Meet the members of the New Beginnings: Intra-Jewish Dialogue Steering Committee!
Anna Press is a senior policy advisor with the provincial government, who has also worked for the federal government and at universities. She has participated in anti-racism initiatives, from a research program in Germany and Poland on Holocaust education to creating a documentary about Jewish jokes. After graduating with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and a B.Ed. in teaching Spanish and Social Studies, she taught for two years in Turkey. This caused her to question identity, privilege, and learn more about ethnic conflict leading her to complete a Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Elena Lifshits Carrera joins Mosaic from an international development, human rights and conflict reconciliation perspective. A Global Affairs professional she began her career as a film editor, making the switch to communications for development before she returned to the Munk School of Global Affairs to get her Maters degree. Passionate about rights, equality and delivery of sustainable methods of development, Elena currently focuses on policy research and analysis of innovation in international aid. Having lived in Israel for eight years Elena cares deeply for the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and hopes to one day see an implementable solution embraced by governments and the international community.
Spencer Burger is a JD/MBA student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and will be articling at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He is passionate about Canadian and international political issues, having previously served as Policy Advisor to Minister James Moore, the former Minister of Industry. Spencer is also a student leader on campus and has been involved in mobilizing opposition to BDS and enhancing financial aid at the Law School. He sees the Mosaic initiative as playing a crucial role in reinforcing the Jewish community’s sense of unity around core community values.
Mattan Lustgarten joined the Intra-Jewish dialogue project in 2015. He has been a member of the Hashomer Hatzair Canada for many years and has been involved in the Heart to Heart program which brings Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children together each summer at Camp Shomria in Ontario. He received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Queen’s University and is currently studying medicine at the University of Toronto. Mattan loves canoe trips, cycling, and finding a reason to be back at camp each summer.
Zach Paikin is an editor at Global Brief, a leading international affairs magazine. He is also a PhD candidate and assistant lecturer in international relations at the University of Kent, where his research focuses on Russian and Chinese conceptions of state sovereignty and the future of liberal world order.
Sara Yacobi-Harris is a documentary filmmaker having recently completed a short documentary film titled “Who is a Jew?” which explores Jewish identity from the perspective of Jewish people of Colour in Toronto. She has presented her research on Jewish People of Colour at a conference at Ryerson University and has been published on ithacalit.com. Her interdisciplinary academic studies and artistic interests in film and education focus on questions and themes of identity, belonging, community, feminism and ethnicity. Sara is a graduate student at the University of Toronto in Social Justice Education at OISE.