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february 7, 2011
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Wheel of Conscience: David Berman’s graphic designs part of St. Louis monument
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat cast members sing at the world premiere of Dreamcoat: A Documentary, January 27, at the Mayfair Theatre. (Photo: Alan Dean)
Exciting premiere for Dreamcoat: A Documentary By Michael Regenstreif There was an air of excitement as more than 300 people packed the sold-out Mayfair Theatre, January 27, to recall the glories of Tamir’s triumphant production, last May, of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The occasion was the world premiere – complete with limos for the Tamir stars, paparazzi in front of the theatre and in the lobby – of Dreamcoat: A Documentary, filmmaker Pixie Cram’s poignant, life-
affirming movie about the conception and mounting of the uniquely integrated production of Joseph in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tamir, Ottawa’s Jewish service agency for people with developmental disabilities. Cram’s film follows Joseph from conception through nine months of rehearsals to opening night at Centrepointe Theatre, capturing the hopes, fears, conflicts and delights of the Tamir participants, their advocates and
the production crew. The event also included video highlights from Joseph introduced by the featured Tamir participants, a talkback session with key cast and crew after the film, and a finale that featured the cast members leading the audience in a singalong medley of songs from the show. The air of excitement, by evening’s end, had turned to joy. It was, as cast member Shirley Harris said, “A Dreamcoat come true.”
By Jacqueline Shabsove When Canadians saw recent news reports about the dedication of Wheel of Conscience, the permanent monument erected to commemorate the 937 GermanJewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis who were turned away from Canada (and other countries) in 1939, they may have been unaware of the role that two Ottawa graphic designers had in helping to create the monument. The monument, created by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, was an initiative of the Canadian Jewish Congress in partnership with the Government
of Canada and Pier 21. It was unveiled, January 20, at Canada’s Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax. The monument itself is a polished stainless steel wheel, which features four gears, each containing a word representing the influences that caused the ship to be turned away (anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism, hatred), due to Canada’s immigration policy at that time regarding Jews. “No country could open its doors wide enough to take in the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who want to leave Europe. (Continued on page 2)
Graphic designers David Berman (left) and Trevor Johnston at the dedication of Wheel of Conscience, January 20, at Pier 21 in Halifax.
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St. Louis monument a labour of love for Berman family (Continued from page 1)
The line must be drawn somewhere,” said Frederick Charles Blair at the time. Blair was then Canada’s senior immigration bureaucrat. After the war, Blair reportedly said, “None is too many,” when asked how many Jewish refugees should be admitted to Canada. The back of the memorial features a list of the passengers who were on board. Ottawa graphic designer David Berman heard about the project when it was publicly announced that Libeskind was selected to complete the project. After seeing a preliminary sketch of the monument in the newspaper, Berman, who is a high level adviser to the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, realized that he could assist with the project in a few critical ways, including making the typography more detailed. “I realized that I could really help,” Berman told the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. “I knew that I would love to help with that. As a Jewish Canadian graphic designer who focuses on social issues, I see graphic design as an important conduit for Tikkun Olam.” Berman, whose 2008 book, Do Good Design, discusses design and social responsibility, contacted Libeskind with his ideas for the monument. Libeskind welcomed his initiative, and Berman began to work on the project last October, recruiting the help of fellow Ottawa graphic designer Trevor Johnston. “It became a labour of love for the whole family,” Berman said.
Berman’s mother is Shirley Berman, who was the first archivist at the Ottawa Jewish Archives. When he told her about the project, Shirley went to work and, with help from librarian Estelle Bachman at the Greenberg Families Library, found the St. Louis passenger list. Berman spent many hours researching the right style of typography for the monument. To represent the oppressiveness of the Third Reich, Berman utilized a typeface designed in Germany in 1938 for the four gears on the front of the monument. The words (anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism, hatred) were printed in the exact red used by the Nazis in their corporate identity. In addition to working on the typography, Berman contributed his talents in many ways to the monument, including sourcing an image of the ship, which had never been digitized before, for use on the monument. While there are many strong elements to the monument, Berman described the immense impact the passenger list has on those who view it. “The passenger list is very dramatic – we etched the names in stainless steel,” he said. “It’s a relief; you can feel their names. It is in some way the most powerful part of the monument.” Being close to this project was meaningful for Berman, and he described a touching moment that occurred at the dedication. “A woman from New York was running her fingers over one name saying that it was her uncle, she kept telling me that. “That was worth the trip for me on its own,” he said.
Wheel of Conscience, the national monument to commemorate the 937 GermanJewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis turned away from Canada in 1939. (Photo: Trevor Johnston)
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Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 3
Page 4 â€“ Ottawa Jewish Bulletin â€“ February 7, 2011
There are miracles every day, says Chabad rabbi By Diane Koven for Jewish Youth Library Do you believe in miracles? Do we, as Jews, believe in miracles? According to Rabbi Moshe Bryski, we are living and witnessing miracles every day, but we donâ€™t always realize it. Rabbi Bryski, spiritual leader of Chabad of the Conejo, and founder of the Conejo Jewish Academy in Agoura Hills, California, was speaking, January 16, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre at an event organized by the Jewish Youth Library marking Yud Shevat, the 10th day of Shevat, the Yahrzeit of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak
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Schneersohn, and the day on which the seventh Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, became the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement 60 years ago. Speaking with reverence of the seventh Rebbe, who continues to be known as â€˜the Rebbeâ€™ to followers of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Bryski said, â€œThe Rebbe saw the diamond in us. He saw the best in us ... he saw our past, our present and our future, and that filled him with hope â€“ hope for us, for the Jewish people and for the world.â€? From ancient times until the present, Rabbi Bryski said, the Jewish people have faced enemies and fought for survival, but continue to prevail. â€œThe superpowers of their times, world conquerors, have attempted to defeat us, and yet here we are. Where are they? The will to live on is stronger than armies, mightier than tanks.â€?
Rabbi Moshe Bryski speaks at the SJCC, January 16, at an event marking Yud Shevat, the 60th anniversary of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson becoming Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch.
