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Richmond Hill

Tell us about career.

My primary expertise is in teaching Torah. I am fortunate that G‑d gave me the opportunity to share knowledge and educate different people, from Israeli first-graders to adults, and also obtained an advanced degree in higher education in Halifax. I am also grateful for the opportunity I had to work for ten years as the conversion coordinator for the Jewish Agency in Northen Israel. While in that role, as a teacher of Judaism and coordinator, I met a diverse range of people from whom I learned tremendous lessons. First, Judaism and the Torah are interesting and relevant for all people at all times. Second, wisdom does not depend on age; I met five years olds who had an amazing awareness and perception.

Where is your family from?

My grandparents on both sides are from Lithuania. When I came to Israel as a high school student, an English teacher tried to get me to change my name, as "Lyuba" was too hard to pronounce. But refused since I knew that I bear the name of my great-grandmother - Liba Baila. She was the wife of the last rabbi of the city of Tartu in Estonia. Before the war, Stalin sent my father's family to exile in Siberia, and as a result they were killed during the war. For some reason, my great-grandmother was not included in the list of exiles, but during the war she voluntarily went to live with a family in Siberia. The sold jewelry to buy food and save the family from starvation. Knowing what was my great-grandmother, I will never change my name.

Why did you choose to live in Richmond Hill?

We moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia, about two months ago. Many people ask me why we moved from Nova Scotia. The answer is very simple: if G‑d created me a Jew, I want to live where there is a strong Jewish community with an active community life.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

During the last ten years I have actively engaged in sports, because I believe that a healthy mind requries a healthy body. I also lecture on Judaism. It is interesting that in Canada the most unexpected people attend my lectures: Chinese, Iranians and people of all ethnic backgrounds. In addition, I help people find balance in life as a coach: to lose weight, begin an active way of life and stop making excuses. Unfortunately, child obesity is a common problem in Canada, which makes my heart bleed. I also really love cars - racing, sports, jeeps - and do not miss the opportunity to visit the exhibition and car show.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone, who would you choose?

The question is not easy, as there are many people with whom I would like to meet. But if I had to choose one, I would choose the prophet Elijah. There are several reasons. First, he was the first Biblical personality I learned about. Secondly, in Israel we settled in the vicinity of the cave of Eliyahu. Many people, especially children, think of him as kind of a legendary grandfather figure. But he is not; he is one of the most powerful and formidable characters of the many Hebrew prophets. His activities would be very relevant in our day. After all, one of the greatest dangers for the Jews is our desire to try to be like the nations around us. And the prophet Eliyahu explained to the Jewish people that this is not out way. He is one of the most colorful figures in Jewish history. And he is chosen by the Almighty for a very important mission to be the one who will tell us about the coming of Moshiach.

What are your future plans?

I would like to find a niche in Canada, where I will be able to actualize the things I want to do in life - to teach people that the Torah is not somewhere in the clouds, that it is relevant to everyday life. Everyone can succeed in life if she or fhe has the necessary information. And I feel as a teacehr my role is to share with the people the right information.