Canadian-Palestinian Educational Exchange
Canadian-Palestinian Educational Exchange

About Us

Board of Directors

CEPAL is run by an Executive Board of Directors whose objectives are to lead and manage the activities of the organization.  Directors are voted in by CEPAL’s members every year at the Annual General Meeting.  They typically come from a variety of backgrounds, either as past overseas teachers, volunteers, or supporters of CEPAL.


Henry Zaccak, President

Henry joined CEPAL’s board of directors more than a decade ago, following his first experience volunteer teaching at a refugee camp in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. His commitments have since extended to a variety of charities and non-profit organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Henry also has a passion for building software products and services that improve the wellness of others. He has a Masters in Health Informatics from the University of Waterloo. He also has an Hon. B.Sc. in Computer Science: Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a PMP Certified Project Manager.

Robert Assaly, Treasurer

Robert is a priest in Montreal. He served for three years in the ‘90s as Director of the Jerusalem office of the Middle East Council of Churches and Vicar of Gaza. He holds three degrees, one in Middle East and Islamic history. Robert had been vice-chair of a UN committee on Palestinian rights. Having experienced first-hand the essential role of religion in Middle East peacemaking and religious extremism in war-making, he is committed to strengthening the Canadian churches in their partnerships with the region’s churches and other civil society organizations, not least those which serve in the camps in Lebanon.

John Doyle, Secretary

John directed programs at the Centre for International Business Studies (University of Alberta) for twenty years. That Centre’s focus was on specialized training programs for visiting groups of managers or students, as well as export readiness workshops for owners of Canadian small or medium sized businesses. In 2014, John also began teaching LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers) classes in Edmonton, at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. In 2018, he retired from both jobs, and volunteered to teach at Rashidieh and Burj al-Shamali camps in Sour, Lebanon. Prior to his work at the U of A, John was a Programs Coordinator for Canada World Youth, and before that he managed a large translation bureau for MOSAIC, an immigrant and refugee service agency in East Vancouver. John’s present aim is to raise awareness and support for Palestine-related education initiatives, and to collaborate on programs or drives to support refugees’ education, particularly in Lebanon.