Press Release: CIJA Confirms Appointment of New Directors

Feb 23, 2018 | CIJA Publications, Media, Press Releases


February 23, 2018

Ottawa—The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has confirmed the appointment of ten new members to its Board of Directors. Nominations to the CIJA Board are guided by an independent process whereby the Nominations Committee assesses the background, specific skills, experience, and other relevant qualifications of prospective Directors and submits a list of candidates to the CIJA membership for consideration. CIJA benefits immensely from the knowledge, experience, and passion of its Board members.

“We are pleased to welcome — and eager to work with — such a distinguished group of leaders who bring a diverse wealth of talent and a deep commitment to Canadian Jewish advocacy,” said David J. Cape, Chair of CIJA’s Board of Directors. “We also offer sincere thanks to Gilda Abdulezer, Hon. Stockwell Day, Berl Nadler, Hon. Lorne Nystrom, Nancy Rosenfeld, Cheryl Reicin, and Mario Silva for their outstanding and dedicated service to CIJA and to the Jewish community. Though they will no longer serve as Board members, their contribution to CIJA will continue to positively impact Canadian Jewry right across the country.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.


More information about incoming board members:

  • HON. JOHN BAIRD (ON) served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2015 and as a member of the federal cabinet, in various positions, since 2006. Previously he was a provincial cabinet minister in Ontario during the Conservative governments of Premiers Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.
  • BARBARA BANK (ON) joins our Board in her capacity as Chair of the Toronto Local Partner Council. Barbara brings broad experience in various leadership positions within communal organizations and has had extensive experience on the campus front – one of the most challenging files on our agenda.
  • DARRELL DEXTER (NS) is a lawyer, journalist, former naval officer, and former Premier of Nova Scotia. Darrell is a member of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party.
  • RICK EKSTEIN (ON) is a Toronto businessman who is a former vice chair of CJPAC. Rick is intensively involved in philanthropic activities and deeply engaged in the political process.
  • HEATHER FENYES (SK) has become a trailblazer in forging inter-faith and inter-ethnic partnerships while advancing the work of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Holocaust education is just one of the areas that has benefited from her expertise.
  • MAXYNE FINKELSTEIN (QC) has extensive experience in the Jewish communal world, within Montreal Federation, as CEO of UIA, as a senior professional at the Jewish Agency, and then as head of the Genesis Prize based in New York. She currently serves as CEO of the Goodman Family Foundation.
  • JOEL LAZER (MB) is a CA with extensive involvement with Winnipeg Federation, including serving as Chair of its Community Relations Committee. Joel has also been directly engaged in the political process at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
  • MARIE POULIN (ON) is a former Canadian senator and past president of the Liberal Party of Canada. She was a member of the Senate committees on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration; National Security and Defense; Banking, Trade and Commerce; and was Chair the Senate committee on Transport and Communications.
  • ALAN SHUSTER (BC) is a lawyer by training and a high-tech entrepreneur by vocation. Previously, Alan worked directly in the political sector, having served as a federal ministerial staffer. More recently, he expanded his political activities by serving as a campaign chair provincially, and he just concluded two terms on the Board of Governors at UBC.
  • JEFF SMITH (AB) is a private-sector lawyer who was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2011. Using his engineering background, Jeff has developed an expertise and reputation for pleading highly complex litigation at the appellate level. He has been a leader of the Calgary Jewish community for many years, serving – amongst his other roles – as CIJA’s LPC Chair.

The new Board members join returning Directors:

David Cape, Chair (QC); Toby Abramsky (ON); Patrick Benaroche (QC); Father Raymond de Souza (ON); Tamara Fathi (ON); Ed Fitch (BC); Jonathan Goldbloom (QC); Ronnen Harary (ON); Adam Hummel (ON); Marilyn Kaufman (NB); David Koschitzky (ON); Jeffrey Miller (ON); Jason Murray (BC); Rabbi Reuben Poupko (QC); Joel Reitman (ON); Moshe Ronen (ON); Jeffrey Rosenthal (ON); Carol Ryder (AB); Steven Shafir (AB); David Spiro (ON).

For more information, please contact:

Adir Krafman
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

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