Youth Programming Staff

Dr. Stacy Goldstein: Director of Family & Youth Programming

Click here to view Stacy's full bio.






Ariel Aarenau: 0-4 year old group leader

Age: 16

Current Day Job: Grade 11 High School Student Studying Business & works part-time as Machzikei Hadas' Communications Intern

Favourite Machzikei Hadas Moment: I look forward to the Simchat Torah Comedy Act every year!


Why Shabbat Morning Kids Club is Awesome: The Shabbat Morning Kids Club is awesome because you have great, committed leaders that are excited to be there!  As well, you get to eat, play games and sing songs, all while making new friends! 

Why I like being a group leader: Being a youth group leader at Machzikei is amazing! I love creating fun and entertaining programs for kids and then watching them come to fruition.  Furthermore, I pride myself on my responsibility and leadership skills. We all know kids have a lot of energy and the trick is to channel their energy to learn, play and have fun. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!

Bernadette Gala: 0-4 year old group leader

Current Day Job: Works with the Katz family as a live-in caregiver.

Favourtie Machzikei Hadas Moment: I love the annual Machzikei Hanukkah Party and look forward to it every year! 

Why I like being a group leader: It's my pleasure going to synagogue every Saturday and on the High Holidays. Being with the kids brings me great joy and accomplishment. Hearing them and seeing their cute, funny smiles makes me very happy. I love them and I know they love me.

Tziporah Ross: 0-4 year old group leader

Age: 21

Current Day Job: Studying Political Science at Carleton University. 

From: I am from New Zealand but have lived in Toronto since 2000. I ran youth programming for the Thornhill Community Shul for five years and am now in Ottawa.

Why Shabbat Morning Kids Club is Awesome:Torah Tots is an amazing group because it allows young children to play and explore while learning about Judaism.

Sarina Aarenau: 5-7 year old group leader


Current Day Job: Studies Neuroscience at Carleton University and assists in research at the Royal Ottawa and at CHEO.

Favourite Machzikei Hadas Moment: The comedy routine on Simchas Torah 

Why Shabbat Morning Kids Club is Awesome: Shabbat Morning Kids Club is awesome because of all the great activities we do! In my group, we start by davening (praying) and then we play lots of games. The kids get to choose what we play, and to facilitate this I have a master list of fun games from which to choose. Each week a healthy and delicious snack is served, which the kids enjoy while listening to a Jewish story of their choosing. At the end of the group, we head upstairs to sing Adon Olam on the bimah together with all the children from the other groups. Yes, when it comes to Shabbat Morning Kids Club, a great time is sure to be had by all :)

Why I Like Being a Group Leader: I love working with children.  I love talking with the kids, teaching them, learning from them, and just having a good time with them.  I've also really enjoyed watching the kids grow up and having their younger siblings join my group after they've graduated from the baby group.  Machzikei has a really wonderful group of youth congregants.

Avidani Aarenau: 8-11 year old group leader

Age: 21

Current day job: Student at Carleton University majoring in Public Affairs and Policy Management and minoring in French

Favourite Machzikei Hadas Moment: Doing a comedy bit with Gavi Stulberg on Simchat Torah. 

Why Shabbat Morning Kids Club is Awesome: Because it gives parents the opportunity to fully participate in prayer services upstairs while knowing that not only are their children taking part in Jewish activities, but they are also having fun simultaneously! It gives their kids a chance to socialize with other Jewish children while being engaged in an atmosphere that is both fun and builds off of their knowledge of Judaism.

Why I Like Being a Group Leader: it gives me the opportunity to directly make a positive change in the lives of our younger congregants. I remember that when I was that age and I attended the Machzekei Youth groups, there were so many things that I wish the leaders did and now that I'm in that position, I can finally implement those changes so that each week, the kids leave my youth group with a smile on their face, some food in their bellies and maybe some more knowledge in their minds (but I'll settle for 2 out of the 3).

What else: If you, as a parent, want something added into the group, I'm always glad to accommodate that desire and am always looking for new activities to do with the kids. I have an open door policy 24/7 so you and your child should feel free to suggest any improvements!

Fri, June 23 2017 29 Sivan 5777