RABBI RONNIE FINE - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Chabad Lifeline was founded in 1989 by Rabbi Ronnie Fine, then a McGill University Chaplain, who saw firsthand the devastating effects of substance abuse on students and their families.
Chabad Lifeline started with him counselling individuals, and it developed into a community and school outreach program where he, his wife Simcha, and volunteers would offer drug awareness and addiction prevention talks to children, teens and young adults.
In 1996, Chabad Lifeline was opened as a counselling and crisis centre for anyone affected by addictions.
Rabbi Fine plays an instrumental role in the agency's fundraising campaigns and the overall vision of the centre.
Rabbi Fine also operates Chabad Zichron Kedoshim, a Jewish outreach and education centre that holds daily services, and is part of the worldwide network JLI-Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Fine and his wife, Simcha, have ten children and many grandchildren.
RABBI BENYAMIN BRESINGER - DIRECTOR
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger grew up in Montreal, where he completed his university degree at Concordia. After graduation, he continued his life education by traveling extensively, visiting over twenty-five countries world-wide. For his rabbinical education, Rabbi Bresinger studied at Toras Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel, followed by higher education at the Rabbinical College of America Kollel in Morristown, N.J. In 1991, he and his wife were appointed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to represent Chabad for Metro West, New Jersey. His lectures on Kabbala were well attended as he founded the Beginners Synagogue that would become The Lubavitch Center of Essex County.
Rabbi Bresinger’s passion has always been working with recovering addicts. He became the pastoral counsellor for Jewish addicts in recovery for the Metro West Health and Healing Centre in New Jersey. During this time, he authored a course called, “Twelve Steps and Kabbalah,” which integrates the teachings of Kabbalah with the twelve steps of AA. He has lectured extensively around the country on this topic.
In 2007, Rabbi and Mrs. Bresinger and their five children moved to Montreal to be the directors of Chabad Lifeline, an addiction crisis drop-in centre.
KAREN BRESINGER, MSW - CLINICAL DIRECTOR / FAMILY COUNSELLOR
Karen Bresinger (MSW from Rutgers University) is the Clinical Director and Family Counsellor at Chabad Lifeline. She is a Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC) and member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and has extensive experience counselling family members dealing with addictions and working with codependents. In addition, she directs Lifeline's treatment program for addicts and families.
JENNIFER KOTRY, MA, CSAT
Jennifer Kotry, MA, CSAT, is an experienced Addictions Counsellor and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. She worked for many years at Bellwood Health Services, an addiction rehabilitation centre in Toronto. While working at Bellwood, Jennifer held several roles, including family counsellor, group therapist and trauma/sex addiction therapist. She offers individual and group counselling at Lifeline, as well as education on sex addiction and the impact it has on the individual, family members and society.
SHAUNA JOYCE, MA, MSW
Shauna Joyce, MSW, MA, is our Special Projects Coordinator working on expanding our youth and adult programs and services. She comes with many years of experience working as a school administrator and as the Executive Director of a summer camp for Montreal's more vulnerable youth. She holds a Master's degree in Social Work as well as a Master's in Educational Leadership from McGill University.
JASON STEIN, CCAC
Jason Stein, CCAC, is our Addictions Counsellor. Having graduated with an Addictions Careworker diploma from McMaster University, Jason specializes in providing intake services, individual counselling, and group facilitation with an adult population. He is also active in crisis intervention and networking in both the recovery and professional social services community. He is a Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellor (CCAC), and a member of the Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF).
NOAH STAR, MMFT
Noah Star is our Family and Addictions Counsellor. He earned his Master's Degree at the University of Winnipeg's Marriage and Family Therapy program, and has over 10 years of experience working with addiction.
BILL YONG, MA, CCC
Bill Yong is our Youth Coordinator, a Drama Therapist originally from Edmonton, Alberta. He holds a Masters of Arts from Concordia University and a Bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta.
He has worked clinically for the West Montreal Readaptation Centre, Centre d'éducation des adultes Outremont, Centre of Arts in Human Development (CAHD), Native Montreal and is currently a youth counsellor for Chabad within the English Montreal School Board.
LINDA ABER, CCFE
Linda Aber is an Attachment-Focused Parent Coach, Nurtured Heart Approach® Trainer, Theraplay® Group Specialist, HeartMath® Anxiety Reduction Practitioner, Family Life Educator and proud adoptive mother.
For over 24 years, Linda has been providing parent coaching, educational/support groups, and social skills & emotional regulation groups for parents, youth & families living with ADHD, learning disabilities, mild autism, anxiety, oppositional defiance and attachment disorders. Linda also presents teacher workshops at various Montreal schools and organizations.
Rina is our Administrative Executive, responsible for ensuring that all administrative work is finished on time and for coordinating the back end of our events.
Sharon is our volunteer coordinator. She trains and supervises the dozens of volunteers who answer our phone and greet everyone that enters our door.
RABBI MENDEL FINE
Rabbi Mendel Fine is Director of Development at Chabad Lifeline. His role is to help dispel the stigma of addiction by reaching out to professionals and lay-leaders, and generate awareness about our life-saving work.
William Carney is our Administrator. He has a degree in Psychology from McGill University, and plays a significant role in the day-to-day operations of the centre as well as contributing research to various Chabad Lifeline projects.
CONCORDIA DEPARTMENT OF CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIES - MASTER'S PROGRAM INTERNSHIP
In partnership with Concordia University's Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Chabad Lifeline offers field placement opportunities for budding therapists completing their Master's Degree.