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Holy Blossom Temple

Vol. LXXX No. 10 • June 2006 • Sivan/Tammuz 5766

A formal welcome to Debbie Spiegel and Lindi Rivers ... complementing our professional corps

Deborah Spiegel, Director of Education

Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner

Rabbi Edward Goldfarb

Rabbi John Moscowitz

Rabbi Yael Splansky

Rabbi Jason Rosenberg

Benjamin Applebaum

IN THIS ISSUE: Daily/Shabbat Worship 2 | In Perspective 3 | The Gerald Schwartz/ Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning 4 | Our New Approach to Bar/Bat Mitzvah 5 | Education Matters 6 | Social Action at Holy Blossom 7 | Nominating Committee 7 | 150th Anniversary 8 | Events and Announcements 10 | Our Congregational Family 11 | This Month @ Holy Blossom 15 | The Last Word 16

Lindi Rivers, Cantorial Soloist

Daily/Shabbat Worship

Daily Services Mon. to Fri.

7.30 a.m. 6 p.m. 9 a.m.


Shacharit* Mincha

* On. Mon. July 3, 2006, Shacharit Services will be held at 9 a.m.

Shabbat Naso II Fri. June 9 Fri. June 9 Sat. June 10 Sat. June 10

6 p.m. 6 p.m. 10.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Tot Shabbat and Dinner Shabbat Service Family Shabbat Service

6 p.m. 10.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Shabbat Service Family Shabbat Service

6 p.m. 6 p.m. 10.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Tot Shabbat Shabbat Service Family Shabbat Service

6 p.m. 10.30 a.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Congregation-wide Shabbat Service

6 p.m. 10.30 a.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Congregation-wide Shabbat Service

Shabbat Beha’alotecha Fri. June 16 Sat. June 17 Sat. June 17

Shabbat Shelach-Lecha Fri. June 23 Fri. June 23 Sat. June 24 Sat. June 24

Shabbat Korach Fri. June 30 Sat. July 1

Shabbat Chukat-Balak Fri. July 7 Sat. July 8

Please remember to visit our Web site, at, to read our weekly D’var Torah. (Just click on D’var Torah under the Avodah/Worship menu button.)

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Starting Mon. Oct. 23, 2006, at 7.30 p.m. Have you ever thought about having that Bar or Bat Mitzvah you never had? Do you want to learn to read Hebrew? Chant Torah? This is your chance! Join an active group of adults young and older, who want to take this small step to hone their Jewish skills! This two-year program will include this and so much more! For more details, please call Debbie Spiegel (ext. 239), at the Temple.

Holy Blossom Temple


by Rabbi John Moscowitz

On behalf of our President, Alan Garfinkel, and our Board of Directors, it is my privilege to officially inform our congregation that we have hired Debbie Spiegel as our Director of Education and Lindi Rivers as a part-time Chazzan Sheni, Cantorial Soloist.

No stranger to Holy Blossom Debbie, of course, has been our Interim Director of Education this past year. Previously, she was Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in Canada for 13 years. In addition, she taught at the Leo Baeck Day School and led Toronto’s March of the Living program to Poland and Israel. Having served as Supervisor of our Hebrew and Senior schools from 1987 to 1991 (in addition to teaching in our Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah program), Debbie knows us rather well. In her enthusiastic and capable hands, our School has seen significant movement and renewal just this year. Debbie is smart and responsive, possessed of a strong background of Jewish knowledge and much

experience in informal and formal Jewish education. Her leadership, organizational skills and capability as a role model have brought all around her to feel confident about the future of our School. Debbie is married to Randy Spiegel, and they have four children — Akyva, Miryam, Yael and Yaakov. We are extremely fortunate to have Debbie as our Director of Education. Should you wish to reach her at any time, don’t hesitate to call her (ext. 239), at the Temple, or e-mail

A new face on the bimah We are equally enthusiastic to add Lindi Rivers to our corps of professionals. When Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner prepared to go on sabbatical this past fall, he brought in Lindi as his substitute for that four-month period. The Cantor did so because of his previous knowledge of Lindi from the Lachan Choir, and as a Cantorial Soloist at various congregations in the Toronto area. Lindi more than filled the bill. She brought inspiring music, a beautiful voice and a steady, humble and engaging per-

Sat. Sept. 16 and Sun. Sept. 17, 2006 Hold this date and watch the next issue of the Bulletin for more details.

June 2006


Sivan/Tammuz 5766

sonality on and off the bimah at Holy Blossom Temple. She has worked very well with all sectors of the congregation (the larger congregation, her colleagues, B’nei Mitzvah families, families in need and families at celebration). Lindi not only possesses the skills to be an outstanding cantor one day (she is currently studying with Cantor Maissner), but more specifically, has brought to our professional staff the capability to widen and deepen our relationships with the congregation. Lindi is married to Dr. Stephen Rivers and they are the parents of Camilo, Sophie and Talia.

Making Holy Blossom better In case it hasn’t been clear above, my personal confidence in both Debbie and Lindi is very high. Not only do they bring their individual talents and commitments to Holy Blossom, but they make each one of us — members of the congregation and those of us privileged to work here — better at what we do and who we are.


Welcome Debbie Spiegel and Lindi Rivers (officially)


The Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning at Holy Blossom Temple Our Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning provides opportunities to come together for major public lectures, to study Torah and other literature, and to obtain the skills needed to lead a deeper Jewish life. For more details on our spring 2006 lectures and programs, please call the School office (ext. 256), at the Temple, or visit our Web site at All programs and lectures are open to the community, unless otherwise stated. STUDY WITH OUR RABBIS The Brilliance of the Rabbinic Revolution Rabbi John Moscowitz Tuesdays, at 7.30 p.m. June 6 and 13 Ours is not the Judaism of the Bible, but that of the Rabbis. The Rabbis — in the first number of centuries of the Common Era — brilliantly and courageously rescued Judaism from ruin and irrelevance, fashioning a new Judaism out of the old, one based on study rather than on sacrifice. Mixed Blessings: A Mini-Course for Interfaith Couples Rabbi Yael Splansky Mondays at 8 p.m. June 5, 12, 19 and 26 Articulating your expectations and beliefs, managing the extended families,


fostering a clear religious identity in your children — these are some of the complexities we will think through together. For more details or to register, please call Cynthia Silverman (ext. 276), at the Temple or e-mail Siblings in Genesis Rabbi Dow Marmur Wednesdays at 7.30 p.m. June 7, 14, 21 and 28 This course examines the relationships of siblings found in the Book of Genesis: Cain and Abel; Noah’s sons; Isaac and Ishmael; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers. Join Rabbi Dow Marmur for an investigative look at these powerful brothers and how they lived and worked together.

