About us

The Yorkville Jewish Centre - a social hub, event space, synagogue, learning centre, cafe, and Jewish cultural centre - makes its home in the heart of Toronto, at 94 Avenue Road. For years, we provided young Jewish professionals in the city with quality programming as the Jewish Urban Meeting Place. Now, the Yorkville Jewish Centre serves as a centre for prayer, education, social programming, networking, event hosting, and many other activities. Our goal is to bring Jews together, and to do so in the cultural, economic, and social mecca of Canada.

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Why We Exist

We are a group of social entrepreneurs showcasing Toronto’s best Jewish resources – communal, educational, professional – to create an exquisite collection of cultural and social opportunities. The core of the Yorkville Jewish Centre is its community. We strive to bring great people together over amazing experiences, and make those friendships endure as a community. We explore Toronto’s culture together, we learn ancient Jewish wisdom together, we travel the world together, we celebrate together, we help the less fortunate together. Simply, we strive to design an incredible life together.

  • Rabbi Joel Wardinger

    Executive Director

    Rabbi Joel Wardinger studied economics at McGill University, and received a law degree from the University of Toronto. After working in corporate law on Bay Street, Joel ventured back to Israel for intensive years of study, culminating in his rabbinical ordination. He currently serves as the Director at YJC (Yorkville Jewish Centre) where he is energetically building dynamic programs for young Jews throughout Toronto.

  • Rabbi Adam Winston

    Rabbi and Educational Director

    Rabbi Winston was born and raised in Richmond, VA. He attended the Ohio State University, where he received two degrees, in Arabic and Security Studies. After graduation, Rabbi Winston moved to Israel. During his seven years living in the Holy Land, Rabbi Winston served as a scribe in the IDF, received rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and started a family. After teaching for over three years in Jerusalem’s Emek Learning Center, the Rabbi, his wife, and three daughters moved to Toronto to join the Yorkville Jewish Centre team. The Winstons are excited to impact and improve Jewish life in Toronto.

  • Samara Bernstein-Hendry

    Program Manager

    Samara is the Program Manager at the Yorkville Jewish Centre, creating and planning awesome social programming for young professionals. Samara graduated from Western University with a B.A in Information and Media Studies and a Diploma in Interactive Media Design and Production. In her role at Yorkville Jewish Centre Samara is able to combine her passion for creativity, non-profit work, and the Jewish community. Samara loves meeting new people and making new connections with the friendly faces that come to Yorkville Jewish Centre. Outside of Yorkville Jewish Centre, you can find Samara on her next travel adventure, spending time with her family and friends, catching the latest movie, music festival, or relaxing at the cottage.

  • Ilana Rubenstein

    Women's Inspiration Educator

    Ilana Rubenstein has been active in Jewish education and programming for over 15 years. Her classes are a fusion of the poignant and personal–mining Jewish wisdom for its relevance to our personal paths and struggles. Ilana has been a featured lecturer at the International Aish HaTorah Partner’s Conference and has had the privilege of leading groups of women on the ‘birthright for mom’s’ (aka JWRP). Ilana’s weekly Shabbat email, with her trademark style of turning everyday experiences into deep lessons for living, has an international distribution list. She describes her ‘most important job’ as being a mom to her 10 year old daughter.