Federation CJA Board of Directors:

Honorary Presidents



Honorary Executive Vice President




Gail Adelson-Marcovitz's community involvement began as a youth leader for B'nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO). As a young mother, she volunteered to drive the vulnerable with Ometz and cooked with Meals on Wheels. At Federation CJA, she served as Campaign Chair for the Young Adult Division (YAD), Co-Chair of ProMontreal and President of Women's Philanthropy from 2009-2012. She co-chaired the first Montreal Mega Mission in 2014 and the Centennial celebrations in 2017; she is currently President. In her various leadership roles, she has focused on programs and initiatives that engage, inspire and educate.

Gail has also been involved with numerous other community organizations, including the Israel Cancer Research Fund and the Finance and Audit Committee of the Jewish General Hospital. She currently sits on the Board of the Integrated University Health and Social Service Centre Ouest de Montreal, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA (JFC-UIA) and the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF).  Previously she sat on the Board of Akiva School as well as Camp B'nai Brith (CBB), where she was a past President. She was the inaugural Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

Gail graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Civil Law. She and her husband have four children and one grandchild, who she has dubbed her travel partners and biggest supporters.

First Vice President


Joel Segal considers it a privilege to be involved in the Jewish community, one which he does not take for granted. His many important leadership roles with Federation CJA include being a past Campaign Chair for Combined Jewish Appeal, a founding and current stakeholder of Passport for Jewish Life and the current Chair of the FRD Department. As a member of Federation CJA's Board of Directors, and First Vice President he hopes to help move the organization toward even greater impact and sustainability.

Joel is also a Board Member of Prizmah, the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre; Chair of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Foundation's Investment Committee; and he sits on the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) of Montreal Investment Committee. He has previously served as a Board Member for Akiva School, Dorshei Emet, the Segal Centre and the JGH. He was a Board Chair for the JCF.

When not occupied with community work, Joel manages investments for his extended family. He and his wife have three sons.

Vice Presidents


Patrick Essiminy has held many leadership positions at Federation CJA. He was a Bus Captain for the 2014 Mega Mission to Israel and President of the 2018 Sepharade Philanthropy Campaign. He helped found the Jewish Chamber of Commerce (JCC) and has been heavily involved in the division since it's inception. He is currently President of Sepharade Philanthropy and is the Incoming Co-Chair of the Presidents' Circle.

Apart from Federation CJA, Patrick sits on the Board of Congregation Nahar Chalom. He is the also immediate Past President and a Board Member at Akiva School. Additionally, Patrick was President of the Centre de la petite enfance (CPE) at the Centre Communautaire Juif (CCJ).

A partner and Head of the Montreal office's Employment & Labour Group and member of the Montreal Office's Management Committee for Stikeman Elliott, Patrick is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in employment and labour law by Chambers Canada and Best Lawyers. Patrick and his wife are the proud parents of four boys.


Heather Paperman is a native Montrealer with a robust history of community work and philanthropy. She has held several important leadership roles at Federation CJA, including President of Women's Philanthropy. In addition to being a Board Member, she currently serves as Co-President of the President's Circle.

Beyond Federation CJA, Heather has previously served as President of the Just for Kids Foundation and the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). 

Heather is a graduate of McGill University's School of Social Work. She worked in the hanger and button industry for almost 20 years. She wants to continue to be a part of Federation CJA to ensure a strong and vibrant community so that everyone's children and grandchildren will make the choice to live in this fantastic community and beautiful city.



A first-generation Montrealer whose father came from Morocco and mother came from Italy, Serge Levy was inspired to give back to the Jewish community because of the warm welcome and support his parents received from the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) and the community at large as new immigrants. For the last several years, he has sat on Federation's CJA Budget and Finance Committee and he looks forward to continuing his involvement now as a Board Member and Treasurer of the Board.

Serge's other volunteer work includes offering pro bono legal clinics, and giving a helping hand to various charitable organizations.

Serge earned a Bachelor of Science from Concordia University, a Master of Business Administration from McGill University and a Law Degree from Université de Montréal. Today, he is a partner at Stikeman Elliot LLP, where he practices banking law, corporate finance, financial services, insolvency and restructuring and commercial law. Serge and his wife are the proud parents of four children.



