Guila Benchimol (PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Guelph)

Guila Benchimol

Guila Benchimol is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on crimes committed in the Orthodox Jewish community by and against community members. Her dissertation project will examine the role cultural brokers play in assisting the Orthodox Jewish community address crimes committed within. Under the supervision of Dr. Myrna Dawson, she will study the ability of the cultural broker to effect change, the tools used to accomplish this goal, and the conflicts encountered in advocating for change. Her M.A. thesis examined how the 2011 Kletzky murder in affected community members as well as whether it was a catalyst in pushing the boundaries the larger Orthodox Jewish community maintains. It also analyzed whether community members were united or divided in how to address communal concerns that arose following the crime. Guila serves as a research assistant for various projects for the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence and has worked for the Canadian federal government at the Competition Bureau. She has also worked with victims of crime at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. Her research interests have been influenced by her first career as a Jewish educator. Guila was the Director of Judaic Studies at Tiferes Bais Yaakov and the Managing Director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth in Toronto. Guila is a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar.