Rabbi Philip L. Bregman, Executive Director
Rabbi Philip Bregman recently came on board during the transitional phase of Hillel BC. When Hillel conducted their search for an Executive Director from the Jewish Community, there was no other individual that exemplified the ideal candidate as did Rabbi Bregman. Beginning in 1980, Rabbi Bregman lead Temple Sholom of Vancouver as their Senior Rabbi. Through his role as the spiritual leader of the congregation Rabbi Bregman inspired many individuals and touched many hearts of those in our community. He has been a long-time friend and passionate advocate of Hillel. He is a leader in Jewish education, young adult initiatives, fostering relationships within the Jewish community and interfaith dialogue. As he makes his transition from Temple Sholom to Hillel BC he brings with him years of experience and the ability to strengthen the organization and inspire its students. Hillel BC is very excited to welcome Rabbi Bregman to our team.
Contact Rabbi Bregman
Jonathan Lerner, Director of Operations, Administration and Finance
Jonathan is delighted to be part of the Hillel BC team as Director of Operations, Administration and Finance. Growing up in Vancouver, he experienced many aspects of the Jewish community, including working for Jewish Family Service Agency, and serving as president of the UBC chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, the world’s largest Jewish fraternity. Jonathan completed his B.A. with Honours at the University of British Columbia and is completing his certification in Non-Profit Management at BCIT. He has more than a decade of experience in sales, marketing, fundraising, development and branding. Jonathan is excited to be part of such a vital organization serving Vancouver’s diverse and vibrant Jewish community.
Jordana Shani, On Maternity Leave
Jordana is delighted to be back home in Vancouver. Born and raised here, Jordana left the city after high school to study at the University of Oregon where she obtained her B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Art History. She then moved to Tel Aviv and spent the following four years teaching English in Israeli public schools and eating a lot of hummus and ice cream. As a teacher, she was fortunate to interact with a broad spectrum of Israeli students including Muslims, Christians and Jews. While in Israel, Jordana received her MA in Curriculum Studies/Teaching English as a Second Language from Bar Ilan University. As someone who enjoys working with students of all ages in both formal and informal settings, Jordana loves working at Hillel BC. When Jordana isn’t working you can find her exploring the local veggie food scene with her husband, browsing through a bookstore/library or heading to a yoga class.
Sam Heller, Managing Director
Sam is Metro Vancouver born and raised with deep roots in the local Jewish community and Israel. Having dual Israeli/Canadian citizenship,
Sam explored his Zionism first by attending Habonim Dror Camp Miriam as a camper and later as a staff member for multiple summers. Sam also worked at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Vancouver doing youth related work at the JCCGV summer camp and after school care programs. At UBC during his undergrad in Political Science, Sam became an active member in Hillel focusing his time on Israel related activities. After a year presidency of the Israel on Campus club, Sam decided that living his Zionist dream was more important that finishing college. Taking a long hiatus from his studies which included completing his mandatory service in the IDF, Sam deepened his connection to Israel. Working in the financial sector for a time, Sam decided that his true passion was Jewish community work, and left for Canada to finish his degree. Having recently completed his B.A. in Political Science, Sam is excited to join the Hillel BC team and be a resource to Jewish students looking to explore their Judaism and Zionism.
William Wolff, Program Director
Will is a Mexican psychologist with a lot of Jewish community experience in many countries. He served as Maccabi Mexico Director, San Diego KEN Camp Director and Counsellor for different Israel-trip programs. He also has experience working in universities as student advisor while being also a M.A. and B.A. degree teacher. He has published articles in different psychoanalytical journals and presented in various mental health congresses. Will is also very active and business oriented, he developed a whole fitness system that was implemented in GYMs back in Mexico and designed a whole web platform that delivered free fitness routines to all over Latin America. He was invited to many TV programs in Latin America to explain his orientation towards health and fitness. With his experience as high performance athlete, his counselling experience and his passion for Israel, Will is ready to bring his Mexican flavor to our team.
Cat Bregman, Kitchen Mamma
Good food is a one of the main ingredients of a comfy Jewish home – and that’s why we have Cat. She keeps the cookie jar filled, prepares our delicious kosher hot lunches andholiday meals, and makes certain that students who are vegan or gluten-free are accommodated. The Hillel kitchen is always open, so if you want to share a favourite recipe or learn new culinary skills, Cat would love to have you join her as she mixes, chops and bakes her way into the students’ hearts.
Ora Stefanic, Victoria Director
Ora Stefanic was born in Even Yehuda, Israel and immigrated to Canada after her service in the IDF Medical Corps. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree she became a certified Montessori teacher and taught in communities all over Canada including Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. Ora also has a wealth of experience in Jewish community work including working as a Hillel Program Coordinator at UWO, teaching in Hebrew/Judaic studies in several schools and creating and implementing the first Jewish Art program at Camp Kadimah in Nova Scotia. After a establishing a Jewish Learning Center for all ages in London, Ontario, Ora moved to Victoria, BC with her husband and Children. Ora is extremely excited to join the Hillel BC team as the University of Victoria Director and hopes to continue inspiring Jewish students to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Jonny Thau, Program Coordinator
Jonathan was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. He received his BA in Psychology from the University of Victoria. His passion for working with people has led him to work in day camps all across Victoria and the Lower Mainland. After finishing his studies Jonathan took a job as a Program Coordinator for Axis at Jewish Federation and ran all young adult initiatives across the Lower-Mainland. Now taking over the role of the Outreach Coordinator at Hillel BC, Jonathan is thrilled to bring his passion for people to the Hillel BC team. When Jonathan is not working, you will find him near the oceans or on the mountains. He loves everything outdoors and hopes that he can bring Hillel off campus and into the wild.
Sophie Bregman, Senior Happiness Counselor
Whenever life gets stressful, you can always stop by the Hillel building at UBC for a dose of canine love. Sophie has been described as “joy in a dog suit.” She would be delighted to sit and listen to you talk or take you for a relaxing walk around campus. Because she’s part-time, we suggest you call for an appointment to ensure that she is available.
Bowser Shani, Junior Happiness Counselor
Bowser is a sweet, energetic puppy who makes everyone smile. His positive attitude is infectious – and he is always ready to play fetch, share a snack, or sneak a cuddle with students on the sofa. He is still learning how to behave at work, so be prepared for an exuberant welcome.
For general information, call 604-224-4748 or email us at info@HillelBC.com.