Pascale Hasen began working for Federation CJA as Assistant Director of the Young Adult Division (YAD) in 1994. She was Chair of the Sepharde Philanthropy Campaign in 1999, Chair of the Women's Campaign in 2008 and Chair of the Combined Jewish Appeal in 2010, only the third woman ever to hold that honour. In 2017, she co-chaired the Montreal Mega Mission. She has been a Board Member for the last few years and is the Board's Secretary.

Pascale has been volunteering at Hebrew Academy, and sitting on their Board, for many years. She also currently sits on the Board of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation.

As a mother of six and grandmother of nine, she is committed to making sure that her children and grandchildren feel safe and proud to be Jews in Montreal.

Immediate Past President


David Amiel has been actively shaping the Montreal Jewish community through multiple leadership roles for more than a decade now. He went on his first Chairman's Mission to Israel in 2008, was Chair of the March to Jerusalem in 2009, and was a Madrich on the March of the Living in 2010. He went on to serve as Chair of the Young Leadership Campaign of the Combined Jewish Appeal in 2011, Co-Chair of the New Gifts Initiative in 2012, and Chair of the Montreal Young Adult Division (YAD) in 2013. He became a member of Federation CJA's Board of Directors in 2013, and recently completed his term as President of Federation CJA.

Additionally, David has sat on the Board of Directors for Camp B'nai Brith, Hillel Montreal and the Chevra Kadisha Synagogue.

David earned a Bachelor's degree from Carleton University and a Certificate in Marketing and Advertising Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Today, he is CEO and President of Strauss Water Canada, as well as Co-CEO of Maroline Distributing, with his brother Jonathan. David and his wife Robyn have three kids.

Directors at Large


Gary Alexander's involvement with Federation CJA started in 2017, when he co-chaired a Fly-In to London; he has been a Board Member since 2019. In the broader Jewish community, he took part in a Jewish Federations of North America Fisher FLIGHT Leadership Mission to Israel in 2008. He also co-chaired the annual Montreal ORT Gala and later became a member of the Board of Trustees of World ORT, which he serves on to this day.

Additionally, Gary sits on the Board of Directors of Vermont Farm Table, Inc. and the Board of Managers of Crown Global Insurance, Inc.

Gary graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami. He worked as an Associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York City before founding Palomino Capital Corporation in Montreal, where he acts as CEO. He and his wife of 36 years have three children and one grandson.


Michael's involvement in the community was inspired by his parents that gave their time to the community in so many ways right from the time they immigrated to Montreal.

Michael's involvement started at the Centre Communautaire Juif and then the Centre Hillel where he was president. He was then involved at the CSUQ and then at Ecole Maimonide for over 15 years.
Last year, he was chair of Federation CJA's Sepharade Campaign.

Currently Michael is VP of Ecole Maimonide, President of Federation CJA's Sepharade Philanthropy,
and member of the Advisory Board for BJEC.

Michael has a finance degree from HEC Montreal and is a CFA charter holder. He is a web entrepreneur, is involved in many start-ups and is in real-estate development as well.

He and Magali are the proud parents of 2 children


Glen Eisenberg has been active at Federation CJA for 10 years in a wide range of capacities including as a Chair of the Marketing Task Force, a volunteer for the Israel Engagement Iniative's Shinshinim program, an Israel and Overseas Committee Member and as a Federation CJA Board Member for three years.

Outside of Federation CJA, he has been very involved in Hebrew Foundation School. He helped develop programming for them, sat on their Board of Directors, and served as President.

Glen sold his marketing and communications agency, which he ran for 23 years, in late 2016.  As he continues to nourish his entrepreneurial spirit with other ventures, he has also been focusing his efforts on making sure our Montreal Jewish community – where he and his wife of 28 years have raised their four boys – continues to thrive.


Leon has practiced corporate and commercial law for over 30 years, having enjoyed partnership in one of Canada's most prominent law firms, executive positions at a public corporation and the joint founding of a boutique tax and business law firm.

