Winter 2015-2016: Vol. 40 No. 3
City by the Sea I, Haifa, oil on canvas 12x12, Lynn Rotin
•S pecial Features: • Partnership2Gether • News from Around our Region
JEWISHÊFEDERATIONSÊOFÊCANADAÊ-ÊUIA JEWISHÊFEDERATIONSÊOFÊCANADAÊ-ÊUIA JEWISHÊFEDERATIONSÊOFÊCANADAÊ-ÊUIA
UIA - הפדרציות היהודיות בקנדה I Aו-יÊה הנ ק- ההיב ת ד פ ד ר צ י והתפÊה UדIוA קינוד פריצה ה דה ÊU I A - ב ק נ ד הÊUת ד דיוורדתי וצהיתי והבות FƒDƒRATIONSÊJUIVESÊDUÊCANADAÊ-ÊUIA
Thank you ‘Do good Everywhere. From Anywhere.’
Thank you for your donation to the United Jewish Appeal of Atlantic Canada. Because of your generosity, good things are happening for Jewish people in Atlantic Canada, Israel & Overseas.
‘Do good Everywhere. From Anywhere.’
Your gift will go a long way towards creating a brighter
‘Do good Everywhere. From Anywhere.’ tomorrow for thousands of Jews across the globe.
Thank you for your donation to the United Jewish Appeal of Atlantic Canada. Because of your generosity, good Appeal Thank you for your donation to the United Jewish things are happening for Jewish people in Atlantic Canada, of Atlantic Canada. Because of your generosity, good Israel & Overseas.
Atlantic Jewish Council | 5670 Spring Garden Road, Suite 309 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | B3J 1H6 P 902-422-7491 www. theajc.ns.ca
things are happening for Jewish people in Atlantic Canada, Israel & Overseas. Your gift will go a long way towards creating a brighter tomorrow for thousands of Jews across the globe.
Your gift will go a long way towards creating a brighter Atlantic Jewish Council | 5670 Spring Garden Road, Suite 309 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | B3J 1H6 P 902-422-7491 of www.Jews theajc.ns.ca tomorrow for thousands across the globe.
o good Everywhere. From Anywhere.’ Atlantic Jewish Council | 5670 Spring Garden Road, Suite 309 | Halifax, Nova Scotia | B3J 1H6 P 902-422-7491 www. theajc.ns.ca
CONTENTS President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Jon Goldberg, Executive Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
President: Michael Argand The Atlantic Jewish Council WINTER 2015-2016
Spencer House: 4th Annual Christmas Party. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
From the Desk of Edna LeVine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
VOL. 40 NO. 3
Scholarship Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Mailed under Canada Post: Publications Mail Sales Agreement No. 40052452
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Report (CIJA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Campus News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Mordechai Kedar on tour across Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Partnership2Gether Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Camp Kadimah News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 An Attack by an Anti-Zionist Bully. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Holocaust Education Week in Halifax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Around Our Region: Halifax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Beth Israel Synagogue Celebrates 125 years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Atlantic Jewish Film Festival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Gil Hoffman speaks in Halifax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Scots Jews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Around Our Region: Newfoundland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Around Our Region: Prince Edward Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Around Our Region: Moncton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Around Our Region: Fredericton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Around Our Region: Saint John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Around Our Region: Cape Breton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Executive Director: Jon Goldberg Editor: Edna LeVine Contributing Editor: Joel Jacobson Layout & Printing: Halcraft Printers Inc. Advertising: Roman Giter Address all correspondence including advertising enquires to: Editor, c/o Shalom Atlantic Jewish Council 5670 Spring Garden Road Suite 309 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1H6 Tel. (902) 422-7491 - Fax (902) 425-3722 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.theajc.ns.ca
This publication is printed by
Rabbis Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Cover Artist Lynn Rotin Lynn Rotin paints and draws from a studio attached to her fisherman’s cottage in West Pennant, a small community near Sambro and Crystal Crescent Beach. She holds a BA from York University, a BFA from NSCAD University and a graphic design diploma from George Brown College in Toronto. Her work can be found at Teichert Gallery as well as her own home studio. Several pieces are in the collection of the Art Bank of Nova Scotia, many others are in private collections in Canada, the United States and Mexico. City by the Sea I, Haifa, is from the series Cities by the Sea. Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Phone: (902) 453-4511 - Fax: (902) 453-4517 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NOTE TO OUR READERS
Our Atlantic Jewish community is losing more and more members as the years go on. In the past, Shalom has printed stories of regional community members who have passed away. While we try to acknowledge the major contributions of many of our late friends and family members, we request that you inform Shalom of passings of which we may be unaware so we may recognize these individuals. Shalom’s editorial staff reserves the right to determine the length of memorial pieces to be printed in the magazine. Written articles are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AJC.
President’s Message Dear Friends, My wife Jo-Anne joins me in wishing all our readers a happy & healthy 2016. We look forward to welcoming you at the upcoming fall 20th AJC biennial celebration in November. Michael Argand
It’s time to RENEW your subscription! Shalom is the only magazine that bind our region together, with recent news from the Atlantic communities and other interesting articles on topics dealing with Jewish life throughout Atlantic Canada. As we continue to improve the quality of our magazine, we are excited to launch our newly redesigned Shalom magazine for 2016-17 (6 issues)!
Did you know? Shalom magazine can be found in the Periodical Department and Archives at the following libraries: • New York Public Library
• Library of Congress
• National Library of Israel
• The Jewish National & University Library
• Hebrew Union College
Renewal letters, for the Shalom magazine and for the 2016-18 community directory, will be mailed to you this winter or you can renew your subscription today by email email@example.com or call us at (902) 422-7491 x221. Page 2
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From the Desk of
Jon Goldberg, Executive Director
elcome to our winter edition 2015-16 of Shalom magazine. Finally some snow and cold weather but it certainly was unseasonably warm here in Atlantic Canada, almost until the end of December. As we begin 2016, here at the AJC I can look back at last year with a sense of pride and accomplishments. Besides our normal programming, we were able to purchase the “Bayit” the Latner Student Centre on Walnut Street in Halifax. The AJC now has its own program centre which we can use not only for students but for other community events. With the assistance of UIA-FC in Toronto, we negotiated a fair purchase price from the Latner Foundation, and assumed title of the property on May 1st. Considerable renovations and repairs took place over the summer directed by our president, Michael Argand, with the help of his wife Joanne. On September 1st the “Bayit” was available for student programming. Thanks to the trustees of the Atlantic Jewish Foundation for their assistance, and to Victor Goldberg, and John Stewart of Cox and Palmer, for assisting with the mortgage and the closing costs.
program. Holocaust Educational Week and the Atlantic Jewish Film Festival were very successful and congratulations to Edna LeVine of our staff and all the volunteers who worked on the programs.
November 17th – 20th. Please hold those dates as it looks like it will be a very special weekend and more information to follow later in the year. We are also looking forward to organizing an Atlantic Jewish Council mission to Israel October 28th – November 6th, more information to follow in the next six weeks.
Of course we are planning Yom HaShoah programs throughout the region and this year’s meeting in As for 2016 this is the year our new Canada of the P2G committee will AJC directory will be published be held in Halifax this spring and we and of course renewals for Shalom expect the mayors of number of the magazine will be sent to all of our communities in the North of Israel readers. I remind you that we need to attend along with the Canadian your support and please order your leadership. Howard and Karen Conter directory early as we ran out last year. will be hosting the meeting. This coming fall we will be holding our 20th Biennial celebration here in Halifax in conjunction with the Atlantic Jewish Film Festival.
The AJC also co-sponsored a community BBQ in Moncton this past summer. The deputy counsel general of Israel was in attendance as were a number of invited politicians from the area. Thanks to Betty Druckman and all who helped with the
I would like to thank our board of directors for their leaderships and guidance over the past year and all the volunteers from throughout the region who contributed helping us promote Jewish continuity. It would be impossible to carry on without the good work and loyalty of our Controller, Svetlana Ratchinski, Edna LeVine, Director of Community Engagement, Mark David, CIJA Atlantic Staff, Arielle Branitsky, Director of Jewish Student Life and Rabbi Ellis, Regional Chaplin. My best wishes to all of our readers and their families for a happy and healthy 2016.
Jon, with Dave Wilson, MLA, at the Kristallnacht Commemoration
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Spencer House: 4th Annual Christmas Party Editor’s Note: This article appeared on the CBC News website on December 25th, 2015 and received over 1100 shares.
any seniors at a Halifax non-profit won’t have to spend Christmas alone for the fourth year in a row thanks to volunteers from the Atlantic Jewish Council. The tradition started four years ago when Edna LeVine, director of community engagement for the council, called Spencer House Seniors Centre “out of the blue.” “She was wondering if there was anything that they could help us out with over the holidays,” said Bertha Roberts, the centre’s executive director. “It’s wonderful because being a non-profit and of course, funding is getting
tougher and tougher to obtain, we’ve had to make cutbacks.” The Christmas party starts at 10 a.m. For around 25 invited centre members, lunch is served and music is played. ‘Always have a great response’ The party isn’t open to the public, Roberts says, because they don’t have the funding or the space. But, the party means certain seniors who don’t have family to visit, won’t spend Christmas alone. “We have some volunteers here on the accordion, playing the flute and piano, Christmas music. We will also afterwards sing Christmas carols and karaoke,” LeVine said Friday. “I put out a call for volunteers in the
Jewish community, and we always have a great response.” Levine says volunteers also make food deliveries to those seniors who can’t make it to the centre. The event not only makes sure those seniors have some company, but it gives centre staff an opportunity to have a break, Roberts said. “It’s really wonderful that the people from the Jewish council come in and do this for us, because it means we can celebrate with our families.” “They go above and beyond,” she said. This article was reprinted with permission from CBC News.
Olga Kulakevich, accordion, and Linda Jonas Schroeder, flute, entertained guests with Christmas music!
Gergori Shepshelevich, Schuyler Smith, Genny Gadilov and Myrna Yazer organized the kitchen staff at the 4th annual Christmas lunch at Spencer House Seniors Centre, where community volunteers brought joy to all serving a delicious lunch. Missing: Lynn Rotin, Lysa Appleton, Jonah Appleton, Nancy Cieplinski, Leo Weniger, Mort Feld, Fannie Nathanson and Edna LeVine.
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From the Desk of
Edna LeVine, Director of Community Engagement
he 12th Annual Holocaust Education Week (HEW) in Halifax, November 1-9, offered thought-provoking educational programs including films/speakers, musical performances and an original video production. This year we were once again fortunate to have the support of The Azrieli Foundation to sponsor the opening program with Holocaust survivor Nate Liepciger, who spoke to packed audiences at the Halifax Central Library and Prince Andrew High School, Dartmouth. In addition, The Azrieli Foundation sponsored a French language program with Holocaust survivor Marguerite Quddus at the Alliance Française and at a local high school. Audience members at each event received a complimentary copy the survivor’s memoir from The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs. The closing program, with keynote speaker Holocaust survivor Sidney
Open House at the Buddy Daye Learning Institute, with Sylvia Parris, CEO.
Zoltak, included a performance by Janice Jackson, new music soprano, in Escape to Freedom by Nova Scotian composer Sandy Moore, based on the story of Mona Parsons. A student program with Sidney Zoltak gathered over 400 students from several schools to hear his first hand testimony. HEW programs were extremely well attended, often to capacity, and attracted a diverse audience. In addition a total outreach to over 1800 students included schools from across the Halifax Regional Municipality as well as Hants County via buses sponsored by The Azrieli Foundation. The contributions of our local community partners were instrumental in Holocaust Education Week’s success and were greatly appreciated: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax Central Library, University of King’s College, Alliance Française, Menemsha Films and Prince Andrew High School. Please see page 18 from more information on HEW. The 2nd Atlantic Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) opened November 12th in Cineplex Theatres, Halifax, to a full house. This past year I had the pleasure to work with a dedicated committee chaired by Lynn Rotin, and members Phil and Rosalind Belitsky, Linda Law, Anna Pekelny, Jo-Anne Nozick, Karen Traves and Peggy Walt. Building on last year’s success the committee worked to strengthen the infrastructure for the AJFF as annual event. I truly appreciated the commitment and professionalism of the committee Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
members, as well as all the volunteers. Please see page 23 for highlights from the AJFF and I hope to see you at the next AJFF, November 17-20, 2016! International Human Rights Day, December 10th, was celebrated in Halifax at Citadel High School. The event, co-hosted by Partners for Human Rights, highlighted local inspirational youth performers including a special screening of student film: “Cultural Education, Empowering our Future”. As a member of Partners for Human Rights, we meet monthly with the NS Human Rights Commission to organize events to educate the public. In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th, a program in partnership with the Italian community in Halifax, will be offered to the public. Plans are in process for a summer family Shabbaton at Camp Kadimah. Families are invited to meet newcomers to our region and spend the weekend forming new friendships and celebrating Jewish culture. Details coming soon!
AJFF Gala celebration with Alina Liberman and Michael Livshits.