Referring to the prophet Ezekielâ€™s story of the dry bones coming to life, the story of Chanukah and the story of Purim, Rabbi Brys-
ki challenged the audience to consider the events of the past 60 years as even greater miracles. He said we may not realize the greatness of the times we are living through, simply because we are living through them. But, if we could look back at today from 200 years in the future, we would be amazed by what we would see. â€œJust a few years after the Final Solution, Eretz Yisrael was back in Jewish hands. In the space of one
decade, we went from the brink of extinction to a land of our own ... we took a Jerusalem that lay in ruins and we brought it back to life,â€? he said. There are many other modern day miracles, said Bryski. Isaiah prophesied there would be wings on eagles and we will fly to Israel. Airplanes are the eaglesâ€™ wings, bringing Jews from countries around the world to the Promised Land. When Jews in the former Soviet Union were forbidden to practise their religion, said Rabbi Bryski, Chabad sent people underground with Jewish books and artifacts, kosher food and religious articles, who worked to keep Judaism alive. Then, like a miracle, â€œwe witnessed the collapse of the evil empire before our eyes. Not a single shot was fired. No tanks, no guns. It was a miracle. Seventy years of communism came to an end overnight. Jews found freedom. This was unprecedented in world history.â€? In spite of fears that assimilation and intermarriage
will result in the end of the Jewish people in America, Rabbi Bryski was optimistic and enthusiastic about what he calls a resurgence of Judaism. â€œThis was the land of the free, but many of the parents and grandparents used the freedom to be free from kosher, from Hebrew school, from shul. American Jewry was fast becoming a â€˜valley of dry bones.â€™ The growth of Judaism in America should not be happening, and yet it is. We have a front-row seat for one of the greatest miracles of all â€“ the renaissance of Jewish life in America,â€? he said. The Rebbe, he said, believed in each and every Jew, and Rabbi Bryski challenged every Jewish person to reach out to fellow Jews and to become like the Chabad emissaries introducing the beauty of Judaism to those who have lost the way or never experienced it. â€œIf these 60 years have taught us anything,â€? he said, â€œit is that nothing is impossible and miracles do happen.â€?
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Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 5
Jason Bailey sues NHL Ducks team for religious discrimination (JTA) – A Jewish hockey player from Ottawa has sued the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks for religious discrimination and harassment based on religion. Jason Bailey, 23, in a lawsuit filed January 25 in California’s Orange County Superior Court, accused the coaches of one of the Ducks’ affiliate teams of making antiSemitic remarks and harassment. Bailey said he was subjected to “a barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks regarding his Jewish faith” by Martin Raymond, head coach of the Bakersfield Condors. The suit says assistant head coach Mark Pederson also made anti-Semitic remarks about Bailey. “Based on his religion, he was blackballed,” said Keith Fink, Bailey’s attorney. “They wouldn’t skate him. They wouldn’t play him,” according to Associated Press. The suit claims that Bailey was the victim of religious discrimination, harassment based on religion, intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation. It asserts that he lost income, benefits and suffered humiliation. Bailey was drafted by the Ducks in 2005. He was traded last year and now plays right wing for the Binghamton Senators, a farm team for the Ottawa Senators.
Right winger Jason Bailey was traded to the Ottawa Senators last season and now plays for their farm team in Binghamton, N.Y. (Photo: Binghamton Senators)
Bailey played for the hometown Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
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Page 6 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
JET’s classes and programming strengthen our community I am writing in the immediate afterglow of an incredibly meaningful weekend JET (Jewish Education through Torah) Shabbaton at the Albert At Bay Hotel. More than 100 people from diverse parts of Ottawa’s Jewish community came together to share a Shabbat with one common goal, to move further along on their independent Jewish journeys in the company of old and new friends. The annual Shabbaton – this was its 15th year – is just one example of the outstanding programming initiatives by JET that remain unique in Ottawa. How does JET continue to run programs that are fresh, innovative and professional? It is through an outstanding, versatile and mostly part-time staff, excellent lay leadership at the board level, and a dedicated corps of volunteers. More than 100 people volunteer for the Mishloach Manot program alone, in addition to scores of others who volunteer for various programs throughout the year. JET’s board is co-chaired by Gila Metz and Miriam Taub with Elaine Friedberg as immediate past-chair. Their leadership has helped JET continue a growth spurt that has dramatically increased over the past five years. As JET has grown, we have divided our programming into five divisions. JET began with classes and they remain the anchor for all JET programming. Approximately 10
Federation Report Rabbi Zischa Shaps JET classes per week are offered on a variety of topics, at different levels, and in many locations from homes to coffee shops to the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC). Easy access and a warm welcoming approach encourage Jews with or without previous Jewish education to enrich their Jewish literacy and connection. Classes are often offered in partnership with other community organizations such as the recent Crash Course in Hebrew Reading for parents of children in the Ottawa Modern Jewish School. Classes are enhanced by JET’s special events and programs, which include such unique programs as the Mishloach Manot project that reaches more than 1,300 Jewish families in Ottawa, the Yarchei Kallah Adult Study Week and the JET Shabbaton. Holiday Spirit programs for children in partnership with the Soloway JCC are JET initiatives that remain popular and attract large crowds of young families. Women’s Spa Day and Jewish Unity
Live are other examples of highly successful, unique programs. JET’s programming is co-ordinated by Rochel Goldbaum whose many talents are highlighted by the variety and flair that draws people to programs again and again. JET’s young adult programming is subdivided into two parts: Jewish Young Professionals and University Students. JET is especially proud that one of our own homegrown young adults, Rabbi Michael Goldstein, is now the head of our young professional and university student divisions. Michael and his wife, Stacy, live just a few minutes walk from Carleton University and their home is open to students and young professionals for Friday night dinners and other programs. Since we started working with university students more than 10 years ago, JET has always worked together with Hillel Ottawa to enhance student programming and to not duplicate what Hillel offers. JET’s young professional program remains the leader for this demographic and was expanded two years ago to include special programming for young couples as many of the original single participants have gotten married. The latest addition to JET programming is the trips to Israel for Women, headed by Lauren Shaps. In the past two years, 33 women have gone to Israel for nine days
with JET and the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. For many of the women, the trip was lifetransforming. It opened their eyes to Israel and Judaism in a way that they had not experienced before. The trip is just the beginning of their journey. The bonds of friendship they forged, and the inspiration they received, is continuously strengthened through the follow up programming that JET provides for the women and their families. The impact of these trips is only beginning to be felt. Families have joined synagogues, enrolled children in Jewish schools for the first time, recruited friends for Federation events and shared their new-found passions for Judaism and Israel with their families and the community. The next trip is scheduled for November 2011 and already more than 80 women have expressed their interest in the 18 slots. Over the course of the 18 years that JET has been in existence, adult Jewish education in Ottawa has grown significantly and JET has played a major role in making learning fashionable. Thanks to our donors and supporters who enable us to continue to serve the Ottawa Jewish community and, with your continued support and participation, we will, together, strengthen our community and ensure that we have the inspiration and knowledge to transmit Judaism to the next generation.
