Global music icon from Israel Idan Raichel to perform in Montreal

Producer, keyboardist, Lyricist, composer and Performer Idan Raichel   is a global music icon who has brought his inspiring example and soul-stirring music to some of the planet’s biggest stages. His The Piano Songs Tour will come to Montreal  and The Olympia on Thursday, November 7 (8 pm) at L’Olympia (1004 Ste. Catherine Street East).

Israeli superstar Idan Raichel.

As the leader of The Idan Raichel Project, Raichel acts as a musical ambassador representing a hopeful world in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs.

Over the past 13 years, Raichel has collaborated with American pop stars India Arie, Dave Matthews and Alicia Keyes, not to mention a wide range of artists who are household names in their native countries: Portugal’s Ana Moura, France’s Patrick Bruel, Italy’s Ornella Vanoni, Germany’s Andreas Scholl, and Mali’s Vieux Farka Touré to name but a few.

The Idan Raichel Project’s spectacular live show has enchanted audiences worldwide. They have headlined in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including New York’s Central Park Summer Stage, Apollo Theater, Town Hall and Radio City Music Hall, Los Angeles’ Kodak Theater, the Sydney Opera House, Zenith in Paris, London’s Royal Albert Hall and many international festivals. They have also performed across Europe, South & Central America, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Japan and dozens of other countries for enraptured audiences of all backgrounds.

Raichel’s new album And If You Will Come To Me, released in January 2019, is shaped by numerous collaborations and promises to be the most impactful album of his illustrious career. You can listen to it here. The title track, “Ve’Eem Tavo’ee Elay” in Hebrew, has already become one of his biggest hits ever in Israel, with nearly 18 million streams on YouTube alone, and the singles from the album have racked up a total of 35 million YouTube plays.

Tickets: $29.50 to $99.50 (tax included, SVC extra) Box office: / 1-855-790-1245


Segal’s Bentley Montreal unveils the spectacular Flying Spur

By Mike  Cohen

It is hard to believe that I had never met prominent Jewish automobile executive Joel Segal before I was invited to attend a private showing of the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur, the third generation of Bentley’s luxury four-door Grand Tourer.

Joel Segal with the Flying Spur.

Segal is the president of Decarie Motors, which has been providing Montreal with some of the world’s finest new and pre-owned automobiles since 1946. With more than 70 years of history and brand-new, modern facilities, the dealership is one of the most spectacular and successful luxury automotive showrooms in Canada. “In 2016, we earned industry and customer praise for our new state-of-the-art Bentley, Aston Martin and Decarie Signature facilities,” said Segal. “In 2018, we brought excitement to the Decarie Motors complex once again with the opening of our new Land Rover Jaguar showroom.”

A wider look at the car.

Working alongside his wife,  General Manager Cheryl Blas,  Segal is at the helm of a dealership that exudes class. That is what this showing exemplified as brand manager Maurice Assor and sales consultant Wesley Rehel brought the assembled media up to speed with The Flying Spur. The luxury vehicle  will sell for around $285,000 and Bentley Montreal, a division of Decarie Motors, will get some demo models in by early spring. As we were listening to the presentation a couple who were browsing in the showroom  walked over to check out the loaner model that Assor and Rehel were  unveiling and made an order for one.

The all-new third generation Flying Spur, which was designed, engineered and handcrafted at the home of Bentley in Crewe, England, showcases Bentley’s unique integration of British craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology and pushes the boundaries of refinement to deliver the finest super-luxury sports sedan ever built.

The beautiful interior.

The exterior of the new Flying Spur is an automotive work of art, with its modern sculptural design, muscular proportions, latest generation cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps, new wrap-around rear lamps with “B” motifs and bold 22-inch wheel designs. Bentley’s iconic “Flying B” retractable mascot adorns its nose for the first time in modern memory, standing atop a gloss black radiator matrix with bright chrome surround and vertical vanes that hearken back to the coveted 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Flying Spur.

The interior is a marvel of design, comfort, and visual beauty. Its modern and spacious cabin cradles the driver in unrivaled luxury and innovation. Its sweeping horizontal veneer flows across the dashboard and into the doors, emphasizing the generous width of the space. Upon pressing the engine’s start button, the central veneer dashboard section rotates to reveal the industry-first Bentley Rotating Display, composed of a customizable three-tile, 12.3-inch touch screen and three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer.

