Board of Directors
Jonathan Zepp, President
Jonathan is a partner at the law firm of Robins Appleby LLP. Jonathan is a business law lawyer advising clients on matters of corporate and commercial law. Jonathan is the former Chairperson of The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation where he remains a director. He is a former director and member of the Executive Committee of Associated Hebrew Schools. Jonathan is also an active member at his synagogue, Chabad Flamingo. Jonathan is a passionate proponent of Jewish day school education. Jonathan and his wife, Tracy, are parents to two TanenbaumCHAT graduates, Noah, Class of 2016 and Lilly, Class of 2018.
Melanie Kraft, Secretary
Melanie Kraft has been a partner of the law firm Epstein Cole LLP for the past 15 years. Melanie has 3 children. Her eldest daughter is in Grade 12 New Stream, her son is in Grade 10 and her youngest daughter is in Grade 5 at the Bishop Strachan School. She has been an Executive Member of the Sterling Hall and Bishop Strachan Parent’s Associations, co-chaired the Parent Ambassador Program at BSS, and coordinated fundraising events at both schools, running their silent auctions. Melanie was on the Grandparent Day committee at TanenbaumCHAT in the Fall of 2014 and for the past two years, she has served as a Parent Ambassador for our New Stream Program. In 2014, Melanie was an Adjunct Professor teaching Family Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. She regularly teaches and runs Continuing Legal Educational Programs for Lawyers through the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Bar Association. She has co-chaired the Women’s Philanthropy Division at UJA and canvasses regularly for UJA.
Russel Orelowitz, Treasurer
Russel qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa in 1991 and immigrated to Canada in 1998. He has held senior financial positions in the private education and consulting industries, and is currently the Chief Financial Officer of a global consumer products company, headquartered in Canada. Russel and Charlene are proud parents of 2 CHAT graduates, and a son who is currently in Grade 11 at CHAT.
Ray Rubin, Immediate Past President
As a member of the Board, the Executive and the Search Committee for a new Head of School, Ray has developed appreciation for the contemplative way TanenbaumCHAT makes decisions and enthusiastic admiration for the school. She and her husband, Lloyd Hoffman, are proud parents of two graduates and two current students at TanenbaumCHAT. Ray offers to bring to the renewed Board position her strong analytical reasoning and communication skills, developed in her professional capacity as a lawyer. Her understanding of community needs and structure was learned from extensive volunteer work in Jewish Toronto. Ray served on the executive of the Board of Jewish Family & Child Service and was involved in many aspects of UJA Federation ranging from chairing Young Leadership Network projects to co-chairing the Lion of Judah division and Israel at Fifty post-walkathon event. Ray also served on the Board of Netivot HaTorah Day School.
Rami is a Senior System Analyst with over 20 years of IT experience. He works as a Solution Architect at TELUS. His family immigrated to Israel from the USSR in 1990. Rami completed IDF service and graduated from Tel Aviv University as a Software Engineer. He has expertise in tutoring, project management, financing and team coaching. In 2003 Rami relocated his family to Canada as part of his duties at Amdocs. Rami and his wife Irit have a son Or who is currently in Grade 10 New Stream at TanenbaumCHAT.
Vered Feldman is a Reading Specialist working at Associated Hebrew Day Schools. Vered serves on the Board of Jacob's Ladder and has chaired and been involved in a number of fund-raising activities for various causes. Vered and her husband Jay have had three children at TanenbaumCHAT; two grads and one currently attending grade 10. Vered is currently working toward a Master of Education at the University of Toronto.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science Honors degree from Queen’s University, a Master’s in Experimental Medicine from McGill and a Ph.D. in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Toronto. Andrea has served on the Board of Directors at Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA) and was President of the Parents’ Association at RHA as well. She has also served on the board of directors of Beth Tikvah Synagogue. Andrea has 3 children, 2 of which are at Western University and one child who is currently in Grade 10 at TanenbaumCHAT. Andrea works at Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, in the department of Government Affairs and Market Access. This will be her second year on the board of TanenbaumCHAT and she is looking forward to promoting TanenbaumCHAT’s academic excellence with the objective of recruiting new students and retaining our current students.
