disorders and at the University of Toronto. In addition to a busy professional life, Mark is a voluntary board member of Huntington’s Society of Canada, the Ontario Telemedicine Network and is on the Capital Campaign Committee of the First Narayaver Congregation in Toronto.

Karen Minden, C.M., PhD, is a senior advisor and consultant in the field of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy with special expertise in youth mental health; and China – Asia Pacific relations. She was Founding CEO of Pine River Institute and Pine River Foundation. The Institute, which offers an innovative, successful and nationally recognized treatment program to adolescents struggling with mental health and addiction, opened in 2006.  Minden retired from this venture in January 2014, after 15 years of research, planning, fundraising, and creating a new approach to helping troubled teens and their families. Karen has a broad foundation in research, public policy, philanthropy and international relations. She has held senior executive positions in national foundations including the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation (CEO), and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (VP Research). She has international leadership experience in Asia Pacific economic, scientific and academic policy and cooperation. Formerly professor of management and political science, Karen has a PhD from York University, and an MA from the University of California at Berkeley. Her publications include books and articles on health care development in China, management of technology in the Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim science and technology networks, and adolescent mental health and addiction. Dr. Minden was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010, for her contributions to addiction treatment programs for adolescents in Ontario, and for building closer economic partnerships between Canada and the Asia Pacific region. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  She currently serves as an advisor on several mental health initiatives, including First Nations youth addiction treatment; and professional development for mental health workers. Full bio

Dr. Isser Dubinsky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dubinsky served as an Associate Director of Hay Group Health Care Consulting from 2004-2016, prior to which he was Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at University Health Network.  Prior to this he was Chief of Emergency Medicine at North York General Hospital, one of Canada’s busiest emergency departments. He was member of the Medical Advisory Committee of both North York General Hospital and the University Health Network, Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and member of the Board of North York General Hospital, Program Director of the Emergency Medicine program at North York General Hospital, and a member of the Hospital Executive at both the Toronto Western and North York General Hospitals. Following graduation from medical school he had a range of experiences from performing mission work in rural hospitals in Africa to working in small community hospitals in Canada. Dr. Dubinsky was President of the Board of the New Israel Fund of Canada until 2013, and served on the Board until 2017.


Share Button