Beth Jacob Synagogue
Staff and Synagogue Leadership

Rabbi Dan SelsbergRabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli

Vancouver-born Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli joined Beth Jacob in August 2015 after having served as chief rabbi of Gothenburg, Sweden for three years. Before that, he was the rabbi of a large Masorti/Conservative congregation in Netanya, and a teacher of Talmud and other Judaic fields at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He has authored numerous articles, some of which can be seen here and here. Click here to watch his lecture, "Gender, Sexuality and Identity in the Jewish Tradition". Rabbi Hillel can be reached by emailing or by calling 905.522.1351, ext. 12. Watch Rabbi Hillel play a Carlebach song with A Touch of Klez at the band's Bar Mitzvah celebration.

Cantor Eyal BittonCantor Eyal Bitton

Cantor Eyal Bitton brings a dynamic, lively, and creative flavour to services, employing Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions, original compositions, and unique adaptations of popular melodies. He is a composer and lyricist who has penned several musicals and oratorios. His theatrical works have been produced in Canada, The United States, Kenya, and China. He has also directed a number of adult and children's choirs in Montreal and Toronto and is the Musical Director of Toronto's Zimriyah, a Jewish children's choral festival. Cantor Bitton has composed over 100 liturgical pieces - which have been sung by cantors and choirs in Canada, the States, and in Israel. He is married to gifted singer and actress, Michèle Tredger. Please visit or contact the Cantor by email at

Executive DirectorHanna Schayer, Executive Director

Hanna Schayer has been at Beth Jacob since March of 2009. She has a Masters Degree in Sociology and has spent much of her working life engaged on issues of social justice, human rights and the environment. Her tenure at Beth Jacob is the embodiment of that focus, and she feels privileged to work in an environment in which tikkun olam has such profound resonance. Asked to summarize her responsibilities, she would simply say, “Whatever needs to get done”. Practically speaking, you can contact her with regards to any shul related issue, other than those financial, educational or rabbinical, and she will happily assist or provide direction. You can reach her at, 905 522-1351 ext. 10. She is generally in the office Mondays through Thursdays though you’ll find her wandering around other days as well.

Synagogue PresidentsPresident

Matthew Ogus

Board of Directors

Elliott Biro
Marvin Caplan
Tanis Hall
Benson Honig
Dena Honig
Dan Levy
Jeff Levy
Matthew Ogus
Nessa Olshansky-Ashtar
Elissa Press
Philip Price
Yael Reznick DeMarco
Cindy Richter
Peter Smurlick

Standing Committees of the Board

Matthew Ogus - Co-President
Cindy Richter - Past President

Peter Smurlick - Finance 
Jeff Levy - Corporate Services 
Philip Price - Religious Affairs
Dan Levy - Cemetery 
Nessa Olshnsky-Ashtar - Education
Elliot Biro - House and Land
Yael Reznick DeMarco - Membership & Events
Elissa Press - Social Justice (Tikun Olam)

Committee Chairs at Large:
Benson Honig
Marvin Caplan