Reaching the unaffiliated one soul at a time As a Jewish community in the 21st century, we continue to wonder how to deal with the crisis of the unaffiliated and the low interest many of today’s Jews are displaying in their desire to associate with Jewish life. My beloved teacher, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, taught me that we deal with this challenge, one Jew at a time. It is true that, when we look at the statistics, the future may look bleak. We need to reach out and educate one Jew at a time, make them feel welcome in the Jewish community, embrace them at their level and share with them the beauty and importance of what it means to be Jewish. If each one of us reaches out to one person, we can get the ball rolling in ensuring a bright future for the Jewish people. We need to use each opportunity to do our part and ensure Jewish continuity. “Hello Rabbi,” said the voice on the line as I picked up the phone. “I am not Jewish, but I would love to meet with you to discuss an issue. I work downtown. Will you be downtown this week?” I did, indeed, have a reason to be downtown the next day, so we arranged to meet at a coffee shop. “I am married to a Jew,” he said the next day as we settled in to talk. “My mother-inlaw is very ill. The doctors have given her a few months to live. She wants to have her body cremated,” he continued with teary eyes.
From the pulpit Rabbi Menachem Blum OTC Chabad “I know that, according to Jewish law, it is forbidden. I need your help to make sure she has a proper burial befitting a Jewish soul.” Through our conversation, I learned that his wife’s family was unaffiliated. I asked him how his wife felt about her mother having a proper Jewish burial. “She doesn’t understand why it is so important,” he replied. My first impulse to visit his mother-inlaw was abandoned when he told me she lived in Guelph, Ontario. I explained to him why, according to Jewish tradition, cremation is forbidden and suggested he relay the information to his wife. I offered to be available should she wish to learn more and I added that I would put him in contact with my colleague, the Chabad rabbi in Hamilton. The encounter was quickly forgotten as I rushed to my next meeting. A few weeks ago, I received a call from a name I did not recognize.
“We met for coffee a year ago about my mother-in-law in Guelph,” the man on the line said. “Following our meeting, I spent the next few months conveying to my wife the lessons you taught me.” As he was speaking, our encounter from that cold December day came back to me. “I wanted you to know that my motherin-law passed away a few weeks ago and your colleague, the Chabad rabbi in Hamil-
ton, conducted a proper Jewish funeral. She was buried according to Jewish law as befitting a Jewish soul.” As I hung up the phone, I understood that encounters we have with one individual can have a tremendous impact, whether we realize it or not. Keep that in mind next time you meet someone. Reach out! For our sages have said: “Every person is an entire world.”
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Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 7
Iranian Embassy garners national attention for local film society The Free Thinking Film Society was thrust into the national media spotlight last month, thanks, it seems, to the interference of the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, questionable responses from Library and Archives Canada, and unequivocal support from members of the federal cabinet. I left the Bulletin office a few minutes after 5:00 pm on January 18 and was about to head downtown to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to Library and Archives for the Free Thinking Film Society’s screening of Iranium, a new documentary critical of Iran’s Islamist regime including its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb, a matter of paramount concern to Israel and most other Western democracies, including Canada and the United States, as well as to moderate Arab regimes in the Middle East. The event was also to feature a presentation by Clare Lopez, a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer and expert on Middle East and counter-terrorism issues. I was tuned to CBC Radio and heard an announcement that the Iranium event was cancelled under circumstances that included an objection from the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, a couple of envelopes with mysterious white powder
Editor Michael Regenstreif that had been dropped off at the Library and Archives building (the white powder turned out to be harmless), and calls to Library and Archives from “members of the public” threatening protests if the film screening was allowed to proceed. The CBC had Fred Litwin, the Free Thinking Film Society’s director, on the line and he said he’d received a call at 4:00 pm from Library and Archives telling him there were protesters inside and outside the building, that security could not be assured, so the event was cancelled. My first thought was to wonder just who the “pro-nuclear Iran” protesters would be. In a chronology that he repeated to me on the phone a few days later, Litwin said that he immediately headed to the Library and Archives building, arriving at 4:50 pm. There were no protesters, just
employees leaving. Litwin was then told there were no actual protesters, just the supposed “threat of protests.” It turned out that the cancellation that day was the second time Library and Archives Canada officials had pulled the plug on the scheduled screening. The day before, Litwin was notified that the screening was being cancelled because of “complaints.” The complaints, he later learned, were from the Iranian Embassy. Litwin contacted the office of Federal Heritage Minister James Moore, which wasted no time in having Library and Archives Canada reverse the cancellation. At first, the Library and Archives Canada officials tried to get the Free Thinking Film Society to move the screening to the Museum of Nature (at a substantially increased rental fee), but the society held its ground and, within hours, and with obvious pressure from Moore’s office, the screening was reinstated at the Library and Archives auditorium. The cancellation and reinstatement the day before happened so quickly that news of it didn’t circulate widely until after the subsequent cancellation the next day, just three hours before the Iranium
event was to take place, in the wake of the threat of protests and the white powder hoax. Given the circumstances of the cancellation, it was inevitable, and entirely predictable, that it would become a major story. It was equally inevitable and predictable that the federal government could not allow the Iranian Embassy or threats from protesters to have veto power over an event in a federal government building mere steps from Parliament Hill. How could the Library and Archives Canada officials not understand that? How could they have capitulated to a complaint from the Iranian Embassy so easily? The Free Thinking Film Society’s screening of Iranium, including the presentation by Clare Lopez, was rescheduled for Sunday, February 6, 7:00 pm, at Library and Archives Canada. Had the Iranian Embassy not interfered in the first place, a few hundred people would have seen Iranium on January 18. Instead, millions of people across Canada were made aware of the film thanks to the news reports. That’s what happens in a free society when you try to suppress free speech or, in this case, free thinking.
Are we heading to a federal election this spring? On January 23, inside an Ottawa convention centre, the prime minister of Canada stood in front of the biggest Canadian flag this side of Canada Day, at a podium bearing a placard with a single word in large white letters: “Canada.” To a crowd of hundreds of supporters waving smaller Canadian flags, there to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his government’s first election victory, Stephen Harper spoke of the people “who are the foundations of Canada: The truck driver. The bank teller. The pensioner. The salesperson. The farmer. The fisherman. The entrepreneur. The autoworker. The tradesperson. And the soldier … Whoever has the honour to lead them must care about them and must love Canada as much as they do.” No mention of Canada-loving college professors or patriotic performance artists. But, never mind. The same weekend as Harper was giving his anniversary speech, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was wrapping up an 11day tour of 20 ridings across Canada that his party thinks it can win from other parties. “Canadians are entitled to ask, ‘are you better off than you were five years ago,’” Ignatieff said at the outset of his tour. “Is the economy stronger and is Canada more respected in the world? And I think the answers to all of those questions is no.”
