Officers

Rabbi Yael Splansky (President) 

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Rabbi Yael Splansky is the Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple. She came to Toronto in 1998 after ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She served first as Assistant Rabbi, concentrating on youth and young families from 1998-2000, then as Associate Rabbi from 2000-2013.

From the Boston area, Rabbi Splansky completed her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Jewish Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her rabbinical thesis is entitled, “All is Forseen and Freewill is Given: A Debate in Rabbinic Literature.”

She is the immediate past chair of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. She is the editor of the new prayerbook, Siddur Pirchei Kodesh, author of the Union for Reform Judaism’s “Reform Voices of Torah: 2012 Commentary on Deuteronomy,” and monthly contributor to The Canadian Jewish News.

Her husband, Professor Adam Sol, is an award-winning poet and together they raise their three sons.

Rabbi Splansky has the unique privilege of being a fourth-generation Reform Rabbi.

 

Rabbi Jarrod Grover (Vice-President)

Rabbi Jarrod Grover serves as the senior spiritual leader and mara d’atra of Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto. He came to Beth Tikvah as an assistant rabbi at 28 years old and, upon appointment, became the youngest Senior Rabbi of any large congregation in North America. A bilingual native of Montreal, Rabbi Grover received his bachelor’s degree in Economics at Princeton University. His M.A. and rabbinic ordination are from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he served as president of the students’ organization.

Rabbi Grover is a leading religious voice within the Canadian Jewish Community. He currently serves as President of the Ontario Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, and sits on the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly.

He is a Rabbinic Cabinet member of Israel Bonds and the Jewish Federations of North America. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including several leadership awards from the Government of Canada, and accreditation by the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education. In the winter of 2014, he was invited by the Prime Minister to join him on his official delegation to Israel. 

He is married to Carmela, with whom he shares three children and a Boston Terrier named Kobi. 

 

Rabbi Julia Appel (Recording Secretary)

Rabbi Julia Appel is the Director of Innovation Training for Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Previously, she  served as the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hillel at the University of Toronto since 2016. In that role, she led the team through a multi-year redesign of what Hillel is on campus, in partnership with the Organizational Design Lab of Hillel International.

Rabbi Appel has trained in relational engagement pedagogy as a fellow with M2’s pilot Relational Engagement Circle and in diversity and inclusion with trainer Yavilah McCoy.

Rabbi Appel previously served as Jewish Educator at M.I.T. and Amherst College Hillels, as assistant rabbi at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom and Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal, and as director of family programming at Makom in Toronto.

She earned and M.A. in Jewish Studies and rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2011 and holds a B.A. in Social Studies, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard University.

A native of Boston, Rabbi Appel lives in downtown Toronto with her family.

 

Rabbi Ed Elkin (Treasurer)

Rabbi Ed Elkin has served as the spiritual leader of the First Narayever Congregation since 2000. Hailing from Long Island, NY, Rabbi Elkin received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and was ordained from the Hebrew Union College in New York in 1990.

His special interests in the rabbinate include Bible commentaries, and the relationship between religion and state in the contemporary world.

He served as a rabbi and teacher in Montreal for several years, and as Hillel Director in Chapel Hill, NC, before moving to Toronto.

Rabbi Elkin is married to Linda Lipsky, a Montrealer who teaches literature.

 

Rabbi Jennifer Gorman (Secretary)

Rabbi Jennifer Gorman is the Executive Director of MERCAZ-Canada and Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism, which she served since 2011. Rabbi Gorman is a past president of the Ontario Region of the Rabbinical Assembly, during which time she also sat on the Executive Committee of the International Rabbinical Assembly. She currently serves on the Nominations Committee.

After receiving her BA at Brandeis University, Rabbi Gorman continued her studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, graduating in 1996. Rabbi Gorman brings a widely varying background to her rabbinate, having worked in communities in the United States and Canada and in multiple areas of the rabbinate – from formal and informal education to pulpit and organizational work.

Rabbi Gorman is a contributor to various periodicals. She is included in The Women’s Haftarah Commentary, and is featured on a CD-Rom about prayer produced by the Jewish Student Union of the United States Naval Academy. She is married to Rabbi Sean Gorman, and the proud mother of three children.

 

Rabbi Cory Weiss (Member-at-Large)

Rabbi Cory Weiss  began his tenure as the Rabbi of Temple Har Zion in Thornhill, Ontario in July, 2006. He is a member of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto, and is past president of the Greater Toronto Interfaith Clergy Curling Club. Rabbi Weiss was recently sworn in as a York Regional Police Chaplain.

Rabbi Weiss received his rabbinical ordination at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1986 from the University of Michigan, where he studied French horn, composition, and Judaic Studies.

Rabbi Weiss is a composer, who has written compositions for synagogues throughout North America, and has a number of pieces published by Transcontinental Music. In 2013, he was commissioned to write a setting of Psalm 100 for the Curling Club’s Interfaith Choir Concert.

Rabbi Weiss has served on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and on the editorial board of the Reform Movement’s prayerbook for youth and families, Mishkan T’filah L’No’ar.

Rabbi Weiss is currently working toward a Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree, with a focus on Aramaic Additions to the biblical Book of Esther.

Rabbi Weiss lives in Thornhill with his wife Karen, who is a professional Jewish Educator. He is very proud of their two sons, Michael, a newly-ordained rabbi, and Jacob, a professional musician.

 

Rabbi Michal Shekel (Executive Director)

Rabbi Michal Shekel is the executive director of the Toronto Board of Rabbis and the rabbi of Har Tikvah Congregation, in Brampton, Ontario. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she began her rabbinic studies as a member of the first class of women accepted to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She has served congregations in Ontario, Boston, and New Jersey.  Rabbi Shekel also teaches adult classes in Toronto covering a variety of Jewish topics.

Rabbi Shekel is the original co-editor of the holiday section of myjewishlearning.com. She is also the author of numerous textbooks used in Jewish schools throughout North America and has contributed articles to a variety of Jewish publications such as The Women’s Torah Commentary (ed. Goldstein, Jewish Lights, 2000) and The Mussar Torah Commentary (ed. Barry Block, CCAR, 2020). 

Rabbi Shekel  has served as a board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as the chairperson of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto.  She has also been a board member of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto as well as on the boards of organizations dealing with Jewish continuity and education, outreach, poverty, interfaith issues, racism, and drug and substance abuse.