Living History: Back to our Roots Rabbi Chaim Weiner Director of the European Masorti (Conservative) Bet Din (Court)

Mon. June 5, at 8 p.m. Did you know that Jews in Tuscany buried a matzah bakery, a mikvah and a kosher slaughterhouse in caves hundreds of feet beneath their synagogue? This session will bring our history to life through pictures, music and texts.


to a summer barbeque?


a gift that won’t



M E L T.

A donation in honour of your host or hostess is an original and meaningful reminder of your appreciation for his or her hospitality and also helps Holy Blossom Temple continue to provide the programs and welcoming community you have come to expect and cherish.

For more information, please call the Foundation office (ext. 270), at the Temple.

Holy Blossom Temple


Our new approach to Bar/Bat Mitzvah: building on our strength by Rabbi Yael Splansky

Holy Blossom Temple’s Strategic Plan, now in development, calls for a new look at how to balance the high standards and traditions of Holy Blossom with flexibility and innovation for the sake of building community and giving more personal attention to our members.

Religious Education and Worship committees for feedback, then formally adopted by the Temple Board on Mar. 23, 2006.

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience,

taught as a skill for use beyond the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. CDs will replace audio-cassettes. Families may choose to buy a remarkable, custom-designed CD-ROM, so students can enjoy practicing their Torah and Haftarah portions on their home computers.

in particular, provides a unique

Celebrating in community

opportunity to instill Jewish values,

From time to time, a member asks us about the possibility of a Havdallah/ twilight Bar/Bat Mitzvah, an interest also indicated in last year’s survey. After a thorough review by the sub-committee, and after much consideration by our Board of Directors, it was decided not to go this route at this time. The Board felt that the celebration of Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the midst of the larger congregation — in addition to family and friends — helps young people recognize that they are part of something larger, a part of their People. Our Board will re-evaluate and be open to the matter again a year from now.

strengthen commitment, foster Jewish

Responding to the survey

identity and teach skills for future

Last year’s congregational survey confirmed that life-cycle moments bind our members to the congregation and to Judaism. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience, in particular, provides a unique opportunity to instill Jewish values, strengthen commitment, foster Jewish identity and teach skills for future Jewish living and learning — for our students and parents alike. Therefore, we have turned our attention to Bar/Bat Mitzvah for evaluation first among all life-cycle events. We are working from a position of great strength. Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program is comprehensive and engaging. Learning takes place in classrooms and on retreats with peers; one-on-one with devoted tutors, rabbis and cantors; with parents at special programs; and through hands-on mitzvah projects as outlined in our innovative Sha’arei Kehillah program. The following are the highlights of a comprehensive document, which was thoughtfully prepared by a subcommittee of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Committee. Yasher Koach to Phyllis Cincinatus, Dr. Mary Elliott, Randi Garfinkel, Sandy Moranis and Debbie Spiegel, who worked together with Dee-Dee Shiffman, the long-time Chair of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Committee, and me. The full document was brought to the

Jewish living and learning — for our students and parents alike.

• Alternative times and venues: In addition to the tradition of celebrating during our Main Service on Shabbat mornings, families may now choose to celebrate during our weekday Morning Services (Mondays, Thursdays, Rosh Chodesh and other special days when Torah is read) or during our Shabbat Morning Family Service. • For the keen and capable: Students who want to learn more and lead more will be offered additional opportunities to do so. • For those who celebrate in Israel: We invite these students to be called for an aliyah, to recite the Torah blessings, in the midst of their congregation. • Making it personal: Beginning in 2009, we hope to have a maximum of two B’nei Mitzvah celebrated during the Congregational Shabbat Service and only one during the Family Service and on weekdays. Some new bimah rituals are also being developed. • Teaching tools: Cantillation will be June 2006


Sivan/Tammuz 5766

The new guidelines These new guidelines apply to all families celebrating in 2009 and beyond. Families already scheduled to celebrate in 2006, 2007 or 2008, who would like to take advantage of these new possibilities, may do so as the Temple calendar and educational program allow. The points discussed above are only the highlights of a comprehensive document. If you have any questions, please call Roseanne Mason, our Lifecycle Co-ordinator (ext. 231), at the Temple. If you would like to speak with the rabbi who oversees our Bar/ Bat Mitzvah program, please call Rabbi Yael Splansky (ext. 244), at the Temple.


Make this home your home by Deborah K. Spiegel, Director of Education

It is hard to believe that we have completed another school year. We have had so many positive experiences this year and we are all so proud. We hope that you have received your re-enrollment package for 2006–2007. We ask that all re-enrollment materials be back in our office by Fri. June 30, 2006.

The 2006 news This year saw the beginning of a weekly School-wide newsletter, where all parents were informed of the goings-on in the School. Being informed allows parents to partner with us, and together we can make students’ religious education a main priority for you and your family. The shul and School must be seen as another ‘home’ for your children. This year also saw the introduction of the chugim for children in Grades 1


to 6. Chugim gave students a change of pace from the regular Religious School program. The first Shatz class for students in Kitot Gimel and Dalet was created in the Hebrew School. The Shatz class gave students an opportunity to participate in in-depth study of the prayer Service and to learn to be shelichei tzibur (prayer leaders).

New for 2006–2007 For all Junior Kindergarten students in September 2006, we will introduce “Taste of Temple,” a once-a-month JK program. This program will give some of our youngest students a feel for what we do here in School. For all students in Grades 7 to 10, Senior School will look and feel very different. Students will have a chance to learn from their core courses as well as to choose from a variety of elective courses. These courses will range from text study and Hebrew language, to Jewish cooking and the Jewish attitude

toward the environment. There will be time for students to participate in Youth Group programs, and to learn more about our Temple community and the greater Jewish community. Senior School will meet Monday evenings from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. (Please note the time change.) Complete course listings will be sent to each family toward the end of the summer, with actual student registration for specific classes at the beginning of September. Much more information will follow throughout the summer! The Bar/Bat Mitzvah program will make a real difference in our Senior School program. (Please see page 5 for more Bar/Bat Mitzvah information.) If you are interested in joining Senior School, please call me (ext. 239), at the Temple. This is the time of year when we look back at our accomplishments and look forward in anticipation of what is to come. The excitement is building — make this your home next year.

Family Programming


(for 20 and 30 somethings)

Shabbat Fusion Rabbi Yael Splansky Fri. June 30, 2006, at 6.30 p.m. Members and non-members are invited to a unique Kabbalat Shabbat experience of song and prayer. Avivah Chernik, Aaron Lightstone and their musical friends will bring the city's finest fusion of jazz, funk, Ashkenaz and Sepharad. A Shabbes Tish of sushi and wine will follow. For more details on this program, please call Cynthia Silverman (ext. 276), at the Temple.

Family Camp

Father/Son Day

Fri. Sept. 1 to Sun. Sept. 3, 2006

Sun. June 11, 2006, at 10 a.m. (Note change of date.)