Alan Echenberg NDP Leader Jack Layton was on his own cross-country tour. “If an election comes, New Democrats will be ready to go,” Layton said in Vancouver. “But, until then, we’re asking Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff to work with us to get some results for Canadians right now.” To underline the election-readiness half of that double-barrelled message, the NDP offered reporters a “sneak peak at their new cutting-edge election headquarters” in Ottawa. A few days earlier, a reporter obtained and published an internal NDP memo declaring the party “prepared to wage an aggressive federal election campaign at any time.” Meanwhile, the Conservative and Liberal parties released campaign-style attack ads. Both of the two Liberal ads were aimed at the prime minister, painting him as more interested in fighter jets and corporate tax cuts than in the concerns of ordinary Canadians, and asking “Is this your
Canada? Or Harper’s?” The Conservatives had several different ads attacking each of the other major party leaders, although Ignatieff was targeted more than others. “Ignatieff. He didn’t come back for you,” declared the Conservative ads, which described the leader of the official Opposition as a tax-and-spend liberal with a dubious commitment to his home country, similar to earlier attack ads that claimed Ignatieff was “just visiting” Canada after many years abroad. So, are you ready for an election campaign? Or maybe you kinda feel we’re already into one. Or, maybe, you’d rather not even think about it even a little bit. If that’s the case, you’re probably in the majority. And maybe you won’t really have to think about it at all, because it all could be a bluff. In a minority Parliament, parties are always in election mode, ready to hit the campaign trail at any moment. And we’ve now had minority Parliaments in this country for more than six-and-a-half straight years. That’s a Canadian record, if you’re keeping score. Over that time we’ve had a number of near-elections. Remember Belinda Stronach crossing the floor to help save Paul Martin’s mi-
nority government? Remember Stéphane Dion repeating over and over again how he had the power to pull the plug on Harper’s government – until, finally, Harper decided to pull it himself? Remember when Ignatieff announced, “Mr. Harper, your time is up”? Ignatieff’s announcement came more than 17 months ago. No, there hasn’t been an election since then. If there is an election this year, it likely will be triggered by a defeat of the federal budget sometime before the end of March. If it’s any later than that, a federal election will come up against a number of alreadyscheduled provincial elections, including Ontario’s. Of course, all it will take to avoid an election will be a single opposition party deciding it is in its interest to prop up the government for another while longer. But, if this latest not-quite-an-election period is any indication, we already have a sense of how the next real campaign will unfold. It will get personal. There will be flag waving. And if poll numbers (which have remained relatively consistent in the five years since Harper’s first election victory) don’t move much during the campaign, then we’re looking at many more record months of minority Parliament.
Page 8 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Shirley Browsky to teach tallit weaving By Pamela Rosenberg Soloway JCC More than just an opportunity to create something beautiful, weaving a custom tallit has been known to give weavers a sense of pride and accomplishment and to take them on a spiritual journey. Following a brief hiatus, Tallit Weaving is back on the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC) program roster and will be taught by the program’s creator, spinner and weaver Shirley Browsky. “I have lots of enthusiasm for the program; it’s so gratifying,” explains Browsky. “You gain a sense of
pride when you see a prayer shawl you made and feel a sense of accomplishment that you have done something you have never done before.” At the first class, Browsky shows samples, takes a group of four to six participants through the designing process and makes everyone feel comfortable with the loom. The entire process takes approximately six weeks. All participants work at their own loom and some, time permitting, go on to make a matching kippah and tallit bag. Browsky says anyone can weave, and everyone
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who has done it has enjoyed it. Some so much so that they have come back and made multiple tallits. The program is open to anyone interested in weaving, and past program participants have included teenagers making their own prayer shawls. One woman made tallits for all three of her grandsons and, at the last Bar Mitzvah, felt a real sense of pride while they all stood together on the bimah each wrapped in a tallit she had made. “It was very spiritual for her,” says Browsky. “For me, it’s about a sense of belonging. I’m helping these women become a part of the ceremony. It’s a very fulfilling thing for me to help them make a contribution.” Another weaver wove her family history into the tallit she made for her son’s Bar Mitzvah by having her son’s father and grandfather join her at the loom to each weave in a single silver thread.
Shirley Browsky, creator of the Soloway JCC Tallit Weaving program, at her loom.
When the weaving is complete, Browsky cuts the cloth off the loom, which the weavers refer to as the
brit, and they enjoy a glass of wine together to celebrate the completion of the tallit. She washes and press-
es the tallit, provides the tzitzis, and the project is complete. Browsky’s love of weaving began around 30 years ago, when she bought an 1850 log house that came with an antique loom. Her interest was piqued and her passion for weaving soon turned into a career. Browsky is now in the process of becoming a master weaver. She raises her own sheep and spins yarn from their wool, which she uses to create fashion fabrics. “From farmyard to fashion,” says Browsky. The most exciting thing about it is that when you are done, you have cloth.” The Tallit Weaving program takes place at Agudath Israel Congregation, but remains under the administrative arm of the Soloway JCC. For more information, contact Roslyn Brozovsky Wollock at 613-7989818, ext. 254, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ottawa Jewish Historical Society, the Board and Staff express our deepest condolences to the family of the President
John Holzman z”l May his memory be a blessing.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 9
Todd Cunningham to speak February 17 on assistive technology in the classroom
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Ottawa Negev Dinner for Honouree Larry O’Brien to take place November 7 at the new Ottawa Convention Centre JNF is delighted to inform the community that our 2011 Negev Dinner Honouree is Larry O’Brien, who is very well known to all Ottawans as our 58th mayor and founder of Calian Technologies, a leading Ottawa high-tech firm. The date of the Dinner will be Monday, November 7, 2011, and the planned venue is the new Ottawa Convention Centre. The location has special importance for our Honouree, who, as Ottawa’s mayor, was instrumental in making the Ottawa Convention Centre a reality. Born in Ottawa, Larry O’Brien is proud to have lived in the nation’s capital his entire life. Larry is a pioneer in Ottawa’s technology sector and is really an ongoing success story. Beginning his career working at Microsystems International Ltd., a subsidiary of Northern Electric, in the early-1970s, Larry worked alongside many entrepreneurs as they changed Ottawa forever. These visionaries were responsible for the creation of hundreds of new companies – together employing thousands of technologists and engineers in high-tech industries in Ottawa. Larry founded Calian Technologies Ltd. in 1982 as a one-person consulting company that grew with great success, and was eventually publicly traded in 1993. Today, Calian continues its strong sales with yearly revenue topping $200 million and is considered one of the best technology-service companies in Canada. The success of his company enabled Larry to give back to the community that has provided him with such great opportunity. He became an active supporter of many charities, including Saint Vincent Hospital, the United Way, ALS-Canada, and others. In recognition of his commitment to the city of Ottawa, Larry was awarded the prestigious ‘Business Person of the Year’ by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in 1996 and was recognized as the United Way’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2006. In 2006, Larry O’Brien was elected the 58th mayor of the City of Ottawa. From his time as Ottawa’s mayor, he remains proud of having worked with the federal and provincial governments to secure funding for an exciting new convention centre, and for accelerating action on both the new Ottawa transit system and the desperately needed revitalization of Lansdowne Park. Larry’s success in these important areas of city-building will enhance the quality of life and prosperity of Ottawa’s residents for many years to come. Larry is husband to Colleen McBride, and father to Michael and Matthew, his adult children with his former wife (and still treasured friend), Debbie. Larry is currently retired from both private- and public-sector work, but is currently writing his memoirs about the continuing adventure of living in Ottawa, the city that he feels is the best in the world in which to live, work, play – and invest! Ottawa JNF is extremely proud to be honouring this widely respected community leader, businessman and contributor to many worthy causes. I know you will join me in congratulating Larry on this well-deserved honour and we hope you can join us on November 7 at the JNF Negev Dinner.
