Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel, will be hosting a fundraiser Sale on Sunday, June 26 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Dufferin/Steeles area.
Beit Halochem Canada is committed to rehabilitating, rebuilding, and enhancing the lives of over 50,000 Israelis disabled in the line of duty or through acts of terror. Leading-edge Beit Halochem Centres across Israel provide specialized sports, recreational, and therapeutic programs, as well as activities for our members and their families.
This upcoming Not your Ordinary Garage Sale will feature an extraordinary selection of new and extremely gently used goods, including artwork, books, CDs and DVDs, collectibles, kitchenware, home décor, Judaica, and so much more.
The third annual Community Mental Health Awareness Shabbat, spearheaded by Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation in Côte Saint-Luc, will take place May 6 to 9. It will be fully virtual, with a Mental Health Symposium on Thursday evening, a Friday workshop for high school students and a Sunday morning Mental Health workshop. This has spread to cities across North America.
This program coincides with Canadian Mental Health Week. Dr. Rachel Goodman and Yair Meyers are the program co-chairs. “Our goal is for as many synagogues as possible across the entire Jewish community here, across Canada and the United States to dedicate that Shabbat as part of the Community-Wide Mental Health Awareness Shabbat,” said Dr. Goodman, a psychologist in private practice.
Dr. Rona Novick, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and the Dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of Yeshiva University, will be the keynote speaker throughout the weekend. She holds the Raine and Stanley Silverstein Chair in Professional Ethics and Values. In addition, she serves as the Co-Educational Director of the Hidden Sparks program, which provides professional development to Jewish day schools and Yeshivas. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in human growth and development, social-emotional learning, spirituality, positive psychology, trauma, cognitive behavioral interventions, diverse learners, and family dynamics. She has published a children’s book on Resilience, Mommy, Can You Stop the Rain, available on Amazon.
On Thursday evening, May 6 (7:30 pm to 9 pm) there will be a Community-wide Mental Health Symposium featuring a panel of speakers, including Dr. Novick, Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich from TBDJ, Ometz Chief Clinical Officer Barbara Victor and AMI Quebec Family Caregiver Perla Muyel. Dr. Goodman will serve as the moderator. The theme will beGetting Back to Normal when Life Isn’t Normal. “Other synagogues will each be dedicating that Shabbat in their own way, whether it be a speaker, the Rabbi’s sermon or an email to their community,” added Meyers.
On Friday, May 7 (10 am) Dr. Novick will address high school students. The theme for this talk will be Check-up From The Neck Up: Thinking About What We’ve Been Through And Moving Forward.
Finally, on Sunday, May 9 (10 am), Dr. Novick will speak on UnMASKing COVID: Strategies & Tools for Staying Strong & Well in the Days Ahead. This will be followed by Educational Consultant and Mental Health Advocate Marc Fein (11 am), whose topic is Beyond the Diagnosis: Life as a Jewish Depressed Mental Health Advocate. He has lived the experience of depression and has over a decade of experience creating interactive workshops that have empowered thousands of individuals and organizations with practical tools to manage stress, provide emotional support, and break the stigma around Mental Illness. He is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid and is pursuing a Masters in Non-Profit Management and Leadership at Hebrew University. He also leads a summer program for NCSY to Poland and Israel.
Montrealers will be getting a new print publication. Jewish businessman Andy Nulman has decided to revive The Sunday Express Newspaper and I have agreed to be a contributor. Publishing will begin by the fall.
For those of you old enough to remember, The Sunday Express was published first by Joe Azaria from 1969 to 1975 and by Quebecor from 1974 to 1985 and had a true Le Journal de Montréal look to it. As a CEGEP and university student, I served as assistant sports editor for three years until it folded. Other noted journalists who cut their teeth there included Nulman, Bill Brownstein, Antonia Zerbisias, Joyce Napier, Marianne Ackerman, Karen Seidman and the late Brodie Snyder and Myron Galloway.
Nulman was the entertainment editor, starting that job as a teenager. He would go on to run The Just For Laughs Festival and get into the technology business. In 2005, he and partner Garner Bornstein sold their company to Japan’s Cybird Holdings for close to $100 million, so financing of this new endeavor is not a problem.
Dave Stubbs, formerly of The Gazette and now with NHL.com, will be the sports editor. For old times sake, Nulman will oversee entertainment. I will be the restaurant critic. An array of other noted personalities should attract readers as columnists: cinema mogul and Dragons’ Den star Vincenzo Guzzo, Tommy Schnurmacher on politics, Brian Wilde and Rick Moffat on sports and Carmi Levy on technology.
Perhaps the most controversial choice of columnists will be former Montreal councillor and Mayor Michael Applebaum, focusing on municipal affairs. “Michael paid his debt to society and it is time for everyone to move on,” Nulman said. “He knows city hall better than anybody. Who better to cover the next election?”
As for the paper itself, the new publisher is excited. “There is no Sunday English newspaper in this city and just as there was 45 years ago I believe there is a place for The Sunday Express,” Nulman said. “I have a wide array of contacts in the business community and we will have good support when the paper launches.”
