Our people

Neshama Hospice Leadership Team

In 2014, a dedicated and diverse team of physicians, social workers, community care and clergy professionals, all with extensive experience in the field of palliative care, came together to form Neshama Hospice. Since then, we’ve welcomed development professionals, architects, archivists, builders, and communications volunteers to our team. We look forward to building a community of care that includes medical and other healthcare professionals, students and volunteers from our community.


Claire Angus

Claire Angus’ experience spans the private and charity sectors, beginning with a 12-year career at KPMG in Toronto and the UK in audit and human resources. For over 20 years Claire’s professional training as an accountant has provided her with the opportunity to work with a variety of charities and not-for-profits, in both Toronto and the UK across a variety of sectors including education, health, social services and the arts. Claire’s passion for working with these organizations led her to obtain her Masters in Charity Accounting and Financial Management at Cass Business School in London. Claire is Neshama Hospice’s director of finance.

Rabbi Rena Arshinoff

Rabbi Rena Arshinoff, PhD(c) is rabbi and chaplain at Baycrest, a spiritual care practitioner at University Health Network’s Lyndhurst Centre, and is a certified spiritual care specialist with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and a board certified chaplain with Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). She is on the faculty of the Canadian Centre for Bereavement Education and Grief Counselling, a board member of NAJC, teaches a bereavement module at University of Toronto, volunteers with the Children’s Program at Bereaved Families of Ontario and does private bereavement counselling. 

Deborah Berlin

Deborah Berlin is a social worker and psychotherapist who has worked extensively with various women’s shelters and community organizations. Deborah practiced clinical social work in the Division of Haematology/Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children for 16 years, working with children with life-threatening illnesses in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the Pediatric Brain Tumour Program. From 1998 to 2008, she was a member of the Health Sciences Review Committee for Bioethics and Research in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, and has served as executive director of Sheena’s Place since 2014. Deborah is a founder of Neshama Hospice and also serves as secretary and treasurer.

David Brand

David Brand is the president of the Brand Group of Companies. He has been involved in real estate as a developer and builder for the past 40 years and is highly regarded for his expertise and meticulous business acumen.  He has developed in many of the urban communities throughout the GTA.  Having experienced his parents’ final months in a home environment with exceptional care is what draws him to be involved in the development of Neshama Hospice.

Dr. Sandy Buchman

Dr. Sandy Buchman is a nationally renowned palliative care physician and associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has been providing home-based palliative and end-of-life care with the Sinai Health System’s Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care since 2005. Sandy also provides palliative care to the homeless through the Palliative Care and Education for the Homeless (PEACH) Program of Inner City Health Associates in Toronto. He recently completed a six-year term as the education lead at the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care and is president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. His term as president begins in August 2019. Sandy has been appointed as the inaugural Freeman Family Chair in Palliative Care and medical director at North York General Hospital. Sandy is a founder of Neshama Hospice and serves as a director.

Lisa Charendoff

Lisa Charendoff is associate director of Community Stakeholder Relations at SickKids Foundation. She works with patient families who generously share their SickKids experiences to help raise awareness and funds for SickKids, and has been an integral part of the multi-award-winning marketing campaigns for SickKids since 2007. An active member of the Toronto Jewish community, Lisa served as president of congregation Darchei Noam from 2007-2010 and co-chaired the congregation’s $6 million+ capital campaign.

Jay Feldman

Jay Feldman is president of Riverpoint Consulting Inc., an independent advisory practice formed to assist family businesses in working through issues pertaining to communications, governance and succession. He is also CEO of Southdown Builders Limited, a family business active in the ownership, development and operation of real estate. Prior to starting RiverPoint, Jay was a partner at the law firm Goodmans LLP, where he focussed on the areas of banking and finance, private equity, family business and hospitality. Jay has served on the boards and executive committees of the Camp Winston Foundation and Robbins Hebrew Academy and serves as a director of Neshama Hospice.

Mark Gryfe

Mark Gryfe is a seasoned fundraiser with nearly 40 years of experience, having held leadership roles at four major fundraising organizations covering the fields of social service, academia and healthcare. His previous positions include campaign director of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, national executive vice-president of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, president of The Baycrest Foundation, and president & CEO of the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation. Mark is currently the principal of Gryfe Philanthropic Solutions.

Mindy Herman

Mindy Herman has extensive experience in the field of mental health and counselling. Following a 25-year career in social services, Mindy ran a private practice as a rehabilitation consultant specializing in vocational assessment, treatment and advocacy for those with acquired brain injuries. She has completed training in hospice palliative care through Circle of Care as well as spiritual care training through Baycrest Health Sciences, where she is currently a spiritual care volunteer. Mindy was selected by the Ontario Palliative Care Network to participate in a recent strategic session to generate recommendations for the enhancement of palliative care delivery in Ontario. She  was also one of the original members of the board of directors of Save A Child’s Heart, and served as chair of the board for Hillcrest Progressive School. Mindy serves as chair of the board of directors of Neshama Hospice.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a communications professional whose career has focused on the educational publishing and financial services sectors, including initiating the investor relations practice at a major investment bank where she developed communications materials for shareholders, regulators, clients and internal stakeholders. Driven by a strong belief that the lay volunteer should play a vital role in community-based healthcare support, Sarah provides both hands-on client and administrative support at Hospice Toronto. She has completed training in hospice palliative care through Hospice Toronto and is a candidate for a certificate in Thanatology from Sheridan’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Robert Kamen

Robert Kamen brings 15 years of clinical leadership at University Health Network, specifically in nuclear medicine, patient flow and clinical utilization to his role as consultant for independent health facilities that provide medical imaging services across Ontario. Robert is the nuclear medicine lead quality assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and chairs its National Examination Validation Committee for Nuclear Medicine. A health innovator, he holds multiple patents for shielding radioactive isotopes used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Robert is a founder of Neshama Hospice and is also director of operations.