On a daily basis you can plant trees for all occasions. An attractive card is sent to the recipient. To order, call the JNF office (613.798.2411).
By Nicola Hamer for Ottawa Jewish Community School For a second year, the Ottawa Jewish Community School is holding a PD day conference for all the area’s Jewish schools. Last year, the schools found it beneficial to gather as a group of education professionals to share experiences and further their professional development. This year, the community is invited to hear keynote speaker Todd Cunningham, February 17. A major issue in education today centres around the understanding that people do not all learn in the same way, says Donna Palmer-Dodds, head of schools for the Ottawa Jewish Community School. “For example, some children find information presented in a visual form to be easier to understand, and others find information they hear easier to absorb. So, one of our primary goals is to focus on something called ‘differentiated learning.’” Differentiated learning is a method of providing information to an entire class in a such a way as to meet the individual learning needs of all students. This can be of particular importance when dealing with children with learning disabilities. As a student who struggled with learning disabilities for much of his childhood, Todd Cunningham has a unique perspective. Cunningham has a great deal of difficulty both reading and writing, and struggled greatly until high school, when one of his teachers discovered that he achieved much greater success when she read his test questions to him and then acted as his scribe as he told her his answers. A PhD candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Toronto, Cunningham now uses ‘assistive technology’ to help himself in ways similar to his teacher’s in high school. An assistive technology can be as simple as using an
PhD candidate Todd Cunningham overcame learning disabilities.
iPod to listen to an audio book rather than reading it, but can go far beyond that, to computer programs that type words as you speak them into a microphone, or scan and read textbooks out loud. Cunningham’s current research investigates how to integrate assistive technology and different learning strategies into the classroom. While he will be talking to the teachers during the day from the perspective of an educator, his speech to the public will focus on how parents can best support how their children learn.
He will be talking about the use of this technology and how it can help children succeed in the classroom. Ottawa Jewish Community Schools Student Services
Co-ordinator Keren Gordon is really looking forward to Cunningham’s visit as it’s her job to ensure that all students at the school have what they need to help them overcome any learning difficulties and reach their full potentials. “There has been a huge push forward in the past few years to bring assistive technology into the classrooms of our school,” says Gordon. “We are incredibly lucky to be living in a time and place that allows us to help our kids this way. In the past, a child who had great difficulty comprehending what he was reading was labelled as slow and, often, left school in frustration. Now, as Todd Cunningham demonstrates, that same child can earn his PhD.” Todd Cunningham will speak Thursday, February 17, 7:00 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. Tickets are $5. For tickets, contact Jennifer Glassman at email@example.com.
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Congregation Beth Shalom Sunday Mornings at 9:30 a.m.
Rashi on the Torah with Rabbi Scott Rosenberg
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Page 10 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Ottawa’s social action mission to Israel for young adults now a national project By Jacqueline Shabsove This April, a fresh group of local Jewish young professionals and grad students will embark on a national Israel Social Action Mission trip. The national mission follows the great success of last June’s trip, which saw 16 young adults from Ottawa work with Israelis to build a bike path in Kiryat Shmona. Applications are now being accepted for the April 27 to May 8 mission in which young adults between
the ages of 22 and 35 will participate in a social action project in Northern Israel. Ottawa participants will be working side-by-side with Jewish young adults from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax, as well as with Israeli students from Tel Hai College. This year’s mission, like last year’s, is an initiative of the Partnership 2000 (P2K) program, which focuses on creating strong ties between seven Jewish communities
in Canada – Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton and Ottawa – with five rural communities in the Galilee Panhandle region of Israel, an area that particularly needs assistance after suffering the effects of the 2006 Lebanon war. This year’s mission cochairs, Ryan Hartman and Hana Shusterman, both participants on last June’s trip, were enthusiastic about the incredible experience they had lending a hand in Israel. “Last year’s experience was almost to the point of spiritual,” said Hartman. “It was unique in the fact that what we did was physically tangible; we made a physical contribution to Israel.” The building of a bike path in this area allows students attending Tel Hai College to feel more connected to the centre of Kiryat Shmona. The participants, who, according to Hartman, were diverse in their religious observance and their perspectives, saw firsthand some of the challenges that face the area, including residents living in poverty, and military and security issues on the borders. While the exact project details are still being solidi-
fied, the general focus will be the same for this year’s Israel Social Action Mission. “The goal is to build relationships between smaller communities in Canada and the Galilee Panhandle,” said Hartman. Individuals who are interested in participating in the mission are assured that they will have a meaningful experience both in contributing to Israel and meeting new people. “We want to ensure that our primary focus is to do volunteer work and work hard during the days,” said Hartman. “Also, we want to build relationships and interact with each other to make it lively. People will come away fulfilled from the trip.” “It’s an amazing experience,” said Shusterman. “It’s a great group of people. The organizer is fantastic, the P2K committee is wonderful. It’s such an amazing opportunity to actually build something and leave your mark on Israel.” The application deadline is March 4. For more information about the mission or to download the application form, visit jewishottawa.com. Or contact Jeff Bradshaw at 613-798-4696, ext. 297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 Israel Social Action Mission Co-Chair Hana Shusterman in Jerusalem during the 2010 mission.