The Atlantic Jewish Foundation: Scholarships & Bursaries for 2016 All applications must be received by April 30th, 2016 The Noa & Sarah Heinish Scholarship Throughout their lives, Noa and Sarah Heinish devoted themselves to the betterment of their community, their house of worship and the state of Israel. Passover of 1943 found Noa and Sarah Assisting in the preparation of a Seder for hundreds of young Jewish servicemen stationed in Halifax before shipping out to Europe. At the end of WWII, Noa was one of a group of interpreters who met the ships which brough Holocaust survivors from Europe to the shores of Halifax. Speaking in Yiddish, he helped them transfer to the trains which took them to family members waiting their arrival in Upper Canada. Noa Heinish was one of the founders of Shaar Shalom Congregation and served as its first president. Together with Sarah they lent their support to every arm of the congregation. Sarah Heinish was an active member of Women’s League, Hadassah, Neptune Theatre, the Soroptomists and the Nova Scotia Institute for the Blind. Both Noa and Sarah gave generously of their time and resources in the support of Israel Bond drives, United Jewish Appeal, Camp Kadimah and other groups and were leaders in the Canadian Jewish Congress. For many years they operated a successful clothing business on Gottingen Street in downtown Halifax which closed in 1972. To carry on their good works, the Heinish family established the Noa and Sarah Heinish Foundation. This charitable foundation has provided endowments supporting Jewish educational and health care institutions in Canada and Israel. A portion of the funds has been allocated to the Atlantic Jewish Foundation to provide an annual merit scholarship for a student from the Maritime Jewish Community to study in Israel. Dependent upon the vagaries of the market, the scholarship should provide a stipend of one to a maximum of two thousand dollars to the successful recipient. Noa and Sarah Heinish Foundation Trust – One scholarship per year for study in Israel The Miasnik-Rein Trust A limited number of scholarships of $2,000 each are available to worthy students, one or both of whose parents profess the Jewish faith. The scholarship is open to students of the Atlantic Region for the purpose of establishing or continuing exposure to their Jewish heritage by means of study, travel, community service or other suitable means. Miasnik - $2000 each (Maximum 5 scholarships per year) Halifax Endowment Fund (Jayson Greenblatt Bursary) A $500 bursary awarded to Jewish individuals from Atlantic Canada to further Jewish studies in Israel or in the Diaspora. Jayson Greenblatt Bursary - $500 each (Maximum 2 scholarships per year) • Scholarships will be awarded on merit and on the availability of funds. • Priority will be given to first time applicants. • Submitting a scholarship application does not confirm automatic receipt of a scholarship. For further information and applications please contact the Atlantic Jewish Foundation (scholarships and bursaries) in c/o Jon Goldberg, firstname.lastname@example.org Applications are available online from our website: http://theajc.ns.ca/mission-statement/ Page 6
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THE CENTRE FOR ISRAEL & JEWISH AFFAIRS (CIJA)
From the desk of Mark David
CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) Consultant, Advocacy - Atlantic Canada
n 2009, after the organized portion of my trip to Israel concluded, I remained in Israel for a number of days to visit family in Efrat. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law both work in Jerusalem, so I went into the city with them in the morning, wandered around Jerusalem for the day, then met at a pre-arranged place to catch a ride home.
and alleys of the Old City, waited for a bus on a Jerusalem street, been to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, and so on. The direct and personal nature of the violence – individual stabbing individual, or deliberately running people down with a vehicle – is chilling. Once again, citizens of Israel are on the front lines, though in a much different manner than the missile attacks from Hamas or Hezbollah.
On the last day of my trip, I wanted to make one last visit to the Kotel. I arranged to meet my brother-in-law at Zion Gate, as I had also wanted to try to go to Oskar Schindler’s grave, which is located nearby.
So I sit thousands of miles from Israel, and I worry for my family, friends, and all Israelis. And I wonder what Israel should do, and what I (and we) can do.
In any event, I was footloose and fancyfree as I walked confidently through the Arab Quarter of the Old City on the way to the Kotel. Perhaps paying too much attention to the music in my earbuds, I missed a turn somewhere, and ended up walking past a lone Arab guard and (unknown to me) toward an entrance to the Temple Mount. I guess I somehow heard his calls over my music, and turned to see him waving me back as two Israeli police officers hustled toward me to make sure I did not go any further. Now turned in the right direction, I easily reached the Kotel, said a variety of prayers, then proceeded to meet my brother in law at Zion Gate (the cemetery with Schindler’s grave was closed). I jokingly told him how I had nearly started an international incident.
Social media is full of commentaries and suggestions about how Israel should respond. I have to admit to my own very visceral notions in that regard, but try to quickly dismiss them. The Israeli Government and security forces will figure it out, and they certainly do not need my help in that respect. And there are numerous positive ways that we can help from abroad – and if we all do them together, the overall effect will be disproportionately greater. We have to make sure that we know the facts, whether regarding the situation in general or a specific terror attack. For
example, the assertion that the Israeli Government intends to change the status quo regarding the Temple Mount is patently absurd - Prime Minister Netanyahu has even gone so far as to ban entry to the Temple Mount by all non-Muslim politicians. Then we can educate our friends, especially in the wider community, about the incitement emanating from the very pinnacle of the Palestinian Authority, that incitement causes terrorism, which destroys Israeli and Palestinian lives, as well as hopes for peace. We can use social media to support our friends and family in Israel, as well as Israel’s leaders. We can challenge the media, which often has not exactly distinguished itself with its ridiculously biased and misleading reports. For other action points, refer to CIJA’s website. Whatever we do, we cannot stand by silently in the face of incitement and violence, especially from the safety of Canada. It’s time to make our voices heard. To quote the famous Jewish teacher Hillel from the Pirkei Avot (the Ethics of the Fathers): ““If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
Things are not so light-hearted today. Like so many others, I am appalled and heartbroken about the wave of violence being perpetrated against Israelis. The violence resonates more deeply and is more tangible because I have been to so many of the places where these brutal attacks have occurred – I have walked aimlessly through the streets Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
A Safe Space Where Passions Glow by Arielle Branitsky, Director Hillel Atlantic Canada
HaShana dinner that coming semester, welcomed 75 students our programs will in to the newly reflect the passions renovated Bayit. This of those that create amazing reach carried them. An example over in to welcome of this is Challah for BBQs, bi-weekly Halifax, a project Shabbat dinners, that some of our Havdallah gatherings, students are excited and opportunities to to launch after a just “hang-out” together. few months of preparation. Inspired by For Chanukkah we Challah for Hunger, the project brings teamed up with King’s students together to bake challah while College and hosted learning about hunger issues in our candle-lighting nightly community. The proceeds raised from Jordan Kerbel, CIJA, speaks to students. on campus. Students challah sales will go to Feed Nova Scotia. his semester was all about gathered to say the In the coming semester we look forward space: finding it, using it, blessings, eat latkes, gelt, and sufganiyot, to bringing all of our students together filling it, and creating it. Our spin some dreidels, and learn students shared the important role about our holiday of lights. the space created by Hillel plays in Equally important to providing their lives. As a minority on campus, safe spaces, is being able they expressed an appreciation for to create this space too. A a space where they could be Jewish highlight of our Israel on free from the pressure to represent Campus programming this our religion and culture or answer semester was bringing Dylan questions about it. Having heard Hanley and Jordan Kerbel of this sentiment from many students, CIJA to Halifax for two sessions Hillel decided to make it our priority dedicated to Israel advocacy. to focus on the creation of that Dylan taught students about “safe” space and make sure there was some the key issues and topics Students enjoy celebrating Chanukah. plenty of access to it. related to defending Israel on
Our semester kicked off with a Rosh
campus. Jordan coached student leaders in issues related to speaking with media and how to craft accurate messages about Israel for the campus community. We will continue to think about our offering of spaces in Halifax and around the region for the semester to come. In addition, students are being encouraged to fill our space with their passion. Throughout the
Students promote Hillel on campus.
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for a leadership retreat, hosting engaging and inspiring guests on campus, and engaging many more students with Jewish life on campus, through relevant discussions and Multi-faith initiatives. Please encourage any students you know to like “Hillel Halifax” and “Israel on Campus Dalhousie” on Facebook to stay up to date on our program offerings. Students outside of Halifax should reach out to be connected with their campus communities and apply for programming grants. We’re excited to fill our spaces with passion in 2016. Happy New Year!
Mordechai Kedar on tour across Canada by Joel Jacobson
he new intifada in Israel through the last several weeks is nothing but a link in a long chain of Jihad vs Israel and Jews, Mordechai Kedar told a dozen Jewish community leaders in Halifax. The assistant professor from Bar-Ilan University was concluding a Canadian speaking tour that took him to Regina and several Ontario centres, including Toronto, Kitchener and Hamilton. He’s considered an academic expert on the Israeli-Arab population and is a researcher in Islam, Islamic movements and gender issues, Arabic mass media and popular culture in the Arab world.
community interpreted itself – images of Arabs holding Jews at bay with their knives and depicting triumph over Jews, with drawings of the Temple Mount in the background. Photographs that appeared in media and on line displayed signs at funerals of their martyrs stating “Killing brings us closer to Allah” and “Killing of Zionists is part of the worship of Allah.”
“There is nothing different today than decades ago but this is not at the level of mass killing of the intifada of say, 14 years ago, when buses were blown up, causing a massive number of casualties. Today, the knife is fashionable because of the way ISIS uses it.”
“These are disseminated by the mass media and social media,” said Kedar. “It is a Holy War but Israeli Jews who are without religion in their daily lives can’t understand a Holy War. They attribute the attacks on Jews and the hatred of Jews on economics, human rights and other issues.”
Fluent in English, Hebrew and Arabic, the 1998 PhD graduate from Bar-Ilan showed a series of Arab pictures and political cartoons stressing how that
He admitted there were educated, modern Arabs who would live in peace and recognize Israel as a state but they are not violent people.
“However, in every encounter between violent and non-violent groups, the violent always prevail….and the foundation is religion.” He stressed Israel’s story of success, how Israel became a nation, its (Hebrew) language renewed, and a modern, democratic country emerged with the longest life-expectancy in the region. “In every criteria, Israel is a story of great success,” he noted. “The Arabs hate each other, kill each other. They envy us and they hate us. “Arab countries think that if you project power and the readiness to use it, people won’t mess with you. That is their mindset. If you’re perceived to beg for peace, you’re disrespected, humiliated, subjugated. But we know that when peace is resolved, you’re respected.” He concluded that the support Israel has within its borders and from democratic nations throughout the world gives it the power. Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Jewish News
Supporting Partnership2Gether Send a Partnership2Gether Gift Card to Celebrate: Births, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, Graduations, Weddings, Anniversaries, Grandchildren, Promotions, Retirements and more!
Help support these wonderful, valuable projects in Northern Israel To purchase your cards call the UJA of Atlantic Canada Office.
Tel: (902) 422-7491 ext 224 Visa, Cheque & Cash accepted. Tax receipts issued for gifts of $10.00 or more. Partnership2Gether is a project of United Jewish Appeal of Atlantic Canada Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Partnership2Gether by Karen and Howard Conter Canada and Etzbah HaGalil, to foster a love of Israel and a commitment to Jewish Peoplehood, and to promote the mutual well-being of our communities”. We focus mostly in the areas healthcare, education and youth at risk.
Karen and Howard Conter
his past November we had the opportunity to travel to Israel and attend UIA’s P2G (Partnership Together) meetings in the Upper Galilee. We have been members of the Coast-to-Coast committee and have represented Atlantic Canada, along with Kathy and Arthur Zilbert, for a number of years. This CTC group partners with five communities in Israel’s north (Metulla, Mervot Hermon, Kiryat Shermona, Galil Elyon Regional Council and Yessod H’ma’ala).
This year we visited projects that have been funded over the last few years by Atlantic Canadians, including a new computer lab at an Robotics Class at Emeq HaChula High School elementary school our regional high schools. Students and in Metulla funded teachers designed this project to improve by the generosity of the Ross family their skills in engineering, math and and another computer lab at Korazim physics. By funding this project we hope Regional School generously donated to increase the level of education in the by Rena Webber in memory of her late whole region. husband.
We had the opportunity to discuss with our Israeli partners future projects in the region that will benefit the whole This partnership’s mission is to: “build of Etzbah HaGalil. One such project and strengthen relationships between the was a ROBOTICS initiative in one of people and communities of Coast to Coast
Ross Computer Lab, donated by Norman Ross and family
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We were told that the Sidney Warren Science Lab at Tel Hai College (another Atlantic Canadian funded project) is being used as a model for fifteen other science programs throughout the whole country. Prior to the Sidney Warren Science Lab, only four students from the area completed their high school matriculation in science. In the last year alone ninety students have attained this level of recognition. Partnership has proven to be one of the most important programs offered to Atlantic Canada by UIA. Atlantic Canada has certainly been a huge player in the success of P2G. We are always looking to expand our level of involvement and would welcome any and all new participants in Coast to
Computers at the school were generously donated by Rena Webber in memory of her late husband Arnold Webber
Coast from Atlantic Canada. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for us and we would love to share this with others. The friendships we have made with other Coast-to –Coast communities across Canada and our Israeli partnerships will be life long! In the future we look forward to
funding many more important projects that will enrich the lives of the people of our region in Northern Israel. These future projects include new day care centers, scholarship programs in music and dance, adult day care centers, upgrading of elementary and
high school computer equipment and of course, bring CIT’s to Camp Kadimah to experience a Canadian summer with our youth. With the help of all Atlantic Canadians’ participation in our annual UIA Campaign you too can be a part of this wonderful partnership.
