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.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Cindi Brand

Cindi Brand has extensive experience in the area of mental health and addiction. While raising her four children she volunteered for organizations that centred around children’s well-being. She served on the Board of Integra, supporting youth and their families who are dealing with mental health issues complicated by learning disabilities (LDMH). Cindi served as both chair of special events and vice president. When her last child went off to university, she returned to school and became certified as an addiction therapist, practising for 12 years at CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). Cindi was drawn to Neshama Hospice after seeing the comfort and care her friend received while in a hospice. She is committed to serving Neshama Hospice to support the community, compassion and excellence that end-of-life care deserves. Cindi holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Journalism.

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 serves as a director of Neshama Hospice.

Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings retired in 2016 as executive director of Jewish Family and Child Service of Greater Toronto after a 40-year career working with children and families. Prior to his ten years at Jewish Family & Child, Richard spent 18 years at Integra Foundation, a children’s mental health centre in Toronto. Twelve of those years were spent as executive director. Richard has extensive governance and volunteer experience. He was a member and then president of the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Child Service, prior to his tenure as executive director. His current and recent activities include support to Mt. Sinai Hospital, Holy Blossom Temple Foundation, Psychology Foundation of Canada, University of Toronto’s Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), where he serves on the Executive Committee. Richard received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Toronto in 1985. Richard is grateful for the opportunity to support the important, compassionate work of Neshama Hospice.

Jay Feldman, secretary

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.

Mindy Herman, chair

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.

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.

Dena Libman

A seasoned not-for-profit executive, Dena has worked for a number of Jewish organizations, including 10 years at UJA Federation, and is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of the Azrieli Foundation. She has served on various community boards, including Beth Tzedec Congregation, where she was Chair of the Board. Dena has an MSW and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from Yeshiva University.

Mayeer Pearl, treasurer

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.

FOUNDERS

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 Paediatric 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 served as Executive Director of Sheena’s Place from 2014 to 2020. Deborah is a founder of Neshama Hospice and served as a board director and secretary of the board for Neshama Hospice from 2014 to 2020.

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 serves as a director of Neshama Hospice.

Robert Kamen

Robert Kamen is Neshama Hospice’s Director of Operations. 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.

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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