Pekka Sinervo, President, CCRJ and Chair, URJ Canada Steering Committee has been named a Member of the Order of Canada

Professor Pekka Sinervo last year in the ATLAS control room at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Meyrin, Switzerland, where scientists monitor proton collisions. Sinervo was made a Member of the Order of Canada. (photo by Geoffrey Vendeville)


A professor in the University of Toronto’s department of physics, he is being recognized for decades of working to understand the basic building blocks of our universe – atoms, molecules and the like.

Sinervo and his team of 3,000 collaborators use the Large Hadron Collider to study particle interactions at very high energies. Having written or co-written more than 1,200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, his research group was involved in the discovery of the top quark, the heaviest known particle, and now uses the quark as a tool to search for evidence of new, massive particles. Sinervo is a former dean of U of T's Faculty of Arts & Science and, from 2008 to 2015, served as senior vice-president of research at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). 

His family are members of Temple Emanu-El in Toronto, Canada.  He was president of the congregation from 2014 to 2017, before taking on his current role as president of the CCRJ and Chair of the URJ Canada Steering Committee.  He has also been a member of the Union for Reform Judaism’s North American Board of Trustees since December 2016.