Claire is passionate about Jewish Education, Jewish continuity and Israel. She and her husband Howard are the proud parents of four amazing children, three of whom are TanenbaumCHAT alumni, and one who is currently in Grade 11. Claire is a former Board member and Vice President of Associated Hebrew Schools. During her tenure, she gained experience in a broad range of roles, including serving on the Management, Personnel, Tuition Subsidy, Governance, Nominations and Restructuring Committees. She currently sits on the Board of the Association of the Soldiers of Israel - Canada, and is active on the Scholarship and Annual Events Committees. Claire was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994 and is self-employed. Claire lives in Thornhill and is a member of Chabad Flamingo.
Alan Grad ’88
Alan has served on the Board of Directors of TanenbaumCHAT since 2016. After graduating from CHAT in 1988, Alan continued his studies at York University in Toronto where he obtained a BA in Economics and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in1994. Alan has since gone on to hold legal positions of increasing responsibility in private practice and as in-house legal counsel and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Legal and General Counsel at the DBRS credit rating agency. Alan is married to Sandy Leider. They have 3 children, including a Class of 2017 TannenbaumCHAT graduate, a Class of 2019 TannenbaumCHAT student and an incoming Class of 2021TannenbaumCHAT student. Alan looks forward to continuing to be a valuable contributor to the Board of Directors.
Mark Gross' business experience spans over 20 years in business management, finance and real estate. Mr. Gross attended the University of Western Ontario and earned his HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Mark founded Gross Capital, a Private Equity firm with a focus on real estate investment that purchases, develops and manages commercial real estate on behalf of Canadian and US investors. Marks serves as CEO of Zedd Customer Solutions Inc., a Gross Capital Investment in the Business Process Outsourcing space. Mark is an active member of the first CJPAC Chavurah Program. Mark is the proud father of Max, a class of 2022 New Stream student, and Danielle, a Grade 7 Bishop Strachan School student.
Hart Heller ’89
Hart (class of '89) and his wife Gila of Toronto are the parents of three pre-TanenbaumCHAT children and uncle and aunt to many TanenbaumCHAT students and alumni. Hart has been involved in various Jewish community organizations, is a past member of the Associated board and is a current board member and treasurer of JIAS. With a background in finance and consulting, he is currently an Executive Vice President at LynCar, a plumbing and fire sprinkler products distribution company.
Suzy Kauffman ’90
Suzy is a partner at Goodmans LLP, where she has a general commercial litigation practice. She is currently the Chair of the Parent Ambassador Committee at TanenbaumCHAT, helping to guide the admissions and recruitment efforts, and is a past Board Member of the Toronto Heschel School and past member of the Parents Association at the Sterling Hall School. Suzy has volunteered in many capacities with UJA Federation and is currently on the women’s executive team. She has an Honours BA in Political Science from McGill University and an LLB from the University of Toronto. She has recently completed a Board Governance Course run by the Canadian Board Diversity Counsel and has advised many Boards through her legal practice. Suzy is a CHAT grad (1990). She and her husband Steve are the proud parents of a TanenbaumCHAT graduate (Amanda '18), a current TanenbaumCHAT student (Josh, grade 11), as well as a future TanenbaumCHAT student, Layla (grade 7 at the Toronto Heschel School).
After more than two decades as a senior media and marketing executive in both Canada and the US, Wally recently transitioned into the Jewish non-profit world and now serves as CEO of Ramah Darom in Atlanta, Georgia. Wally is currently on the TanenbaumCHAT Marketing committee, has served on several UJA of NY committees and task forces, was on the RHA Marketing and Scholarship committees, and has been very involved in industry associations including past Board Chair of the Canadian Marketing Association. All three of Wally and Beth Gamulka's children have attended TanenbaumCHAT; Talia is currently in grade 11.
David is a managing Director at Onex Corporation, a private equity form headquartered in Toronto, where he has worked for 16 years. Prior to that, David was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. David has served as a board member of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and was a member of UJA's strategic planning committee on fund raising. David was the co-chair of the Shaarei Shomayim capital campaign. David and his wife, Naomi, have four children with their eldest attending TanenbaumCHAT in grade 10. David qualified as a chartered accountant, has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.Comm. from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Tilda was born in Hamilton, Ontario and spend her formative years there before moving to Toronto. She resides in Thornhill, together with her husband Malcolm and their family. Tilda and Malcolm have three children who attended the Jewish day school system. Their two eldest children attended university and the youngest, Madeleine is currently in Grade 12 at TanenbaumCHAT. Tilda is a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator and has been an active member within the legal community since her call to the Bar in 1993. In 2015, she was appointed as a Dispute Resolution Officer in Superior Court. Tilda is also an active member of her synagogue, Chabad Flamingo.
