2018 – Board of Governors

Carl Zeliger Chairman

Carl Zeliger

Carl Zeliger – Chairman, Pride of Israel Synagogue

Carl Zeliger was born in downtown Toronto to survivors of the Holocaust. He and his wife, Debby, have been married for over 33 years and have three children, two of which have made aliya and now reside in Israel.

He has practiced law for over 34 years predominately in areas of employment, family, and estate law, and in litigation. As an associate in the law firm of Wisebrod/Zeliger Associates his clients are provided with a full range of legal services.

Carl has taken community volunteer service to heart believing that each of us should find the time and energy to assist others and to get involved in community matters. He has held all executive positions in his B’nai Brith Lodge including two terms as president. His efforts have been recognized in the numerous humanitarian and volunteer awards he has received at both the Lodge and National B’nai Brith levels. He is a recipient of the federal government’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for his community involvement.

He has been a member of The Pride for over 20 years. He has been on the Board of Governors for over 8 years and on the Head Table of the Board for over 6 years. He is presently the Synagogue’s Chairman

Steven Bloom
President SBS Immediate Past Chairman

Steven Bloom – President, Sick Benefit Society


Steven Bloom is the current President of the SBS and the immediate past Chairman of the Pride of Israel Synagogue. He served as Chairman for 3 years, from 2014 to 2016. He is very involved in the Community, serving on the Board of Bathurst Lawn Cemetery in the capacity as 1st Vice President as well as the President of the Stashiver Young Men’s Society and Pultsker Society and operator of both the Pultsker Society and Stashiver Cemetery sections at Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park. Steven also sits on the Board at Mount Sinai Cemetery.

Here at The Pride, Steven continues to remain very involved. He is Co-Chair of the Cemetery Committee, Co-Chair of the Constitution Committee for the Sick Benefit Society and Synagogue House Chairman. He continues to be very actively involved on many other working committees. One of his visions for The Pride is to see an Elevator added to the building, and he is enthusiastic about Chairing this new project.

In his ‘real life’ he is a self-employed electrical engineer who has run his own company for the past 30 years. He has 2 brothers, one of whom is our Synagogue Vice President and Security Chairman at The Pride and he is married to Michele Axelrod, our Immediate Past President of the Sick Benefit Society.

Michele Axelrod
Immediate Past President, SBS

Michele Axelrod – Immediate Past President, Sick Benefit Society

Michele Axelrod joined our congregation seven years ago. She is married to Steven Bloom, our current SBS President and she is the youngest in her family with two brothers.
Her career path has evolved from starting out in Commercial and Residential Real Estate, to owning her own exclusive accessory store on Bloor Street, to managing a chain of high-end jewelry stores to the present, where she is a high school teacher.
In her current role at Richmond Hill High School, Michele is a guidance counselor. In addition to the day to day of her work, her involvement with extra curricular clubs and teams as well as coordinating large scale school projects keeps her very busy and active within the school population.
Michele joined our Board of Directors one year after becoming a member of our Shul and sat as co-Chair of the Catering Committee. She then took on the role of office Chair with Willy Lindo and worked on supporting her husband Steven with The Drive to Revive and Yizkor Book campaigns. Three years ago Michele was nominated as Vice President of the Sick Benefit Society and she supported Willy Lindo and all of the Board in her capacity as Vice President for two years. Michele has just completed her second term as the President of the Sick Benefit Society.
Michele was the first female President of the Sick Benefit Society since its inception in 1905. It only took 110 years, but we could finally put a face and a name to our first female President of the Society. In addition, she was “half” of what was the first ever husband and wife President and Chairman team at The Pride of Israel Synagogue and Sick Benefit Society.

Mara Swartz Board Secretary

Mara Swartz
Board Vice-Chair

Mara Swartz – Board Vice-Chair, Pride of Israel Synagogue

Mara Swartz is Vice Chair  for  the Pride of Israel.

She has been a member of the Board of Governors for several years and held an important role previously, in Programming for the synagogue members. Seeking additional challenges in her volunteer role, Mara took on Board Secretary position and it has provided just that – new challenges!