Leon is a past president of Solomon Schechter Academy, and a past president of Bronfman Jewish Education Centre. Leon has participated in the Montreal high school contingent of the March of the Living 3 times, most recently in 2013 as a co-chair.

Leon is passionate about many things, including the restoration of vintage Corvette automobiles, cooking and baking. Leon's greatest pride, however, is reserved for the things that matter most to him - family life and the Jewish community of Montreal. Leon is a happy husband, a proud father of three and an overjoyed grandfather of 2.


Neil Hazan has been involved with Federation CJA in a leadership capacity for a number of years. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors, he previously co-chaired the Leadership Development Course for three years.

He is also active with the Lord Reading Law Society, the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University's Montreal Chapter, works on fundraising for McGill University Law School, and is a participant in the Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) Reads to Kids Program.

A corporate lawyer by trade, admitted to the Quebec and New York bars, Neil is a partner at BLG, one of Canada's pre-eminent law firms. His practice is largely concentrated on cross-border mergers and acquisitions and helping foreign companies expand into Canada. His vision for the Montreal Jewish community, and passion for learning, is driven by the desire to help the community fulfil the prophet Isaiah's promise to be a light unto the nations at a local level.


Karyn Saragossi Lassner began her journey with Federation CJA at a very young age, participating in the March to Jerusalem and making calls for Super Sunday. She went on to Chair the Young Adult Division (YAD). She became a professional, working as Federation CJA's Director of Events and then Assistant Campaign Director. More recently, as a volunteer, she chaired the Women's Philanthropy Night of 100 Dinners, Connections, Atid, and the 2019 humanitarian mission to Havana, Cuba.

Karyn has co-chaired the international IMAGINE conference and currently works at Show & Tell Fashion, a Canadian-owned and operated fashion distributor. As the product of a Sephardic father and Ashkenazi mother, and a mother of two herself, Karyn is looking forward to bringing her unique perspective to the table with Federation CJA's new Board of Directors as they work together for the betterment of the Montreal Jewish community.


Doug Liberman has held a variety of leadership positions at Federation CJA over the last 13 years. He was a participant in the Leadership Development (LD) program, Chair of the Jewish Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of National Young Leadership. He then served as Chair of the Young Adult Division (YAD), and brought YAD to Federation CJA West Island. He was Chair of the Federation West Island, where he spent the last several years engaging the community and providing them opportunities to make an impact.

During the Spring floods in 2017 and 2019, Doug created a Facebook group to crowdsource emergency response. 4,500 people looking to make an impact volunteered to provide immediate, hands-on emergency support to people in need.

Doug is a recent graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program. When he is not volunteering or spending time with his wife and two daughters, he runs Splendid Chocolates, a chocolate manufacturing company.


Over the last 10 years, Steve Sebag has spent most of his charitable time in various roles at Federation CJA. Steve started volunteering through Hillel in his twenties, helping raise much-needed funds through events like Jewish Idol, Deal or No Deal and Poker tournaments. He went on to become the Founding Co-Chair of FIX (Force.Identity.Existence), a Federation CJA/Ometz/Communauté Sépharade Unifiée de Québec (CSUQ) program aimed at supporting young people in the Jewish community dealing with challenges and issues, especially addiction. In addition to sitting on Federation CJA's Board of Directors, he is the President of GenMTL

Beyond Federation CJA, Steve sits on the Board of Directors at Les écoles Azrieli UTT/Herzliah and is quite involved with the Chabad of TMR.

Steve is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program. He works as a partner in the private wealth management boutique firm Mercer Canada. A proud Jewish Quebecer, Steve and his wife Sonia love raising their three daughters in Montreal.


Karen Soussan's journey with Federation CJA began in 2002 when she participated in a Chairman's
Mission to Israel along with her father, Albert Soussan, who was Chair of the Sepharade Philanthropy Campaign at the time. Karen went on to hold several leadership roles at Federation CJA including Co-Chair of the Jewish Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Young Adult Division (YAD) Campaign Chair, Sepharade Philanthropy Campaign Chair, OMETZ Board Member, Women's Philanthropy Campaign Chair, and most recently, Women's Philanthropy President.