Coast to Coast Partnership2Gether by Kathy Zilbert
ast year Atlantic Canada funded a High Priority Project from our Coast to Coast partnership. This project included sound equipment for studios and the auditorium of the Clore Centre. It also included scholarship funds for students in need. These funds were made possible from the interest earned on the Barbara Newman Fund. The Clore Centre, located in Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee Regional Council, has over 600 students, from
Dance studio at the Clore Centre
young children to high school students, and 40 staff. It offers high quality instruction in music and dance. On
Auditorium at the Clore Centre
our recent visit to Israel we were entertained by one of the instrumental groups impressing the members of the P2G group with their talents and enthusiasm. I also had the privilege of visiting the Clore Centre seeing all of the new sound equipment in use and observing a number of classes of music and dance in session. The Clore Centre is a very impressive centre which adds greatly to the cultural life of the young people in our partnership region. It was a pleasure to be there and witness first-hand the results of another gift from our region.
Students performing at the Clore Centre
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Camp Kadimah Update
by Phil David, Executive Director, Camp Kadimah
check the Camp website daily and take note of the countdown clock which reminds me constantly when 250+ campers will cross the threshold from the outside world to the magical one inside the Kadimah gates. We are less than 180 days away – 6 short months. In the blink of an eye, the tiny hamlet of Barss Corner will be transformed into the Kadimah Experience for a 74th season. So in a normally slow news period from a camp perspective, I thought I’d share some observations after 18 months in the role and hope that someone other than my mom in Sydney will read on! Is there value in being a staff member at Kadimah? With camper registration well underway and our enrolment looking quite positive for 2016, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing close to 100 staff candidates since early November from across Canada, the US and overseas. I am struck by an interesting pattern.
the corporate world before returning to Kadimah, I can say with full confidence, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”.
employment decision, I always implore them (and their parents) to take a step back, reflect on their goals and conduct I admit I am in the business of selling the the due diligence that will help them concept of working at Kadimah to a group make an informed choice as to whether of teenagers and early 20-somethings for a return to Kadimah vs. performing a job that offers average pay, but a deeply potentially menial tasks at a downtown office is better for their development and rich experience! The quality of staff we long-term employability. There was a time hire is paramount – and while this may seem obvious – formal camping research in my own youth when I chose the latter, but knowing what I now know, the former clearly indicates that the relationship a camper develops with his/her counsellors can be so much more valuable in the longer term. is one of the most influential factors impacting their Kadimah experience and Maritimes’ Staffing in turn, their desire to return and how We are excited to welcome our rookie they advocate for Kadimah with their Maritimes’ staff for 2016 including Hiyam own friends. Gedalia, Yael Gazit, Yan Khodorkovsky, Summers at camp move at warp speed – so fast that our staff may lose sight of the important life skills they organically master each season - teamwork, people management, time management, public speaking, communication acumen, relationship building. And the list goes on. Through a series of real life experiences our counsellors deal with every single day, the knowledge they are gaining – often without realizing it – will pay off infinitely when they are leading their own team in the ‘real world’ years from now – whether it’s in the corner office, a courtroom, an operating room or a classroom.
First, their accomplishments by age 18 are plentiful and inspiring, much greater than my generation. These soon-to-be adults are deeply involved in a number of clubs and volunteer activities - and not just as participants, but as leaders. It is quite impressive to hear their stories and even more impressive how personally important it is for them to contribute back I’ve had many 30-something Kadimah to their community. Tikkun Olam at its alumni tell me they learned most of these best. intangible skills at camp, rather than at university or even as rookies in the Second, they are very aware of what is workplace. And I’ve been told repeatedly, on their resume as they prepare for the they didn’t start taking on true leadership next stage in their life – whether that is undergrad, professional school or the “real roles in their professional careers until their late 20’s at best and usually in their world”. The question comes up always, early 30’s – skills they were learning as “I love Kadimah, but is working at camp 18-22 year olds during their Kadimah staff going to help me?”. days. I am sure I asked the same question at So when I speak with prospective staff that age. Now, after 25 years toiling in who are struggling with their summer Page 12
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Lola Leving and David Myer. Welcome aboard! We will be announcing our returning bunk staff and specialists in the Spring issue of Shalom. And we are proud to welcome head staff from the region including Shael Brown (returning as Giborim Section Head); Peter Svidler (Goshrim Section Head); Robyn Budovitch (S’gan Rosh Machar) and former Section Head, Maya Budovitch. who will take on a newly created senior role - Camper Care Leader - working closely on a team with Paula Gaum Lipkus (MSW), the Assistant Director of Camper Care (and we should add, daughter of Sydney native, Larry Gaum, and daughter-in-law of Sheldon and Genevieve Lipkus from Halifax). Maya and Robyn are both prior winners of the prestigious Peter Stone Award (given annually to our top counsellor). We sat down with them recently to get their take on Kadimah’s importance and role in their life. Maya, how has attending Camp Kadimah helped prepare you for university and your career after you graduate? “Kadimah has played an instrumental role in shaping who I am today. The experience
We are excited to welcome Maya and Robyn back to camp along with all our Maritimes’ based staff, some of whom we will hear from in future Shalom articles.
of being a counselor and section head was invaluable; it has absolutely prepared me to handle difficult situations and any challenges I have faced outside of camp. Camp has allowed me to develop a variety of skills that have helped me in successfully navigating the working world and university. Some of these include: leadership abilities, public speaking, working with others, and knowing what it’s like to care for others and genuinely love what you do. I would definitely credit my experience at Camp Kadimah for allowing me to gain these skills and develop self-efficacy in accomplishing anything.” Robyn, being from a smaller Jewish community like Halifax vs. a big city like Toronto, how has attending Camp Kadimah helped shape your Jewish identity? “I can confidently say that Camp Kadimah is the defining feature of my Jewish identity. Over the past 13 summers, I have felt encouraged to be proud of my religion and to always embrace this important aspect of my life. Camp has allowed me to discover and learn about Judaism through the unique Zionistic experience our camp provides. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to develop many associations with
other Kadimahniks which has allowed me to learn about and appreciate my Jewish identity. I will always be indebted to Kadimah for not only the incredible Jewish experience it has provided me with, but for shaping the person I am today.”
study called Consumer Satisfaction Insight, sponsored by New York based camping advocacy group, “Foundation for Jewish Camp”.
On several key satisfaction measurements, we excelled and actually surpassed both Canadian and American averages. The chart below will Camping Research demonstrate our amazing performance in We take a lot of pride in Kadimah’s performance in the 2015 rendition of the two key measures which best represent North American Jewish camping research customer satisfaction and enjoyability: “Likelihood to recommend Kadimah to a family member of friend” and “Likelihood to return to camp”. As you can see, Kadimah finished well above the average for both Canadian and US camps. Source: 2015 Consumer Satisfaction Insight Study, Top Box Score. Sponsored by Foundation for Jewish Camp
A Taste of Camp Many prospective parents have asked whether it’s possible to spend time at Kadimah in advance of sending their young children to camp for one of our formal stay-over programs. The answer is ‘yes’. There are really two key opportunities. On Visiting Day (July 24), camp opens its gates from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to welcome continued on page 14 Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
CAMP KADIMAH continued from page 13 parents, friends and alumni. It’s a great opportunity to see the camp up close and personal and sample many of our programs like swimming, boating and Arts & Crafts.
But Pre-Gibbie Day is the best option. On Tuesday, July 26, we will be running our annual Pre-Gibbie Day program – welcoming parents and children aged 6 to 9 who are interested in attending camp in 2017 or 2018 to experience a day in the life of a Kadimah Gibbie. Pre-Gibbie Day runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you are interested or have friends or family who would like to join us, please reach out to the camp office by emailing us at info@ campkadimah.com.
Pre-Visitors Day Party (July 23) For parents of Kadimah, 2016 campers, don’t forget about our annual PreVisiting Day party to be held again at the Seaport Farmer’s Market on the Halifax waterfront (1209 Marginal Road). The
gathering runs from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. and it’s a great chance to catch up with old friends before heading to camp the next morning. Meet your kids’ Section Heads between 7:30-8:30 p.m. and don’t forget to sample Camp Kadimah’s famous chocolate chip cookies!
80s. However, Kadimah was around for 30 years before I stepped foot in Barss Corner and for a piece of that history, I refer back to the 50th Anniversary yearbook and stories I heard when I lived in the home of Jack and Barbie Yablon for 3 Springs while working in the AJC’s camp office in the 80’s between classes ending at Dal and the start of camp.
Most of us are aware that Kadimah was founded in 1943, first on a rented site in Port Mouton near Liverpool for Kadimah’s inaugural season – and then in 1945, on the site Kadimah sits on to this day. But did you know that 2016 marks the 70th anniversary since Kadimah’s land was actually purchased from the Delong family for the princely sum of $10,000!. Did you know? That was the first year enrolment broke As an older statesman at Kadimah, I often 100 with more than 50 kids coming from get asked by campers what camp was like Halifax and 41 from Cape Breton alone! when it was founded in 1943! To their The cost to attend the 4 week session was amazement, I wasn’t close to being born $100 and staff were paid $25, plus room but I am always excited to talk about the and board of course. Our signature event history I’m most aware of in the 70’s and to this day, Maccabia, got its start in 1946 Did you know that Camp Kadimah is available for Group Rentals. Before and after our core summer season, if your company, school, association or organization is interested in booking a week or weekend between mid-May to early October, please contact me for more details.
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
CAMP KADIMAH and the Director of the day declared in his final report that it should be considered as a permanent camp event. And here we are, close to 300 banners later, and it still is!
day’ to share stories we can’t read about.
Kadimah 2016 Registration
Registration is continuing for Kadimah 2016. If you are interested and haven’t already done so, please visit our website We’ll share more history in future articles to submit your application now (www.campkadimah.com). but I’m always happy to hear from our Alumni who were around back in ‘the And to our Alumni…you are by far our
Jessica Pink & Bessie Lecker Evans at the Chanukah Party
biggest advocates and marketers. If you have friends or family with kids of camp age, please continue to remind them about our wonderful camp on the shores of Lake William. Enjoy your winter. I look forward to providing a Kadimah update in the Spring as we close in on Season No. 74.
Darah Ross and alumni dad, Derek, lighting the Chanukah candles
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
An Attack by an Anti-Zionist Bully by Henry Srebrnik
eaders of the Charlottetown Guardian on Prince Edward Island, the largest newspaper in the province, are aware that I was the victim of unremitting attacks for some six weeks from September to November by one Richard L. Deaton, who recently retired to Stanley Bridge, PEI after a career as a trade union official in Ottawa with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
replace it with a non-Jewish state. He has been involved with many other anti-Israeli and radical pro-Palestinian groups.
Apart from my teaching and scholarship, I write (unpaid) opeds for the paper, on a variety of issues and countries. In a Guardian article entitled “Hear No Evil, see no Evil,” published Sept. 21, Deaton publically attacked me, out of the blue, for NOT writing critical articles about Israel.
Deaton makes things up out of thin air – in one screed, “Smoke and Mirrors Sticks and Stones,” published Oct. 1, he smeared me by seeming to imply that I was similar to “learned rabbis” (his words) who allegedly said it was fine to kill Palestinian babies because their lives were worth less than those of Israelis. These are tactics worthy of Joe McCarthy.
He launched the attack on me because I am Jewish, and it appears essential to him to insist that any Jew who writes for publication must prove he is a “good” Jew by attacking Israel: otherwise, why did he single me out in his initial attack? What differentiates me from any other regular contributor to the Guardian?
The “certain academics” refers, of course, to me (despite it being plural). But how does Deaton know what I think of Dyer’s article? So he was again attacking me for what I have NOT written. He congratulated the newspaper for being brave enough to publish the article – though Dyer is a syndicated columnist who appears in the Guardian regularly – because in Deaton’s fevered imagination, an all-powerful Zionist cabal tries to prevent anyone from speaking out against Israeli policies. Deaton called me a “right-wing Zionist,” for him a term of opprobrium, of course. It simply refers to anyone not as antiIsraeli as he is.