Jack Kay

Jack Kay is past vice-chair, CEO, and president of Apotex Inc., the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company. With more than 50 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Jack is highly regarded for his leadership and business acumen. Jack has served as a board member for a variety of charitable organizations, and is a past-chair of the Board of the International Schizophrenia Foundation. Jack was also a board member of TSX and NYSE listed companies. Jack is past board chair of Humber River Hospital and also served as co-chair of the Humber River Hospital’s Capital Campaign Cabinet in support of the new hospital project. In that role, he was the driving force behind Apotex Inc.’s $10 million donation to the campaign. Jack currently serves as a board member at Humber River Hospital and as a director of Neshama Hospice.

Mary O'Neill

Mary O’Neill, OAA, EDAC is an associate at Hilditch Architect Inc. and is certified in evidence-based design in healthcare. Mary brings 15 years of expertise working with community-based, not-for-profit organizations in Ireland and Canada. She has led multiple community health centre projects at HAI and was project architect for Emily’s House Children’s Hospice in Toronto. Mary places huge importance on the social impact of architecture and design and is committed to applying the principles of evidence-based design to create inclusive, supportive and healthy environments for all building users.

Bob Parke

Bob Parke is a bioethicist with acute care and community experience. He was appointed to the Ontario Palliative Care Network’s Clinical Advisory and Education Committees. Bob has a commitment to integrating the philosophy and practice of palliative care to the broadest range of illnesses, with a special focus on palliative care for people at the end stages of chronic diseases, including dementia. Due to his personal, educational and work experiences, Bob is a strong supporter of the creation of hospices that provide compassionate and knowledgeable palliative care to individuals and their loved ones in a community environment. A key component of Bob’s desire to provide hospice care is to help create a centre of excellence in practitioner and lay person education.

Mayeer Pearl

Mayeer Pearl is a CA and CPA, and an audit and assurance partner at Crowe Soberman LLP. He is a results-oriented, strategic business leader with a proven record of success, and can be relied upon to provide practical business answers as well as solid accounting and tax advice. Mayeer takes pride in his personal relationships with clients, and sees his role as that of a friend and trusted adviser to families and closely held businesses. Mayeer is board member and immediate past president of Associated Hebrew Schools, and a board member at JNF Toronto as well as the Julia and Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education. He is also a volunteer hockey coach with the Avenue Road Hockey Association. Mayeer serves as treasurer on the board of directors of Neshama Hospice.

Dr. Daryl Roitman

Dr. Daryl Roitman is physician lead of the Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care at North York General Hospital (NYGH), and has worked on a range of quality improvement projects ranging from pain and symptom management to the hospital’s palliative care volunteer program. A collaborative consensus builder, Daryl is a passionate advocate for patients and families and a champion for palliative care among his colleagues and the broader public. Prior to his current role he held progressive positions in cancer care and palliative care at NYGH and contributed to the Oncology and Palliative Care practice at William Osler Health Centre/Brampton Memorial Hospital. Daryl currently serves on the board of directors of the Ontario Oncology Association and the Ontario Medical Oncology Association.

Charles Rosenberg

Charles Rosenberg is a principal of Hilditch Architect. Hilditch Architect has dedicated the past 30 years to successfully delivering projects that assist people in breaking barriers to health and community services, affordable housing and emergency shelter. Prior to Hilditch Architect, Charles worked in a range of Toronto-based architectural firms before taking a position as head of design for a major international development company. Hilditch Architect designed Emily’s House Children’s Hospice in Toronto and has extensive experience working with funders, organizations and regulatory authorities.

Ian Zagdanski

Ian Zagdanski has had a long career in the Toronto real estate development business. He is a principal of State Building Group and Forest Hill Homes, affiliated builders, developers and owners of both residential and commercial properties. He brings experience in navigating the process of building from land purchase to completion. Working in partnership with his brother and sister, Ian  has brought his passion for Jewish life to many volunteer projects including the board of Associated Hebrew Schools, for which he supervised the construction of two new school branches; the Board of Beit Halochem Canada for disabled Israeli veterans, and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Neshama Hospice Board of Directors


Volunteer with Us

At Neshama Hospice we believe that the best end-of-life care can be provided by a combination of expert, compassionate and experienced healthcare professionals and trained, committed community volunteers.

As we get closer to opening our doors, we will be welcoming volunteers in every capacity from reception to resident support, and from fundraising to administrative work.

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