If you think relaxing at a beautiful camping site, watching lots of kids playing together, participating in a warm Shabbat experience and enjoying delicious s’mores sounds like a good way to spend a few days, then Family Camp is for you. Please join us for our annual retreat at Camp George in gorgeous Parry Sound. For more details, please call Rabbi Jason Rosenberg (ext. 277), at the Temple.

Holy Blossom Temple


We’ll meet at the Toronto Island Ferry Docks to start our annual field day, just for the guys — and then head out to Centre Island for games, sports, drama, food and more! RSVP to Shelly Berenbaum (ext. 233), at the Temple. For more details, including information on our ‘adopt-a-dad’ program (guys without sons, we need you!), please call Rabbi Jason Rosenberg (ext. 277), at the Temple.

Help us repair our world by Gordon Arbess, Member, Social Action Committee

After a hiatus, the Social Action Committee is back with much enthusiasm, vigour, excitement and commitment. We look forward to working together with the congregation to help strengthen the Temple, our community, our city and the world — with the goal of ‘tikkun olam’ (repairing the world). We are working on several exciting projects and we look forward to recruiting any interested members to assist in these endeavours.

communities in the developing world that are affected most by HIV/AIDS.

We are also planning an educational event about violence and how it impacts our community and city.

Helping disadvantaged youth Another exciting project we are working on involves forming relationships with disadvantaged youth in our local community. We hope that members of Holy Blossom can share some of their skills and knowledge with youth who may be faced with unemployment, poverty, drug abuse or violence. We are working with members of the Lawrence Heights community to assess their needs and see how the Holy Blossom community may benefit them.

We welcome your ideas We are always looking for fresh faces, creative minds and new ideas. Our next meeting will be on Mon. June 12, 2006, at 7.30 p.m. Please join us and bring any friends or colleagues who may have an interest in any of these issues or in tikkun olam in general. If you are interested in joining the committee or if you have any questions, please call Cynthia Silverman (ext. 276), at the Temple or e-mail

HIV/AIDS education We are planning several events to educate the congregation on the issue of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. In conjunction with Holy Blossom’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, we look forward to a major event, with keynote speaker Stephen Lewis, in March 2007. In addition, we look forward to several educational events related to the topic of HIV/AIDS, including lectures and workshops on HIV/AIDS in Toronto, the Jewish response to this disease and the idea of forging relationships with those

Clergy on the Move Sun. June 19, 2006, all-day walk beginning at 1 p.m. Earl Bales Park, North York Join Rabbi Jason Rosenberg and the Holy Blossom Temple team at the Zareinu moveathon. Or, if you can’t join them and would like to show your support, please sponsor the walkers with a pledge. For more details on joining or sponsoring our team, go to, and click on “join/sponsor.”

Temple leadership by David Baskin, Chair, Nominating Committee

We are all aware that this is a time of excitement as Holy Blossom Temple embarks on its 150th Anniversary celebrations. The Strategic Imperatives, which were distributed to every member of the congregation earlier this year, will be the

focus of Temple leadership as we move forward in implementing our Plan. Our Directors need to be committed to the future of Holy Blossom Temple and passionate about ensuring its success. The job of the Nominating Committee is to find and endorse members who can best serve the Temple — on the Board and as Officers. June 2006


Sivan/Tammuz 5766

This year’s Nominating Committee members are: Benjamin Applebaum (Ex Officio) David Baskin • Alice Charach • Sara Charney • Michael Diamond • Sarita Dotan • Tom Ehrlich • Karen Fisman Shane Freedman • Judy Nyman Howard Roger • Rob Storm Gordon Wolfe.



T E M P L E ' S

1 5 0


Sefer Torah Project: the enthusiasm builds by Janis Babins, Chair, Torat Chaim Project

We are excitedly counting down to the official launch of Torat Chaim, our Sefer Torah project, during our Simchat Torah celebrations on Sat. Oct. 14, 2006. The next day, we will begin the actual writing of the Torah scroll. Already, more than 100 Temple members have signed up to participate, made their financial commitment and booked their date to write a letter in the Torah. We invite you to join them. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to help create a Torah. Writing a letter will

be something special for you and your family to experience. What we create together will serve us and the generations that follow for years to come. No special skills are required. You are welcome to participate no matter what level of Jewish education you have attained or how well you know Hebrew. Neil Yerman, our highly experienced scribe, will be our guide and our steady hand. During Passover, we were reminded that to really understand the Exodus, you had to be there; thus, each of us had to regard ourselves as having personally been brought out of Egypt.

The mitzvah of writing a Torah is also one that you have to experience for yourself. It is an experience like no other. You will remember it for a lifetime. The goal of Torat Chaim is for every member of the Holy Blossom Temple to write at least one letter in our scroll. Whether you are young or old, on your own or with family, well off or of modest means, we invite and welcome your participation. Make your commitment now. For more details and to help us meet our goal of 100-per-cent congregational participation, please call Deborah Tameanko (ext. 265), at the Temple.

Holy Blossom Temple 150th Anniversary Trip to Israel Led by Rabbi Edward and Mrs. Fagi Goldfarb | Thur. Apr. 12 to Mon. Apr. 23, 2007 Join us for a double celebration: Holy Blossom’s 150th Anniversary and Israel’s Independence Day. With our guiding themes of Zionism, Israeli culture, the political situation and Reform Judaism, we will have a special itinerary that includes: • Spending two nights in a luxury spa in the Galilee • Visiting the scribe who will be finishing our new Sefer Torah • Wine-tasting on the Golan Heights • Visiting the recently expanded sites of Masada, Caesaria and Beit She’an • Visiting experiential museums, such as the new Yad Vashem and Palmach Museum • Exploring the captivating tunnels under the Western Wall This trip is designed for those who have not been to Israel for several years, or have not been at all. To learn more and speak with the travel agent, please join us for an information evening on Thur. June 15, 2006, at 7.30 p.m. You can also obtain additional information from Jeff Denaburg at

Holy Blossom Temple




Honouring our long-time members by Sheila Smolkin, Vice Chair, 150th Anniversary Committee

As we prepare for our 150th Anniversary celebrations, we recognize how fortunate we are to be a congregation with members whose affiliation with the Temple goes back several generations. These members have rich stories to tell of our early years. If you are one of these members, not only do we want to hear your stories, but we want to honour you at a special Shabbat Service on Sept. 16, 2006. On our Temple Web site, we have posted a list of members of the congregation from 1937. This list was taken from the Dedication Souvenir book published in 1938 to commemorate the opening of the new Holy Blossom Temple on Bathurst Street. To see if you or one of your ancestors is listed, please visit and click on the 150th Anniversary link. If you have a connection, please leave us a message on the Archives hotline (ext. 522), at the Temple. And if you or your ancestor is not on the list, but you know that your family joined Holy Blossom several

decades ago, please call us. The following is a smaller list of members who were a part of the congregation in 1956 when we celebrated our 100th anniversary and whose names also appeared on a 1914-15 membership ledger. Please check this list as well: Miss E.V. Birkenthal Mr. & Mrs. Meyer Brenner Miss Etta Brookstein Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Cohen Miss Adelaide Cohen Mrs. Mark G. Cohen Mr. & Mrs. Louis L. Cole Mr. Joseph B. Danson Mr. & Mrs. Bertram N. Davis Miss Violet Davis Mr. & Mrs. Charles Draimin Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Fogler Mr. & Mrs. Carl Milford Frankel Mr. & Mrs. Egmont W. Frankel Mr. & Mrs. Roy H. Frankel Mr. Charles Fremes Mrs. Max Fremes Mrs. Isador Fried Mr. & Mrs. Ben Geldsaler Mrs. Bernard Goldstein Mr. & Mrs. Percy Hermant

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur H. Jacobs Mr. & Mrs. Alfred King Mrs. Hyman King Mr. & Mrs. H.S. King Mr. & Mrs. Joseph King Mr. Samuel King Mr. & Mrs. Theodore King Mrs. F.J. Levenston Mr. & Mrs. Mort Levy Mr. & Mrs. H. List Mrs. Harry Marks Mr. & Mrs. Victor A. Miller Mrs. H.L. Nussbaum His Worship Mayor Nathan Phillips and Mrs. Phillips Mrs. Ralph Raphael Mr. Ben Raz Mr. Abe Rosenthal Mr. & Mrs. H.M. Samuel Dr. Sigmund Samuel Mr. E. Scheuer, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. I.S. Scheuer Mrs. L. Simon Mrs. Rhoda Simmons Mr. & Mrs. Abraham Singer Mrs. E.F. Singer Mr. Max Singer Mrs. A. Weinreb Mrs. Bessie Winters

Reconnect Sat. May 5, 2007

with fellow Confirmands

If you were confirmed at Holy Blossom from the 1930s to the 1980s, please join us for a special Shabbat Service and luncheon in your honour. Reconnect with Temple life and history, as well as friends from the past, and be a part of the excitement of Holy Blossom’s 150th Anniversary celebrations. We want to contact all of you who were confirmed during this time period. Please call the Confirmation hotline (ext. 506), at the Temple, or e-mail with your name, phone number and e-mail address, to receive an invitation to this special event. Mark your calendars and watch the Bulletin for more details.

June 2006


Sivan/Tammuz 5766

Events and Announcements To reserve your spot, please call Shelly Berenbaum (ext. 233), at the Temple. Summer 2006 Library Hours From June to August, our hours are: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 6 p.m. The Library will be closed Thur. Aug. 3 to Mon. Aug. 13.

Baseball League Our slo-pitch team, the Holy B’s, plays almost every Sunday with the Inter Synagogue Baseball League. Come out and cheer on your team. For more details, please visit our Web site at hbbh.

The Toronto Jewish Healing Project: God Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Rabbi Dow Marmur Wed. June 14, 2006, at 8.30 a.m. Join us for the keynote address, followed by workshops led by outstanding religious and professional leaders of the community. For more details, please call Etta Ginsberg McEwan, at (416) 944-3359.

Lunch and Learn in Retirement: Cabaret at Stage West Wed. June 14, 2006, at 10.30 a.m. Cost: $40 members; $45 non-members.

Lachan Jewish Chamber Choir: Jewish Identity through the Musical Lens Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner Nadia Adler, Accompanist Mon. June 12, 2006, at 8 p.m. Leah Posluns Theatre Enjoy a rare concert showcasing a wide range of Jewish choral music. The music will move chronologically from ancient chants to modern Israeli compositions. Special guest artists Daniel and Carey Domb will join us. Tickets: $25. To order, please call (416) 782-3214 or e-mail

Pain Medicine: June 12 Historical Perspectives and Present Practices | Dr. Ed Sheffman

M O N D AYS @ the Temple

Gary Ciglen, Donna Colt, Gary This year’s program is drawing to Goodman, Karen Garmaise, Daisy & a close. Thank you to all the volSyd Jacobs, Pnina Margolese, Linda unteers who make this program Neufeld and Vallry Waldman, and the possible: Paula Warren, who comany participants of the program who ordinates the programs; Sue Joel and help us in so many ways. A special Gail Goodman, who supervise the thank you to Leila Conn, who always volunteers and oversee the lunch treats us to her special poppy seed preparations; Melanie Nesbitt, who cookies. We look forward to seeing leads the exercise program; Toby everyone again at our first program on Ciglen, who greets our participants Sept. 11, 2006. Please join us for our and manages the seniors’ hotline; final programs: Sue Devor, Gail Goodman, Kathy Green, Judy Malkin and Janet Ryval, June 5 The Textile Museum: who provide delicious soup each Threads of Human History | Anne week; as well as Tilly Bardikoff, Posen, Educator, the Textile Museum

June 19 Storytelling | Dan Yashinsky, Storyteller, Toronto Public Library

Summer Gathering Sat. July 8, 2006, at 10.30 a.m. You are invited to join other seniors during the regular Shabbat Morning Service to reconnect with your longtime friends. After the Service, come and enjoy a light lunch. This Summer Gathering is for all Temple members, with a special invitation to our senior congregants. Hope to see you there. This event is being co-sponsored by the Connecting Team of the Caring Community and Sisterhood.

For more information, or to leave a message, please call the Seniors’ hotline (ext. 517), at the Temple. Holy Blossom Temple


Our Congregational Family We would like to welcome the following people to the Holy Blossom Temple family: Elysse Altman, and Jonathan and Elle • Danielle & Jared Bernatt, and Bari • Claire & Mortimer Goodman • Fern Glowinsky & Ian Sandler, and Leo and Cole • Hilary & David Kettner Margaret McBeath & Joseph Cohen, and Oliver • Shannon Moldaver & Daniel Dorenbush, and Ethan • Ruth Pelly Leona Richman, and Alysha and Jada • Shelley Rothauser & Arthur Vainshtein • Marsha & Martin Rothstein • Lisa Slater & Howard Muchnick

Jessica Cooper, on winning the Gardner Museum Award for her ceramic work. Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner, on receiving the Hazzan Moshe Nathanson Award in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments as a conductor and hazzan. Lesley Binstock Offman, on being honoured by the Israel Cancer Research Fund for her outstanding community leadership in helping to support cancer research.

Emily Olsberg, daughter of Christina & Daniel Olsberg. Other proud grandparents are Ingrid & Reinhard Kaboth of Burg, Germany.