Mara loves to help people, make sure that what she does supports the roles of the head table; be a part of the a community which provides a Jewish place for people of all ages to feel safe, supported and a learning environment to grow. This has been her passion and why she is a great asset to our Synagogue.


Stewart Bloom Board Vice-Chair Security Chair

Stewart Bloom – Board Vice-Chair, Pride of Israel Synagogue


Stewart Bloom has been a member of The Pride of Israel Synagogue since 2011 and became actively involved on the Board very shortly afterwards. He is the younger brother of our immediate Past Chairman, Steven Bloom. He works for his brother’s company and spends a great deal of time helping out at The Shul. In his spare time he loves to play hockey, umpire kid’s baseball, and enjoys time at the cottage with his family. In his role as Security Chairman, Stewart diligently ensures that all matters of safety and security for all our staff, members and congregants are addressed.


Hymie Blum Sick Benefit Society Vice President




Willy Lindo Vice-President, SBS

Willy Lindo – Vice-President, Sick Benefit Society

Willy has been a member of the Pride of Israel’s family for over 25 years. After completing a successful two year term as president of the Sick Benefit Society, he is looking forward to serving in his present capacity as Vice President with the same enthusiasm in serving our members, and to carry on the traditions of this organization which he is so proud to represent. As you all may be aware by now, Willy is the eldest of 8 boys, and was born in Kingston Jamaica. His ancestors arrived in Jamaica in the 1500’s, fleeing the Spanish inquisition. And yes, he always says that he was happy that they picked a warm place to run to.  He arrived in Canada in April, 1966, as a Landed immigrant, and after a few years, a Canadian Citizen. He has been fortunate to have always been employed until his retirement 5 years ago. Willy’s last employer, of 37 years, where he served in the capacity of senior accountant for 27 years, and the last 10 years as their purchasing agent. He has utilized his knowledge to serve on various committees here at the Pride.  In the past he has served as House Chairman. That was a very demanding job …and still is today.

Presently, he is chair of the office, and serves on various committees including finance. Willy has a passion and love for music and entertains in various retirement homes, playing the piano and electric keyboard. Although he (nor his wife) does not consider himself as a great singer, he loves to sing and hosts the occasional Karaoke party. He also speaks to various organizations about “Growing up Jewish in Jamaica”. Willy has always considered the Pride of Israel to be a second home, where he has the privilege of meeting and working with wonderful people, and members. Married for over 48 years to Donna, who has in the past served on the board and also as Sisterhood President for 2 years. Willy & Donna have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Marty Risen Treasurer

Marty Risen

Marty Risen – Treasurer, Pride of Israel Synagogue

Marty and his wife Helen joined our congregation a little over forty years ago.  Marty’s family have been members of the Pride family for four generations, and have occupied various executive positions over the years.

Marty has been a professional engineer for over forty years, practicing in the areas of transportation and environmental engineering.  His experience includes project and  budget management, from setting and justifying budgets, to reporting on spending to date and forecasted spending,  and ensuring projects are completed within prescribed timelines and approved budgets.

Marty has been a Board member for several years, serving as Finance Chairman of the Synagogue several times, and has previously been Treasurer of the Sick Benefit Society.  He has been a Board member and president of the Association for the Neurologically Disabled, and is a founding member of the Toronto Homeopathic Study Group.

Marty’s wife Helen, has been helping with Youth Programming for the Synagogue over the past 20 years and currently does Adult Education Programming.

Michael Kamien SBS Finance

Michael Kamien – SBS Finance

The child of Holocaust survivors, Michael was born and raised in London, Ontario where his parents had distant relatives who offered them an opportunity to rebuild their lives. His two older sisters were both born in Europe.

He attended the University of Western Ontario and then went on to University of Windsor for his B.Comm.  He received his Professional Chartered Accountancy designation in 1982. Together with his wife Shawna, he was actively involved in the London Jewish Community and the local B’nai Brith chapter. He relocated to Toronto in the late 80’s to become a partner in an accounting firm. Through a merger, he is now a partner in a National Firm working primarily with Franchise owners. He has been a member of Pride for the past 5 years, and has wanted to get more involved. With two grown boys, and less demands on his time, he’s hoping to add his financial expertise and help ensure the future of Pride for generations to come.