Deaton has also made light of the Holocaust, stating that the fact that “When it comes to Israel, Professor my parents were survivors of a Nazi Srebrnik’s silences are deafening,” he concentration camp in Poland to be wrote. He listed, among others, my soIn that same piece, he also castigated me nothing special, since millions of other called “silences” regarding the nuclear for my choice of topics. “Are the politics people died during the war (“The Big Lie deal with Iran; the death of a Palestinian of Upper Volta or Outer Mongolia really and Sounds of Silence,” Oct. 15). boy; Israel doing nothing to help more important? If Srebrnik really Like others of that ilk, he always claims Syrian refugees; and not mentioning thinks so, then he takes the readers of that the “Zionist lobby” tries to silence Jimmy Carter’s book accusing Israel of this newspaper for fools.” people like him – though he seems to “apartheid.” He targeted me personally – he wrote in have carte blanche at the Guardian and “Given these examples, we are entitled “The Big Lie and Sounds of Silence,” Oct. elsewhere and has no trouble publishing to ask whether Professor Srebrnik is a 15, that “Henry’s C.V. is available on line, his tirades. pitchman for Israel. Has he ever written including the fact that he studied at a The past president of the PEI Jewish an article critical of Israel?,” Deaton well-known U.S. Jewish university” (for community, Leo Mednick, complained concluded. the record, I got one of my four degrees in a letter to the editor protesting Actually, I have written articles at Brandeis University near Boston) Deaton’s callous remarks concerning the criticizing Israel, but not, of course, to – as if this were obviously something Holocaust, but he, on the other hand, the point of recommending that the shameful. was not published. state be destroyed. In a letter to the editor in the Guardian, Mednick also alerted the community Deaton, on the other hand, would prefer “Dyer Speaks Out in Critical Article,” about Deaton: “He has a history of this. He mentioned that he belongs to Nov. 2, referring to an article by writing very hostile articles about Israel Independent Jewish Voices, a supporter journalist Gwynne Dyer regarding and lately he has turned his nastiness of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Israel published by the paper a few days against a member of our community Sanctions) movement, which seeks earlier, Deaton sneered that “certain Henry Srebrnik because Henry does not to weaken Israel economically and academics will begin their usual chorus choose to write against Israeli policies. politically, as a means to eventually of yelling ‘Wolf’, or ‘anti-Semite.’” Page 16
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It is important that we support Henry as Indeed, Deaton himself comes from well as not sit by and let Richard Deaton anti-Zionist “royalty.” His father, Alvin become the voice for our community.” W. Gouldner, was a prominent American sociologist at Washington University Deaton is Jewish by birth, and is one in St. Louis. He earlier taught at the of those people who claim Zionism is a perversion of “true” Judaism. In reality, University of Illinois and at Antioch College in Ohio. he has minimal Jewish education and does not participate in any of the very Deaton describes this background in small PEI Jewish community’s activities. the foreword to the book Confronting Gouldner: Sociology and Political Deaton has written that he had no Activism, by James J. Chriss, published Jewish education as a child, that the family did not observe Jewish holidays, earlier this year. Deaton called his father an “angry outsider and intellectual and that he had not had a bar mitzvah. street fighter” who was both “feared In fact, they used to have a Christmas tree. He only parades his Jewishness to and respected.” The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology, published in 1970, demonstrate that he therefore “can’t be an anti-Semite.” was his major work.
Native New Yorkers, both Gouldner and his first wife were members of the American Communist Party until the 1950s. I mention this because the CP throughout almost all of its history was a staunch opponent of a Jewish state in what became Israel. While Deaton, who himself has a PhD in sociology and a law degree, had a famous academic father, my parents were in Nazi concentration camps in Poland, and later poor immigrants in Montreal, not on university campuses, during the same period. Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island.
H eH r ee r e T H eTrH eere With law offices across Atlantic Canada, we are where you need us. With law offices across Atlantic Canada, we are where you need us.
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Holocaust Education Week in Halifax by Joel Jacobson
ate Leipciger has this audience in the palms of his hands.
It’s evident the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor has told this story many times before as he walks leisurely in front of more than 200 people assembled for the opening event of Holocaust Education Week in Halifax. He speaks emotionally, carefully and in fluent clear English about his experience as a young Polish teen living, no, existing, through almost two years of horror under the Nazi regime of World War II. “You could only hang onto hope,” he says to an audience estimated at more than half gentile. “It was the only survival mechanism.”
Sidney Zoltak, Holocaust survivor, shared his story at the closing Kristallnacht commemoration, pictured with Dalhousie University student Shael Brown who spoke about the meaning of Kristallnacht.
He stressed the importance of telling his story which he has also put into book form. “The Weight of Freedom” is a 280page production, one of 62 productions of the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Memoirs of Canadian survivors.
put on a cattle car and delivered “to the middle of nowhere. I was tattooed (#133628) which meant I was going to a concentration camp. Those not tattooed were taken to the gas chambers at once. “
“It’s important to tell the story. There are six million stories and we (the survivors) have to talk for them,” Leipciger says.
His father, Jacob, and Nate were spared. His mother and sister were taken away, never seen by Jacob and Nate again.
Leipciger, in Halifax with his wife, three daughters, their spouses, and a couple of his grandchildren, headed a week of education that drew large numbers to two films, a French presentation and guest lecturer Rabbi Claudio KasierBlueth, retired from a pulpit in Victoria BC discussing reconciliation between the church and the synagogue.
He paused, then stressed again, “We can’t be silent, as individuals and as a nation. We all have a voice. Anyone of us can do something. We’re responsible to our fellow man.”
The week concluded Sunday (November 8) with the Anniversary of Kristallnacht. Holocaust survivor Sidney Zoltak of Montreal, a Polish boy saved by Christians in his home town, was guest speaker. Leipciger told how, as a 15-year-old in 1943, he was taken, with his family, from their quiet home in Chorzow, Poland, Page 18
Within three days, the Americans liberated them “and we had a restoration of life.” He eventually arrived in Canada, with his father, and completed his Grade 12 education, devotedly learning English, with difficulty, so he could find a trade. He worked part time jobs, applied to and graduated from University of Toronto with an engineering degree. He and wife Bernice have been happily married for 61 years.
He worked for others, then, with two partners started his own firm which This vibrant man, his voice strong, says he existed in Auschwitz and other camps became very successful. Today, he’s retired but his daughter, Lisa Pinkus, until January 1945 when his camp was evacuated – so its inhabitants could go on runs the firm, now a division of SNC a five-day 140 km death march, with only Lavalin. a half a loaf of bread and no water. Leipciger, with three daughters and nine grandchildren, may be retired from daily Many died en route. By April, he said to work but he’s an annual leader of March his father, Jacob, who had miraculously of the Living. He speaks often to schools survived with Nate, “I can’t go on. I’d and other groups about his Holocaust rather be shot right now, than die at the experience. roadside.” His father urged him forward. “You can’t give up hope now,” he said. Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
“When he first told me his story, I didn’t believe him,” says Bernice, who was 17
at the time. “He suggested I read books he recommended to me, and I did. I understood very quickly.”
Zoltak concluded his remarks by saying, “I worry about deniers, distortion of historical facts once we survivors are gone and can no longer speak the truth. There is a significant responsibility for future generations to make sure the world never forgets the Holocaust.”
She says Nate would have nightmares after speaking out “but he wanted the world to know. It’s his mandate. He feels he has to do this.”
Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Jewish News
Zoltak, 83, who came through Pier 21 in Halifax to Montreal in May 1948, became a successful insurance broker. He spoke of his return to Poland in 1997 to thank the Catholic family who saved him and his family. He wanted to present them with the Righteous Among Nations medal for protecting Jews during the war but they refused, still afraid of anti-semitic reprisals all those years later. “Finally in 2011, they accepted it, but only before a very small gathering at the Israeli Embassy in Poland,” he says. He notes the world has learned little in the last 80 years. Governments don’t speak loudly enough. Children have to be taught, by their parents, that hate is
Edna LeVine, AJC director of community engagement, left, with Elin Beaumont, Educational Outreach and Events Coordinator at the Azrieli Foundation, who co-sponsored the opening Holocaust Education Week program and published the memoirs of Holocaust survivor Nate Leipciger (seated).
never right, l.ove is never wrong. Both Zoltak and Leipciger spread that message to school groups during their Halifax visit.
Sidney Zoltak, left, pictured with Polish Honourary Consul Jan Skora.
‘ISRAEL’S NATION BUILDING UNIVERSITY’
A donation in support of Ben-Gurion University is a statement of commitment to innovative research and to the development of a strong and thriving Negev. Contact the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University to find out about matching your interest with one of our many funding opportunities. Donations can be made as one time payments or as monthly installments and can be designated in honour of or in memory of a loved one.
TO DONATE, SUPPORT CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH, MAKE A BEQUEST OR SEND A TRIBUTE CARD CONTACT: Jonathan Allen, Executive Director, Ontario & Atlantic Canada 1000 Finch Avenue West # 506, Toronto, ON M3J 2V5 Tel: 416-665-0854 Fax: 416-665-8055 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bengurion.ca
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX
The Honourable Myra Freeman, left, speaks with Janice Jackson, new music soprano, Vocalypse Productions, after her outstanding performance of Escape to Freedom, at the closing Holocaust Education Week program, Kristallnacht commemoration.
Minister Tony Ince, Communities, Culture and Heritage attend the International Human Rights Day program at Citadel High School, pictured with, l to r, Partners for Human Rights organizing committee co-chair Floria Aghdamimehr, Edna LeVine, AJC representative on the committee and Partner co-chair Tracey Thomas.
Photo Credit: Genadi Shpoker
Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
Steven S. Giegerich, left, Consul General of the United States of America in Halifax attended the closing program of Holocaust Education Week, pictured with Honorary Consuls, l to r: Jan Skora, Poland; John Olaf Soosaar, Estonia; Jose Carlos Pena Vila, Brazil and Suzanne Rix, Germany.
Holocaust survivor Nate Leipciger, signs a copy Natan Nevo, at the opening of Holocaust Educatio copy of Weight of Fre
Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Mendy Feldman hosts the menorah lighting at City Hall, pictured with, r to l, Judith Goldberg, Mayor Mike Savage, Lean Diab, MLA and The Honorable Myra Freeman.
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Anna Pekelny, AJFF committee member, celebrates at the gala with baby Asher and Maxim Hazankin.
AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX
The Words and Deeds Dinner honouring the three Asper children who so ably carry on their parentsâ€™ legacy of philanthropy and personal commitment; both large and small. Judith, 2nd from right, and Victor Goldberg, far left, are joined by Gail Asper, centre, her husband Michael Patterson and the Duboffs. This was a night to remember. Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
of his memoirs, The Weight of Freedom, for Holocaust survivor on Week. All members of the audience received a complimentary eedom from the Azrieli Foundation.
Lisa Baida, centre, at the AJFF Gala with Tanya Svidler, left, and Svetlana Ratchinski. Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
Andy Fillmore, MP Halifax, attend the closing program of Holocaust Education Week, featuring a presentation of Lullaby, by Andrew David Terris, left, artist/videographer, ARTS NOVA Productions and Simon Docking, right, Australian-born pianist.
Arthur and Kathy Zilbert, right, enjoy the festivities at the Atlantic Jewish Film Festival Gala celebration.
Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
Special guest Dr. Norma Joseph, Concordia University, 2nd from right, spoke at the closing AJFF film, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, picture with AJFF committee members from l to r, Lynn Rotin, Karen Traves and Peggy Walt.
Enjoying the AJFF gala celebration, film festival volunteer Charlie Campbell with Sharon Waxman, left, and Molly Rechnitzer, right.
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX
Beth Israel Synagogue celebrates 125 years by Joel Jacobson
three-day celebration in late October brought out scores of Beth Israelites – current members of the Halifax orthodox shul, plus many past members from away and others who just wanted to be part of the festivities.
whole Halifax Jewish community receives from the services and facilities we provide.”
each and every stone on the Beth Israel website, were also feted.
At the Shabbat dinner, former Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor, the Honorable Myra Freeman, recalled memories of the congregation and talked of its future in a 20-minute address that captivated the audience of more than 160. Several past presidents of the shul and sisterhood were recognized for their contributions.
All four honorees have also served extensively on the Board of Governors.
The Three Cantors Concert Sunday evening, brought together three men with deep Halifax roots. They entertained more than A Shabbat dinner, Shabbat Kiddush and gala 200 in the sanctuary in a rousing celebration three cantors concert highlighted the 125th of Jewish and secular music, generating anniversary of the oldest congregation in loud applause, standing ovations and postAtlantic Canada. Saturday’s Kiddush was highlighted with event kudos from the eclectic audience. It was 125 years ago, in 1890, when the Beth honours to four congregants who have given Mo Glazman, Halifax-raised and educated, Israel’s founding body, the Baron de Hirsch much to the membership. is now Senior Cantor at New York’s Central Hebrew Benevolent Society, was formed by Chief Gabbi Irwin Mendleson, one of those a small number of Jews in the Nova Scotia recognized, struggles to assemble 10 men for Synagogue. Tibor Kovari, hazzan and music capital. By 1894, it had its own synagogue, director at Toronto’s Beth Tikvah Synagogue, daily morning minyan. He says, however, in a revamped church, which stood until “I’ve seen the importance of keeping our held his first cantorial post and teaching leveled by the Halifax Explosion in 1917. traditions going. I see how members, and experience in Canada, after emigrating from Three years later, a new synagogue was the many visitors who come to our doors, Romania, at the Beth Israel. built on Robie Street in central Halifax that need a minyan to say Kaddish and how Ede Berkovits, a Montrealer, did postrewarding it is for us to be there for them.” lasted until 1957 when growing numbers graduate music work at Dalhousie determined a larger, more modern building When he’s forced to miss a daily service, the University in Halifax and part-time cantorial was needed. The south-end Halifax shul, on still-practicing doctor of optometry says, “I duties at the Beth. He met and married his Oxford Street near Dalhousie University, is feel guilty if I’m not there, as though I’m wife, Roz (Webber) in Halifax and recently now 58 years old, and remains very active. letting someone down.” returned to be cantor on holidays and Membership through the first half of the He laughs. “Thank goodness some of the special occasions. 20th century mushroomed from 118 in 1901 wives kick their husbands before 7:30 in the Despite dwindling membership, common to to 1,089 (more than 225 member families) in morning for services.” many shuls across Canada and particularly 1961. Today, there are less than 100 member Terry Israel, a devoted morning in smaller communities, Zatzman declares, families, but the Orthodox shul continues to minyannaire who prepares breakfast “Our responsibility is to strive for openness be the only one east of Montreal with daily each day for his fellow attendees, Mindy minyans and active programs. and inclusivity, recognition and acceptance Jacobson, a long-time Chevra Kadisha of differences in the needs, desires and President Steven Zatzman, a Halifax lawyer, participants and chair of the women’s says “our community has changed over time committee, plus co-coordinator of the shul’s diversity within our Jewish Community so we may strengthen the Baron de Hirsch and dramatic changes are continuing to gift shop for the past 20 years, and Phil Hebrew Benevolent Society as it enters the challenge our congregation yet our legacy Alberstat who, for decades, has kept the to future generations is the enrichment the cemetery in top condition while archiving future with renewed vigor.”