B’nei Mitzvah

14 Sivan 5766/June 10, 2006 Brody Herberman, daughter of Barbara Rodgers & Lee Herberman

14 Sivan 5766/June 10, 2006 Mitchell Levitt, son of Lina Giancola & Anthony Levitt

21 Sivan 5766/June 17, 2006 Robin Radomski, daughter of Tammy & Sidney Radomski

21 Sivan 5766/June 17, 2006 Joshua Robins, son of Anita & Andrew Robins

Births Jordana & Brian Britt on the birth of their son Carter Avery Britt. Proud grandparents are Laurie & Ron Britt and Judith & Yuriel Priwes. Melanie & Steven Dan on the birth of their daughter Leah Emma Dan. Proud grandparents are Susan & Peter Dan and Sandie & Leo Lazare. Proud great-grandparents are Zelda & Alec Nisker and Freida Rudick. Tara & Michael Fingold on the birth of their daughter Mimi Syde Fingold, sister to Cole. Proud grandparents are Linda & Peter Coleman, Lynne Fingold and Ronni & David Fingold. Proud great-grandfather is Marvin Gerstein. Rabbi Jill Borodin & Adam Grossman on the birth of their twin daughters, Alexandra Adira Grossman and Naomi Elizabeth Grossman. Proud grandparents are Judy & Allan Borodin and Aaron Grossman. Proud great-grandmother is Blanche Fersh. Michelle Grinstein & Dushan Jojkic on the birth of their son Jonah Alexander Jojkic. Proud grandparents are Razelle Roebuck & David MacCoy and Lucy & Marty Grinstein. Genevieve & Mark Korman on the birth of their son Sam David Korman, brother to Ashley Rose. Proud grandparents are Linda & Bernie Aron and Phyllis & Jerry Korman. Proud great-grandparents are Molly Aron, Sarah Goldman, Alec Katz and Rose Korman. Elke & Melville Olsberg on the birth of their granddaughter Nouria June 2006


21 Sivan 5766/June 17, 2006 Emily Saunders, daughter of Barbara Grossman & Robert Saunders

28 Sivan 5766/June 24, 2006 Madison Hayley McCloskey, daughter of Faryl Hausman & Ron McCloskey

28 Sivan 5766/June 24, 2006 Daniel Roher, son of Joanne & Kevin Roher

Engagements/Marriages Jordan Shiffman, son of Dee-Dee & Gary Shiffman, and Kaeli Macdonald, daughter of Moira & Bob Macdonald. Alexis Ungerman, daughter of Nina Budman & Larry Ungerman, and Louis Goluboff, son of Shelly & Lanny Goluboff, who will be married in November 2006. Sivan/Tammuz 5766

Name Date Etta G. Levin June 15 Jennie Amsterdam 16 David Eisen 16 Martin Bernard Fremont 16 Molly Rossman 17 Karl Bald 18 Royden Cowan 18 Stanley Scott Freeman 18 Herman Itkoff 18 David Moscovitz 18 Clara Pollock 18 Mathilda Bald 19 Jennifer Borins Sutton 19 Solomon Cohen 19 Harry Firestone 19 Harry Manson 19 Rebecca Persiko 19 Bessie Swartz 19 Samuel Applebaum 20 Sam Kay 20 Anna Paulin 20 Minna Tepper 20 Jack Henry Meltz 21 Larry Grossman 22

Dawn Davis, mother of Craig Davis, Evelyn Davis and Lydia Davis, sister of David MacCoy Mindie Fenton, mother of Madeline Cogan, Barry Fenton, Brian Fenton, Shelley Fenton and Sharon Marcovitch, sister of Rose Factor, Solly Finkelstein, William Finkelstein, Ruth Greenspoon and Sonia Travis Reuben Frankel, husband of Toby Frankel, father of Harriet Blackstein, Dr. David Frankel and Heather Shapero, brother of Faye Levey Julia Goldfarb, mother of Howard Goldfarb and Ellen Little Rose Luba Jacques, mother of Arthur Jacques and Lawrie Jacques Jack Kirzner, husband of Edith Kirzner, father of Rabbi Robert Kirzner, Karen Ann Kutner, Susan Ling and Judy Skolnik, brother of Shirley Brown, Ann Tartick and Jean Tobe James Lewis, husband of Sheila Lewis, father of Jane Evoy and Richard Lewis Judi Miller, wife of Norman Miller, mother of Adam Miller and Amy Miller, sister of Michael Ryval Ethel Raicus Carl Silverstein, father of Esther Schreider, Natalie Silverstein and Ron Silverstein, brother of Rose Roth and Victor Silverstein Vera Usprich, mother of Sharon Sutton Virginia Zelinger, mother of Marlene Rudnick and Jacob Zelinger, sister of Shula Regavi and Yossi Tayar

Lights will be kindled in the Sanctuary, for seven days, starting the Saturday evening before the anniversary date, to mark the yahrzeit of the following: Name Leah Nankin Harry Greenberg Norman Fremes Nathan Gotfrid Pearl Cooper Kremer Abbey Muter Percy Penturn Marsha Pezim Gloria Baskin Etta Brookstein Gussie Kaplan Philip Goldman

Date June 5 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 9

Name Date Allen Louis Greenberg June 9 Barbara Savein 9 Rose Starkman 9 Boris Cymbal 10 Louis Charles Feldstein 10 Benjamin Mannis 10 Molly Cohen 11 Max Kurtz 11 Gertrude Anna Lederman 11 Geraldine Rubinoff 11 Minnie Sapera 12 Samuel Weiser 12 Dana Shendroff Bruhand 13 Rose Cohen 13 Jennie Crangle 14 Louis Goldstein 14 Fanny Hanick 14 Noah Lieberman 14 Katherine Pless 14 Gertrude Engel 15 Molly Feldstein 15

Holy Blossom Temple

Name Date Arthur Joseph Messinger June 22 Beatrice Smith 22 Ralph Bregman 23 Harry Green 23 Philip Henry 23 Pearl Sigal 23 William Wolfe 24 Rabbi Arthur Brodey 25 Fred Harris 25 Sylvia Russak 25 Ladislav Gartner 26 Mildred Laxton 26 Charles Cohen 27 Charles Rafelman 27 Irene Reese 27 Philip Simmons 27 Myer Florence 28 Lionel Roher 28 Jack J. Silverman 28 Charlotte Brody 29 Ann Bregman 30 Joel Adam Lavine 30 Irving Rubin 30 Jacob Harry Davis July 1

150th Anniversary Celebration Fund General: Renee & Naim Dallal Aid for Survivors of Terrorism Bernard Lapidus, Special Birthday: Etienne & Aubrey Kaplan Mr. & Mrs. Norem Litvack, Mazal Tov: Fran & Murray Ellis Morgulis Family, Mazal Tov: Carla & Alain Baudot Laure Badout & Leeor Sommer, Mazal Tov: Carla & Alain Baudot Carl Silverstein, In Memory: Sandy & Gordon Atlin Jean Fine Seniors Fund Marilyn Farber, Speedy Recovery: Shoshana Cole Floral Fund Karl Bald, In Memory: Burtha & Henry Liss and Family Mathilda Bald, In Memory: Burtha & Henry Liss and Family Brody Herberman, Bat Mitzvah: Barbara Rodgers & Lee Herberman Mitchell Levitt, Bar Mitzvah: Lina Giancola & Anthony Levitt Madison Hayley McCloskey, Bat Mitzvah: Faryl Hausman & Ron McCloskey Robin Radomski, Bat Mitzvah: Tammy & Sidney Radomski Joshua Robins, Bar Mitzvah: Anita & Andrew Robins Daniel Roher, Bar Mitzvah: Joanne & Kevin Roher Emily Saunders, Bat Mitzvah: Barbara Grossman & Robert Saunders Gardner Family Fund Allen Gardner, Yahrzeit: Zita Gardner and Family