Three-dimensional, diamond-quilted leather door inserts appear for the first time in a production car, inspired by the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 design concept, and new diamond knurling adorns the rotary switches, a decorative detail for which a software algorithm was invented to work with the complex curves of the ducts.

The Flying Spur’s all-new seats feature a twin-flute design and enhanced functionalities, including heating, ventilation, multi-mode massage, adjustable bolsters and top tilt. The rear seats provide a posh travelling environment, with a folding central armrest and a manually-deployed central headrest that stows away for maximum visibility when not in use.

In addition to its alluring looks, the new Flying Spur is a technological tour de force. It’s the most advanced luxury Grand Touring sedan available today, with not much more in common with its predecessor than its name. It features Electronic All-Wheel Steering for the first time on a Bentley, coupled with Active All-Wheel Drive and Bentley Dynamic Ride, delivering phenomenal handling and ride. New three-chamber air springs allow a much greater range of suspension adjustments. A multitude of new Driver Assistance Systems, which are integrated as standard features, elevate the Flying Spur to the summit of comfort, power and luxurious driving.

The heart of the new Flying Spur is an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine that delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.); 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds); and a breathtaking top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h). The engine, which was developed and hand-built in Crewe, it is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world, setting a new benchmark in performance, agility and dynamics. Its “W” configuration makes it considerably shorter than an equivalent V12, improving weight distribution significantly and maximizing cabin space.

The new Flying Spur redefines personalization and customized luxury in its market with an unprecedented range of paint colors, leather hides, wood veneers and options, which offer a limitless spectrum of color to suit all tastes and preferences.

Will Segal drive home with one of these himself? We will have to check back with him in the spring.

Former NBA star as well as a porn addict and his wife to speak at Chabad Lifeline event

By Mike Cohen

Former NBA Star Lamar Odom of Keeping Up with the Kardashians fame will open up about his drug and sex addiction at Chabad Lifeline’s “soiree on sex addiction” on Thursday, October 24 (7 pm) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts  (1379-A Sherbrooke St O) as part of the Au Contraire Film Festival.

The evening will focus on the effects of porn and sex addiction on the family, particularly spouses. Eli Nash, CEO of JEG & Sons, will also speak about his addiction to pornography, which included a period of time when he was studying at an Hasidic Yehiva in Montreal. His wife Fraidy will talk about her experience as the spouse of a sex addict.

Additionally, the Canadian premiere of the short film “Being Here” will be screened. The evening is coordinated by and benefits Chabad Lifeline, a non-sectarian agency dedicated to helping everyone affected by addiction.

“Addiction is stigmatized and filled with misconceptions,” said Chabad Lifeline Director Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger. “Lamar, Eli, and Fraidy are very brave individuals and their discussions will hopefully help others affected by addiction begin the path to recovery.”

Odom won two NBA Titles, an Olympic bronze medal, a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship, and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. He also starred in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and his own reality series “Khloe & Lamar.” In 2015, he fell into a coma after using cocaine and was placed on life support. After recovering, Odom opened up about his cocaine and sex addiction. He has since been an advocate for recovery  “I’ll be 40 on November 6 and I’m just trying to put out the best me, right now,” said Odom. “My life is a blessing.”

With JEG & Sons, Nash took a startup to a company now making over $200 million in revenue annually. He is also the co-founder of MicDrop. Eli held the details of his own abuse and porn addiction for many years, until using his voice to be an agent of change and empower others with an incredible TED Talk you  can see here. He will once again be sharing his story, this time more in depth on October 24. For the first time, his wife Fraidy will detail her experiences as the partner of a sex addict live at this powerful evening.

“There’s no question that the hardest thing I’ve ever done is to live a life free from compulsive and addictive behavior,” added Eli Nash. “The best way I know to continue staying sober, is to reach out and share my story with others.”

As for the movie  “Being Here” follows the life of Charlie, a young woman in her late 20s, as her three months in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility are coming to a close. In fear of leaving her newfound safety bubble, Charlie resists moving on from rehab — defaulting to all of her unhealthy coping mechanisms that brought here there in the first place. This short film won Best Student Film at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival, and this will mark its Canadian Premiere.

Chabad Lifeline is a non-sectarian agency dedicated to helping everyone affected by addiction, and where people suffering from substance and behavioural addictions and their family members are guided through the process of healing and recovery. Chabad Lifeline offers a full range of recovery options as well as comprehensive youth-at-risk programs. Their services are immediate and no one is turned away due to financial circumstance.