I spoke to Nulman before writing this column to warn him. Happy April Fool’s Day to everyone! There will be no Sunday Express revival (or will there???), but now that we are on the subject let me share with you the truth about a very exciting time in my journalistic career. I was 18 years old and attending Dawson College. My late dad Larry knew the sports editor Bob Amesse, who told him he needed an assistant. “Why don’t you hire my son,” he suggested. Well Amesse took a shot on me and let’s just say I stepped off a plane and found myself on Fantasy Island. Here I was, a teen who barely shaved covering the Canadiens, Expos, Alouettes, Manic (former pro soccer team) and having the likes of Gary Carter, Peter Dalla Riva and even Guy Lafleur calling me by my first name. It was an experience I will never forget.
Selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) as its Montreal partner for its LIFE & LEGACY® program, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) is pleased to announce that over the course of its first year, 246 individuals or families have named one or more participating synagogues, schools, social service organizations and other Jewish organizations in their estate plans or other giving vehicle, for a total of over 330 promised gifts.
“As a community, we take pride in the institutions we have built together and we are determined that they remain strong and vibrant for the next generation of Jewish Montrealers,” explains JCF Executive Director Kathy Assayag.
Added Joshua Rubin, philanthropic advisor at the JCF and lead professional for the program in Montreal: “It is clear that our LIFE & LEGACY® program has struck a positive chord across our community, which is why so many families are stepping up by making an after-lifetime endowment gift. He is grateful for the tremendous work put in by professionals and lay leaders alike and notes, “working together, the organizations in the cohort have created synergies that are benefitting the community as a whole. Many of the donors have chosen to make endowment gifts to multiple organizations, strengthening different pillars of our community”.
JCF’s partners in in the LIFE & LEGACY® program include: 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, Federation CJA, Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA, Friendship Circle,Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Hebrew Foundation School, The Segal Centre for Performing Arts and Jewish Public Library.
“Our partners represent an important part of the institutional fabric of Jewish Montreal and through this initiative we are taking important steps to ensure their long-term financial stability,” adds Assayag.
The JCF provides partners with coaching and training and assists individual donors in establishing legacy gifts in the most tax-effective ways. Participating organizations learn best practices for executing legacy plans and how to make compelling cases for legacy gifts by communicating the organizations’ respective raisons-d’être and values and most importantly, the long-term impacts of individual gifts. The JCF is also offering incentive grants to participating organizations with a goal of ensuring that legacy giving becomes integrated in each of their philanthropic cultures.
“Fundraising has been challenging during the pandemic, particularly because special events, which are critical to many of our organizations, have had to be cancelled,” said Rubin. “ One of the advantages of endowments is that they create perpetual income streams that take some of the edge off year-to-year fund-raising pressures like we are all currently facing.”
LIFE & LEGACY®, which was developed by the HGF, has a proven track record. In North America, over 700 participating organizations secured more than 29,000 legacy commitments across 70 communities with a total value of over $1.1 billion (USD) during the program’s first eight years.
“In 1910, my great grandfather became a founding member of our YM-YWHA,” said Rob Fainer, Vice-President of the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA. “Without his generation’s commitment to our JCC, my story would be very different. Similarly, my pledge to the LIFE & LEGACY program crystallizes my commitment to this timeless institution and helps to secure its future for generations to come. From strength to strength! From generation to generation!”
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 Jewish and innovate philanthropy and its vision is to build a strong and sustainable Montreal Jewish Community.
November 9, 2020 marks the 82nd remembrance day of the German Reichspogromnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”).
Together with Liberation75, the German Embassy and Consulates want to remember this night in 1938 and reflect on its significance and lessons today. The Webinar tells this story: “Beyond All Memories – The Semer Ensemble and the Rescued Treasure of Jewish Musical Life in Nazi Berlin”
A short film preview and ensuing discussion will showcase newly interpreted music originally recorded by Jewish musicians in 1930’s Berlin).
Date: Monday, November 9th at 2 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Moderated by Laila Biali, singer and CBC Radio 2 presenter; Ben Wittman, percussionist, composer. Participants: Dr. Alan Bern, director of the Semer Ensemble, Dr. Rainer Lotz, music historian and discographer, and Sasha Lurje, singer in the Semer Ensemble. Greetings by Marilyn Sinclair, Director of Liberation 75 and the German Ambassadors in the United States and in Canada.
The stage show Semer Reloaded features music from the Golden Age of Jewish Music, songs of love and jealousy, dreams and daily life. The music, originally composed and performed by Jewish musicians in 1930’s Berlin, was recorded by Hirsch Lewin through his label ‘Semer.’ Originally the owner of a Hebrew bookstore in Berlin, Lewin began recording and collecting music by Jewish artists after founding his label in 1932. Lewin was able to create thousands of recordings and produce hundreds of records. The Semer label defiantly recorded even as the Nazi oppression of Jewish cultural life continuously increased.
Lewin’s important work was violently stopped by the Nazi’s during the Reichspogromnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) on November 9th, 1938. His label destroyed, the collection was then forgotten for decades, only to be recovered by Dr. Rainer Lotz, a German music historian, in the 1990s. Lotz travelled the world for years, managing to find all of the original records. The Jewish Museum in Berlin tasked Dr. Alan Bern, a renowned musician and composer, with the evaluation of the musical collection. He found treasures. Ever since, Dr. Bern has gone on to reinterpret and perform the music with the ensemble of outstanding musicians that he united, most of them living in Berlin. The Semer Ensemble brings to the German capital and the world a remarkable cultural heritage that was long lost and has been rescued, a story beautifully captured in Christoph Weinert’s short film, “Beyond All Memories – The Semer Ensemble and the Rescued Treasure of Jewish Musical Life in Nazi Berlin.”