Online Activities

Learn with Rabbi Lerner: A new online 3-part learning series.

Learn more about Rabbi Lerner
Please note: Each session begins at 7:00 PM

October 28: “2½ Patriarchs: How to Be a Best Friend? Ask Abraham”
Abraham alone is called by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam “the friend of God.” The nature of that relationship is a continual challenge to anyone who wants to be a best friend.

November 4: “Isaac – Vive la Différence!”

In remarkable and touching ways seldom considered, Isaac differs from the other two patriarchs. His life calls us to activate oft-forgotten dimensions of Judaism.

  November 11: “The Man in the Gray Flannel Loincloth – Joseph, the First Modern?”

Tradition calls Joseph, son of Jacob the patriarch, a tsaddik, righteous. Is it true? Or was Joseph the first “corporation man”? Your quick review of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, which Wikipedia makes easy, will add to the fun.

To register or for any questions, please contact Sari Roston at
This initiative is part of The Open Doors Institute and made possible by funds raised at the recent gala honouring Marc Gold.

at 12:00 pm

Register here

Join us for Lunch Together Online: engaging topics, stellar speakers. Stay home and enjoy a good online conversation via Zoom.

This program is supported by Linda Kivenko, in memory of her sister, Mona Kaufmann.

Tuesday, October 20th | 12 noon
David Levy, Israeli Consul General | Israel’s COVID-19 response 

David Levy is Consul General of Israel for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces and Permanent Representative of Israel to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since February 2018.

A first-generation Israeli, Mr. Levy grew up in the city of Rehovot. At the age of 18, he volunteered to the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) rescue and medical evacuation unit. His academic background is in law (LLB) and political science (BA) and diplomacy and security (MA magna cum laude), both from Tel Aviv University.

He joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002 and since then his diplomatic career has taken him to Yaoundé, Cameroon (2003-2005), Riga, Latvia (2005-2009), and Seoul, South Korea (2012-2016), where he served as Deputy Head of Mission. More recently, he served as Political Counselor at the UN and International Organizations, Human Rights Department.

Mr. Levy is married to Maya and a proud father of four children.

David Levy

Tuesday, October 27th | 12 noon
Abby Stein| “Becoming Eve”

Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, author, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family of rabbinic descent, and is a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. Abby attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore a self-determined life. In 2015, Abby came out as a woman of trans experience. Since coming out, she has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. 

Her story has been covered in the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Jewish Daily Forward, Daily Mail, NBC, Vogue, InStyle, and more, as well as live appearances on CNN, Fox News, HuffPost Live, ShowTime, NowThis, PopSugar and internationally. In 2016, Abby was named by The Jewish Week as one of the “36 Under 36” young Jews who are inspiring change in the world, and in 2019 she was named by The Forward as one of the “Forward 50” most influential American Jews.

She studied gender studies and political science at Columbia University in New York City. 

Her memoir Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman was published by Seal Press in November 2019. She speaks regularly at universities, synagogues, and Jewish organizations across the globe.

Abby Stein

Tuesday, November 3rd | 12 noon
Sameer Zuberi, MP for Pierrefonds-Dollard  | “Reflections from my First Year in Parliament”

Sameer Zuberi was elected as the Member of Parliament for Pierrefonds-Dollard in 2019. He is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Sameer was born and raised in Montreal to a mother from Brockville, Ontario and a father who immigrated to Canada, from Pakistan, in the 70s. From a young age, Sameer has consistently worked to build bridges between communities, to promote dialogue and mutual understanding. This has led him to be at the forefront of protecting the Charter rights of Canadian minorities, and to working to promote diversity and inclusion, human rights, and mutual respect between communities over the past 18 years. He holds degrees in law from the Université du Québec à Montréal and in mathematics from Concordia University. Sameer lives in the West Island with his wife and two young girls.

Sameer Zuberi

Tuesday, November 10th | 12 noon
John Ashford “Reading the U.S. tea leaves”

John Ashford is Chairman and CEO of The Hawthorn Group, L.C., the international public affairs and public relations firm he co-founded in 1992.

Ashford provides senior counsel to Hawthorne clients across the country and around the world.

Raised in a small farm community, Ashford first appeared on the political scene in his
native Missouri. When he was only 26 years old, the Kansas City Star had already called him a “political kingmaker.” After staff work on Capitol Hill for members of the U.S. House and Senate, Ashford spent a decade with the legendary political consultant Matt Reese.

Together they worked in more than 200 candidate and corporate campaigns around the world and pioneered the adaptation of political grassroots techniques to serve Fortune 500 companies.

He received his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

He is a member of the American Association of Political Consultants, The National Press Club, The Harvard Club, The International Churchill Society, the American Guild of Organists and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

John Ashford

Tuesday, November 17th | 12 noon
Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed “Celebrating our differences”

Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed is an op-ed columnist for the Montreal Gazette and a video journalist at CityNews Montreal where she hosts an award-winning segment, DiverseCity. She is also a blogger at and founder of, the number one diversity blog in the country. Fariha is a PR specialist and a passionate ambassador for diversity. Fariha has made history as the first woman to wear the hijab on Quebec television in her role as a video journalist for CityNews Montreal. 

 Fariha is a public speaker, community organizer, and bridge builder. Born and raised in Montreal, Fariha is a mom of two and is now raising her own family in Montreal.

Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed