Our Team

Tiferet Nashman, Executive Director
Tiferet is a Jewish environmental educator and community builder. She holds a Masters in Education and a B.A. in Diaspora and Transnational Studies with a focus on relationships between diasporic and indigenous communities. Tiferet completed the Wild Deer wilderness skills training, and is a recipient of the David Suzuki Award for environmental educators. She has worked with the TDSB,  the Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation Department, the University of Toronto’s Multifaith Centre and is founding resident of Moishe Pod Toronto. Tiferet’s life has been woven with Shoresh since its inception and she is thrilled to be serving as Executive Director.

Allie Shier, Director of Operations
Allie is a social and eco-justice advocate and loves spending her spare time crafting, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and baking sourdough bread. She has an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has dedicated her work to empowering youth, refugees, and women in Canada and internationally. Recently, she coordinated a national resettlement program for Government Assisted Refugees at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and worked with women in India at RangSutra Crafts through the Aga Khan Foundation. Allie favourite vegetables are beets and cauliflower.

Ayal Lesh, Director of Development
Ayal brings over 25 years of experience in developing award-winning environmental education, grant-giving and stakeholder engagement programs, communications campaigns, and fundraising strategies. He has degrees in Geography and Environmental Science, and has served on the boards of the Conservation Council of Ontario, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Faith and the Common Good. More recently, Ayal earned certificates in his side passions of Artisan Bread Baking and Artist Blacksmithing. Ayal believes that direct and active experience interacting with nature cultivates a strong environmental and stewardship ethic.

Tamar Goldberg Education and Site Manager
Tamar is a teacher, learner and doer in the world of Jewish outdoor education, specializing in trees. Her work in trees in Toronto’s public and private sector and her years of experience leading canoe trips for Camp Ramah in Canada led her to the
inevitable conclusion that the best place to be is outside. Tamar has studied in many institutions of Jewish learning, including TanenbaumCHAT, Associated Hebrew Schools, Pardes, Urban Adamah, and Wilderness Torah. Tamar is a coordinator at heart, always looking for efficiencies in service of creating and facilitating Jewish community gatherings focused on ritual, song, and nature connection.

Shira Bodnar, Outdoor Educator and E-Commerce Coordinator
Shira is a silly human who believes that art and curiosity are fundamental tools for creating strong, compassionate communities. Having just graduated from the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College, they are deeply curious about what it means to grow and honour different kinds of wisdom in an ever-changing world. Shira’s connections to the earth are grounding and formative. They grew up exploring and frolicking through the Don River Valley Trail, and hugging trees. Shira is who they are today because of the generosity and awe of the natural world. It is a dream come true to be able to combine their love of nature with the beauty of Jewish community. Shira also loves whales *cue whale noises here*.

 Shalva Sutton, Child and Family Program Coordinator
Shalva is a lifelong nature and animal enthusiast. In 2010, at Shoresh’s Kavanah Garden, she fell in love with gardening and never quite made it out from between the vegetable plants. Shalva has a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the University of Guelph, and has worked in wildlife rehabilitation since 2020 at the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Prior to this, Shalva worked with children in an experiential educational setting as Rosh Teva Staff at Camp Stone, Farm Staff at Camp Green Acres, and as a Wildlife Club External Affairs executive. She believes that sharing knowledge and cultivating empathy through captivating public education can influence a broader change in society. Shalva is excited to be involved in creating opportunities for people to connect with their love of and fascination with nature and Judaism in a hands-on way.

Iris Benedikt, Program Associate
Iris is an artist educator who uses imagination to artfully uncover mysteries of the land alongside youth. She studied Studio Arts and Geography, has a Bachelor of Education and is a certified teacher. Iris prioritizes youth empowerment and critical thinking in her facilitation practice, and has worked as an outdoor educator, a social justice Jewish educator and a visual arts instructor. She’s been involved with Shoresh since its inception and was the first to have a Shoresh b’nei mitzvah! Iris’s Jewish identity is intimately rooted in working towards a world with less hierarchy and more solidarity. When Iris is not at Shoresh, she is doing art and exploring nature.

Paul Kitz, Outdoor Educator – Yesod Mentor
Paul is drawn to big questions: Where does Truth lie? How can I grow more intimate with life? How can we, collectively, live in a way that honours the dignity of life in ourselves and others? What does healing look like? These questions have taken Paul into politics, the wilderness, and on a spiritual journey that has included being ba’al teshuvah, leaving Judaism, and connecting with teachers from various traditions before reconnecting with Judaism through family, lineage and ancestry. Paul finds joy, connection and purpose spending time with young people. He is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner that has worked with individuals and groups from family homes to summer camps, ballet schools to hospices. He is blessed to work in a mentorship role with people of all ages in the context of nature, and is excited to support B’nei Mitzvahs living into their own big questions at such a potent time in their lives.

Josh Kleinberg, Program Associate
Josh began volunteering for Shoresh in May 2018 at the Kavanah Garden. He enjoys carpentry and has built numerous projects including cutting boards, trays, desks and shelving units. Josh built Shoresh’s solar beeswax melter for Bela Farm, among other things. In 2021, Josh completed a beekeeping course through the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association. He was a recipient of a volunteer recognition award for his contributions to Shoresh. Josh is passionate about his work at Shoresh as he enjoys learning about nature in a hands-on way. Outside of Shoresh, you can find Josh riding his bike or enjoying a slice of pizza.

Andrea Schaffer, Toddler Program Coordinator
Andrea is an experienced formal (day school teacher) and informal educator who now spends her time raising three young children.. Passionate about early childhood education and outdoor education, Andrea has taught at the Toronto Heschel School, worked as a PJ Library Connector and has volunteered with Shoresh. In 2003, she participated in a Jewish Day School fellowship at Brandeis University and later completed a Masters of Teaching. Andrea is so excited about Shoresh’s new toddler program, Nitzanim, and cannot wait to spend Tuesday mornings exploring nature with the little people in our community. Her favourite vegetable is red pepper.

Ishai Buchbinder, Outdoor Educator
Ishai is an environmental educator, father, theatre artist, and serial hobby haver. After beginning his career creating immersive theatrical experiences, Ishai realized the experience of being in the forest was the most fantastical immersion possible, so he decided to become an outdoor educator. Ishai’s Jewish identity connects him to his ancestors, his friends, and creates a form for weekly family spiritual practice with his Jewish/Quaker family. At Shoresh, Ishai is excited to learn to connect his love for the forest with Jewish understanding and practice. Though he will not choose a single favourite, Ishai’s most recent ecstatic vegetable eating experience was a rutabaga from his brother’s farm.


Risa Alyson Cooper, Founder of Shoresh
Risa is an outdoor educator, environmentalist, and urban homesteader. For 13 years, she served as the Founding Executive Director of Shoresh, grateful for the endless opportunities Shoresh offers to explore Jewish traditions in the fields and forests of southern Ontario.  After proudly celebrating Shoresh’s B’nei Mitzvah, Risa retired from the organization in 2021.  Her favourite vegetable is the beet.



Sabrina Malach, Co-Founder
Sabrina began working with Shoresh in 2011 after spending six years working and volunteering in the Jewish Food Movement in New York and Israel. She participated in the Adamah in 2005, studied at the Eco-Activist Beit Midrash in Jerusalem in 2006, and worked with Hazon from 2006-2007.  Upon returning to Toronto, Sabrina got an MES from York University with a focus on pollinator protection in urban centres.  In 2010, Sabrina was awarded the Canadian Pollinator Advocacy Award from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.  Sabrina is a new mom and Shoresh’s resident beekeeper.

© 2018 Shoresh.