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Our Clergy And Staff

 

Rabbi Lori Cohen

RabbiCohen@kolami.ca

Rabbi Lori is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Kol Ami
Congregation. She believes that by working together, we will cultivate a nurturing environment
where every member feels valued, spiritually enriched, and an integral part of our synagogue
family.

Rabbi Lori brings with her a wealth of experience. She was ordained in 2000 from Hebrew
Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. Her path to the rabbinate included a ten-year career
as a teacher in Toronto, with an emphasis on special education, and director of a group home
for troubled adolescents. Her love of teaching and compassion for the vulnerable led her to her
calling as a religious leader. Her rabbinic career has included serving as a rabbi at Cedar Village:
A Home for Jewish Living in Cincinnati; a Spiritual Care resident at Children's Hospital in
Cincinnati; Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Toronto; a Jewish Studies teacher at Tanenbaum CHAT; and most recently as Adjunct              faculty at Wilfred Laurier University and spiritual leader of Temple Shalom in Waterloo.

Rabbi Lori believes that foundational stories are critical in developing one’s identity whether they be family stories or communal ones.

She is eager to hear everyone’s story and develop meaningful relationships as part of her vision to build a strong, compassionate community. If you were sitting with Rabbi Lori over a cup of tea or a glass of wine, here’s a few stories you might hear about her:

She is an early riser and is a bit obsessive with “to do lists”. Her favourite genre is historical fiction; she enjoys adventurous traveling,          like hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu, scuba diving in Belize and swimming in any body of water from glacial lakes to cenotes in Mexico. She has been a vegetarian since she was 15 years old. Her favourite place in Canada is Stormy Lake in Haliburton where her family has gathered for 74 years. Her favourite new hobby is writing creative stories and family history to be passed down to her children and grandchildren.

Here’s Rabbi Lori’s pick of the week. This is something that she has found thought provoking,
inspiring or challenging. She hopes that you will be too!

How to defeat terrorism? The Jewish way is to leave them laughing
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/israelis-fight-terrorism-with-dark-humour

Rabbi Micah Streiffer

Rabbi Emeritus

rabbistreiffer@gmail.com

Rabbi Micah Streiffer was Kol Ami’s rabbi from July 2011 through September 2023, and now serves as Director of LAASOK, the liberal Beit Midrash (“House of Study”). A skilled teacher and a lifelong learner, Micah is working towards a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at McMaster University and hosts the popular "Seven Minute Torah” podcast. He teaches on a wide range of Jewish topics in congregations around North America. 

Micah grew up in south Louisiana and arrived in Canada in 2011. He was ordained a rabbi in 2007 at the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Before coming to Kol Ami, he served as Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Aron Katz
 
Cantorial Soloist

cantorialsoloist@kolami.ca

Aron is thrilled to be returning to Kol Ami. Aron has always had a love for music and Jewish life. He led his first service at Kol Ami when he was 12 and has always had a strong connection to the temple community.

For many years, Aron served Kol Ami as a board member, youth group advisor, B’nai Mitzvah tutor, and religious school teacher. Outside of Kol Ami, Aron is active in the Jewish community, having worked with other Reform synagogues in the GTA, URJ Camp George, and UJA Federation.

Aron is a high school technology teacher with the York Region District School Board. When not teaching or leading services, you can find Aron on the ski slopes with his wife Jenn, and their children, Hailey and Rory.

Marla Berns 

Office Administrator

admin@kolami.ca

Kol Ami is excited to welcome Marla Berns to its staff as our new Office Administrator!Marla had a 30 year career in the Financial Services industry, with a focus on operational management, training, business development and relationship management. In her spare time, Marla volunteers in community service organizations such as CHATS, Chai Tikvah and Ezer Mitzion. Outside the office, you can find her reading a great book, travelling and spending time with her husband and 3 children.

She is looking forward to getting to know our community and beginning this journey together.  

Ilana Glazenberg
 
Operations Manager

operationsmanager@kolami.ca

As a results oriented business professional, directing Contact Centres and championing the Customer Experience, Ilana thrives on improving efficiency of operations and establishing and maintaining strong alliances to drive projects to successful completion, while controlling costs through the most effective uses of manpower and available resources, thereby achieving fiscal bottom line results. 

In her spare time, Ilana loves spending time with her family, watching her daughter dance, cooking and baking, exploring beaches, roller coasters, and snuggling with her cats and dog. 

Ilana is looking forward to getting to know the vibrant Kol Ami community and supporting the congregation’s initiatives!

 

Jennifer Katz

Educational Director

educator@kolami.ca

Jenn grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire where her formal Jewish education, youth group and summer camp experiences in conjunction with her family’s home observance helped to shape her love of Jewish learning and Reform Jewish life.

Coming to Kol Ami is a little bit of a homecoming for Jenn, her husband, Aron, and their children, Hailey and Rory. Jenn met her husband at the 2005 URJ Biennial, moved to Toronto in 2007 and has been immersed in the Toronto Jewish community ever since. In fact, one of Jenn’s first jobs in Canada was as a teacher in Kol Ami’s religious school where she continued to teach for many years. 

Jenn holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a high school teacher with the York Region District School Board. Jenn has worked in various roles in Jewish education over the past 15 years including Director of Education, B’nai Mitzvah program coordinator, classroom teacher, resource teacher, retreat facilitator and youth group advisor. For the past 7 years, Jenn has been the Director for Jewish Living and Learning at Temple Emanu-El and she looks forward to continuing to share her passion for Jewish Education at Kol Ami. 

Adine Mintz

Choir Director

adine.kolami@gmail.com

Adine is very excited to be rejoining Kol Ami. She was a member of the Kol Ami choir as a teen under Annie Berlin and is very pleased to be returning as Choir Director. She was one of the founding members of TAKAY and a past president.

She has been conducting choirs, orchestras and operas for almost thirty years. She has a Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Conducting from the University of Toronto. She was the Choir Director at Shaare Zion in Montreal and was musical director for Zarenu in Toronto. 

Currently she conducts and teaches with the Canadian Children's Opera Company, teaches music classes at a private school in Markham as well as private piano lessons. She is a proud mama of two girls. 

Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784