Federation CJA Board of Directors:
Honorary Board Chairs
SAIDYE BRONFMAN, O.B.E.*
GORDON BROWN, C.M.*
Honorary Executive Vice President
MANUEL G. BATSHAW, C.M., C.Q.*
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.
First Vice Chair
Over the last 15 years, Steve Sebag has spent most of his charitable time in various roles at Federation CJA. Steve started volunteering through Hillel in his twenties. He went on to become the Founding Co-Chair of FIX, a Federation CJA/Ometz/Communauté Sépharade Unifiée de Québec program aimed at supporting young people in the Jewish community dealing with challenges and issues, especially addiction.
Steve chaired the YAD Campaign in 2013 and was the first president of GenMTL, Federation CJA's young adult division, a division of Jewish Identity Montreal. He also chaired the Strategic and Impact Committee of Federation CJA, whose role is to ensure that funds identified by the Budget and Finance Committee are allocated, with the approval of the Board, to FCJA's impact partners.
Beyond Federation CJA, Steve sat on the Board of Directors at Les Écoles Azrieli UTT/Herzliah and is very involved with the Chabad of TMR. He is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program and runs a high net-worth wealth management practice at Canaccord Genuity.
A proud Jewish Quebecer, Steve loves raising his three daughters, Mikah, Emily and Alexi, in our wonderful Montreal Jewish community.
Chair, Financial Resource Development
Jonathan Wener is a highly regarded Canadian business leader and prominent philanthropist, who has made many important contributions to the arts, education and healthcare. He was the recipient of the 2017 Samuel Bronfman Medal, Federation CJA's most prestigious award, in honour of his extraordinary service and leadership to the Montreal Jewish community over an extended period of time.
Jonathan is an accomplished entrepreneur with interests in real estate, technology, biotechnology and recycling. In 1975, he founded the Montreal-based Canderel Group – a national innovator in real estate investment, development and management. He relinquished his role as CEO in 2019, but retains his position as Chairman.
Additionally, he serves as chancellor of Concordia University; Honorary Chair of Concordia's Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign; is a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Fraser Institute; is a member of the Board of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre of McGill University, and spearheads the Défi Canderel, which has raised over $17 million for cancer research.
Jonathan was awarded an Order of Canada in 2003 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. In May 2018, he became a member of the Order of Montreal.
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.
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.
MARC YEDID, CPA, CA
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.
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!
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. She first became involved with Federation CJA in 1990 and 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 joined the Board of FCJA and served as President from 2019-2021. 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 is currently the National Chair of CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Federations national advocacy agency) and serves on the Board of the Integrated University Health and Social Service Centre Ouest de Montreal, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and as Vice President at World Jewish Congress. She previously served as a Director of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA (JFC-UIA), the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), the Akiva School as well as Camp B'nai Brith (CBB), where she was President from 2012-2014. 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 five children and two grandchildren who are her travel partners and biggest supporters.
Directors at Large
Sandra has been involved with Federation CJA as a participant and volunteer for many years. She co-founded WIN (Women in Networks), co-chaired a Fly-In to New York, sits on the Governance and Ethics Committee of Federation CJA and participated in numerous activities and events over the years. She is also involved in numerous other community organizations promoting academic excellence, diversity and inclusion and the well-being of disadvantaged members of the community. She currently sits on the Faculty Advancement Board of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and is a member of the board of the Insolvency Institute of Canada. She was also actively involved in supporting and promoting Talmud Torah and Herzliah Schools while her children were attending as students
Sandra is the managing partner of Osler’s Montreal office and the leader of Osler’s Insolvency and Restructuring practice in Quebec. Sandra’s expertise and leadership are recognized locally, nationally, and internationally. She was awarded the prestigious designation of Advocatus Emeritus by the Québec Bar in recognition of her exemplary contributions to the profession as well as her social and community engagement. She was also named a Woman of Power by Federation CJA. Sandra and her husband Daniel Knafo are the proud parents of 3 adult children.