Holy Blossom Temple Foundation Yoel Abells, In Appreciation: Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood Fred Cotton, Yahrzeit: Gladys Cotton and Family Randi Garfinkel, Happy Birthday: Deborah Leibow & Ken Snider Ruth Gold, In Memory: Esther & Cyril Hersh Fagi Goldfarb, Best Wishes: Franci & Marty Storm Harry Hands, Yahrzeit: Esther Hands and his children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren Bernard Herman, Happy Birthday: Joanne Smith Cutler & Stan Fisher; Madeline & Bucky Epstein; Roz & Stan Witkin Elliott Jacobson, Happy Birthday: Joan Garson & David Baskin Jack Kirzner, In Memory: Henrietta Chesnie; Daisy & Syd Jacobs; Rosalyn Leese Leonard Levy, Happy Birthday: Helene & Jack Kugelmass Judy Nyman & Harley Mintz, Happy Anniversary: Janette & Michael Diamond Uriel Priwes, Happy Birthday: Faye & Ian Black Ethel Raicus, In Memory: Daisy & Syd Jacobs; Esther & Marvin Tile Sam Ruth, In Memory: Joan Garson & David Baskin Linsay Stitt, Mazal Tov: Roz & Stan Witkin Jordan Tanz, In Memory: Esther & Cyril Hersh Kaye Zeldin, In Memory: Henrietta Chesnie Isenberg Endowment Fund Ruth Joseph, In Memory: Ederman Family; Annette Fogel; Rose Fogel; Pilon Family Israel Study Fund Raisie Markus, Special Birthday: Alexis Singer & Brian Nichols Elliott Jacobson/Judy Malkin Concert Fund Mrs. Hope & Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner, Mazal Tov: Judy Malkin & Elliott Jacobson Joan Kerbel Leadership Development Fund Ike Morgulis, In Appreciation: Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood Sisterhood Board, In Appreciation: Sharon Smith-Miller & Shelley Miller Library Book Fund Daniel Bohnen, In Memory: Lyle Stanway Rose Desser, In Memory: Sheila & Bob Smolkin Fagi Goldfarb, Speedy Recovery: Mildred & Philip Eisenberg; Isaac Morgulis Dow and Fredzia Marmur Program for Educational Excellence Tobe Blumenstein, In Appreciation: Sybil Geller Cynthia Good, In Honour: Sybil & Jack Geller Albert Goldhar, In Memory: Sybil & Jack Geller Dow & Fredzia Marmur, Happy Anniversary: Marilyn Farber; Sybil & David Gordon Mary & Henry Seldon, Mazal Tov: Sybil & Jack Geller

Olsberg-Rutsatz Fund Mitchell Duckman, In Memory: Elke & Melville Olsberg Sam Leitenberg, Get Well Soon: Elke, Melville and Daniel Olsberg Mrs. Hope & Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner, Mazal Tov: The Olsberg Family Michael Stroh, Mazal Tov: The Olsberg Family Out of the Cold Anna Axler, In Memory: Annalee & Brian Schnurr Nanny & Austin Beutel, Happy Passover: Shilly & Laz Rosen Carey Bokser, In Memory: Harriett & Frank Wolman Earl Crangle, Happy Birthday: Lorna & Hartley Greenbaum Beverlee & Alan Feldman, Happy Passover: Shilly & Laz Rosen Jacqueline Friedland, Get Well Soon: Janice & Larry Babins Randi Garfinkel, Happy Birthday: Rose Zeidenberg Evelyn Gold, Happy Birthday: Clare & Monte Denaburg Fagi Goldfarb, Speedy Recovery: Barbara Organ Yetta & Mel Goodman, Happy Passover: Shilly & Laz Rosen Ellen Gordon, Happy Birthday: Susan Freedman and Family Myrna & Gary Guttman, Happy Passover: Shilly & Laz Rosen Lillian Jotlin, In Memory: Marion Gotlieb Brent Kirshenbaum, Happy Birthday: Schneidman Family Sheila Kornblum, In Appreciation: Denyse Silverman Marvin Miller, In Memory: Helen & Edward Sheffman Manning Norman, In Memory: Marilyn Hahn Florence Robinson, In Memory: Evelyn Florence Randall Rottbart, Happy Birthday: Schneidman Family Larry Schwartz, In Appreciation: Family of the Late Leslie Donne Ruth Sheps, With Condolences: Doreen Neiss Eden Silverberg, Mazal Tov: Debra & Gary Walters Marsha Slivka, In Appreciation: Denyse Silverman Bruce Smith, In Memory: Estelle Latchman Jordan Tanz, In Memory: Bernice & Yitz Penciner; Annalee & Brian Schnurr Shirley & Leon Tessler, Happy Anniversary: Barbara & Mark Obar Alex Tobias, In Memory: Rose, Bob, Elaine and Susan Silverman Dora Track, Special Birthday: Marilyn & David Gluskin Charlotte Wilson, In Memory: Evelyn Himel Frank Wolman, Happy Birthday: Mildred & Norman Green Plaut Manor Michael Brotman, In Appreciation: Ruth Sheps Lilian Joltin, In Memory: Ruth Sheps Dylan Landau, In Honour: Betty Mae Siegel James Lewis, In Memory: Eleanor & Hartley Steinberg Marvin Miller, In Memory: Lila & Allan Weiss Rose Noble, Special Birthday: Barbara & Floyd Stern Uri Priwes, Special Birthday: Sandra & Jerry Chapnik

Ron & Lesley Miller Seniors Fund Lesley Miller, Happy Birthday: Kathy & Maurice Green Musical Legacy Fund Tom Beck, Happy Birthday: Mary & Henry Seldon Mrs. Hope & Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner, Mazal Tov on Birth of Granddaughter: Sarita Dotan; Helena & David Fine; Randi & Alan Garfinkel; Mira Goldfarb & Adam Berkowitz; Margaret & David Hart; Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood, Ellen Karabanow; Helene & Jack Kugelmass; Sharon & Shelly Miller; Marlene & Wayne Pulver and Family; Marlene & Robert Ruderman; Gail & Barry Silver; Sheila & Bob Smolkin Rae Roebuck & David McCoy, Mazal Tov: Kathy & Maurice Green Florence Robinson, In Memory: Margaret & David Hart Irving Shendroff, Mazal Tov: Nancy & Lloyd Pollack

