Speaker Series & Special Events


Throughout the year, we offer our members and the broader community opportunities to hear and learn from distinguished community leaders, social justice advocates, writers, artists and many other people who are making a difference in their fields and in the world.

Please see our Events page for details on upcoming speakers and events. If you have ideas for special activities, speakers, presentations, celebrations or other events, please send a message to speakers&events@shirlibeynu.ca.

Here is a recording of our event from April 2023: Ben Murane: Pushback for Democracy in Israel.

These were our remarkable speakers and performers from the past year:


Alan Silverman

Alan Silverman is a member of the coordinating committee of SCAN! (Seniors for Climate Action Now!) He will address what the current provincial and federal governments have, and have not done, toward ending greenhouse gas emissions. He will also tell us about SCAN! and how we can get involved with this organization. 


Naomi Alboim

Naomi Alboim is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration (CERC) at Ryerson University, and a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University.  
Ms. Alboim is an active public policy consultant and has advised governments and NGOs across Canada, in Europe, the Caribbean, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya and South Korea.  
Previously, Ms. Alboim worked at senior levels in the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments for twenty-five years, including eight years as Deputy Minister in three different portfolios. Her areas of responsibility included immigration, human rights, labour market training, workplace standards, culture, as well as women’s, seniors’, disability, anti-racism and Indigenous issues. 
She is an engaged volunteer and advocate on refugee issues, and leads her synagogue’s refugee sponsorship activities.  
Naomi is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals and is a member of the Order of Ontario. 



Carmel Tanaka

A “Jewpanese” (Japanese and Jewish) activist and community organizer who works in Jewish LGBTQ+ spaces and to eliminate Anti-Asian hate, Founder and Executive Director of JQT Vancouver, Vancouver’s Jewish queer trans non-profit,  Carmel spoke with Cantor Wunch and Arya Marvazy about her personal journey towards leadership, and experiences and visions for creating Jewish communities that truly serve the diverse Jewish landscape. July 29, 2021

Arya Marvaz

An Iranian-American Jewish LGBTQ+ activist and community organizer, Arya spoke with Cantor Wunch and Carmel Tanaka about his personal journey towards leadership, and experiences and visions for creating Jewish communities that truly serve the diverse Jewish landscape. July 29, 2021.

Paula Wolfson

Shir Libeynu’s Shabbat & B’Mitzvah Chazzan for over nine years and a Dora-award winning performer, presented “From Broadway to the Bimah,” to share how her love of music led her into chazzanut. July 11,  2021

Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi, PhD

A freelance rabbi and educator with years of experience in the Hillel world and expertise in queer theory and community, spoke with Cantor Wunch and Rabbi Andrea Myers about LGBTQ+ Jews and leadership. June 24, 2021

Rabbi Andrea Myers (they/them)

A spiritual counselor at the All of You Wellness Centre, human resources professional and author of The Choosing: A Rabbi’s Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days (Rutgers University Press, 2011), spoke with Cantor Wunch and Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi about LGBTQ+ Jews and leadership. June 24, 2021

Avi Sadiv

From the Canadian chapter of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), spoke about the many great things the Society does. April 18, 2021

Jenny Isaacs

Director, Heart to Heart, spoke about this leadership program for Jewish and Palestinian youth. March 21, 2021

Tema Smith

Diversity advocate, writer and Jewish community builder, spoke about “Mixed Race and Jewish: The Personal and the Political.” Presented in collaboration with Danforth Jewish Circle. February 21, 2021

Dr. Mira Sucharov

Professor of Political Science and University Chair of Teaching Innovation at Carleton University, spoke about her book, Borders and Belonging: A Memoir (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). January 17, 2021

Akilah Allen-Silverstein and Yoni Belete

From No Silence on Race, which advocates for racial equity and inclusivity in Jewish spaces in Canada, and encourages organizations to commit to the creation of a truly anti-racist Jewish community through the implementation of “9 pillars” for systemic change. November 22, 2020