Starr Street Synagogue 1894-1917
Robie Street Synagogue 1920-1957
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Beth Israel Synagogue 1957-Present
AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX - ATLANTIC AROUND OUR JEWISH REGION: FILM FESTIVAL HALIFAX
THANK YOU from the Committee for the Atlantic Jewish Film Festival (AJFF)! The committee for the 2015 AJFF shares the success of last yearâ€™s film festival with you, the members of the Halifax Jewish community. You believed in us. You proved this through your sponsorship of the festival and by advertising in the program. But most importantly, you filled the seats. During four days of select films you laughed and applauded. There were serious moments, too. You ate
and mingled at the Gala Party Saturday evening. Some of you danced.
year proves that there is a place in Halifax for the AJFF.
The festival weekend was both a gathering of the community and a celebration of our shared Jewish culture. But it was also a way to introduce this culture of ours to the larger public through films with Jewish content but universal appeal. This second successful
See you at the AJFF 2016! Lynn Rotin, Chair, 2015 AJFF Committee Phil Belitsky | Rosalind Belitsky | Jon Goldberg | Linda Law | Edna LeVine | Jo-Anne Nozick | Anna Pekelny | Karen Traves | Peggy Walt
Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
Lynn Rotin, left, with opening night special guest Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director, National Center for Jewish Film, Brandeis University.
Mark and Margarita Fainshtein, left, the AJFF gala with Inna Morgulis.
Photo Credit: Sergei Ratchinski
Linda Law, left, Lloyd Newman and Karen Traves at the gala party.
Photo Credit: Revital Israelski
Ronen Israelski, film producer, right, introduced the short film Grandmaâ€™s Stories with Noodle Soup, pictured with, l to r, Edna LeVine, Lynn Rotin, Rosalind and Phil Beliltsky.
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AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX
Gil Hoffman speaks in Halifax by Joel Jacobson
srael Television has called Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent, Gil Hoffman, “the most optimistic man in Israel.” His remarks to a group of community leaders at Chabad House in Halifax (Wednesday) November 18 certainly reflected that as he stressed, “Despite challenges, things are better and better in Israel. In 69 years, it’s never been a better time to raise a family in Israel. I hope and pray even better days are ahead for the people of Israel and the region.” Despite spending time discussing the ills of the region, the threats against Israel from each and every neighbor, and the challenges it faces, Hoffman told his audience, “Helping Israel is EASY – Education (of others about Israel’s strengths), Advocacy (for Israel), Solidarity (of everyone) for Israel and Your money.”
and Columbus OH. When answering audience questions, Chicago-raised Hoffman, who moved to Israel 17 years ago, said new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “will have to change some policies to be taken seriously by Israel and the world. Unfortunately, he supported the Iran nuclear deal, for example.” Hoffman said Canada mattered under former PM Stephen Harper.”He strongly backed Israel. His pro-Israel voice counted in G8 voting. Now Canada is like every other country. Trudeau is taking selfies in Europe. He’ll be on Facebook and that’s nice, but Israel won’t listen to him.”
With a smile, he said the latter would help He talked of the concern of continued Jewish National Fund to continue its good attacks on Israeli citizens. With humor, he work in Israel. JNF is supporting his crossreflected on removing his kippah on the Canada tour speaking tour. street in Jerusalem, “my city”, as a result Hoffman had been in Calgary and of the stabbings. His wife joked with him. Edmonton, was visiting Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB and Moncton, “She said to me, ‘There’s no point (removing it). You look so Jewish, Next NB after Halifax, and then speaking in London, Hamilton, Waterloo and Ottawa, time, take off your nose.’ ” When referring to the threat from ISIS, ON. He had attended a major conference in Washington, DC, plus had engagements Hoffman said ISIS controls land twenty in Tucson AR, Philadelphia, Cincinnati times the size of Israel.
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“Israel’s land was acquired and embellished by (JNF) metal boxes. ISIS acquired its land by another kind of metal.” His remarks covered the threat of Hezbollah (“they have 120,000 rockets ready and aimed at Israel, probably not to be used in the near future, but 30 times what Hamas used in its most recent rocket attacks), the use of distraction by Abbas to retain control of his people in Gaza (“Temple Mount is in danger; the Jews are contaminating Temple Mount with their feet”) and the many chances Abbas had to make peace with Israel in the last several years but did not. “We will continue to thrive. We will succeed economically and continue to build a beautiful country, with the help of JNF, and we will see Muhammad and Menachim playing together in playgrounds built by JNF. He would not commit when asked which US presidential candidate would be best for Israel (“They’re all saying the right things”) but joked, “I’d vote for Harper for president of the United States.” Hoffman also praised those keeping antiIsraeli journalists on their toes by writing letters-to-the-editor, making fun of them on Facebook and trying to change their outlook. Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Jewish News
AROUND OUR REGION: HALIFAX
“Scots Jews” by Joel Jacobson
osher Haggis. A bridegroom wearing a kilt at his wedding. Jewish and Muslim students learning Torah together. A menorah in a sheep farmer’s front window.
Typical of Jewish life in Scotland and just a few of the subjects of a photographic display in Halifax, presented by the Atlantic Jewish Council. “Scots Jews: Identity, Belonging and the Future” is the title of a showing by documentary photographer Judah Passow AJC president Michael Argand with Linda Kislowicz, CEO, Jewish Federations of who spent a year capturing, in 80 black Canada – UIA, at the opening of the exhibit and white images, Scotland’s Jewish Scots Jews. community, from small villages to major cities. was also shown at the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum in Lithuania. Passow, raised in Philadelphia and New York and a 1971 graduate of Boston Linda Kislowicz, president and CEO of University, is based in London UK Jewish federations of Canada, was in where he photographs for American and Halifax for the Canadian debut, brought European magazines and newspapers. to the podium by a traditional bagpiper. For this showing, he culled 80 images “Michael Mail contacted me two from almost 13,000 frames. years ago about the exhibit, wanting British author Michael Mail, who grew a Canadian tour,” she said. “There is a up in Glasgow, met Passow during one of unique and special interest to have it the latter’s exhibitions and asked him to here first in Nova Scotia (New Scotland) pursue the Scottish Jewish connection. so we made arrangements. It will go to The exhibit debuted at the Scottish Toronto in the spring (Miles Nadal JCC at Parliament in Edinburgh in February Bloor and Spadina). We hope to show it in 2014 and has since travelled throughout other centres, too, but nothing has been Scotland and to the United States where confirmed yet.” it just concluded showings in New York Passow’s pictures show Jewish life from and Boston before coming to Halifax, its North to South in Scotland where there first Canadian stop. Earlier this year, it has been Jewish life since at least the 17th century, according to Mail’s research. Jews became the largest of non-Christian minorities as the population grew to about 16,000 at its highest point. “They made significant contributions,” Mail has written, “as scientists, doctors, judges, Members of Parliament, artists, The Honourable Myra Freeman, 2nd from right, with writers, farmers, foresters, Honourary Consuls, l to r, Katharine Lynne Beaman, kilt makers and even whiskey Austria and Rodolfo Meloni, Italy.
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The Halifax Jewish community and others attending the opening saw photos of a woman in the Shetlands poring through a Jewish cookbook for a special recipe, a man demonstrating blowing the shofar at an Aberdeen shul, the northernmost synagogue in the British Isles, university students in St. Andrews celebrating at an annual fund raising event, the Matzoh Ball, a kilted groom being hoisted high above the crowd by his groomsmen, Mark’s Deli in Glasgow where, twice a month, there is delivery of kosher food to be distributed at an orthodox synagogue, a menorah in a sheep farmer’s house in Lochgilphead, a seder in Glasgow, women preparing kosher haggis for Robbie Burns Night at a reform shul in Glasgow and a man examining a suit at Jewish-owned Slater’s in Glasgow, recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest men’ s wear store in the world. The exhibit will be at the Nova Scotia Archives in Halifax until December 20. It will be stored until early spring and then forwarded to Toronto. Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Jewish News
Hon. Jamie Baillie, MLA, at the exhibit opening with Edna LeVine, AJC director of community engagement.
AROUND THE REGION: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
This Jewish community in Halifax is Dead by Amir Nevo
write this article out of both frustration and concern for the local Jewish community here in Halifax, because honestly, this community is suffering a long, slow, and painful death. We have 2 synagogues and they are both empty, with but a handful of people in each one on any kind of regular basis. The only time they ever see any action is for the high holidays, or perhaps a Hannukah or Purim party. Is that what this Jewish community has come to? I grew up in Halifax and have essentially lived here my whole live. When I grew up here there were a ton of Jews and a ton of Jewish activities year round. I remember very clearly. But times have changed significantly since then. The reality is that I am one of the last few remaining from my generation. There are a few that stayed or came back, but for the most part they all left. If we continue along our same path, then the next generation will all leave as well. Our community is dying and it needs to breathe new life. A few years back there was an attempt to do that by the establishment of a group called Next D’Or. This fantastic initiative set forth with a vision of what might be an excellent solution for Halifax: amalgamate the 2 synagogues and build a community centre. A central hub for activities to take place and people to meet and mingle. This is what the next generation wants and needs. As the North American (and probably greater) Jewish community transitions towards a
more secular lifestyle choice, we need to adapt. The way to do that here in Halifax is Next D’Or, because the status quo is not working no matter how much some people believe it is. Next D’Or had an incredible momentum for a short time, until the idea was quashed by old arguments and entrenched ways of thinking. I remember hearing arguments about one synagogue having a greater endowment fund than another, or one not being religious or kosher enough for the other. Let’s face reality. What good is an endowment fund to keep running an empty building? What good is having an ultra-Orthodox or ultra-religious synagogue that won’t make changes to accommodate everyone, if there is no more “everyone”? We’re losing our community; we’re losing our rabbis… what’s left? I speak regularly to local young Jews who grew up here as well as ones who have come here (Israelis, Russians, etc.) The recurrent theme I hear from all of them is that they want to feel a sense of community, something which we don’t have here. I agree! If anyone reading this disagrees then I think they really don’t have a proper grasp of what’s going on and what we are facing. A large endowment fund is not enough. It’s just, not, enough. We have a lot of young Jews in this community who want to be a part of something and who want to build a hopeful Jewish future here. I know because I speak to them regularly. Next D’Or was the last hope this community had to pick up the
pieces and build something great that my generation and the next could use to keep our community going for years to come, but the idea was crushed for ridiculous reasons. We need to put away hostilities and old wounds and focus on what needs to be done. I don’t care about old wounds between the 2 synagogues that go back many years. That was not my fight, and I don’t believe anyone of my generation or the next feels it is theirs either. No one cares about that anymore. Old (and new) disagreements won’t matter if there is no community left. We all need to learn to come together and agree to a plan to fix this broken community. Let’s give a reason for all the people who left, to come back. Let’s give a reason for all those that are here to stay. If anyone truly cares about building, or should I say rebuilding, a strong Jewish community in Halifax, then we need to reignite the Next D’Or discussion and make the plan come to fruition before it’s too late. The alternative is stubborn elderly community members who will leave this earth with their pride and their endowment funds intact, but with a fragmented and lost Halifax Jewish community staring at 2 empty buildings. Build it and they will come? Yes, I believe they will.
Letters are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AJC.
Summer Family Shabbaton at Camp Kadimah: August 2016 Enjoy a fun family weekend at beautiful Camp Kadimah on Lake William! Come welcome newcomer families to our region and celebrate Jewish culture, explore being Jewish in Atlantic Canada & share your experiences with new friends! For more information: Edna LeVine firstname.lastname@example.org Page 26
Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
AROUND OUR REGION: NEWFOUNDLAND
Report from the Rock by Claire Frankel-Salama
Grade 12 Religious Studies students from the Brother T.I. Murphy Centre visiting the synagogue.
s Chanukah ends, winter begins and the days are starting to get ever so slightly longer, we welcome every little bit of light, real or metaphorical. While looking at photos of Chanukiyahs being lit in Istanbul and Bahrain, we cannot help but reflect upon the terrible tragedies and massacres snuffing out light in various parts of the world. We beam with pride at reports of IsrAID on Lesvos helping Syrian refugees and shake our heads at the dark and hateful efforts of BDS.
to a lovely reception in the Social Hall. Sunday morning many guests drove out to picturesque Cape Spear for Shaharit. Unfortunately, Rachel’s father could not attend due to an untimely medical issue, but everything else worked out beautifully. Although we were thanked numerous times for our help, it was definitely Rachel and her amazing family who succeeded in brightening up our community.
including that of the Brother T.I. Murphy with their teacher, Trudy Morgan-Cole. I always look forward to their questions and enthusiasm.