Michael considers community voluntarism as core to his Jewish life. He has been active in Jewish community leadership for the past 30 years in roles that include member of the board of directors of the Spanish & Portuguese synagogue, President of the Federation CJA Networks division, President of the board at Agence Ometz and is currently on the board of directors of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and the Baron de Hirsch Foundation.
In his professional life, Michael has been involved in a leadership capacity in the restaurant industry with several well-known restaurant concepts and currently works as an advisor for a number of large North American restaurant companies. He has also served as chair of the Restaurants Canada board of directors as well as on the board of the American National Restaurant Association.
Michael graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce (great distinction), holds a CPA designation, and has three adult children.
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. In 2019 he was chair of Federation CJA's Sepharade Campaign.
Currently Michael is VP of Ecole Maimonide and 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
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.
KARYN SARAGOSSI LASSNER
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.
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
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.
SAMANTHA MINTZ VINEBERG
Samantha Mintz Vineberg's involvement with Federation CJA began when she was a student and the Chair of FedNext. She has since chaired The Ben Gurion Society and events including Choices and Night of 100 Dinners. In 2017, as part of Federation CJA's Centennial celebrations, Samantha was the Co-Chair of the first ever Mega Mission to Montreal. She currently sits on Federation CJA's Planning and Allocations Committee.
Beyond her work with Federation CJA, Samantha is an active fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, was a Board Member at The Akiva School and a past Vice President of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim
In 2019, Samantha completed the Wexner Heritage Program; she is currently the Montreal alumni representative to the Wexner Foundation. A proud third-generation Montrealer, Samantha shares her passion for community with her husband, Justin Vineberg, and their two teenage children. She is excited to bring her love for Montreal and community to the Women's Philanthropy Campaign team during the 2020 Combined Jewish Appeal.
Shlomo Drazin considers it a privilege and an honour to be involved in Federation CJA and to be able to help the community. He was inspired to get involved by growing up in a home where he watched his parents on an almost nightly basis actively involve themselves in many Jewish Community organizations, both here in Montreal and in Israel.
Shlomo is currently President of the Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University, where he, his wife Sari, and their four children have attended university. He is a past president of Hebrew Academy, a past executive member of Congregation TBDJ, and is involved in various other Montreal Jewish community organizations.
Shlomo is president of Rester Group, a family office real estate investment, management and development company.
Shlomo and his wife, Sari, are the proud parents of four children and two amazing grandchildren.
Jonathan Sigler recently finished a four-year term as President of Kehilla Montreal Residential Programs, an agency of Federation CJA dedicated to easing the cost of housing for those most in need within our community through the construction of new social housing and the subsidization of rents.Jonathan recently retired as co-president of Prével, a real estate development company specializing in mixed-use residential projects. He continues to be involved as an investor and strategic advisor.
Jonathan was president of Akiva School during its transition to a dual-stream school from 1996 to 2001. Currently, he is chairman of the CIUSSS Centre Ouest Building and Planning Committee, vice-chair of the McGill University Building and Planning Committee, and a member of the Faculty Advancement Board for the School of Medicine at McGill.
Jonathan holds degrees in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Construction Engineering and Management from RPI and Stanford University. He and his wife, Dr. Kathy Myron, are blessed with four sons and have three cherished grandchildren.
Jodi Kirshner Tessler has been involved with Federation CJA as a volunteer, leader and participant in several initiatives including as a March of the Living chaperone and a Women’s Philanthropy Night of 100 Dinners co-chair. Along with her husband, Mitchell, she was active in the Federation CJA community food support project, Le Café, for ten years both in a fundraising and volunteer capacity. She currently sits on the Planning and Allocations Committee.
Jodi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University. Her career began in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries in marketing at L’Oreal Canada and Merck respectively. Jodi has recently returned to the workforce on a project basis for her husband’s real estate company.
Jodi considers it an honor to join Federation CJA’s Board of Directors and looks forward to a meaningful journey toward ensuring the sustainability of the Montreal Jewish community. Jodi and her husband are very proud parents to one son and two daughters.
Jewish Community of Montreal Foundation Representative
President and Chief Executive Officer
YAIR SZLAK, LL.B.