LGBTQ+ at the J

    LGBTQ Committee


    LGBTQ at the J strives to be the heart of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Jewish community, providing queer Jews opportunities to gather, celebrate and thrive. We aim for the full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ+ Jews across Jewish communal institutions, in Jewish life, arts and cultural initiatives, and informal and formal education and more.


    LGBTQ at the J fosters rich and diverse LGBTQ+ Jewish life in Toronto through dynamic programming – focused on social events, advocacy and education. We aspire to be a resource, safer space and home for all LGBTQ+ Jews across the spectrum of identities and affiliations. We intend to offer social and networking events and to provide opportunities for queer Jews to engage with Jewish holidays and traditions. We will partner with Jewish community organizations – including synagogues, schools and summer camps – to make their spaces and services more inclusive for LGBTQ Jews.

    Want all the latest updates? Subscribe to our newsletter here.

    Read our most recent newsletter here.








    JAY WEB 










    Jay is a Queer Black Sea Ashkenazi Jewish Toronto-based graphic designer and conceptual design thinker who also works as a fine artist, mapmaker, educator and occasionally, a drag queen. Their art and design practice creates tools for education and introspection to guide the public to better understand our complex world. Jay has a Bachelor’s of Design from OCAD University and was a two time fellow of The Hillel Emerging Artists Fellowship. They were a former Member of the Executive Committee of Kulanu where they worked on innovative events and inclusion and will now be working on strategy, mission and communications for the MNjcc LGBTQ Committee and bringing their Drag Persona Ivanna Russia Shauna to Host Events. 












    Daniel recently graduated from Queen’s University, where he co-founded Q+. Q+ is the first LGBTQ+ committee at the Queen’s School of Business – it hosts learning and mentorship events and provides opportunities for students to connect with corporate Pride networks. Daniel currently works in management consulting. He was previously involved in Kulanu, where he helped organize some of Kulanu’s Pride Month events. Daniel is looking forward to being a part of this initiative and working on exciting programming for Toronto’s Jewish LGBTQ+ community.












    Melissa Green is 24-year-old videographer and special events coordinator. Melissa is very active in the LGBT and Jewish community and wants to use her skills to bring change and inclusiveness to both communities. Melissa served on the Kulanu Executive Committee and led pride parade for Kulanu for three years as well.  Melissa is excited to bring the skills she learned working with Kulanu to the MNjcc. 












    Talia Johnson is a Jewish ritual and service leader, writer, poet, sensitivity editor, public speaker, workshop facilitator, educator, mentor, coach, and activist. She is a woman who is, in no particular order, an out-queer autistic lesbian trans woman. Talia is a member of the Heartspark Press Executive Committee. She is currently studying with the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute with ordination as a Kohenet Hebrew Priestess planned for the summer of 2019. Her work in these areas bridges mental health, spirituality, and LGBTQIA+/queer/trans spaces, areas that are usually independent silos. Talia has been an activist in various ways for most of her life. Her first words were, apparently, “That’s not fair!"

    Daniel Katz


    Daniel is a new member of the Miles Nadal LGBTQ+ Programming Committee and an active member and supporter of the LGBTQ+ Jewish community. Membership Associate and Founder of the LGBTQ+ Committee at the Schwartz/Reisman JCC.  Daniel has been taking initiatives to ensure that the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and allies throughout the Toronto Jewish community are being met. In his spare time, he is an interior designer, photographer, artist and health nut on the side.  Daniel is determined to implement the J’s vision and mission in the planning and execution of dynamic programing and very excited to be a part of the committee!












    In 2005, Shoshana Pellman, a mature Orthodox Jew became a TransLesbian activist. Over the years she has spoken and presented or co-presented at various workshops and conferences throughout Ontario. She was featured in a 2011 CBC special on The Current entitled Back in The Closet. In 2017, Shoshana was interviewed for CBC’s Out in the Open, during which she talked about her fears of being stricken with Dementia as a Transgender person. Since 2015, she has been a co-facilitator at Bellwood Health Services. At present, Shoshana is a volunteer at Baycrest and a member of the Family Advisory Council. She is a Senior Pride Network member and sings in Singing OUT, a LGBTQ choir in Toronto.

    Yonah w umbrella square











    Yonah Sienna is a Jewish artist, educator, and ASL interpreter based in Toronto. Yonah studied ancient history at the University of King’s College in Halifax, where they were the vice president of the King's PRIDE society. Yonah has led many classes and workshops, from basic Hebrew literacy to disability in the Tanakh and the deep roots of High Holiday prayer. Currently, Yonah is co-directing the Varsity Jews, studying Biblical Hebrew with The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, teaching at City Shul and Makom, and can be found working on poems, songs, and scenes based on Tanakh stories. As a member of the programming committee, Yonah is so excited to bring their passion for Judaism and LGBTQ+ issues to the MNjcc!












    Chana is a fourth year Social Work undergrad student, minoring in Jewish Studies. Chana is a co-founder of Eshel Toronto, the local chapter of an American-based organization that seeks to create community support and wider community acceptance for folks who are both LGBTQ+ and Orthodox-affiliated. Chana is an avid cyclist, budding Yiddishist, and is excited about bringing more queer Jews together with MNjcc!  


    Contact & Info

    750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor), Toronto, Ontario M5S 2J2

    Phone: 416.924.6211
    Fax: 416.924.0422

    Charitable Registration Number:
    140344243 RR0001