Eric has more than 25 years experience that has spanned the range of public accounting practice as a Chartered Accountant at PwC, entrepreneurial endeavor as the founder and CEO of Redwood Custom Communications (rebranded Totem), the leading content marketing agency in North America providing multi-platform and fully integrated content and marketing communications services, and public company experience as part of the executive leadership of Transcontinental Interactive. More recently Eric launched Tag3, a new content marketing agency. Eric is a former member of the Board of Directors at Associated Hebrew Schools. Eric and his wife Caline have a twin son and daughter that recently graduated TanenbaumCHAT and a son who started grade 9 this September.
Ilana is an independent consultant in the fields of Change Management, Organizational Design and Leadership Development. She has worked with both large and medium sized clients in both Canada and South Africa across many different industries. Ilana enjoys assisting leaders and managers through organizational, behavioural and personal change. Ilana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Economics, an Honors Degree in Economics and a Postgraduate Degree in Human Resource Management (all from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa). Ilana has certifications in psychometric tools (Myers Briggs) and enjoys coaching. She has been a board member of a synagogue and volunteers on a regular basis in the community. Ilana has 3 children. Her youngest son is currently in Grade 11 at TanenbaumCHAT and her older 2 children are both TanenbaumCHAT alumni. Ilana brings a human approach and understanding, creativity, empathy and respect for people’s individuality and diversity.
Stephen is a partner with the law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and an adjunct professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Stephen has over 35 years of dispute resolution and corporate structuring experience. He is a past member of Bialik Hebrew Day School’s Board of Directors, and a former member of its Executive, Personnel, and Budget and Finance Committees. He has also served as Treasurer of Bialik. Stephen’s two daughters and son are all graduates of TanenbaumCHAT and are currently attending Cornell and McGill Universities.
Howard Simkevitz ’91
Howard Simkevitz is a General Counsel and Privacy Officer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and adjunct faculty at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management where he teaches courses in privacy law, information technology law and business law. Howard is an active member of Beth Daid B'nai Israel Beth Am synagogue and also serves as the legal member of the Research Ethics Board at SickKids Hospital. Howard is a graduate of TanenbaumCHAT (class of '91), received his BA from the University of Western Ontario, his MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and his law degree from the University of Ottawa. Howard is the proud father of two children, his eldest daughter is currently in grade 9 at TanenbaumCHAT.
A commercial litigation lawyer who was called to the Bar in 1990, Stephen is a long time and present Board member at the Beth Torah Congregation where he has held a number of officer positions including that of Treasurer, Vice President, and President. During his time as President at Beth Torah the Congregation initiated both its membership and physical building expansion and commenced a successful multi-million dollar fundraising campaign. Stephen has acted for over two decades as General Counsel to a private academy that taught children with learning disabilities. Stephen and his wife Maura, are the proud parents of Drew, a 2015 TanenbaumCHAT graduate and Goldie, a 2017 TanenbaumCHAT graduate.
Sue Valencia '85
Sue is a graduate of CHAT ('85) and the proud mother of one CHAT grad (Adam - '17) and two current CHAT students (Megan - '19; Jenna - '21). Sue obtained a BA (Psychology) from York University and a law degree from UWO. Sue began her legal career at Torys LLP where she practiced corporate law for two years before moving into the entertainment business. Sue worked in the film and television industry for 13 years, first as VP of Business and Legal Affairs at Atlantis Films, then Senior VP - Business Affairs and Executive Producer at Alliance Atlantis and VP Legal and Business Affairs at Nelvana, a division of Corus Entertainment Group. Since leaving the workforce, Sue has been active in the volunteer community, serving on the Bialik board as well as Chair of the Bialik PTA for two years. Sue is currently active in the minor hockey sports community, acting as VP - Select of the Forest Hill Hockey Association and serving on the board of directors of the Forest Hill Hockey Association. In her spare time, Sue is the trainer for her youngest daughter's hockey team.