Our highly capable and caring faculty inspire our students on a daily basis.
Our general studies teachers are all certified by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). In addition to the required undergraduate degrees, the majority of our staff have Master’s Degrees. Most of our staff have also pursued further expertise with multiple Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses. Many are Hebrew speakers, which allows them to integrate Jewish Studies and practices across the curriculum.
Our Hebrew teachers are certified teachers, either through the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) or the Centre for Jewish Education (CJE). Their knowledge of Hebrew, combined with their deep understanding of the most current approaches in language instruction, creates an exciting classroom experience.
Students in SK through Grade 3 have Associate Teachers, many of whom are certified teachers. These staff members work closely with our teachers to ensure that the needs of all of our students are met in the best possible way.
Our arts specialists have had professional careers as artists and musicians. Through their talent and experience, they provide the guidance and inspiration that enable our students to develop important skills and to explore new and creative forms of artistic expression.
Paul Penna DJDS provides our children with an education that tells them, shows them and involves them. The words integrated and arts-based are meaningful. The magic that happens in our classrooms is created by our magnificent teachers and supported by dedicated staff. The school’s commitment to inspiring curiosity, honouring diversity and creating community is alive in everything that happens in our gem of a private school. Creative methodology, rooted in Jewish values, sends our children out into the world as well-prepared, independent, free-thinking young people.
2023-24 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Biographies
Brian Abracen: Brian is a seasoned professional in the digital marketing space. He has a strong background in business strategy consulting, project management, and communications. Earlier in his career, he worked as Manager, Interactive Communications at Federation CJA in Montreal. Brian was a Board member of the Annex Shul, as well as their Marketing and Communications Director. He has also recently been accepted into the latest cohort of the Joshua Institute. Brian’s daughters are currently in SK and Grade 5.
Amy Ballon: Amy Ballon is an advisor for the Business Development Bank of Canada’s clients with a focus on strategic planning and sales and marketing. Previously, she co-founded, grew, and sold her own small business. Amy is passionate about Canadian small businesses and is a published author on the subject of entrepreneurship. Amy and her husband, Ian Schnoor, have both held various volunteer roles at Paul Penna DJDS. Her three daughters all attended the school, graduating in 2014, 2017, and 2020.
David Blumberger: David has been practicing law and solving problems at major corporations for the last 12 years. David is a true generalist with experience dealing with a wide range of corporate commercial, advertising and marketing, intellectual property, technology, licensing, franchising, real estate, procurement, M&A, compliance and litigation issues. Prior to moving to an in-house legal role, David was an associate at a large downtown Toronto law firm. David has an H.B.A. from The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario and an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School. David is a father to Samantha currently enrolled in Grade 7, and Lily in Grade 3.
Sarah Flicker: Sarah is a Professor has been on the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University since 2006 with substantial research and evaluation experience. She is well versed in Indigenous studies and is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is an experienced facilitator, gathering and synthesizing diverse opinions on contentious and complex subject matter. She has previously served for 8 years on the Board of Planned Parenthood Toronto. Sarah has volunteered at the school as a class rep, and parent ambassador, and is spearheading work related to Orange Shirt Day. She has also volunteered to be the next co-chair (with her mother) of the Grandparents committee. She has 2 children currently at Paul Penna DJDS; a son in Grade 8 and a daughter in Grade 4.
Scott Greene: Scott is a long-time Ontario public servant with a focus on public policy. Prior to working for the Government of Ontario, Scott worked in consulting, with a focus on IT systems in the public sector, in both New York and Toronto. In addition, he started his career as a policy analyst with the City of New York’s Office of the Mayor. Scott is a graduate of the University of Rochester (B.A.) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc). Married to Sarah Lambert, they have three children: Rafi (who graduated Paul Penna DJDS in 2018), Bess (Class of 2020) and Ezzy (Grade 7). Scott is also a former co-President of the Parent Association and Board Member.
