Rabbi Ilyse Glickman
Rabbi Glickman grew up and did her undergraduate education here in Toronto. She was then ordained as a Rabbi in 2004 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the rabbinical school of the Reform movement, and has two decades of experience as a Rabbi and educator. During that time, Rabbi Glickman has served congregations like Habonim here in Toronto, Am Shalom in Barrie, Shaarei Tefillah in Manhattan, and Scarsdale Synagogue in New York state. She has also worked with several Jewish organizations, including the Reform Jewish Community of Canada, Hillel, and Shoresh. On top of all that, Rabbi Glickman has completed two Masters degrees – one in Hebrew Literature and the other in Religious Education – and is currently working on a Doctorate in Jewish Education. Oh, and did we mention that she’s a certified yoga teacher?
Rabbi Glickman is delighted to be joining the DJC community along with her husband, David Rosen, who is the Senior Cantor at Holy Blossom, and their 11-year-old child Joel.
David Gershon – Chazzan and Director of Music
Some of you probably grew up watching this face on TV singing with his wife, Cantor Judy Adelman Gershon, together known to millions of families as “Judy & David”. But unless you happened to come to his “Chanukah Palooza” shows, you probably didn’t know that David’s first and enduring connection to music has always been as a Jewish song leader. With the touring life gratefully behind him, David now concentrates his time on using music to unite, move, and inspire people of all ages – whether as Chair of Education Arts Canada, or as our new Chazzan and Director of Music. David is the recipient of the Juno award, the SOCAN award, and the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. He has produced and co-starred in two national TV series and has created dozens of recordings and touring musicals. David earned his BA at Brandeis University. By far, his favourite accomplishment is being dad to Jared, Abigail, and Zev and husband to Judy. He can’t wait to make music with his new DJC musical family!
Kohenet Annie Matan
Kohenet Annie Matan is known for using songful prayer to weave ancestral and family traditions together with contemporary, feminist values. She comes to the DJC with her soulful voice and deep Jewish knowledge to facilitate spiritual engagement through music and prayer.
As a leader in the Jewish community, Annie was in the first cohort of ordained Hebrew Priestesses in 2500 years, through the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, in 2009. In addition, Annie earned her BA in Humanities through the Centre for Jewish Studies at York University, a Certificate in Experiential Education at Pardes, and studied for two years in the ALEPH Rabbinic Ordination Program.
Annie brings diversity to whatever she does and to who she is – whether it is through finding ancient or contemporary Jewish music from all over the world, or as a Jewish, Queer, Polyam single Mama. Annie is passionate about supporting people of all genders and faiths to feel seen, heard, and held as their whole selves in all spaces in their lives. Annie joined DJC’s recent Earth Hour Coffee House where we experienced her joy of music and song.
You can find out more about her work at linktr.ee/anniematan.
Diane Wise, Executive Director
Diane and her husband Larry Till are long time members of the DJC. Their children Abby and Shayna are graduates of the school and both have worked as teaching assistants and high holiday programs. Diane had a long career in the Ontario public service, holding a variety of roles prior to working for the DJC. A small town girl at heart, Diane hails from Brantford, Ontario. She loves the small community feeling at the DJC. Diane is enthusiastic about all things DJC and is looking forward to digging in and getting “under the hood.”
In her spare time Diane likes murder mysteries, cooking (and eating!), and social justice issues. She is currently a board member of CANVAS Arts Action Programs, which seeks to prevent gender-based and sexual violence, homophobia, and transphobia.
Kathy Miller, Director of Administration
Kathy and her husband Emil were founding members of the DJC in 1996. Kathy has been delighted to be on staff overseeing community administration since 2001 and the Children’s Jewish Studies Program since 2005. Daughters Sophie and Molly are graduates of the program, and worked there as teaching assistants. Kathy enjoys singing in the High Holy Day choir each year.
Kathy holds an RN from Victoria General Hospital and a BA from Carleton University. She has many diverse interests including cooking, reading, and loves the yearly winter family road trip to Florida since their daughters were babies.
Miriam Brookman, Communications Manager & Rabbi Administrative Assistant
Miriam has been working at the DJC in various capacities since 2015. After graduating from Concordia University with a BFA in Studio Arts, she went on to complete a summer intensive at Parsons the New School for Design followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy at the Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College. Miriam wears many hats – working in various areas of Jewish Education, Arts Education, Administration, Graphic Design, and Fine Arts. She brings these passions together in her work at the DJC in the Jewish Studies program, as the Communications Manager and as the Assistant to the Rabbi.
Tikka Smiley, Events Coordinator
An East End Jew since 2000, Tikka is delighted to be part of the DJC family! She’s had the pleasure of working within the Toronto Jewish community for decades, in administrative roles at Temple Emanu-El and Na’amat, as well as serving on the Boards of Hadaassah-Wizo and KefTO. An enthusiastic performer, Tikka has brought her musical, dramatic and culinary skills to audiences ranging in age from 0-99 and has sung and danced at simchas at shuls and schools around the GTA. She may be seen around the city gigging with her 90’s cover band, Pretty in Plaid and created a trivia game featuring the Jewish artists they cover. Tikka lives in the Beach with her techy husband Tracy, artistic teens Biana and Sasha and snuggly poodle Ziggy.
Alysse Rich, Director of Education
Alysse has been teaching in the DJC Children’s Jewish Studies program since 2007, and has been the principal since 2010. Prior to working at the DJC, she taught Bar/Bat Mitzvah lessons, served as an overnight Jewish camp counsellor, and led children’s services and Jewish song sessions. Alysse is passionate about her work at the Danforth Jewish Circle, and enjoys fostering an inclusive and creative environment in which students of all ages engage with their Jewish identity. In her time as principal (now Director of Education), she has overseen the inclusion of Hebrew language lessons, the very popular “chuggim” (“special activities”) program, and has coordinated sessions with many visiting artists. Most recently, she has overseen the pivot to outdoor learning and online learning during COVID-19. Alysse also oversees the DJC’s programming for young children, the B’nei Mitzvah group program, as well as the Teen Program. She was part of a successful grant from the UJA which is supporting a new Toronto-wide teen program for all progressive teens, which is called Reshet: Building Jewish Leaders (launched in 2021).
Alysse also holds a PhD in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto. She works privately as a dramaturg and teaches in the performing arts at Centennial College. She is a volunteer with the Bethany Food Bank, the National Havurah Committee, a board member at Nightswimming, and is the owner of the progressive Judaica shop East Toronto Judaica.