National LGBTQ2+ Advisory Council

Standing up for human rights and fighting discrimination is at the core of CIJA’s work. This is why CIJA works to support and build bridges with the LGBTQ2+ community, whether on Parliament Hill, at Pride festivals, or in communities across Canada.

CIJA’s LGBTQ2+ Advisory Council has been established to provide CIJA with guidance regarding policies and issues of interest to the LGBTQ2+ community, while strengthening CIJA’s capacity to engage local LGBTQ2+ activists and organizations across Canada. The Council consists of fourteen members from seven provinces. The Council includes both Jewish and non-Jewish members with a diverse range of professional and political backgrounds, including experience in law, academia, business, politics, advocacy, and Jewish community work.

CIJA has been involved in various LGBTQ2+ advocacy activities including sponsoring outreach events and products at various Pride festivals across Canada.

Thoughts from CIJA leadership:

“Since I was a Member of Parliament, I have worked as an ally to bring about true equity for members of the LGBTQ2+ communities in Canada and abroad. I was lucky to be one of the MPs advocating strongly for the rights of same-sex couples to get married legally and was proud to stand as an ally with my friends when that Bill passed, and became law. Canada is and must continue to be a champion for LGBTQ2+ rights at all levels both domestically and internationally, and we must be able to have NGOs like CIJA, continuing to push governments to do more. We must not stop and wait for the right moment to come; we need to make our opportunities. From advocating on key legislation like the former C-16 gender identity bill to hosting roundtables with Queer community leaders across Canada, CIJA stands with our family, friends, and allies within the LGBTQ2+ communities. Although our organization is known for hosting wonderful Pride Shabbats in major cities across the country, those serve as just one example of our activities to bring people from diverse communities together.” 

– Richard Marceau, General Counsel and Vice President Partnerships

At CIJA, we have a big tent and are inclusive of every segment of our community. If you are a Zionist – Jewish or not – you are welcome here. This extends to and most certainly includes LGBTQ2+ Jews and non-Jews whom we value as brothers, sisters, colleagues, and friends. The rich diversity within our community is something to be celebrated because ultimately it makes us stronger as a people.


LGBTQ2+ Advisory Council Members:

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    Michelle Ausfresser
    Saskatoon, SK
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    Dan Brotman
    Windsor, ON
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    Jess Burke
    (She/Her, They/Them)
    Toronto, ON
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    Noa Farage
    Vancouver, BC
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    Sophie Hershfield
    Toronto, ON
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    Jonathan Lerner
    Lantzville, BC
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    Dara Lithwick
    Ottawa, ON
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    Anna Murphy
    Calgary, AB
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    Evan Pilz
    Toronto, ON
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    Brandon Purcell
    Ottawa, ON
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    Justin Tobin
    St. John's, NL
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    Laura Wolfson
    Hamilton, ON