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Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 11
From the Archives
Remembering John Holzman By Laurie Dougherty Ottawa Jewish Archives John Holzman, chair of the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society, passed away December 28 at age 81. The last time I had a visit from John, we chatted for a good half-hour about my son’s AAA hockey team. He wanted to know all about this level of competition in the city. It was with obvious pride that he recalled taking his own kids to various ski and golf events over the years. With John, it was a
real pleasure to take some time away from a busy day to reminisce and answer his many questions. He was an engaging and entertaining gentleman who gave freely of his time and expertise to the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society and the Ottawa Jewish Archives. John sat on the Ottawa Jewish Archives Committee (OJAC) as a liaison to the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society over the past several years. “I very much appreciated
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John’s sincerity, commitment and willingness to step in and take on a leadership role for the Society in a very low-key, unassuming way. He will be definitely missed,” wrote Gerald Stone, former OJAC chair, in a recent e-mail. In addition to his association with the Jewish community in Ottawa, John was heavily involved with golf in various capacities over the years. An article in the July 2010 issue of Flagstick Golf Magazine outlined John’s dedication to the sport, beginning in 1967 when he volunteered at a Centennial golf tournament at the Rideau View Golf and Country Club. Flagstick and the Ottawa Valley Golf Association honoured John in 2009 by inaugurating a trophy in his name to be awarded to the winner of the Senior Men’s division. John grew up in Ottawa, attended Lisgar Collegiate, and graduated in marketing
and retailing at Syracuse University in 1952. His father, William Holzman, operated the Gainsboro Shoppe Limited, a ladies apparel store at 202 Sparks Street. For most of his career, John taught at the School of Management of Algonquin College. This left time for him in the summer to head to the links and perfect his swing. As a fellow golfer, John and I swapped stories as we worked together on Ottawa Jewish Historical Society files over several mornings last year. He cared deeply about the future of the Ottawa Jewish Archives and was keen to support a proposal for its development over the next few years. He was the type of volunteer who saw the big picture, but was happy to take care of all the little details. His experience in management and genuine respect for others involved with the Archives led to an agreeable working relationship that I was fortunate to be part of. John is survived by his wife, Linda Slotin, children Mark and Debbie, William and Sharon, Lisa, Ellyn and James, Ian, and Jenna and Edan, and grandchildren Sara, Rebecca, Joshua and Elliot. I agree with Gerald, John will be sorely missed.
The late John Holzman, in 2009, with the newly inaugurated John Holzman Trophy.
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Page 12 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Celebrating the relationship of Jews and baseball By Annette Paquin for Temple Israel While snow lies on the ground and the skaters enjoy the canal, true baseball lovers yearn for open fields and summer evenings when they can get out and join in a pick-up game, take in a professional or semi-pro game or watch their children run the bases. Although not quite the same as running the bases, the community will celebrate the unique relationship between Jews and the game of baseball, February 27, when Rabbis Steven Garten and Reuven Bulka host Take Me Out to the Old Ball Game, Baseball and Jews: An American Love Story. The baseball-themed evening will include a screening of the documentary, The Hank Greenberg Story, and, of course, hot dogs, liquid refreshments, popcorn, peanuts and crackerjacks as well as many surprises. Participants are invited to bring a favourite Jewish baseball player card or other memorabilia. This event will be a fundraiser for Israel Baseball. Baseball is still in its infancy in Israel. Although a professional league was in existence for a couple of years, it was not sustainable and folded in 2007. But 2011 will be a watershed year as the groundwork has been laid to develop baseball into a sport that is accessible to all. Last year, more than 1,000 Israelis played organized baseball and the goal is to double the number in 2011. Great efforts have been made to ensure that baseball facilities are in place in all regions of Israel and clinics are being held to introduce families to the game. Coaches, some of whom have never been exposed to the game before, now have a training and certification process to supplement the “dad coaches” from Israel’s North American immigrant community. Israel’s youth teams participate in recre-
Jewish baseball legend Hank Greenberg in 1937.
ational games and tournaments throughout Israel and in Europe, and senior teams are preparing to compete at the European Championships in 2012. Baseball is now on map in Israel and a whole generation of Israelis is being introduced to it for the first time. “When I grew up, baseball was the only sport that Jewish mothers allowed their dainty kids to play,” said Rabbi Bulka, when asked about his attraction to baseball. “Tackle football and other contact sports were simply unacceptable. And it is a sport wherein brains play a significant role. And the ultimate achievement, a home run, that has such a lovely ring for Jewish parents.” Take Me Out to the Old Ball Game, Baseball and Jews: An American Love Story takes place Sunday, February 27, 6:15 pm, at Congregation Machzikei Hadas, 2310 Virginia Drive. Tickets are $25 and are available through Machzikei Hadas at 613-521-9700 or Temple Israel at 613-224-1802.
Na’amat Canada women’s excellent adventure in Ottawa By Toby Herscovitch for Na’amat Canada Fundraising is a little like hula hooping. It’s tough to get the darn thing spinning at first, but, once you do, the momentum spreads and the motion continues on its own. The Na’amat Canada Leadership Seminar in Ottawa in mid-November brought together 21 members from across Canada for two days of leadership training, fundraising ideas and fun – including a little hooping. The participants proved that, if you bring together a sorority of determined women, dedicated to an important cause, the enthusiasm is infectious and the ideas, like the hoop, start to take off. Our organization has a lot to be enthusiastic about. Na’amat Canada has been enhancing the lives of women and children in Canada and Israel since 1925. We help the helpless – like the
tiny toddlers nurtured at Na’amat Israel’s 260 daycare centres (which comprise the majority of Israel’s daycare centres). We help the troubled – like tough teens who get a second chance at productive lives through Na’amat Israel’s technological and agricultural high schools. And, of course, we help other women – like victimized wives who can escape domestic violence at the Na’amat Canada Glickman Centre for Family Violence Prevention in Tel Aviv, where their spouses can get counselling too. In Canada, Na’amat chapters provide school supplies for children in shelters, anti-bullying programs for elementary schools, practical gift baskets for victims of domestic violence and much more. The seminar also gave us a chance to hear from the Na’amat Canada executive, including (Continued on page 17)
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 13
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Page 14 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Bar Mitzvah in Israel meaningful experience for entire family By Ilana Belfer The morning sun was shining, December 27, as Gloria Schwartz and 10 family members walked through the Dung Gate and into the Davidson Centre in the Old City of Jerusalem. A small table was waiting atop a large wooden platform where, at arm’s reach from the Western Wall, her eldest son, Jesse Wolfsohn, would have his Bar Mitzvah. “I thought we would join a shul and just do the regular thing because that’s what everybody does,” said Gloria, noting that she and her husband, Allan Wolfsohn, are not originally from Ottawa and do not have a big family. It was the Jewish National Fund’s 2008 Negev Dinner honouring Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg that Gloria credits with causing something in her to click. Gloria said she never really heard anyone talk about Israel until hearing Crook’s speech that evening. “It really struck something in me,” said Gloria. “She loves Israel so much.” Gloria took this inspiration as a sign to have the Bar Mitzvah in Israel. Shortly afterward, the planning began. “I had to make sure everything was precise. I felt responsible for the people coming,” Gloria said, mentioning that she didn’t know where to start, having never planned a Bar Mitzvah or been to Israel before. But, in December 2009, Gloria’s sister-in-law convinced her to join her in applying to JET’s Jewish
Walking to Jesse Wolsohn’s Bar Mitzvah in the Old City of Jerusalem: (from left) Allan Wolfsohn (father), Jesse, Arthur Schwartz (grandfather), Gloria Schwartz (mother) and Joshua Wolfsohn (brother) with other friends and family members.
Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), a subsidized educational tour of Israel for women. Both were accepted. They were roommates on the trip and got to experience their first time in Israel together. “I felt it was really my lucky year. I got to go twice at age 46 where I had never been before,” Gloria said. She said the tour helped her plan better for her son’s Bar Mitzvah. “I wanted there to be something for everybody,” she said. This was a daunting task considering the people in her group ranged from 10 to 87. After getting a lot of recommendations and also taking into account highlights of the JWRP trip, Gloria came up with an itinerary that in-
cluded visiting the Dead Sea and Masada, a tunnel tour of the Western Wall, riding camels, doing an archaeological dig and shooting Uzi guns. “Everybody was so happy. It wasn’t just a trip, it was a pilgrimage,” she said. However, the most significant activity occurred halfway through their two-week trip. Jesse had arrived in Israel a boy, but would leave a man. “I was afraid it would feel like a factory. You know, just pay the rabbi, he does your thing and you leave,” Gloria said, noting that the Bar Mitzvah lasted about one hour. Instead, she described it as a highly personalized and special affair.
Jesse Wolfsohn reads from the Torah during his Bar Mitzvah in Israel. Pictured (from left): Joshua Wolfsohn (brother), Arthur Schwartz (grandfather), Jesse and Allan Wolfsohn (father).
By holding the ceremony in the Davidson Centre, the archaeological park featuring the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, men and women did not have to be separated. Most of the family members who were present participated in the ceremony. “I felt very magical and spiritual knowing you’re standing surround-
ed by these ancient rocks where your ancestors fought for thousands of years to survive,” Gloria said. Gloria’s father, Arthur Schwartz, a Holocaust survivor, didn’t think he’d be alive – let alone in Israel – to witness his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. “It was like coming full circle,” she said, tearing up as she recalled her father’s experience. Jesse dedicated his Bar Mitzvah to Robert Schwartz, Arthur’s brother, who died in the gas chambers at age eight and never had a Bar Mitzvah of his own. At first, Gloria said, her father was skeptical about making the journey. He would kid around, saying, “At my age, we don’t buy green bananas.” But, since coming home, he can’t stop raving about how amazing the trip was. Gloria said she would like her younger son, Joshua, 10, to have his Bar Mitzvah in Israel as well. She quoted JWRP director Lori Palatnik, who gave her advice while on the women’s tour: “Remember, it’s about the mitzvah, not the bar.” “I think that’s what people are returning to,” Gloria said. “Whether you do it here or in Israel, it’s about how meaningful it is.”
Tips for planning a Bar Mitzvah in Israel By Gloria Schwartz Start planning far in advance. I suggest starting a year ahead. Decide if you want to do a big bus tour or a private tour, which you can customize for special interests or needs, like a diverse group or an elderly person. Private tours are only financially worthwhile if you have enough people. If you’ve never been to Israel and you aren’t sure where to start, look at the big bus tour itineraries. Then you can decide to go on one, or use them as a guide for making your own schedule. If you’re affiliated with a shul here, ask the rabbi for names and contact information of rabbis in Israel. Plan the details. I wanted a luncheon following the Bar Mitzvah, so I reserved a restaurant and booked a photographer based on recommendations. Hotels there can be very different from North America – they are pricey and many of them won’t let you have more than three people in a room. We’re a family of four,
but didn’t want to take two rooms. We found hotels that allowed four per room or had mini-suites. Hotels serve big breakfasts. At first, the guide was taking us to restaurants for lunch, but it took up a lot of time. So, we started bringing lunch from our breakfast – packing sandwiches and vegetables – and eating them on the bus, which would save us an hour. Renting cell phones, if you’re a group, is really handy and cheap. If one person rents on behalf of the whole group, you can phone each other for free. The trip is doable with a senior. Renting a wheelchair is really affordable. My father didn’t want it. He is stubborn, but afterward said: “I have to admit it was the right thing.” Finally, I don’t want to dissuade anyone from having a synagogue Bar Mitzvah. If you have a big family and roots in Ottawa, you may not want to go to Israel. The Bar Mitzvah was an excuse for us to go. Do what’s right for you.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 15
Page 16 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
An American funnyman’s adventures in the Israeli army The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid From Chicago Fights Hezbollah By Joel Chasnoff Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc. 288 pages (Jewish Journal) – The first thing you need to know about Joel Chasnoff’s The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid From Chicago Fights Hezbollah is that it’s laugh-out-loud funny. It was tough for the rest of my household to concentrate on The Bachelor for all of my chortles and guffaws, and I was repeatedly asked: “What are you reading?” But you also need to know that Chasnoff, a stand-up comedian from Chicago who joined the Israel Defense Forces and served as a tank gunner in Lebanon, is not just telling jokes here. He has some serious and even shocking things to say about Israel and its relationship with North American Jews, and I promise you that you will not think about your own Jewishness in quite the same way after you finish his smart, funny and provocative book. Chasnoff is exactly the right guy to conduct the North American reader on a tour of Israel. Raised in the suburbs as a Conservative Jew, he reminds us that buying Israel Bonds and picking up a Glilon assault rifle are quite different ways of supporting the Jewish state. “When I told my father I wanted to join the Israeli army, he slammed both hands on the table and yelled, ‘What?’ ” Chasnoff writes. “From across the table, my father glared at me like I’d just announced that I was Republican. And Muslim. And gay.”
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Comedian Joel Chasnoff will perform Sunday, March 6, at the Soloway JCC.