Michael Goldrosen Michael currently manages capital and regulatory reporting, leading the enterprise-wide requirements for a federally regulated financial institution. Having worked for over 15 years in corporate accounting and finance, Michael has extensive experience in regulatory and capital management, financial accounting and business intelligence.
Michael is a member of the Institute of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA). He was a former facilitator within CPA Canada where he taught incoming cohorts accounting and finance subjects leading to their CPA designation. Michael’s son is currently in Grade 1 at Paul Penna DJDS.
Mitchell Marcus: In 2021, Mitchell was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. He is the founder and Artistic & Managing Director of The Musical Stage Company – Canada’s leading and largest not-for-profit musical theatre company. Outside of The Musical Stage Company, Mitchell was the Associate Producer for the inaugural six years of Luminato, the Creative Producer for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize and the producer of the Dora Awards. He has held teaching positions at the University of Toronto and Ryerson and serves on several committees and boards across the city. Mitchell is the recipient of the 2017 The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration, a Harold Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Roy Thomson Hall Award,but his proudest role is dad to Eytan and Yael in Grade 6 at Paul Penna.
Ryan Morein Ryan is a Senior Vice President at an international commercial real estate brokerage. While focussed on downtown retail leasing in Toronto, he has a broad range of experience in many different types of commercial leasing and sales transactions across the GTA and North America. Representing both tenants and landlords, buyers and sellers, he has a unique insight and impact into the happenings in the city of Toronto and beyond. He is also a die hard Montreal Canadiens and Pearl Jam fan, both of which he now shares with his son Bowie, who will be in Grade 1 at Paul Penna in Fall 2023.
Lisa Milgram: Lisa has over 15 years of experience in healthcare management with a focus on program development and operational management. Lisa is passionate about improving patient care while maintaining the sustainability of our provincial healthcare system. She has been at Cancer Care Ontario, now part of Ontario Health, for the last 13 years and together with her colleagues has been successful in expanding their programs through proposal submissions for external funding. She is responsible for policy development, process improvement, budgeting, evaluations, increasing appropriate use of technology, and creating positive stakeholder relationships with Ontario hospitals, the Ministry of Health, and pan-Canadian health sector partners.
Lisa holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, a BComm from McGill University, and is a certified Project Management Professional.
Lisa’s son is currently in Grade 4 at Paul Penna DJDS
Daniel Naymark: Daniel is a trial lawyer and the principal of Naymark Law, a litigation boutique law firm. He has experience in a broad range of commercial and civil disputes, public interest litigation and regulatory matters. He opened Naymark Law in 2015 after working at a Bay Street firm for several years and clerking at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. He holds a JD (2008) from the University of Toronto and a B.A. from Huron College at Western University. Daniel has been active as a board member and volunteer with several non-profit organizations, both in and out of the legal community. He is the father of a daughter currently in Grade 6 and son in Grade 3.
Karen Rosen: Karen is a partner and lead of the Financial Services & Insolvency Group of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP. A significant portion of Karen’s practice is devoted to corporate and commercial lending and borrowing. Karen is a member of her firm’s Conflicts Committee and represents her firm as a member of Toronto Opinion Group. Karen is an active mentor to her firm’s associates, students and young partners. Karen’s son is currently in our Grade 6 class and her daughter is a proud alumnus.
Jessica Weiss: Jessica is Counsel to the Executive Director of Professional Development and Competence at the Law Society of Ontario where she supports the development of policy recommendations in the competence area. Jessica is a strong communicator and has substantial experience working with various stakeholders, including the Board of Directors (of the Law Society). She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012 and has recently begun a certificate in adult learning and development at OISE. She served on the Board of Act to End Violence Against Women and participated on their Advocacy committee. Jessica is a parent ambassador, volunteered for the carnival, and was a parent rep for the Day of Giving. Jessica currently has 2 daughters in Grades 3 and 5 at Paul Penna DJDS.
Paul Penna Downtown
Jewish Day School
750 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2J2
(Located in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre)