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Our Team

Rabbi Elie Karfunkel 

Rabbi Elie Karfunkel was born in Staten Island, New York, USA. It was in there in the home of his family's Rabbi Jay Marcus that he saw first hand the beauty of the torah permeating a rabbi’s family life and home.  

In his early 20s, Rabbi Elie went to learn at Neveh Zion in Israel. It was under the guidance of Rabbi Berel Wein, dean of Shaarei Torah of Monsey New York. Rabbi Elie received his smicha (rabbinical ordination), while simultaneously completing a masters of education before continuing to the U.S. to continue his studies. 

Before joining the FHJC, Rabbi Elie was the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Zion in Oshawa Ontario, servicing all of Durham Region. Among his various responsibilities there he was the chaplain of both the Whitby jail and hospital and taught “Hebrew Culture Club” at public schools in area.

Rabbi Elie has a life-long love of baseball. In his spare time you'll see him outside with his family throwing the ball around on their lawn. He is equally excited to have the chance to shmooze in the Forest Hill Village with members of the congregation and local friends.

Exuberant and infectious, he’s a people person connecting easily with those of every age, interest and affiliation. Together with his wife Rifky (married in 1996) he'd love to welcome you to FHJC: for services and to learn and have fun with our community programming.

416-483-0883 ext. 222

Rebbetzin Rifky Karfunkel

Hi! I'm Rifky Karfunkel. Otherwise known as Rabbi Elie's wife. I am proud to say that the Albert and Tammy Latner Forest Hill Jewish Centre has been our second home since it's inception in August 2000. Watching it grow from a small office space above Starbucks to the magnificent edifice it is now has been nothing short of miraculous.

In the early years, you could find me managing all of the programs, overseeing and often actually doing the graphic design work, teaching classes regularly, running the Hebrew school, and making the cholent for kiddish each week. Thank G-d the Karfunkel family has been growing along with the Centre, and being a mother and wife is my primary, beloved occupation. I do see each and every member and friend of the Centre as part of our family, and am blessed to be able to continue teaching, counseling, and assisting with various programming at the Centre. I am also so grateful for our extremely competent staff and volunteers, who do everything with so much class and professionalism and have helped the Centre become the incredible place it is today.

416-483-0883 ext. 228




Rabbi Mordechai Bookbinder 

Executive Director

Rabbi Mordechai Bookbinder was born in Montreal, Quebec.  He has a long history of providing his services to the Jewish community. Before joining us he was the Executive Director at The Village Shul & Aish Hatorah Learning Centre, and at Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT).

Rabbi Mordechai completed a double Honours B.A. at McMaster University with degrees in philosophy and experimental psychology, and then at The U of T where he earned his Masters of Social Work.  He has also studied at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and at the Bobov Kollel in Toronto.

Rabbi Mordechai has dedicated his life to building vibrant Jewish communities.  Ever inspired by how truly amazing the Jewish People are, he's invested into helping people connect to their heritage and managing shul-communities to make that happen. 

He is the proud husband of Erika (a professional organizer) and a father of five and grandfather of six. 

416-483-0883 ext. 223



Rabbi Meir Goodman

Rosh Kollel (Forest Hill Community Kollel)

Rabbi Meir Goodman grew up in the Forest Hill Jewish Center, back when it was above the Starbucks. He studied at Yeshivas Bircas HaTorah in the Old City of Jerusalem, received a BA in Jewish History from Yeshiva University, and Rabbinic Ordination from YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). He was also a member of the prestigious Kollel Elyon for Advanced Talmudic Studies. Rabbi Meir has served as a Rabbinic Intern at the Forest Hill Jewish Centre and Young Israel of Queens Valley, New York. He is the author of three volumes of Talmudic insights.

Rabbi Meir is deeply passionate about studying and teaching Torah, and is excited beyond words about returning to his hometown, and home-shul, and joining the FHJC community.

Rabbi Meir is married to Chaya Sara, a native Torontonian who grew up in the Clanton Park neighbourhood. Together, they are blessed with three children: Avigayil, Chaim Dovi, and Yoel Aryeh.



Rebbitzen Chaya Sara Goodman


Nancy Klein 

Nancy Klein was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Before joining us, Nancy was a director of admissions in the private college sector. She also worked as a stylist and went in to business importing Israeli women’s accessories.  

Nancy studied at the University of Winnipeg with a degree from the International Academy of Designs Fashion Marketing program. 

In her spare time she enjoys documentary films and trying new recipes. She loves to travel and has a passion for all things Israel.








Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784