Rabbi Philip L. Bregman, Executive Director
Rabbi Bregman has served as the executive director of Hillel BC since 2012. Prior to his role at Hillel, Rabbi Bregman lead Temple Sholom of Vancouver as their Senior Rabbi, beginning in 1980. 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. The Rabbi has accumulated years of experience working with the Jewish community and the ability to inspire its students.
Contact Rabbi Bregman
Ohad Gavrieli, Director of Operations, Administration and Finance
Although technically being born in Zurich (Switzerland), Ohad was raised in Kiryat-Tivon, Israel and got involved with Hillel during his undergraduate degree at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). In 2010 he moved to Vancouver to serve as the Shaliach (Israeli Emissary) at Hillel and stayed in Canada after meeting his wife through one of the Hillel programs. Ohad has a deep passion for Israeli music and culture and you can often find him with a guitar or behind a piano singing some of his favorite Israeli tunes. Ohad also holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Simon Fraser University and has spent the last few years working in the field of software quality assurance. Ohad is excited about being part of Hillel BC once again where he can contribute his administrative and financial skills, and apply his musical talents (when needed). Contact Ohad
Sam Heller, Managing Director
Sam has been a part of the Hillel team for three years. Sam is Metro Vancouver born and raised with deep roots in the local Jewish community and Israel.
Through his family and Jewish identity, Sam has always felt a deep connection to Israel. He first explored his Zionism at Habonim Dror Camp Miriam as a camper, and later, as a staff member for multiple summers. Sam worked at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Vancouver doing youth-related work at the JCCGV summer camp and after-school care programs. While pursuing his undergraduate degree in political science at UBC, Sam became an active member of Hillel and served as the president of Israel On Campus. Sam interrupted his studies in order to deepen his connection to Israel by completing his mandatory service in the IDF. Working in the financial sector for a time, Sam returned to Canada to complete his degree, and discovered that his true passion was Jewish community work. Sam loves working at Hillel and is proud to be a resource to Jewish students looking to explore their Judaism and Zionism.
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 and holiday 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 Hebrew/Judaic studies in several schools and creating and implementing the first Jewish Art program at Camp Kadimah in Nova Scotia. After establishing a Jewish Learning Center for all ages in London, Ontario, Ora moved to Victoria, BC with her husband and children. Ora has loved being part of the Hillel BC team for the past two years as the University of Victoria Director, and hopes to continue inspiring Jewish students to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Ariela Karmel, Program Director
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Ariela is a recent UBC graduate and has worked at Hillel BC as a program coordinator since 2017. As a student she was deeply involved in the UBC Jewish community, serving as the past president of Israel on Campus and as a Project Tikkun fellow with Hillel BC, in addition to spending a year abroad at Sciences Po (Institute for Political Studies) in France where she improved her French, traveled across the continent, and immersed herself in the history of European Jewry. Ariela is thrilled to continue working with the Jewish community on campus at Hillel as the Program Director. Ariela is an avid reader, traveler, and history enthusiast.
Tanya Mordkovich, Program Coordinator
Tanya was born in Moscow and moved to Israel when she was a year old. She grew up in Ashdod and Rehovot and then moved to Canada with her family at the age of twelve. Tanya has been volunteering and working in the Jewish community for over 10 years, and she is especially passionate about the Russian-Speaking Jewish community. Tanya received her Bachelor in Jewish Studies at York University. She has previously worked at Hillel Ontario as the Israel Engagement Coordinator for GTA campuses. She made the move from Toronto to Vancouver in 2018.
Katia Fermon, Outreach Coordinator
Katia is from Mexico City, where she was deeply involved in the Jewish community through different institutions including the youth group, Maccabi Hatzair. She moved to Vancouver four years ago to complete her master’s degree at UBC while working as a Family Programmer at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver. She recently joined Hillel BC as the Outreach Coordinator. You can find her around SFU, Langara, Emily Carr, Kwantlen, and Quest! If you want to talk movies, music and Latin-American and European history, she’s your girl!
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.