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Our Staff

General Inquiries

For general inquiries, please email or call 416-449-3880 during office hours.




Irena Kochba

Executive Director
416-449-3880 ext. 214

Irena's twelve years of leadership experience in the Jewish community include positions as the Assistant Director of ECE and Facility Booking Manager at the Schwartz Reisman Centre. Most recently, Irena was the Membership Manager at Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto.

Irena's family immigrated to Canada from the former Soviet Union when she was just a toddler. The Jewish Community in Toronto welcomed her family with open arms, giving her the opportunity to attend Jewish daycare, day school and high school. Giving back to the community that helped to shape her has been a top priority from a very young age.

A York University graduate in Business and Society and a certified event planner, Irena has championed initiatives that promote business growth while prioritizing the organization's mission and values. She knows firsthand the synagogue's impact on Jewish identity and its ability to connect Jews to one another.

When she is not at the office, Irena and her husband, Shaul, can be found chasing their two young sons, Aaron and Ethan, or planning a trip!

Irena looks forward to getting to know the beautiful Temple Emanu-El community and guiding the congregation toward a future filled with hope, purpose, and shared values.


Carli Portman

Administrative Coordinator
416-449-3880 ext. 215

Carli Portman started working at Temple Emanu-El as the Administrative Coordinator in August 2019. Being active, and working, in the Jewish community has been one of Carli’s passions since she was very young.  Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Carli was an avid participant in synagogue youth groups and regularly attended Shabbat services. 

After one year of study at the University of Winnipeg, Carli moved to Toronto and graduated from York University in 2005, with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  Having studied American Sign Language Levels one and two, Carli developed an interest for working in the Deaf community and graduated from George Brown College’s American Sign Language-English Interpreter Program in 2009. While attending university and college, Carli continued to work at Jewish summer camps as a counselor, program director and supervisor for youth of all ages.

It was her roles at Pinemere Camp in Pennsylvania that brought Carli’s heart back to working in the Jewish community. After working at Loving Care Centre as an Educational Assistant, Carli turned her focus to administration and worked at Congregation Darchei Noam as Office Administrator for six years.

Carli enjoys working for a warm, liberal Jewish community and truly enjoys working at Temple Emanu-El.  Carli has recently moved to Calgary, Alberta and works for Temple Emanu-El remotely. She can still be reached via email and phone during her office hours. Carli lives with her husband, Zack (whom she met at summer camp!) and their son, Benji.


Ilona Meron

416-449-3880 ext. 217

Ilona Meron has been serving the Jewish community in Toronto since 2008. Ilona has extensive experience in both Administrative and Accounting positions both in the non-for-profit and for profit organizations. She is excited to begin her next chapter at Temple Emanu-El, where she will be working as a bookkeeper attending to all financial aspects of Temple. Contact Ilona with any questions or concerns about your account, tax receipts or donation records.
In her spare time Ilona enjoys reading, loves to cook and has a passion for gardening and sewing.





Cassie Moscoe-Sweet

Director, Centre for Jewish Living and Learning
416-449-3880 ext. 213

Cassie has always been connected to her local Jewish community. Growing up in the GTA, being a part of a Jewish community has always been a priority of hers. Most importantly, she has loved being part of the Temple Emanu-El community for over the past decade. Cassie began teaching at Temple Emanu-El in 2011. She has taught multiple subjects to students in Grades 1-7 including foundations, Hebrew, and Hebrew Through Movement. She has also been the inclusion coordinator, overseeing the needs of students with exceptionalities for the past several years.

Cassie's passion has always been in the field of education. She completed concurrent education at Lakehead University in 2009. After graduating, Cassie continued her studies in education with a focus on special education. She obtained a post-graduate diploma in Autism Behaviour Science from Seneca College in 2014 and went on to get a Masters Degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2020 from Michigan State.  Since graduating, Cassie has worked in schools and in non-traditional educational settings. She has also worked in the private therapy sector, providing children aged 3-18 with behavioural therapy. Her greatest passion is ensuring all students are provided the opportunity to master their goals and reach their full potential.

Cassie has an extensive background in formal and informal Jewish Education. She has taught at both supplementary schools and Jewish day schools as a support staff, classroom teacher, Hebrew teacher and resource teacher. She has worked at several Jewish camps as head staff and was technical director of JCC's Chai Sports hockey and soccer programs. 

When Cassie is not working with students, she loves spending time with her daughter, Maya. They live just north of the city, but can always be found hanging around Temple Emanu-El.


Kinneret Sagee

Youth Engagement Coordinator


Kinneret Sagee is thrilled to be the new Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Centre for Jewish Living and Learning at Temple Emanu-El. Kinneret joined the education team in September 2022, working with the students at the ‘Centre’ on Music, Prayer and weekly Hebrew tutoring. With an exceptional background in musical arts and extensive experience in education and leadership, Kinneret is set to bring a wealth of creativity and passion to our youth programming. Montreal-born, prairie raised, and Toronto planted, Kinneret comes from an Israeli family, maintaining a direct connection to Israel throughout her life. Her journey in Jewish youth groups during childhood, including her involvement on the Board of Directors of her youth group Chapter, has instilled in her a strong sense of community and dedication.

A highly accomplished musician, Kinneret holds both a Bachelor's and Master's of Music degree in Clarinet performance from the University of Alberta and Miami University of Ohio in the United States. Her impressive 20+ years of classroom experience as an Itinerant Music Instructor with the TDSB, working with students in grades 5-8, along with her expertise in providing individual instruction to students of all ages, highlights her commitment to nurturing young minds.

As a prominent member of Toronto's Award-winning Yiddish Swing Band, The Sisters of Sheynville, and her involvement in other musical projects and organizations like The Lithuanian Empire, Symphony in the Barn, KlezKanada, and Ashkenaz Festival, Kinneret brings a unique and vibrant perspective to our community.

As the Youth Engagement Coordinator, Kinneret will play a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant and engaging environment for our young members in grades 6 to 12. Collaborating closely with our esteemed Rabbi and Director of Education, Kinneret will be at the forefront of planning and executing exciting programming that connects our youth to their Jewish heritage, fosters a sense of community, and encourages personal and spiritual growth. 


Mor Tarshish

Shinshinit (Israeli Teen Emissary)


Hey everyone! It’s Mor, your new ShinShin! I’m so excited to get to know you all and to become a part of Temple Emanu-El’s community. I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I live in Herzliya, a lovely city in Israel near Tel Aviv. I live with my parents, my big brother, my big sister and my dog. I can say that I’m a family person. I love spending time with my family and our favourite thing to do together is hiking around Israel. Moreover, I have been in a youth movement for 9 years, and have been a guide in the movement for 3 years. The youth movement that I was a part of is called “sea scouts” and the special thing about it is that we sail once a week in the ocean! I have a lot more stories to tell you about myself, and I can’t wait to share them with you and to hear your own stories.

Excited to meet you!

Read Mor's "Divrei Torah" (talks about Israel) HERE.

Would your family like to meet Mor and host her for Shabbat dinner? Reach out to Cassie Moscoe-Sweet for more information:


For our office hours, please CLICK HERE.

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784