June 2006

Rabbi Yael Splansky, In Appreciation: Joanne & Gary Fish, Marlene & Stanley Stein and Family; Clara Stein


Prayer Book and Worship Fund Louis Dennis, Yahrzeit: June Dennis and Family Rita Kravitch Moon, Yahrzeit: Sharon Moon Leonard Levy, Special Birthday: Sheila & Bob Smolkin David Rose, Yahrzeit: Ruth Green; Rose Rose Beth Sky, Special Birthday: Aaron Lipson Cary Solomon, Happy Birthday: Harvey Borden Jennifer Borins Sutton, In Memory: Jeffrey, Jeremy and Greg Sutton Project Tikvah Fund Julia Goldfarb, In Memory: Gail & Barry Silver Fagi Goldfarb, In Honour: Sharon & Shelly Miller; Gail & Barry Silver

Sivan/Tammuz 5766

Rabbis’ and Cantor’s Discretionary Fund Rabbi John Moscowitz: James Lewis, In Memory: Lyle Stanway Rabbi John Moscowitz: Molly Shapiro, In Memory: Florence Hertzman Rabbi John Moscowitz, General: Pam Albert; Mark Anshan; David Baskin; Barry Borden; Myer Brody; Brotherhood Board; Richard Charney; Morris Cooper; Thomas Ehrlich; Tom Friedland; Randi & Alan Garfinkel; Gail Goodman; Diana Goodman; Judy Malkin & Elliott Jacobson; Gillian Helfield; Richard Krelstein; Jeff Levy; Leonard Levy; Lorraine Loeb; Richard Lorie; Linda Neufeld; Judy Nyman & Harley Mintz; Nancy Ruth; Fred Saunders; Alison Schwartz; Mary Seldon; Barry Silver; Sisterhood Board; Sheila Smolkin; Ken Snider; Cary Solomon; Fred Zemans Rabbi Yael Splansky, In Appreciation: Caryn Colman & Francis Boyes; Ella Goldhar, and Debbie, Sharry, Linda, Robin and Tracey; Beverley Colman Lokash; Kaylee Miller Mrs. Hope and Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner; Mazal Tov: Naomi Bell Rabbi Edward Goldfarb, In Appreciation: The Newman and Title Families Rabbi Edward Goldfarb: Fagi Goldfarb, Speedy Recovery: Marilyn Farber; Ellen Karabanow

Henry Sager, Yahrzeit: Adele Sager Eve Sanders, Yahrzeit: Sara Pachter Samuel Sax, Yahrzeit: Julia & Michael Sax Sidney Schipper & Laura Schipper, Yahrzeit: Michelle & Robert Schipper and Family; Terri Ted Schipper Harry Schwartz, Yahrzeit: Isabel Schwartz Irving Sheinert, Yahrzeit: Min Herman Minnie Sidlofsky, Yahrzeit: Bea & Saul Sidlofsky Chaim Track, Yahtzeit: Dora Track David Wiener, Yahrzeit: Lillyan Goldstein & Bill Wiener

Nancy Ruth Educational Fund Sam Ruth, In Memory: Thelma & Barney Berris; Shirley Bryant & Patrick Banville; Jeannette & Michael Diamond; Arthur Egier; Rebecca Egier; Jacqueline & Tom Friedland; Ruth Ellen Greenwood; Florence & Harold Herzman; Ann LeSarge; Ann MacPherson & Earl Bederman; Myrna Sandler; Hanna Shlesinger; Sorele Urman

Leonard Wolfe Educational Fund Elaine Hill, Speedy Recovery: Honey Wolfe

Al & Dora Track Scholarship Fund Jack Kirzner, In Memory: Dora Track Leonard Levy, Happy Birthday: Dora Track Lazar Pless, Yahrzeit: Dora Track and Family Abraham Track, Yahrzeit: Dora Track and family Dora Track, Special Birthdays: Jeanne Kamarner

Youth Awards Susan & Morton Goldberg, Mazal Tov: Helena & David Fine Frances & Paul Hellen, Mazal Tov: Estelle Latchman Lisa & Sender Herschorn and Family, Mazal Tov: Lily & Reuben Katz Beth Sky, Happy Birthday: Joan & Ray Moses

Blanche Spiegal Posen Youth Awards L. William Spiegel, Yahrzeit: Joy & Charles Cohen Harry Posen Lecture Series Fund Barry Spiegel, 70th Birthday: Susan & Ray Stancer

Contacts for Donations To make a donation to any of our existing funds, please call the Foundation Office, at (416) 789-3291, ext. 265.

Lula & Irving Saunders Memorial Fund Mitchell Duckman, In Memory: Brenda & Fred Saunders Bernie Herman, Special Birthday: Brenda & Fred Saunders

To learn more about how you can support the Holy Blossom Temple Foundation, or to establish a new fund, please call Deborah Tameanko, at (416) 789-3291, ext. 265.

Shacharit Fund Adam Albright, Yahrzeit: Shirley & Scarlat Albright Harry Cash, Yahrzeit: Lillian & Stanley Cash; Mary & Barry Cash Arnold Cohen, Yahrzeit: Joy & Charles Cohen Rella Doctors, Yahrzeit: Sarita Dotan Barnet Feldman, Yahrzeit: David Feldman; Geoffrey Feldman; Vivianne Leigh Anne Fidler Hutter, Yahrzeit: Shirley Kofman; Martin Kofman; Kathy Kofman Yetta Fishbein, Yahrzeit: Rina & Saul Fishbein Alex Flomen, Yahrzeit: Mona & Robert Sherkin Berta & Joseph Glaser, Yahrzeit: Alice & George Koralek Abraham Goldstein, Yahrzeit: Marlene & Joe Smith Lizica Goldstein, Yahrzeit: Lillyan Goldstein & Bill Wiener Bessie Greisman, Yahrzeit: Ruth & Joel Greisman Issie Guberman, Yahrzeit: Judith Wilansky Betty Halpern, Yahrzeit: Ruth Halpern & David Weil Charles Herschfield, Yahrzeit: Janet Herschfield and Family David Koblinitsky, Yahrzeit: Jackie & Sol Koblin Jack Krygier, Yahrzeit: Lonia Kreiger & Harry Baum Abraham Levine, Yahrzeit: Fran Biderman and Family Jay Lipsey, Yahrzeit: Helen Lyon Pearl Lipsey, Yahrzeit: Helen Lyon Alfred Magerman, Yahrzeit: Barbara Magerman Rebecca Miller, Yahrzeit: Jackie & Sol Koblin Selma Millman, Yahrzeit: Dorothy & Larry Millman; Ruth & Carl Rosen Elliott Morris, Yahrzeit: Gloria Morris Jack Penn, Yahrzeit: Janette & Michael Diamond Harry Posen, Yahrzeit: Joy & Charles Cohen Mollie Pressman, Yahrzeit: Min Herman David Rigler, Yahrzeit: Bonnie & Sheldon Hoppe Debra Laya Rosenbaum, Yahrzeit: Ruth & Hank Rosen

Holy Blossom Temple

To make a donation to MAZON Canada, please call (416) 783-7554. To make a donation to the Toronto Community Forest Fund, please call Sybil Gordon at (416) 489-5709.