Life & Legacy Program takes root in Montreal

Less than eight months after having been selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) as its Montreal partner, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) has announced that 15 community organizations have enrolled in its LIFE & LEGACY® program. The purpose of this initiative is to help synagogues, schools, social service organizations and other Jewish entities build endowments that will help ensure their long-term financial stability.

“Our partners in the LIFE & LEGACY® program represent an important part of the institutional fabric of Jewish Montreal,” explains JCF Executive Director Kathy Assayag. “Ensuring they have the financial security to continue as pillars of our community is critical to keeping Jewish Montreal connected and to the passing on of Jewish values to the next generation.

“Over the next several years,” she continues, “we will be supporting these community organizations as they have discussions with their most loyal donors, encouraging supporters to make a lasting impact on the organizations that have influenced them throughout their lives with an after-lifetime endowment gift. The JCF will be providing coaching and training and assisting donors in establishing legacy gifts in the most tax-effective ways. We are also offering incentive grants to participating organizations with a goal of ensuring that legacy giving becomes integrated in the philanthropic culture of our community.”

The first cohort of organizations participating in the program are:

Auberge Shalom pour femmes Les Écoles Azrieli Schools Talmud Torah |Herzliah
Beth Tikvah Congregation Shaar Hashomayim Congregation
Camp B’nai Brith of Montreal Shaare Zedek Congregation
Dorshei Emet Congregation Shaare Zion Congregation
École Akiva School Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA
Friendship Circle Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom
Hebrew Foundation School The Segal Centre for Performing Arts
Jewish Public Library

LIFE & LEGACY®, which was developed by the HGF, has a proven track record. In North America, over 600 participating organizations secured more than 25,000 legacy commitments with a total value of over $900 million (USD) during the program’s first seven years

Rabbi Fishman with Zev Mestel (Executive Director of Beth Zion Congregation) & Howard Zingboim (Beth Tikvah team member). 

“A key benefit of endowments,” notes Ms Assayag, “is that they create perpetual income streams that take some of the edge off year-to-year fund-raising pressures that all nonprofit organizations face. By working together, the organizations in the cohort will create synergies that will benefit the community as a whole, as well as secure their own futures. The experience of HGF, which reflects our own, is that a legacy commitment from an individual often results in endowment gifts to multiple organizations.”

The JCF is committing significant resources to running LIFE & LEGACY® locally for at least four years. Participating organizations will learn best practices for executing legacy plans and how to make compelling cases for legacy gifts by communicating the organizations’ raisons d’être and values and, most importantly, the long-term impacts of individual gifts.

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) creates opportunities to connect with Judaism and the Jewish community at key life moments. In addition to flagship programs that are active across North America and around the world, the HGF invests in Jewish life at home in Western Massachusetts. Everything the HGF does is in partnership. By leveraging philanthropy, the HGF encourages others to invest in Jewish life.

The JCF’s mission is to inspire, promote and innovate Jewish Philanthropy and our vision is to build a strong sustainable Montreal Jewish Community . Its commitment is:

  • To help individuals and families support the causes they care about and achieve their philanthropic goals;
  • To find solutions that are tax-wise and create greater impact;
  • To ensure Montreal and its organizations remain strong and vibrant by helping build and carefully steward financial resources.



Housefather and Tordjman engage in spirited debate

By Mike Cohen

B’nai Brith Canada’s Quebec Region sponsored an animated federal election debate for the Mount Royal Riding on September 24 at the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, featuring incumbent Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and Conservative Party candidate David Tordjman.

The Green Party contender called in sick, the NDP and Bloc Québecois hopefuls declined the invitation while Zachary Lozoff was allowed to set up an information table in the back of the room to share why he chose to run for the People’s Party of Canada (PPC).


Left to right: Anthony Housefather, Harvey Levine, David Tordjman and B’nai Brith’s Ronnie Roter and Janna Minkovich.

While Housefather and Tordjman cordially shook hands before the debate, the gloves came off soon after Regional Director Harvey Levine introduced Global TV reporter Dan Spector as the moderator.

Tordjman spoke about his military service, his work for the city and the three years he spent in Haiti as an engineer as part of the reconstruction efforts following the horrific earthquake. Since then he has done a lot of work for the First Nations. “Why am I putting myself out there?” he asked rhetorically. “Because I believe somebody needs to bring honour and ethics back to Parliament! We have seen four years of failures and scandals day by day. The support of Israel pales in comparison to the years of Stephen Harper.”

