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Staff

Mira Lyonblum (she/her)

Director of Education

I am thrilled to be the Director of Education, working together with the wonderful families at Habonim Congregation! Together we will learn about how our rich traditions lend themselves to the values of today, how our prayers and celebrations are relevant to our lives, and how Tikkun Olam (repairing our world) is a crucial way to make our community a place that we are all proud to be part of.

I have been involved in program development, specifically social justice education, in many roles and organizations. As a camp lifer, I grew up at URJ Camp George and Kutz Camp, and have been the Director of MARVEL, Take Action Camp, and several other camp programs which all focus on leadership and social action. I am currently the coordinator of the B’nei Mitzvah program with the Danforth Jewish Circle and a Board member of the Red Door Family Shelter, as well as a Hebrew and general studies tutor. I’ve studied Peace and Conflict Studies and International Development, along with a smattering of other fun pursuits – I love learning! I worked most recently for Action Against Hunger Canada as National Program Director, creating and facilitating food justice and gardening programming.

I have loved traveling around the world, immersing in incredible culture and meeting beautiful people, and now I love to share those memories and photos with my kids Sadie, Arlo, and Ezra. I’m a fan of swimming, finding new-to-me movies to watch, amateur crafts, Harry Potter, and anything tie-dye.

This community is only as strong as its members, and I hope very much that we can work together to make this a place where Judaism comes alive! I would love to hear from you about your ideas or questions about the school – please e-mail me anytime at habonimschool@gmail.com

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Suzanne Hersh

B’nei Mitzvah Program Director

As an educator, theatre artist, congregant, student and activist, my Jewishness has found dynamic and varied expression over the years. Leading the B’nei Mitzvah program is for me a great opportunity to pursue my devotion to Jewish learning and continuity, endeavouring to connect young people and families to the many inspiring dimensions of Jewish life. Since graduating from Queen’s Artist in the Community Education Program, I have taught children and adults in various settings, from federal prisons to public and parochial schools. For eighteen years I taught elementary French (FSL) at Bialik Hebrew Day School. I continue to work at Holy Blossom Temple as a B’nei Mitzvah tutor and a Shabbat and holiday children’s break-out group leader. I began teaching here at Habonim in 2012 (as well as the Downtown Jewish Community School) and was principal of the Jewish Heritage School from 2017 - 2020.

Alongside my career as a teacher, I am co-artistic director of an independent theater company, thresholdtheatre.ca. For Threshold I have acted in, directed and produced a range of productions, workshops and community programs. When my kids were young I would tell them that there are three things which I hope will always be part of their lives: Judaism...and fruits and vegetables! I especially love learning about Judaism with young people and being able to share in their discoveries about Torah’s many beautiful and instructive facets. Through the B’nei Mitzvah program, students can acquire skills that enable them to approach their Bat/Bar Mitzvah service with confidence and participate meaningfully and creatively in Jewish life; imagining the future of our community with a sense of belonging and purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782