Jerry is a grandfather, arts educator, performer, songwriter, mentor and workshop leader. For over 30-years he has collaborated with his wife, Kim Brodey, using music and storytelling in the schools in Canada and USA to focus on conflict resolution and building equitable communities. In 1994 Jerry co-founded Community Builders an award winning non-profit organization and was a senior trainer and co-executive director up until 2007. Jerry continues to work with Community Builders to find Champions that support the organization along with coordinating special projects. Also Jerry works with his wife Kim to coach couples and mentor people at Mentoring Ways in Red Canoe Studio in Toronto’s east end.
Janis has many years of experience designing programs and facilitating trainings that get to the roots of social problems. She has worked extensively with youth, as well as aboriginal communities in different parts of Ontario, and immigrants and refugees. Past accomplishments include founding Skills for Change, a community agency helping internationally trained workers find employment in Canada, and establishing the first Settlement Worker Training Program at George Brown College. Janis holds a Masters of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University, and Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESL) certification from George Brown College.
Bo-Young Lim has been an educator for over 25 years, specializing in language and settlement issues, diversity training, peer counselling, and leadership development. She currently works with the Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies in Toronto as an adult ESL instructor to newcomers to Canada, as well as a mentor and evaluator of teachers-in-training for their professional certification. She is also a filmmaker working on a documentary about monetary reform, and is an active member of COMER (Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform) and the American Monetary Institute.
Eileen's life work as a teacher, trainer, administrator and parent, has been to train and support activists in Canada, Israel and the US. As a founder and Executive Co-Director of Community Builders Youth Leadership, she works with parents, administrators, teachers and Ontario elementary school student leaders every year, helping them develop their leadership skills and supporting them as they work to make their diverse school communities more inclusive, caring and vibrant. Eileen received her BA and MA in education from The Ohio State University. Eileen has been a public school teacher in Toronto, a founder of a parent cooperative preschool, and director of a program for young people affected by family violence.
Board of Directors
Alika Hendricks Jean-Jacques (Chair)
Alika’s commitment to social justice is evidenced daily in her work as a staff lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario. She is particularly passionate about working with young people, and has worked in the youth criminal justice system as both a criminal defence lawyer and as a restorative justice circle keeper. Witnessing the transformative power of Community Builders’ programs in young lives is the reason for her sustained commitment to the organization for the past fifteen years. Alika is also a proud parent, partner and a lover of the arts.
Janet Chow (Vice-Chair)
Janet has volunteered with Community Builders since 2002 and as a board member since 2008. She is a lawyer with the Government of Ontario, where she works in the areas of Indigenous education and post-secondary education. Previously, she worked on issues regarding Ontario’s justice system, and assisted on a Canadian Bar Association project on legislative and policy development for the Government of Vietnam. Janet is a past recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership for her work on children’s rights. She obtained her law degree and MA in International Affairs in 2012.
Matthew Yantha (Secretary & Treasurer)
Matthew Yantha earned a certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from George Brown College in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he joined the staff of Christian Horizons, a nonprofit organization that supports people with developmental disabilities. Recently, Matthew has launched into the realm of entrepreneurship, and is working on a personal venture in the children's book publishing industry. Matthew has a passion for youth empowerment through inclusion, and he enjoys helping young people excel, as a member of the Community Builders team. One of Matthew’s favorite quotes is from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
Barbara Klerer Goldenberg
Barbara worked as a Curriculum Consultant promoting safe, caring, respectful and inclusive schools in the York Region District School Board (YRDSB), for 5 years and now is enjoying being back in the classroom. Her solution-focused approach with school staff and administration supports the creation of positive learning environments that promote student health and well-being. She is a big advocate for Community Builders in the YRDSB. Barbara also recently led a variety of both child and adult psycho-educational groups for Jewish Family and Child Services, as family life educator/group facilitator. She presents at numerous workshops and symposiums related to school climate and social-emotional learning. She is also studying in the Solution Focused Certificate Program at University of Toronto. Barbara has worked for 25 years as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of community settings. She holds additional certifications as a District Tribes® Trainer, Restorative Conference Facilitator, Triple P ® Parenting Practitioner, and a Healthy Relationships Trainer (PREVnet). Barbara and her husband take great pride and joy in their two young adult children who have recently both left the “nest”.
Nishita graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce. She joined State Street Corporation shortly after in the Client Service department. Her roles throughout the years focused on developing and maintaining relationships with various institutional clients across the globe. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the Ivey Business School. Nishita has consulted for Toronto based charities through Endeavour Volunteer Consulting and joined the Community Builders team in 2017. She is keen on making an impact in the non-profit space and is especially passionate about children’s education and women’s rights. Nishita also has several years of Indian classical dance training and enjoys choreographing dances for her friends and family.
Born and raised in Montreal, Edvirge is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Growing up alongside peers of different ethnic backgrounds, she learned the value of respect, and positive communication. Her interest in equipping people with the tools to cope with social challenges led her to earn in 2004, her BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Montréal. Over the last seven years, she has redirected her professional focus to Career Planning and Development. From 2009-2011, she completed graduate studies in Cross-cultural Mediation at Sherbrooke University. She moved to Toronto in 2013, getting involved with Community Builders first as chair of one of the organizing committees for the CB Sparks of Courage 20th anniversary event. Excited in knowing an organization dedicated to equipping young people to shine at their brightest, and to experience a sense of belonging, she joined the Community Builders Board of Directors in January 2015.