The annual Chanukah party took place on Sunday, December 6th. Thanks to Dr. Barbara Grandy for her “light as air” latkes, to Linda Nemiroff for her baked sufganiyot and Chanukah cookies, and to This year we had full high holy days those who helped decorate and organize, services led by Professor Messod but most of all to the wonderful children Salama and Dr. Michael Paul with full of all ages who sang, played dreidel, lit participation by the shul attendees. At candles and generally illuminated the Our little community is busy trying to the close of Yom Kippur we broke the fast easternmost corner of North America keep the lights on in St. John’s and hopes together as a community event which with their smiles and laughter. to do so for many years. is always open to everyone. Thanks go to Ester Kashtanov for her beautiful At the end of the summer, we had the privilege of helping with an unforgettable challahs. event. Rachel Pinkus, daughter or Dr. A sukkah was built Hanna Wilansky and Aaron Pinkus of and we had several Toronto, became Bat Mitzvah at Beth occasions to have El, the synagogue attended by the a Kiddush in the Wilansky family for almost one hundred decorated cabin. years. There were many, many guests Simchat Torah from all over the continent. After a followed with a beautiful chanting of the Parsha and a service and light thoughtful Dvar Torah, Rachel received supper. a small gift from the members of Beth We had several El. Following services, we were treated school visits Chanukah 2015
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AROUND OUR REGION: NEWFOUNDLAND
Jewish Community Havura of Newfoundland & Labrador by Ruth Noel & Nancy Bennett
he High Holidays seem so far away but when we think back to them it puts a smile on our face. After a late start to summer (would you believe mid-August). September brought not only a time for reflection but also nice weather into late October. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services were led by Elizabeth Loder who always brings a calmness and spirituality to the holy days. We had minyans at all services and well researched and thoughtful D’var Torahs were given by members from age thirteen to seventy plus. We also welcomed new members, out of province and out of country visitors who enriched our community with their knowledge and participation. Finally, there were several community meals during these holy days which help cement the feeling of community. Thanks to all who participated and helped during services and the community meals. Sukkot was held at the Gould-Citrome residence where again we welcomed out of town guests and new additions to our group. Jillian, Jeremy, Sally Rose and Max recently moved to a new home and their sheltered garden was a perfect location for the Sukka. Paddy Mackey
built a new Sukka, which the community decorated before holding the Sukkot service. We had our annual Sukkot Sunday brunch which was well attended and enjoyed by all. Simchat Torah was hosted by Kari, Shamus, and Eli Brown and Paddy Mackey. We took turns dancing with the Torah including a detour to the street outside the house. Traffic was held up for a short while as we danced before returning to the house for light refreshments. As always it is a fun way to end the holidays.
Hanukah brought its warmth and joy and we celebrated on the seventh night with a party for about 70 adults and Shabbat: We have settled into our children. The evening opened with biweekly services and usually have minyans. We occasionally hold a Shabbat Elizabeth Loder leading the Havdalah Service designed especially for children. service, candlelighting and singing of Adults without children also attend these Maoz Tzur. Steve Wolinetz coordinated as they enjoy the service and we are one the party, Jonathan Richler emceed and brought a huge tray of savoury latkes he community united together. prepared. Elizabeth-Anne Malischewski Outreach: With the students back in organized the potluck and brought school, several Havura members will delicious homemade applesauce. We had be speaking to school classes and other a table laden with latkes, sour cream, groups throughout the year until midapplesauce, lox and bagels, main dishes, June. No matter how often one speaks, salads and desserts. The Newish Klezmer the questions and comments give the Band provided fantastic music and adults presenter something new to think about and children danced the hora from one concerning the topic being discussed. end of the hall to the other. Elections: Newfoundlanders and Labradorians went to the polls
Kibitzing to the glow of the Hanukah candles.
twice this fall—the first time for the federal election, followed by a provincial election. Several of our members were working long hours for their favourite candidates in both elections. Some were elated with the results and others were not. Jonathan Richler President of the Havura and our representative on the Religious Social Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador and an open lines host on VOCM radio, kept very busy.
It’s Hanukah so we dance to the Klezmer Band!
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AROUND OUR REGION: NEWFOUNDLAND Labrador Basketball Association team for his age group. Parents Kari Brown and Paddy Mackey are very proud of both boys! Mazel tov to Tali Padawer for making the Memorial University Deanâ€™s List and also winning two scholarships. The Heaslip Scholarship, valued at $15,000, is one of two available to students in their second year of undergraduate studies at Memorial. She also won the International Students Scholarship for $2,500. Talia has had the support of her husband Valerio Tonelli Enrico while studying and working long hours.
Aurora, Sally Rose and Max under the spell of the Havdalah candles as the Hanukah party gets underway.
News and notes: Mazel tov to Shamus Brown for graduating from high school and receiving an entrance scholarship. He is
enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering at Memorial University. Mazel tov to Eli Brown who was chosen to join the provincial Newfoundland and
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Invitation: If you are coming this way please join us for Friday night and holiday services and events. The Havura always welcomes visitors and new members. Our events and services are listed on our website: havura.org. Contact us at email@example.com or 709-834-7866.
AROUND OUR REGION: PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
PEI Jewish Community by Rosalie Simeone
e started out the welcoming in the New Year with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services at the home of Rachel Kassner and Joel Palter. We continue our tradition of community led Rosh Hashanah service on the first day followed by a famous PEI pot luck. Kol Nidre service was very moving with Leo Mednick leading the Nol Nidre prayer, and Ernie Schleichkorn sounding the shofar. The Break Fast held at the home of Annabel Cohen. Leo Mednick hosted the Sukkot party this year. The mobile tent-sukkah, complete with open air venting was the site of a joyous luncheon, including the traditions of the lulav and Etrog. Leslee Sack opened her home to the community for the First Night Chanukah party. Her home was filled to overflowing, and a wonderful pot luck followed by Leslee’s ice cream sundae bar was enjoyed by all. Planning is now under way for our annual Tu B’shvat sleigh ride-(a PEI tradition!) and Seder, at a local farm. We are continuing our monthly-with some breaks- Kabbalat Shabbat Jan 29 at the home of Shira Zipursky.
Our Community is growing: In November we welcomed a new family to our community. Gilad and Liat Ifrach , with their children Adir (16), Orad (13), Aviem (11), Hodaya (9), Hadas (4), and Yehuda (3), have just become landed immigrants, and are starting their new life on PEI. The Ifrach family has come from Israel. Gilad is an Industrial Management Engineer, and Liat is a Graphic Designer. In Israel they had an advertising agency,and printed and published a magazine called “Kol Hatzafon” Gilad was the chief editor of the magazine, and had a press card and Liat was the manager and the graphic designer of the newspapers and the printing section. In addition they had an animal business in Israel for 15 years: Animal Shop, boarding for animals and an animal barber shop. They are a secular family, with a strong Jewish background. Gilad comes from a Rabbinical family, and is a licensed Shochet .He has brought a Sefer Torah, Megillah
Esther, as well as his traditional Shochet knives. We also welcome Vlad (Zev) Khripunov from Montreal. Zev is working in the video game field. We are looking forward to many Community celebrations with all of our New Comers. We were all saddend to hear of the passing of Armin Schleickhorn, father of Ernest Schleickhorn.
Armin Hermann SCHLEICHKORN 1914 - 2015 Passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Jewish General Hospital after valiant struggle with illness in his 102nd year. Born in Gnazda (Hniezdne), Czechoslovakia, Armin was Holocaust survivor and Allied WWII veteran. Avid historian, philosopher, senior Olympian, he was admired, respected and loved by all. Pre-deceased by wife Gertrude in 2010, Armin leaves behind 4 loving sons, their spouses, and 11 grandchildren.
From left, clockwise: Victoria Bloom, Darryl Bloom, Maida Rogerson, Rosalie Simeone, Leslee Sack, Shira Zipursky .
Vlad (Zev) Khripunov enjoying the Sukkah.
Armin Herman Schleichkorn meets his cousin ANNA Duklauer-Perl (Schindler’ list) shortly after the war. He had 11 grandchildren and she was the mother of 3 and many grandchildren
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AROUND OUR REGION: MONCTON
Moncton News by Nancy Cohen
ur annual Sukkah building event drew a large crowd of adults and children who were eager to help. Everyone enjoyed putting up the decorations and the barbecue that followed.
On the last night of the holiday there was a very lively celebration at the shul. The delicious turkey dinner was the result of many hours of work by our volunteers. Over 40 people came to the synagogue Hats off to the chefs, Joan Mayor to hear Gil Hoffman speak. Gil charmed and Carole Savage who cooked the audience with his sense of humour most of the food, Ivan Cohen who and we appreciated hearing his views on carved 10 turkeys, Oksana Yazgur the Middle East situation. He also spoke and Alina Langleben who made at Mount Allison University earlier in the traditional borsht and sufganiyot. day. Approximately 150 people attended the dinner including our new The Cheder, under the leadership of Rebbitzen Yagod, now has four divisions: MP Ginette Pettipas Taylor and the MLA for Moncton South, Cathy Rogers. Gan for ages 3-6, Hebrew Reading for ages 7-9, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation for ages 10-12 and Torah High School for the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah group ages 12 to 16. The week of Hanukkah was a busy one in Moncton with a public lighting of the hanukkiyah at the Moncton Hospital and a public lighting at Moncton City Hall. There were good turnouts at both events. The Mayor of Moncton, George LeBlanc attended the city hall lighting and gave a short speech. We were also pleased to welcome counsellor Jean Gaudet from Dieppe. It was a beautiful sight to see the children gathered around the giant menorah singing Maot Zur with the lights on the trees sparkling in the
volunteer and human rights advocate. With such dedication and devotion to teaching and learning, she has mentored many students and helped numerous colleagues better their lives. Ms. Lampert has motivated others and worked hard to build a better community by dedicating herself to such groups as the Greater Moncton Literacy Advisory Board, the University Women’s Club of Moncton, the Dalhousie University Women’s Association, the Moncton East Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the Coalition Against Abusive Relationships and the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The Minister of Education appointed her to the first Provincial Board of Education where she continued her work Mazel tov to Lewis Savage and Melanie Melanson on the birth of their son Caleb. to improve the educational experience for everyone. Her lifelong career of Carole Savage is the very proud and serving our community, protecting the excited first time Bubby. vulnerable and instilling the need to be We were very proud to learn that tolerant, respectful and welcoming to all Audrey Lampert had been chosen people make her a wonderful role model as an inductee into the 2015 and a well-deserved inductee to the Order of Moncton. A press release Order of Moncton. naming the three inductees Mazel tov Audrey! has this to say about Audrey’s commitment to her community: Over her 40 year career, Audrey Lampert has enriched the lives of thousands of people through her tireless efforts as a distinguished teacher and mentor, dedicated Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
AROUND OUR REGION: FREDERICTON
What’s New in Fredericton? by Ayten Kranat
he Fredericton Jewish community is pleased to welcome, four new families who have recently immigrated from Israel to Canada. They are adjusting well to life in Fredericton and the snowy winter climate. As well, we have five new members from across Canada and the U.S. who have joined our congregation. The active participation by all these families within our Synagogue is much appreciated and has enabled us to enhance the activities we offer. Our proximity to Woodstock and St. George has also enabled families from there to participate in Jewish programs and events held in Fredericton. We are fortunate to have two new families who have relocated to New Brunswick from Newfoundland. All these new families took part in our annual Chanukah party and had a chance to mix and mingle socially. Since May, 2015 our Synagogue has included women in minyans and this has proven to be a positive step in having our Shabbat and holiday services. We had minyans throughout the summer (including for Tisha Ba’av), assisted by several visitors from the U.S., Canada and Israel, passing through our area. Rosh Hashanah was soon upon us and attendance at services this year was good. We had a positive response to selling aliyahs this year, and that in part enhanced attendance. At Sukkot, Eileen Duguay and husband Larry Finkelman prepared a special Kiddush which we ate in the sukkah, constructed by members of the congregation. On Rosh Chodesh, Larry Finkelman and Rabbi Goldman prepared the Shabbat Kiddush honouring the women of our community. Jaqueline Greenblatt chanted the Haftorah and Frady Goldman delivered the D’var Torah.