Eric Sunshine Ritual |Chairperson

Eric Sunshine
Ritual Chairperson

 Eric Sunshine – Ritual Chairperson

Eric and his wife Teena have been proud members of the Pride Of Israel Sick Benefit Society and Synagogue for 20 years. They were married by Rabbi Lerner and had their wedding reception at the Pride Of Israel Synagogue. They have a daughter.

Eric is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He has been working at the same company for 28 years as Controller.

Eric has been an active member of the Society Executive and Synagogue Board for many years. Eric has served as Society President and Synagogue Chairman and in various other head table positions. He is currently Chairman of the Synagogue Ritual Committee. Teena, Eric’s wife, is currently on the wellness committee of the Sick Benefit Society.


Jack Steinmetz

Jack Steinmetz – Ushering Chairperson

Hi, I am Jack Steinmetz, an eighty-six (86) years young, Holocaust Survivor. Currently on the Board as Ushering Chairperson.
Prior to retiring, I was a Licensed Auto Mechanic & was in the car repair business with Texaco.
I joined the Pride shortly after it was built. At that time you needed to be sponsored by a member in order to be accepted. In 1995 when I retired the Rabbi asked me to come to the daily service to help out with the Minyan, ever since I’ve been coming regularly in the morning. At that time there were only two people running the Minyan, Phil Pincus and Moishe Kliegerman. Phil was arranging who would lead the services. Very often it was he and I who would end up leading services.  Moishe would often be calling the  pages and making the announcements and lead the service occasionally. When Phil started to feel his age he then asked me to take over his duties and made me promise that I will continue to do this as diligently as he did.
I’ve been appointed by the Board as Gabbai and when one of our members, Jeffery Sherman is not at shul. I also look after ushering for the High Holidays as well as Shabbat with my good friend, Larry Arshoff.Jack Gelber – Catering Chairperson

Michelle Epstein Special Events

Jack Gelber Catering Chairperson

Jack Gelber – Catering Chairperson

Jack Gelber is Catering Chair for the Pride of Israel. Jack has been a Pride member for almost 30 years after moving to Toronto from Edmonton. He has served on the board for the synagogue and SBS for several times and in many committees and was immediate past Synagogue Vice-Chairman last year. He recently retired from a Technology sales career, to a part time activity and pursue hobby interests, help his children in their renovations, spend time with his wife Trudy and return to helping at the Pride.

Carol Arshoff President, Sisterhood

Carol Arshoff
President, Sisterhood

Carol Arshoff – President, Sisterhood

Carol Arshoff became President of the Pride of Israel Sisterhood in 2014.   She is a retired professional with a demonstrated ability to address the challenges people face with organizational and technical change.  She possesses strong leadership, management and business process improvement skills across a broad perspective of business processes and operations.

Along with her volunteer work as Sisterhood President, she volunteers 1 day a week at a GTA hospital and has done a walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.  She also plays mah-jongg, does needlepoint and loves to read.

She was born Montreal and came to Toronto in 1979.  She is married with 2 grown children.


Irene Fuller Co-Chair, Catering

Irene Fuller

Irene Fuller – Adornment

Irene has been a proud member of the Pride of Israel Synagogue/SBS (Sick Benefit Society) for over 25 years. She has been a Board Member for almost 8 years, serving in the capacity as Special Events Chairperson and most recently, Co-Chair of Catering.  She has been responsible for the success of many of the Pride events including Chanukah, Purim, the annual picnic, and many others.

Irene’s background in event planning comes from many years in the private sector where she worked in the insurance industry for almost 40 years.   The first of those years was in her home city of Montreal and the remainder in Toronto, where she has been a resident for over 30 years.

Irene joined the Pride after meeting her husband, Steve Fuller, who had been a member, along with his family, for over 50 years.  She is proud of her current family members who are actively involved in the synagogue in various capacities.

Irene enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her children and grandchildren.  She looks forward to her continued association with the shul and with her friends from the congregation.

Morris Nudleman

Bill Dolman