As a first time Federation CJA Board Member, Karen hopes to acquire more in-depth knowledge about this incredible organization, learn from her mentors and peers, and always do her best to lead by example.

Karen works full time as legal counsel at Phidal Publishing Inc., a publishing firm specializing in novelty and interactive children's books.

Karen strongly believes in philanthropy and views her ability to give back to the community as a privilege and a responsibility. As a proud mother of two young adults, Karen strongly believes that together, we can do anything!


Marc Yedid is a first-generation Canadian whose parents both emigrated from Egypt in the early 1950s with the help of Jewish Immigrant Aid Services, inspiring Marc to give back to community as he got older.  He participated in Federation CJA's Young Adult Division (YAD) Leadership Development (LD) program, the 2014 Mega Mission and co-chaired the Jewish Chamber of Commerce Promies as well as The Network's Chicago Fly-In Mission.  

With a passion for community work and leadership, Marc also sits on the Shaare Zion Finance Committee and holds various other volunteer positions. He is also a recent graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program.

From a professional perspective, Marc is a Chartered Accountant and a partner in Richter's transaction advisory practice, with over 20 years of financial advisory, M&A and consulting experience both in Canada and the United States.  Marc is also member of the firm's Board of Directors.

Marc and his wife Lisa are the proud parents of two children.

Nominated Directors


Trish Bengualid was inspired to work in community because of the vital role Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) played in helping her parents settle in Canada when they immigrated from Morocco. Trish's involvement in Federation CJA began with a summer job as a clerk for the first Sephardic lead at Federation CJA. In 2012, she worked on the Atid leadership initiative with Federation CJA's Women's Philanthropy division. She later chaired Atid, and has served on the WP Executive Board ever since. She also sat on Federation CJA's Nominating Committee from 2018-2019.

Beyond Federation CJA, Trish has served on the Executive Board of the Hebrew Foundation School for over six years. She also sat on the Executive Board of Just for Kids and chaired their annual West Island Campaign for five years.

Originally from Toronto, Trish Bengualid moved to Montreal to pursue her studies at McGill University. She then worked for Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), and later sat on the Board of Ometz for two years. Her unparalled commitment to community has been recognized most recently with Women's Philanthropy's Rosalind Goodman Legacy Award in 2019, which allowed her to attend the National Federation Conference in Israel. Trish is inspired every day by her husband of 30 years and their three boys.


Daniel Lieberman is a 32-year-old who is excited to be taking on his first leadership position at Federation CJA, after spending many years involved in other charitable causes across Montreal. Daniel and his wife Dina have three children, and they volunteer with the likes of Shalva, The Family Store and Chai Lifeline. Aside from the aforementioned initiatives, Daniel was part of Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem's Search Committee, which placed Rabbi Freundlich two years ago.

A Montreal native, Daniel attended Yeshiva University in New York City, where he graduated cum laude with an Accounting degree. After consulting at Ernst & Young, Daniel moved back to Montreal to join his family business, Lamour Group. He currently serves as Vice President of Lamour Group and is focused on operations, growth and business development for several Lamour business units. He is also a venture partner for Indicator Ventures, a NYC-based Venture Capital Firm focused on investing in digital efficiencies.


Marnie Zigman Stern has been involved in Federation CJA as a participant, volunteer and leader for much of her life, participating in a wide range of events, trips and initiatives. She has been a March of the Living chaperone, served as a Bus Captain for both Mega Missions, helped organize Fly-Ins and more.

A West Island native, Marnie has also volunteered with a number of other community organizations, such as JPPS-Bialik, Montreal Children's Hospital, the Chevra and Hadassah, among others.

Marnie is a graduate of McGill Law and worked as a lawyer at Lafleur Brown before transitioning to  help out at Olymbec, her husband's family-run real estate company. Over the last few years, she has chosen to focus more of her attention on being a professional volunteer, dedicating her time to the Montreal Jewish community.

Marnie is excited to join Federation CJA's Board of Directors and looks forward to embarking on this new journey which will surely be impactful, meaningful and rewarding. Marnie is married and has four children.

Jewish Community of Montreal  Foundation Representative


Chief Executive Officer



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