We have worked diligently this past year to put in place a solid educational infrastructure within the activities of the Synagogue. We now offer a number of Hebrew/Jewish educational programs. The Tot program continues into its second year. As well, we offer a first year cheder program, a B’nei Mitzvah program and two adult educational programs – one a crash course in Hebrew and a piloted interfaith beginner Hebrew conversational program. A special feature of the Tot program is the once a month Friday evening Tot Shabbat led by Howie Kislowicz and Naomi Lear. Coordinated by Amy Whittaker, the light meal for the Oneg Shabbat and the delivery for the Sunday morning Tot class is prepared and shared by the parents who have children in the Early Childhood Education programs. Teachers for other classes mentioned are Rabbi Goldman, Shaindy Goldman, Marilyn Kaufman and Larry Finkelman. This past summer the Synagogue supported some of its members who requested assistance with hosting a booth at the Fredericton PRIDE Day In downtown Officer’s Square. Marilyn Kaufman was contacted by CBC TV/Radio and gave an interview regarding the LGBT community in relation to our community and the Synagogue. Feedback was very positive from both within the Jewish and non- Jewish communities. CIJA and Hillel assisted the students involved in hosting their successful booth at this event. In September, Zane Colt from CJPAC in Toronto, spoke to a group at the Synagogue explaining the importance of getting involved in the election process and how we, as volunteers, can participate. The Synagogue’s annual general meeting was held in November with the election of new officers and directors. President-Marilyn Kaufman, SecretaryIan Taviss, Treasurer- Ruth Chippin, Communications/AJC – Ayten Kranat, Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Gabbai/Chevra Kiddisha – Louis Budovitch, Members-at-Large – Robert Brown, Seth Chippin, and Mitchell Budovitch. Shelley Stephens continues on the Board as Sisterhood President. At our November annual general meeting, Louis Budovitch was presented with the Atlantic Jewish Council Community Service Award by the AJC Board of Directors in recognition of his contribution to the Fredericton Jewish community and Greater Fredericton Community. Mazel tov to Louis and his family. It is well deserved. Marlene Unger was recognized for having been named to the Order of New Brunswick in recognition of her dedication and work in Holocaust studies and development of Holocaust studies in the New Brunswick High School curriculum. Mazel tov to Marlene and husband Israel and their family. A well deserved honour. The Synagogue continues to participate in outreach programs offered by the RCMP. The Sisterhood has been very active and while the Chanukah celebrations have ended, plans are already proceeding for the community Pesach seder in April. But let’s not forget Purim. It is gratifying to see the many volunteers who invest of themselves, their time and effort, in building a Jewish community. And it is gratifying to have the participation and the appreciation of all those who come out and support our volunteers. Follow-up to the family potluck/ Sunday afternoon public skate on November 22. There were 54 people who attended the afternoon party in the community rooms of the Grant Harvey Centre. A variety of delicious kosher and non-kosher dishes were enjoyed. Several families participated in the free public skate. Many kids watched youth hockey matches on another rink. There was an amount of money left
AROUND OUR REGION: FREDERICTON over after expenses which will be used to reduce the cost of another family event in the New Year. Many thanks to Alex Ashbel who organized the party. Bubbies, Zaidies, children and grandchildren gathered in the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue social hall for this year’s Sisterhood Chanukah supper held December 6th. Rabbi Goldman lit the menorah outside, followed by individuals lighting their own menorah indoors. Over seventy people were engaged in listening to the Chanukah story, Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat, followed by a singsong and then a buffet supper. This was followed by a violin brother and sister duet from the Koubi family and Israeli folk dancing led by mom, Inbal. There were paper and
family, Rosa, Albina Lazarev, Jaqueline Greenblatt and husband David and the Koubi family from Woodstock for assistance with invitations/admission, decorations, candle lighting, setting up/ clean-up, food and entertainment. What a festive simcha!
dreidel activities provided for the children as well. Thank you all: Rabbi Goldman, Shelley Stephens, Ayten Kranat, Marisa Blanchard, Marilyn Kaufman, Ilana Tanami, Rikki and Itzchak Rifkin and
Wednesday, December 9th, the Fredericton Public Library partnered with the Sgoolai Israel Sisterhood to host a wellattended public community Chanukah party. Librarian Lorilee Boyle read a story and had organized activities in which the children participated. Refreshments which followed were provided by the Sisterhood. Thank you to Anne Israeli, Liat Cohen, Marilyn Kaufman, Shelley Stephens, Ayten Kranat and Brenda Purdy.
Louis Budovitch receives AJC Community Service Award
ouis Yale Budovitch was born into the Fredericton Jewish community in 1950, the eldest son of Helen and Joe Budovitch. He was raised in the traditional Jewish kosher home, attending Shabbat services every week-end with his dad. He received his Hebrew education from Rabbi David Spiro. These influenced his service, not only within the Jewish community but within the greater Fredericton community as well.
Louis was the Gabbai of the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue for 23 years, first serving under the presidency of Weldon Grazer. He has been, for many years, a dedicated mainstay volunteer with the Chevra Kadisha, and continues in this capacity today. His 25 years as a volunteer with the local Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital, every Dec.25th, on behalf of the Shul, brings him much satisfaction. He has made countless visits to both the local hospital and to Oromocto visiting the sick, as well as ensuring that
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names of those who are ill are included in Shabbat morning prayers. Still maintaining an affiliation with B’nai Brith, Louis presently serves on the Synagogue Board as Gabbai. While his six year term as President was not without its challenges, he was the glue that held the Shul together at during a very critical period. He not only led week-end prayer services(an ability which he attributes to studying with Rabbi Spiro), but took on the role of Shul caretaker, always checking to see that the lights were working, that the heat was on, and that no pipes were broken, especially in winter. Louis continues to be a strong supporter of the Fredericton Playhouse, the Canada Wildlife Association, and the MS Society. The man around Fredericton, who knows everyone, espouses a fund of historical knowledge on the who’s who of our city. He has lots of stories to tell. It is with much appreciation, that Louis Budovitch proudly accepts this Atlantic Jewish Council award from his peers, in recognition of his service to the Fredericton Community.
AROUND OUR REGION: CAPE SAINTBRETON JOHN
News from Saint John by Susan Isaacs Lubin
he Immigration program in Saint John has been flourishing. We now have 25 families living in the greater Saint John area. Almost all of these families have jobs, and are settling well into life here. We have approximately 40 children. There are approximately 30 more families who are waiting their final papers and who should be here in the next two years. At our recent Annual General Meeting, six people from Israel were voted onto our new Synagogue Board. They are involved in all aspects of our Synagogue life.
Phil Bloom is our Gabbai Rishon, and with the help of Joe Arditti, Dan Elman and Haim Aharon provides leadership on the religious side of our community. For the High Holidays, we once again brought Cantor Jeff Spitzer, and also his in-laws, Rabbi and Mrs. Tannenbaum. We also held Break the Fast at the Synagogue following Yom Kippur. We celebrated Sukkot in our Sukkah that the children decorated for us.
Other candles were lit by members of our Jewish Community. Included in the program was the Chanukah play by our young actors, and the refreshments were Safganyiot (donuts), which were made by This year Chanukah was different in Saint Aviv Keren and some Israeli women. John. On November 29, we had a preChanukah fun day. The children did arts and crafts pertaining to Chanukah, sang
We continue to have Services Friday nights, and have Saturday morning services once a month. Thanks to a group of Israeli families, we have no problems getting a minyan.
Hilla Aharon – wrote and directed children’s play
Chanukah songs. A group of young budding actors, practiced a Chanukah play. The adults held round table discussions on pre-arranged topics of interest to all. The significance of the November 29th date was explained to all by Hilla Aharon. Snacks and sweets were provided. A contest was held for the best Hanukia homemade from recycled materials. Prizes were awarded for the best three Menorahs. Our thanks to Orly Melechand her volunteers for arranging the day. The Saint John Jewish Historical Museum had their second very successful Jewish Film Festival in October. The opening gala included a showing of “Deli Man”. The Museum held their annual Menorah lighting on December 13th for the entire Saint John community. Approximately 150 people attended, and candles were lit by our MP, Wayne Long, our MLA, Ed Doherty, and our Mayor, Mel Norton. Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Jackie Meltzer in front of the menorah
Round table discussions - Boaz Marciano, Renee Arditti, Ilanit Friling, Erminie Cohen, Lina Thiperson
AROUND AROUNDOUR OURREGION: REGION:CAPE SAINT BRETON JOHN
Saint John Jewish Historical Museum by Katherine Biggs-Craft, Curator
ur exhibit on Jewish war veterans of Saint John began to take shape in November. To date we have compiled a large binder of information on many of the war veterans from Saint John. The exhibit itself has been dedicated to the memory of Garfield Meltzer, who served with the RCAF from 1938 to 1950 as a training officer. He was also the Commander of the Jewish War Veterans Atlantic Post #4 until his death in 2008. The exhibit will be updated regularly as we learn more about each serviceman and woman. Our goal is to have a photograph and a story of service (big or small) for each of them. Funding to create this exhibit came from the Province of New Brunswick and the Greater Saint John Community Foundation. If you have war-related stories or memorabilia to share we would love to hear from you. The museum held the annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Sunday, December 13th in front of the Museum and Synagogue. More than 100 people including members of the Jewish community, the local Muslim community and many of our volunteers, neighbours and friends were in attendance. As
Chanukah play by children
is our custom, we used the giant wooden menorah built by Harry Davis in1953. Gary Davis, president of the Saint John Jewish Historical Society welcomed everyone to the evening. Dan Elman led the prayers. We invited our MP Wayne Long, our MLA Dr. Ed Doherty and Mayor Mel Norton to join Cathy Tait, Jackie Meltzer, Lina Thiperson, Amos and Ilanit Friling, Dan
Dan Elman, Gary Davis (background) and Cathy Tait
Aviv Keren and Keren Oppong. Special thanks to Elad Shalom for sponsoring the making of the donuts. Plans are underway for the 2016 Holocaust Study Group and for marking Yom Hashoah in early April. Arrangements are already underway for our guest speaker, Faigie Libman, who survived a ghetto in Lithuania, several work camps and a death march. Chanukah play by children
Elman and Mark Hemmings to light the menorah. As each candlelighter touched the menorah, Andrew Craft turned the switches from behind the menorah. Once inside we invited everyone to take seats in our synagogue for a wonderful presentation by the children. Under the direction of Hilla Aharon, they told the story of Chanukah in English and in Hebrew. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards we enjoyed sweet donuts prepared by several of our new family members including Hilla Aharon, Keren Shalom, Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
Over the winter months the archival files we have in storage at the New Brunswick Museum archives will be updated, a process which includes adding and organizing newly catalogued material and making sure all of the inventories are completed and up-todate. We have received funding from the Virtual Museum of Canada to re-create one of our on-line exhibits â€“ Celebrating 150 Years of Jewish History in Saint John. The finished product will have a much more polished look than the current version and add new information. You are welcome to have a look at the current version and make suggestions for corrections and improvements. You can find it at: http://www. virtualmuseum.ca/virtual-exhibits/ exhibit/celebrating-150-years-of-jewishhistory-in-saint-john/ Page 35
AROUND OUR REGION: CAPE BRETON
Cape Breton News by Sharon Jacobson
t has been a month since Fanny Cohen, my 1st cousin, twiceremoved, passed away....I have been in San Francisco since November 1 “ bubby-sitting” Fanny’s 1st cousin five times removed! At his birth, she was almost 107 years old. Indeed, her lifespan seems one of biblical proportions - like an ancient miracle.
in with these very modern women. And they left for New York City. Her mother seems to have wanted her to stay home. She explains her life in Glacé Bay as being too busy living day to day to ever think of leaving. Besides, there was no car, nowhere to go and why would one go anyway?”
As for her thoughts on religion, she conveyed a traditionalist approach. As Looking back at the videotaped she aged, although keeping kosher would conversations we had (my iPhone) , her have been preferred, the availability was recollections provide a snapshot of the not there anymore and not many were times and our families. interested. She became more philosophical Her life’s line witnessed over a century of about the rules and their stringency, citing change. From horse and cart to “ oh what a some as nonsense and others as just not tangled Web” we inhabit. that important in the larger sense of living And yet, she paints a past with her colours. one’s life. Her parents were strict resourceful “Although we are having trouble keeping immigrants, decent people who eked the Jewish people together, we are living out a living in hard economic times. today and might as well live as well as we She listened to her mother’s stories and can....don’t fight it.” obeyed what was taught. Her mother A quote attributed to George Burns states felt her father could have made more of “had I known I was going to live so long - I himself, but Fanny was particularly close would have taken better care of myself.” to him and she valued the relationships Well, besides good genes, Fanny did have he made with the young boys who worked a healthy lifestyle. For most of her life, the mines and came to bid him farewell she walked everywhere, from Brookside as they went off to war. Meanwhile, her to New Aberdeen to her various teaching mother learned from her new country and jobs. She shrugs it off with “I just grew!”, embraced a recipe she received from her which was a quote from a story she neighbours, a recipe from Canada- apple remembered as a young girl.... pie! Even though Mrs. Esther Cohen did Regarding aging, she believed the biggest feel a refrigerator was an unnecessary new-fangled contraption, she conceded to challenge was to fight Boredom! owning one if only to separate milk from Reading, doing puzzles, reminiscing about meat! her work- what more she could have done, In those days, “no one had more things” as but didn’t... She felt it was” easy to fight Fanny described it -” when the mines were boredom if you wanted and were strong enough up here”(pointing to her brain). “I working, the men worked. You never got never stop thinking.” what you wanted; never had the means. Yesterday made me what I am tomorrow can take care of itself...” She was #4 of her sisters. She told me she had a quiet mind of her own while growing up listening to them; well, she never had a chance anyway to get a word
She even became more Zen-like, describing a new-found ability to empty her mind and just be in a state of peace... she was quite excited and surprised about this self- revelation. “She was resolving herself into the simplicity of a haiku”. I Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
read this somewhere. And it so applies to Fanny. If she awoke in the morning, with no aches, no pains, it was a good night’s sleep; if not, she would blame it on what she was reading! Indeed, Fanny would describe her feelings upon arising each day like Elaine Stritch belting out the tune, “I’m Still Here!” One had to smile. Finally, there is one memory I will keep close. She had chastised me for forgetting something she had remembered all too clearly. I excused myself with the fact that maybe when I was 106 years old my memory would be better. I protested that she had unfair advantage being that much older than I. I shall miss her humour, her forthrightness, her flair, her drama, her stoicism. But as Fanny would say,”Well, Anyway......” and march straight into the next thing. Such as mentioning that Alan Nathanson once again proved the miracle of Chanukah does reoccur each year! Apparently our Holiday supper was a delight. Luck has nothing to do with it ...it’s the Latkes. We continue to astound ourselves with continuing Shabbat services. That is another miracle! It happens every 7 days! The Nosh and Kibbitz afterwards deserves a Facebook page. People visit this site regularly and sponsors are always welcome to step forward and help out... Our small community gathers to shmooze over smoked salmon, salami and schnapps. Fanny would have agreed this is one way of keeping Jewish communities alive! Rabbi Ellis participated in an inter-faith conference- So relevant and important in a complicated world of mixed messages. We could use another miracle.... Cape Breton soldiers on...
