Diane Wise, Executive Director

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.

Lisa Kent, Cantor & Choir Director

Lisa Kent, Cantor & Choir Director

Lisa is a founding member of the DJC, and has been the Cantor since its inception.  She also conducts a choir at our High Holyday services and co-leads the DJC community B’nei Mitzvah ceremony. Lisa also works in the community as a freelance service leader. Since July 2017 she is licensed to perform Jewish weddings for interfaith couples. Lisa is an Honours graduate with a bachelor’s degree in voice and music education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has studied under Cantor Anna Trubashnik of Temple Emmanuel in Toronto. With over 20 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools, she is currently teaching at The Creative Preschool of East Toronto. Lisa is married to musician and music producer Danny Greenspoon, who accompanies her and the DJC choir at High Holyday services, and in Bar and Bat Mitzvahs ceremonies. Together they have two sons.

Kathy Miller, Director of Administration

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.

Anne Shaddick, Services Manager

Anne Shaddick, Services Manager

For the past eight years Anne has been Manager of Registration & Operations during the High Holyday services. She is very excited about her new role as Volunteer Coordinator, and sees this as an opportunity to help members feel a deeper connection to their community.

Anne worked at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) for many years. She is now in private practice as a stress management practitioner and teacher of meditation. As a Trager practitioner, she enjoys helping people feel more ease and less stress in their bodies. Her passions in life have always been helping people, anything to do with food, reading really good books, and her teenage son.

Miriam Brookman, Communications Manager & Rabbi Administrative Assistant

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 Rabbi Miriam. 

Tikka Smiley, Events Coordinator

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 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.

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