We appreciate your support Holy Blossom Temple appreciates all donations to our funds, however due to rising costs, cards will only be sent for donations of $18 or more. We will continue to recognize donations of $18 or more in the Bulletin.

We apologize but due to space constraints, not all donations will appear in the Bulletin issue closest to the date on which the contribution was made. Donations in this issue were received by Apr. 14, 2006.

Our apologies In the last Bulletin, we inadvertently failed to thank two major players in our Purim festivities: Shelley Miller and Nadia Adler. The music of that night would not have been nearly what it was without Nadia’s skill at the piano, and nothing would have happened that evening without the incredible amount of work that Shelley puts into our schpiel each year. They have our apologies for not thanking them previously, and our thanks for all that they do. 14

This Month @ Holy Blossom JUNE 2006 SIVAN/TAMMUZ 5766 Sat. June 3

9 a.m.

Mon. June 5 10 a.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m.

Torah Study

Wed. June 14 8.30 a.m. 9.30 a.m. 10.30 a.m.

Mondays @ the Temple: The Textile Museum Mixed Blessings: A Mini-Course for Interfaith Couples Back to our Roots, with Rabbi Chaim Weiner

11 a.m. 7 p.m. 7.30 p.m. Thur. June 15 7.30 p.m.

11.30 a.m. 7.30 p.m.

Advanced Hebrew The Brilliance of the Rabbinic Revolution

9.30 a.m. 11 a.m. 7 p.m. 7.30 p.m.

Sisterhood Torah Study Yiddish Novel Bereavement Support Group Siblings in Genesis

Fri. June 9

6 p.m.

Tot Shabbat Service and Dinner

Sat. June 10

9 a.m.

Torah Study

Tue. June 6

Wed. June 7

Sun. June 11 10 a.m.

Family Programming’s Father and Son Day at Centre Island

Mon. June 12 10 a.m.

Mondays @ the Temple: Pain Medicine Mixed Blessings: A Mini-Course for Interfaith Couples

8 p.m.

Tue. June 13 11.30 a.m. 7.30 p.m.

Sat. June 17

Israel Trip Information Night Torah Study

Mon. June 19 10 a.m. 8 p.m.

Mondays @ the Temple: Storytelling Mixed Blessings: A Mini-Course for Interfaith Couples

Tue. June 20 11.30 a.m.

Advanced Hebrew

Wed. June 21 9.30 a.m. 11 a.m. 7.30 p.m.

Sisterhood Torah Study Yiddish Novel Siblings in Genesis

Sat. June 24

Advanced Hebrew The Brilliance of the Rabbinic Revolution

9 a.m.

Toronto Jewish Healing Project Sisterhood Torah Study Lunch and Learn in Retirement: Cabaret at Stage West Yiddish Novel Bereavement Support Group Siblings in Genesis

9 a.m.

Torah Study

Mon. June 26 8 p.m.

Mixed Blessings: A Mini-Course for Interfaith Couples

Wed. June 28 9.30 a.m. 11 a.m. 7.30 p.m.

Sisterhood Torah Study Yiddish Novel Siblings in Genesis

Fri. June 30

6.30 p.m.

Shabbat Fusion

Sat. July 1

9 a.m.

Torah Study

For Worship Services, please see page 2. As dates and times may change without notice, please confirm all information by calling the Temple — at any time — to access This Week @ Holy Blossom recording.

The Bulletin is published 11 times a year, between September and June, by Holy Blossom Temple, 1950 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5P 3K9. Telephone: (416) 789-3291; Fax: (416) 789-9697; e-mail:; Web site: Honorary President: John A. Geller; President: Alan Garfinkel; Senior Rabbi: John Moscowitz; Associate Rabbi: Yael Splansky; Associate Rabbi: Jason Rosenberg; Rabbi: Edward Goldfarb; Cantor: Benjamin Z. Maissner; Cantorial Soloist: Lindi Rivers; Director of Education: Deborah K. Spiegel; Rabbi Emeritus: Dow Marmur; Senior Scholar: W. Gunther Plaut; Executive Director: Benjamin Applebaum; Holy Blossom Temple Foundation Chair: Judy Nyman; Bulletin Committee Chair: Richard Rotman; Bulletin Editor: Judy Nyman. Design and Production:

Holy Blossom Temple was founded in 1856 and is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism.

June 2006


Sivan/Tammuz 5766


Reclaiming the mikveh by Rabbi Yael Splansky

In liberal Judaism, the mikveh has been used primarily for conversion and the occasional bride, but things are changing. Perhaps because the healing movement and spa culture are all the rage, perhaps because personal and private spirituality is taking a front seat to public and collective religion, perhaps because rituals once considered to be irrational are now taken seriously again — the ancient rite of mikveh is making a major comeback, with some unexpected twists. The theme of our Women’s Study Retreat this year was “Mikveh: Myths, Truths and Possibilities of the Original Water Therapy.” We traced the many uses of mikveh through Biblical and Rabbinic texts; we considered the writings of women from the 19th century to the modern feminists. Some might wonder why any modern Jewish woman would choose

to embrace a practice that male-oriented law required of those categorized as ‘unclean.’ While we cannot deny that over the centuries the mikveh became associated with shame and the separation of women from society, it was originally — for both women and men — a spiritually powerful tool. Whether it was the high priest preparing for duty when the Temple stood or a poor woman after childbirth, the mikveh was used to mark a transition in time and to ready oneself for a sacred task. Complete immersion in a natural body of water or a carefully constructed bath — and the accompanying blessings — makes an individual “tahor” (ritually pure or spiritually ready) for what comes next — marriage, Yom Kippur, sexual intimacy or burial, to name a few. Most of the halachically required reasons for mikveh no longer apply now that the Temple and its sacrifices are no more. However, there are a number of occasions that do not require mikveh, but take ad-

vantage of its power. For example, some Chassidic men immerse themselves to prepare for Shabbat each week. It is this kind of non-legal use of mikveh, that is being expanded with great enthusiasm. Two examples: Someone wants to mark the end of chemotherapy treatment. She recites prayers for health and ‘cleanses’ the poison from her body by immersing in the “mayim chayim” (waters of life). Someone going to Israel sees it as more than a trip, but a pilgrimage, and prepares by reciting the Psalm of Ascent and immerses in the mikveh as his or her ancestors once did before ascending the Temple Mount. The possibilities are endless. I look forward to seeing how the mikveh’s role evolves in liberal Judaism. For those who are curious — the Reform synagogues of the Toronto area collectively maintain a mikveh housed in the Leo Baeck Day School in Thornhill. Appointments can be arranged through the synagogue.

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Holy Blossom Temple



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