From Russia, With Love
by Rabbi David Ellis, Regional Chaplain, Atlantic Jewish Council
had, of course, met them before and had known them for years. In the states, in Israel, here in Canada. But I never understood them till recently. I am talking about the Jews from Russia. They have moved throughout the Jewish world in the last generations. But--I had always seen them “somewhere else,” other than their own turf. Trying to fit in in Israel, in the West. But here I saw them in their own space, playing to their own song.
what’s your name? Uri ben Aryeh. I wrote it out it Hebrew--can you trace below what I just wrote out? He could. That’s good enough-just do that, you’re the witness. We went out to the chuppah, about sixty of us. It was too beautiful. So many smiles, such pride. From everyone, from 3 years old till 80 or older. We left the Igor and Vita live in Chicago. But they had couple to go off on their own and settled traveled to PEI a year ago and decided--this for a meal. All the Russian being spoken! But most spoke English too. Everyone was is the place, this is where we’re getting friendly and outgoing. But--they were also married. So they called me up and asked intensely proud of their Russian Jewish if I would do their wedding. With some heritage and would never have left it. The questions and negotiations, we made it two attitudes were not inconsistent with a go for this past Labour Day weekend. them. We came to the high point of the We drove across on the ferry, as my kids evening. Igor and Vita had come back, and have enjoyed doing for years. And we got we all sat down to the dinner. into Charlottetown to the right place, the Haviland House, an old British military It seems that Russian Jews are very meeting place near downtown.Sure much like British Jews--they love to enough, there was a chuppah outside, so make speeches at weddings. Indeed here it was.So I went in and met part of they confirmed this was true. So Vita’s the mispochah; Igor and Vita were out for grandfather got up and gave a ten-minute pictures along the beach. So I met with speech, in Russian. The man sitting next a sister and a friend. She and others had to me started to translate it. Stop, I told come from St. Petersburg to be there. him. Don’t say a thing. I understood Others had come from the New York area, exactly what he said. Of course, I don’t one from Denver (who knew friends of know Russian. But you didn’t have to. mine there), one from Israel. Finally, the The gentleman’s sort voice, his pride chatan and kallah came back, and faces bursting out , the lilt of his story line with and handshakes replaced emails and intonations and gestures--I understood phone calls. We got to the details of the every word. So for the first time in my life, wedding. We had to have two witnesses, I got to see Russian Jews according to their totally unrelated to either of you or to own agenda and space, not trying to fit in one another. We found them. But a small elsewhere. And I realized several things. problem. We do not see it, but the Russian Jews Jews from the west sometimes say the Russian Jews are not religious. That really isn’t true. They are so, but in their own style. And some have not had opportunities to master certain skills. So one could not write Hebrew. Well, I said,
are the foundation of our modern Jewish life. Zionism and the early settlers all came from the Russian environment. The settlement in New York and the rest of North America--it was largely Russian Jews. The Yiddishe welt, the labour Shevat 5776 - Vol. 40 No. 3
movement, Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood-all from Russia. And yes, all of the 20th century history--the wars, Stalin, communism, the Russian culture. So many things Jews in the West find hard to understand or have empathy with. These are things which will take years to sort out and adjust to. So now we have a world-wide Russian Jewish community. Some are still in Russian, many in Israel, others have come west. This is how it should be for them, depending on their circumstances. But wherever they go, they should try to keep up their own communities. They should live in Russian Jewish neighbourhoods, speak Russian for the first generation or two and make their own way into their new location. The children will make the new adjustments, learn English and become highly educated. But they should keep their own creative culture as a backdrop to their lives. So Igor and Vita are back in Chicago-right along the lake front, about a mile east of Wrigley Field. Not far from my brother, who lives about two miles west of it. But--we’ll see them here again. They will always come back for vacations. I will make sure that you all get to meet them when they do. Meanwhile, I still cherish that wonderful weekend I had a privilege to be part of. From Russia--with love
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Honouring our Elders
by Rabbi Yosef Goldman, Sgoolai Israel Synagogue, Fredericton
ecently, I studied with one of our Bar Mitzvah students, from a book written in the USA over fifty years ago, addressed to young kids becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Who would have thought that a second-hand book store in Frederaicton would have such a treasure? The book is called “A Guide For Jewish Youth”, it is very well written, and at the end of each chapter, there are questions for the student to enrich their understanding of the subject. One of the questions we were working on was: “Name as many of the Mitzvos in Jewish life as you can”. This student grew up in a traditional home, so he has quite a knowledge of the commandments, but I was surprised to find out that he was not aware of the commandment to honour the elderly people. In his defense, I must say that he never (to the best of his knowledge) had taken a public bus (other than the school bus), and in the schools he attended, was never asked to stand up when an older or wiser person came into
the classroom. In the book of Leviticus (19, 32) the Torah tells us: “in the presence of an old person shall you rise, and you shall honour the presence of a sage”. According to Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki. France 1040-1105), following one view in the Talmud, the two halves of the verse explain one another, meaning that
the commandment is to rise and honour a sage who is both elderly and righteous. Others hold that these are two separate commandments: to rise for and honour anyone who is old (there is a discussion about what the age is toi define someone old), even if he/she is not learned; and to rise for and honour a learned person, even if he/she is young. The Halacha follows the latter view.
So, I am not trying to “fix the system”, and have all the children start getting up when the teacher or principal enters the classroom, though that would be wonderful, but I do want our children to know that this is a very simple commandment that they can keep. In addition, our communities have many people who are ‘shut-ins’, they are home alone or in a nursing home, and one of the worst things for someone in that stage of life is to be isolated. I believe (and I, myself, have to work on this too), that it is our responsibility to reach out to these people and lead by example to our younger ones, how to honour and respect these special people. Whether by visiting them, or even just giving them a call once in a while, this, I am sure, will make them very happy, and we will be fulfilling a positive commandment. Wishing you all a very healthy winter, and may this be a time that we are able to help the elderly in our communities!
A Child’s Cry
by Rabbi Mendel Feldman, Chabad Lubavitch of the Maritimes
he 10th day of the Jewish month of Shevat (in Hebrew Yud Shevat, this year January 20) marks the 66th Yahrtzait of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson (1880-1950) of Righteous Memory.
his family lived on the ground floor apartment, and Rabbi Schneur Zalman lived on the second floor.
It also marks the day (one year later in 1951) which the seventh Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Scneerson (1902-1994) OBM formally accepted the leadership of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.
One night, while Rabbi DovBer was deeply engrossed in his studies, his youngest child fell In 1962 a group of community activists visited out of his cradle. Rabbi DovBer heard nothing. the Lubavitcher Rebbe OBM in his office in But Rabbi Schneur Zalman, who was also Brooklyn. immersed in study in his room on the second The Rebbe shared with them the following floor, heard the infant’s cries. The Rebbe story: came downstairs, lifted the infant from the When Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch was a young floor, soothed his tears, replaced him in the man, he lived in the same house as his father, cradle, and rocked him to sleep. Rabbi DovBer Rabbi Schneur Zalman. Rabbi DovBer and remained oblivious throughout it all.
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Later, Rabbi Schneur Zalman admonished his son: “No matter how lofty one’s involvement in Torah study, one must never fail to hear the cry of a child.” “To me,” said the Rebbe, this story characterizes the approach of ChabadLubavitch. With all the emphasis on selfrefinement and one’s personal service of the Almighty, one must always hear the cry of a child. “This is most applicable today, when so many Jewish children of all ages, have fallen out of the cradle of their heritage. Their souls cry out to us, and we must have the sensitivity to hear their cries and to respond. We must interrupt our prayers and our studies and do everything in our power to sooth these souls and restore them to the cradle of Yiddishkeit”.
Miracles as a Team Job by Man and God by Rabbi Amram Maccabi, Beth Israel Synagogue, Halifax
once heard someone say that the best privilege one gets from residing outside of Israel is the opportunity to visit there...
Al-Kaila; “demons from hell” who they believed sided with the Jews in battle. On this year’s annual vacation, one of the tasks In the aftermath investigation the I took upon myself was to interview some members of my family who took part in the re- controversial conclusion was that building of the state of Israel. a newly developed Traveling on the Israeli roads, from Jerusalem Napalm bombs mixed to Tel Aviv; from within the boundaries of the with old tanks heavy much disrepute imaginary green line outward, smoke, created shapes that scared superstitious I came to re-define what a real miracle is. It isn’t enemies. about God per se, albeit it is certainly divine. My journey in the new train to Tel Aviv was Avia’s great-aunt told me how, at the age of going to end, and the number of stories I seven, she walked with her brother and cousins recorded can fill a book. But a clear pattern for over six months, over hundreds of miles in that speaks out of them retells a Hanukah the hot desert of Yemen in order to join others message: Miracles seem to be extra-ordinary, who, like them, were making the journey to and therefore unexpected result for a divine Israel. end which is performed by, or at least executed I heard stories about my grandmother who through, human-beings! wanted to put her share into the war of For God to prolong the light of a jar of oil for independence (1948). A minor problem that eight days instead of one, is not any more changed her plan was that my father wanted out difficult a task than creating fire in the first early. She gave birth to him about one hundred place. It is certainly not any more challenging meters before their boat arrived to the shore. than creating the entire planet and then keeps My dad is named after that boat, Yehuda Halevi. it under constant maintenance. God can do Apparently it is not possible to engage in a war anything. God knows all that was, is and will if you’re in your eighth month of pregnancy... be. But for human beings, flesh and blood who A fascinating interview with my father brought me to discover an extraordinary battle story in which he took part during the Six Days War (1967). Apparently, under normal circumstances, a military force does not start an attack before gaining an advantage of at least 3 to 1; three soldiers on your side to confront each one of your enemy’s soldiers. However, when the Israeli forces attacked that was indeed the case, only in reverse; it was 3;1 to our to our dis-advantage. Each Israeli soldier had to battle against three Arab soldiers! That was also the case when my father led his soldiers into battle in the city of Nablus (Shekhem). Despite the odds and contrary to any common sense, the battle ended with an astounding Israeli victory. Hundreds of enemy soldiers dropped their weapons, some retreated with horror and fled, while others raised a white flag, surrendering to just a few Israeli soldiers. The mysterious thing of all was what my father recapped from their conversations. As a fluent Arabic speaker he heard them panicking about Jnun-
were created with limitations, with boundaries, with continuous strain and challenges, trials and obstacles – now that is a different story. For the Maccabees to have enough faith in what is Godly, and enough vigorousness to act according to what that dictates should be done, now that- is a miracle. They had to be pure enough to see beyond temptation and to have a clear vision of what He wants from them and what is right to do. Then they have to immerse in those divine values in order to materialize them and not just leave them as vague and theoretical callings. They had to delve into their godly spark that which makes them the human beings God wanted them to be, in order to be able to sore beyond into that realm of the divine. In practical terms, it is no small thing for a group of few untrained men to engage in a war against a well-equipped, well experienced and well trained full flank Greek army! The were up against the mightiest empire of the time; yet they were not dissuaded – that is a man-made miracle. God was so impressed by
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their chutspa, that He actually helped them. And indeed they won. The first war ever to be waged on the grounds of values (not territory or a desired woman)- those who lived up to their right for freedom of spirit- prevailed. For a seven year old girl, to survive a journey from Yemen to Israel, while six months of that journey is done by foot, however miraculous her eventual accomplishment, nevertheless not a hard core miracle performed by God. However, for her to go on that journey, and persist in it even after losing her mother on the way – That is a true miracle. Human spirit that prevailed over earthly obstacles and statistical odds. To have the will and the courage to leave all you have and all that you know behind in order to fight in a war, and all this during an advanced pregnancy is arguably insanity, but certainly miraculous. A human made miracle. To see your enemies flee before you without reason is a proof that Hashem is on your side. The miracle, however, is well deserved by those faithful soldiers who, against all odds engaged in battle. Not because they are suicidal bombers, not because they don’t care to live and not because they were foolish or naïve. But because they lifted themselves beyond the boundaries of the mundane, for a purpose they believed strongly enough to protect even at the cost of actively risking their lives. I proudly think about people of our community who chose to tour Israel despite the terror attacks occurring in Eretz. That is a profound statement! We should also be delighted seeing our youth not concealing their Jewish identity, especially in the universities where it is not considered a groysse metziee. When a jar of oil lasts eight days, it is a sign from God to us telling us He is proud of us and confirming we have done the right thing in His eyes. During our Menorah lighting, my thoughts were about those who had, and their descendants who still have, enough faith and courage to do the right thing, even when it takes them out of their comfort zone. Enough faith and courage to earn themselves that extra push from heaven to complete what is, and forever will be regarded as, a true miracle.
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