Meet Our Staff

You’ve never met a team that is more outgoing, personable and dedicated to helping you find the inspiration you are looking for on your life journey.  Want to learn more about us? Check out our bios below and drop us a line! We’re here to make great things happen and look forward to hear from you!

Rabbi Rafi Lipner

Favourite movie: Pay it Forward

Favourite quote: "If you are no better tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for tomorrow" – Rebbe Nachman

When I'm not at The House you can find me: Grabbing an early morning breakfast or a late night coffee, officiating awesome weddings or being silly with my wonderful wife and 8 adorable kids!

Rabbi Rafi is a dynamic leader and magnetic personality whose passion for Jewish thought (and humour) has inspired thousands of people from students to business leaders in Canada, the US, Israel and as far as Australia. Having studied in Israel for 4 years, received Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University, a Masters of Education coupled with his business school background, he identified the need and opportunity to transform the perception of Jewish thought and values as relevant and inspiring…and The House does just that! He also serves as Senior Rabbi of Shaarei Tefillah, a midtown Toronto synagogue that is experiencing a huge revival under his new leadership.

Mike Savatovsky

Executive Director mike@thehousetoronto.com

Favourite movie: Baraka (but I also love Dead Poets Society, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Believer, The Matrix, Star Wars, Fight Club, Spirited Away, Schindler's List, The Matrix, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Serenity, E.T. and Blade Runner, with a shout-out to great TV like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica - the remake not the original disco-era futuristic sci-fi series).

Favourite quote: "Roads?! Where we're going we don't need roads!"

When I'm not at The House you can find me: on the ice with friends learning to improve my hockey skills or laughing along to videos of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (and other story content in its many forms).

Mike is passionate about the creative process and believes that everyone possesses the power to shape the world around them. Driven by a desire to help people define and deliver meaningful experiences to their lives, Mike is a sensitive collaborator and relentless visionary known best for his ability to build genuine relationships and fantastic projects that activate all kinds of people and communities. Mike completed degrees in Communication Studies and Education and is a life-long student of innovation, design and engagement practices. Mike has spent the majority of the past two decades leading non-profit and corporate initiatives. He cheers for the Habs but is happy to finally see a competitive Maple Leafs team again in his lifetime.

Bonnie Oppenheimer

Director of Experiential Jewish Education and Engagement bonnie@thehousetoronto.com

Favourite movie: Keeping the Faith

Favourite quote: “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies”- Unknown

When I'm not at The House you can find me: spending time with my family, practicing yoga, going for walks while listening to podcasts, dinners with friends, and curled up on the couch with my husband forcing him to watch reality TV!

With degrees in Acting and Education, Bonnie is no stranger to being in the spotlight. Her 8 year stint away from Toronto has helped her grow in every way and she is excited to come back to Toronto with her new found wealth of knowledge (and last name!). She is known for her engaging personality, love of networking and ability to have relevant Jewish conversations with everyone around her. After being Program Director for University of Chicago Hillel, Bonnie is ready to be at home and create programs that speak to you!

Joanna Glass

Communications Manager joanna@thehousetoronto.com

Favourite movie: Monty Python's "And Now for Something Completely Different"

Favourite quote: "If you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers." - Homer Simpson

When I'm not at The House you can find me: in transit up to Northern Ontario! (Okay, technically just to Richmond Hill, but same difference.) Also reading, playing video games and boardgames with friends - aka the trifecta of nerdiness.

A Communications and Film Double-Major, Joanna is passionate about the media and understanding the way people interact with them. Her previous stint at a production and distribution company dealing in children's programming taught her just how important storytelling is in our lives, and now she's excited to contribute to the Jewish narrative that connects so many of us in such unique and meaningful ways. To do so, she hopes to draw upon her nifty grab-bag of interests, such as acting, dancing, comedic writing, video editing, and maybe even her avid fondness for videogames (wishful thinking).

So if you see her wandering about The House, or you're simply itching to chat with someone... then the Communications Coordinator is probably a good place to start. Give her a shout!

Coby Segall

Social Action Program Manager and Strategic Advisor coby@thehousetoronto.com

Favourite movie: Shawshank Redemption

Favourite quote: "We should think of ourselves as human becomings not just human beings" - Rabbi Rafi Lipner

When I'm not at The House you can find me: With my favourite people in the whole world – my wife and 2 kids!

Coby is passionate about engaging community members in innovative and hands-on volunteer projects that make a real impact on both the volunteer and the individuals on the receiving end. He is continuously looking for ways to actualize Jewish values which bring further personal growth, meaningful experiences, and connectivity to Judaism and the community at large. By day, Coby works in advanced engineering development at Motorola Solutions and is a devoted husband and father of two.

Marni Gelkopf

Operations Associate marni@thehousetoronto.com

Favourite movie: When Harry Met Sally

Favourite quote: "Believe you can and you’re halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt

When I'm not at The House you can find me: sitting in class at York, student teaching, hanging out with family and friends, or curled up under a blanket reading, catching up on my TV shows or needlepointing.

After studying abroad in Israel for a year and a half following high school, Marni returned home to Toronto to study Jewish Education. Now in her fourth and final year at York University, she has turned her passion for learning and education into a reality through her work at The House. Over the past few years, Marni has been involved with Hillel, the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), as well as Yachad, an organization dedicated to the inclusion of individuals with special needs. With so many teaching experiences for youth under her belt, Marni is excited to apply herself to an organization that is devoted to educating young adults just like herself.