Housefather went into great detail about his 25 years of service to the community as a municipal councillor, mayor and now an MP. He alluded to a recent cheque of $922,000 he delivered to a day program in Côte Saint-Luc for older adults which gives their caregivers a necessary break. This program was in jeopardy of being cancelled more than four years ago when Housefather stepped in then as mayor and worked out an arrangement to keep it going. In fact he was instrumental in Parliament creating a national dementia program. “This debate is about who will serve the Mount Royal riding,” Housefather said, listing a wide array of achievements which backed up his point.

The audience of about 250 people included some vocal supporters from both sides. Spector had to ask people consistently to tone down the catcalls.

On social services, Housefather spoke proudly of how hard he worked to make the recently opened Chateau B’nai Brith subsidized housing high rise in Côte Saint-Luc a reality and mentioned similar projects in the riding he contributed to.

The section on antisemitism prompted Tordjman to criticize the Liberals for removing East End candidate Hassan Guillet recently for statements he made which were considered both antisemitic and anti-Israel. “Why did we have people like this in the Liberal Party in the first place?” he asked.  “The Liberals got rid of him only after B’nai Brith made his views public.”

Housefather said that he was the first MP to call for a national plan to combat racism in Canada, with antisemitism as a central pillar of this process. “I condemn the BDS movement as does the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party,” he declared.

Pushing further on the BDS theme, Housefather reasoned that it is merely another form of antisemitism. “Canada benefits from Free Trade with Israel,” he explained. “I speak at campuses across the country on this issue. We cannot use BDS as a partisan wedge between parties.”

The candidates were asked about Bill 21, the legislation prohibiting religious symbols in the public sector. “As soon as Bill 21 came out I was the first MP who said how wrong it is,” he remarked, adding that he organized a rally against in his riding.”

Housefather then singled out Tory MP Alain Rayes for openly supporting Bill 21. He noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he leaves the door open to challenge the law while Conservative leader Andrew Scheer condemned the legislation, but said he will not challenge it. Tordjman reasoned that there are already different court proceedings underway so it is best to see how they conclude. “I doubt highly Justin Trudeau will stand up on this,” he said. “He is just pandering.”

Tordjman questioned why “Mount Royal has to be the savior of the Liberal Party when it comes to issues of Israel and antisemitism.” But Housefather made no apologies for his role in this area. “I have been one of the leading voices for Israel and combatting antisemitism,” he said.

There are no other debates in the riding currently planned.


MADA sweetens the lives of others this Rosh Hashanah

More than 2,500 families and individuals from all walks of life will be gathering together on September 30 and October 1, at 7:15 p.m., at 11 locations across Montreal, the largest of which will be in the Federation CJA building, to celebrate the Jewish New Year with the warmth and spirit of the holiday. Full-course festive New Year meals will be served, and guests will hear the blessings over the holiday’s symbolic traditional foods and can also participate in singing and dancing.

“The High Holidays are a time for families to get together, but some people have no family. For many, it’s a very lonely time. At a time when many people cover their tables with delicacies, others can’t afford to. At a time of spirituality and hope, some don’t know where to turn,” said Rabbi Chaim Cohen, Executive Director of MADA. “Everyone should have the opportunity to usher in the New Year with a community and festive meals.”

“This inspiring initiative allows community members, both volunteers, and participants, to “join together, eat, sing, dance and wish one another blessings for the New Year,” said Yosef Drihem, MADA’s Assistant Director. “We can’t think of a better way to sweeten the New Year than to have all those in need have a place at our table.”

Over 700 volunteers will spend the next weeks preparing and delivering 2000 holiday food baskets and serving 2500 festive holiday meals. This is in addition to the 4,550 Shabbat to Share home-delivered High Holiday meals for the elderly and handicapped as well as the more than one thousand meals prepared by the volunteers in MADA’s cafeteria.

A student volunteer sets up a table.

MADA is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in our community. As Montreal’s largest kosher soup kitchen and food bank and offering a variety of services, MADA has been serving the Jewish community for 25 years and seeks to raise awareness of the plight of those in need and to expand its client base.

Volunteers like this make MADA go!

“MADA fills a gap in our community, ensuring that everyone has a seat around the holiday table. The warmth, joy and care expand beyond the dinner served on Rosh Hashanah,” stated Robert Cutler of Delmar International, sponsor of one of the 11 locations.

To reserve a place at any of the 11 locations, visit, or call 514-342-4969. To volunteer or to make a donation, please call 514-342-4969, ext. 229.