Chasnoff’s Israeli girlfriend was even less enthusiastic. “Real Israelis are animals,” she warned him. “They’ll eat you alive.” Chasnoff sets out to replace the image of Israel that we see on posters and postcards with a hard dose of reality. He shows us a selection of combat rations, which includes two sets of utensils, a kosher version of Spam and chocolate spread in cans stamped “KOSHER FOR PASSOVER – 1985.” We hear army slang, which includes a good many words you never heard in shul; Chasnoff usefully provides a glossary where you can look up the words. He observes that officers tend to be Ashkenazim while “the highest-ranking darkskinned guy I’ve seen at the Armored School is the barber.” And he explains that observant Jewish soldiers, whom he calls “the Yeshiva Boys,” are not given time off for prayers and must skip meals if they want to daven: “Who knew it would be so tough to be a Jew in the Jewish army?” So the IDF is hardly lionized in the book, but the “insanities” that Chasnoff describes – including the shirkers in his training unit who inspired the title of the book – can be found in any army. Chasnoff is likened to “Woody Allen channeling Leon Uris” in one of the blurbs on the back cover, but it is far more accurate to say that he stands in the tradition of Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, a civilian who bravely does his duty while fully aware of the absurdities of war. Clearly, Chasnoff is going for more than yuks when he reveals that his tank unit was forbidden to fire on Hezbollah commandos because they happened to be in a “Closed Fire Zone,” but was later ordered to launch a $5,000 missile at a stray dog that showed up on the night-vision targeting screen of their tank. Indeed, the historical weight and meaning of wearing the uniform of a Jewish soldier are not lost on Chasnoff, and he is far more sentimental than his comrades in arms about the heartbreaking photographs on display at Yad Vashem when his unit is sent there on a field trip. His fellow soldiers cheer because the trip means “three less hours of push-ups, wind sprints, and Platoon Sergeant Guy busting our balls,” not to mention the ice cream on sale at the coffee shop next to the Walk of the Martyrs. For Chasnoff, however, it is a life-changing experience.
Book Review Jonathan Kirsch “Standing here in Yad Vashem in my olive-green uniform,” he writes, “I feel absolved of the Holocaust guilt I’ve been carrying since grade school. Finally, I don’t have to whisper, ‘Never Again’ – I am Never Again!” But, as it turns out, there is a catch and, not unlike Catch22, it is a thoroughly crazy-making one. Chasnoff was Jewish enough to serve in the IDF, but when he and his fiancée start planning their wedding, his Jewishness is suddenly challenged by the religious authorities. His mother was a convert to Judaism and, even though the conversion was conducted by an Orthodox rabbi, the Rabbinical Council in Tel Aviv has gone to the trouble of determining that she prepared for the ceremony by studying with a Conservative rabbi. “Which means,” says the municipal rabbi, “that, according to the State of Israel, you’re not a Jew.” The book ends on a funnier and happier note, but Chasnoff leaves us thinking about the ironies that he regards as nothing less than a life-and-death matter for the survival of Israel. “It’s a Jewish state where observant Jewish soldiers have to choose between breakfast and prayers, where the most religious Jews don’t even have to serve in the army, and where the criteria for getting drafted aren’t enough to get you buried in the military graveyard,” he concludes. “Israel’s future, if it has one, depends on all the reject-Jews they’ve been pushing away from the table.” Michael Curry will give a book talk on The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid From Chicago Fights Hezbollah, Sunday, February 27, 10:00 am, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC). Joel Chasnoff will perform Sunday, March 6, 7:30 pm, at the Soloway JCC. Tickets are $25 (general admission) and $180 (patrons – patrons tickets include a private reception with Joel Chasnoff, reserved seats for two plus a $100 tax receipt). For more information, contact Roslyn Brozovsky Wollock at 613-798-9818, ext. 254, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 17
Na’amat: a diverse group of interesting women (Continued from page 12)
President Rivka Shaffir of Hamilton and Vice-President Orit Tobe of Toronto. We also met diverse members who are as interesting as they are giving: doctors, principals, teachers, psychologists, businesswomen and devoted moms with hobbies ranging from gardening to acting, and from coaching figure skating to teaching spinning. We are a restless bunch, wanting to be good moms, hold down careers, do volunteer work, pursue hobbies and keep fit, while making sure other women and children have some of the blessings we do. Our speakers reflected these goals.
Lisa Rosenkrantz, a family doctor, talked about how she balances motherhood and career with her philanthropic passions and Jewish spirituality, which led her to become a certified mohel in Ottawa. Leadership maven Lisa Miller of Ottawa, who has worked with government and business, conducted a lively session on understanding your own personality and making it better mesh with the people with whom you are working. This is one of the secrets of strong organizations. Andee Shuster, Na’amat Canada’s marketing co-ordinator, offered useful tips on marketing our organization and
events to get even better results from our time and efforts – such as wearing our Na’amat pendants with pride and finding new ways to get the word out about our organization, which has made a positive difference for 85 years and counting. Nothing demonstrates leadership like organizing a successful leadership event, and Ottawa resident and National Membership Committee Chair Sarah Beutel, a working mom with four kids and hidden hooping talent, took the lead in organizing this leadership event. For more information about Na’amat Canada, visit naamat.com.
In support of the Bess and Moe Greenberg Family Hillel Lodge In the Joseph and Inez Zelikovitz Long Term Care Centre Card Donations Card donations go a long way to improving the quality of life for our residents. Thank you for considering their needs and contributing to their wellbeing. On behalf of the residents and their families, we extend sincere appreciation to the following individuals and families who made card donations to the Hillel Lodge Long-Term Care Foundation between January 4 and 18, 2011 inclusive.
HONOUR FUNDS Unlike a bequest or gift of life insurance, which are realized some time in the future, a named Honour Fund (i.e., endowment fund) is established during your lifetime. By making a contribution of $1,000 or more, you can create a permanent remembrance for a loved one, honour a family member, declare what the Lodge has meant to you and/or support a cause that you believe in. A Hillel Lodge Honour Fund is a permanent pool of capital that earns interest or income each year. This income then supports the priorities designated by you, the donor.
Bill and Leona Adler Memorial Fund In Memory of: Susan Mayhew by Marilyn Adler Emile Benlolo by Marilyn Adler, Neil and Daniel Blacher Auxiliary of Hillel Lodge Fund In Memory of: Bessie Taller by Doreen and Ron Weinberg; by The Mahj Group and Friends; by Sonja and Ron Kesten
Elsie Baker Endowment Fund In Memory of: Ben Neiderhoffer by Jack and Polly Moran Jack and Betty Ballon Family Fund In Honour of: Betty Ballon Happy birthday by Anna and Rudy Fliegl Friedberg and Dale Families Fund In Honour of: Lisa and Harold Sandell Mazal tov on Eliyahu’s marriage to Rohcel Yehudis by Elaine Friedberg and Bob Dale Malcolm and Vera Glube Endowment Fund In Honour of: Myra and Lester Aronson Best wishes on your 40th anniversary by Vera and Malcolm Glube Stuart Kampel Mazal tov on chanting your Haftorah in celebration of the 60th anniversary of your Bar Mitzvah with love by Malcolm and Vera Glube Moe Greenberg and Elissa Greenberg Iny Fund In Memory of: John Holzman by Elissa and Avi Iny Dorothy and Maurie Karp Endowment Fund In Memory of: Darry Pattinson by Etta Karp; by Dorothy Karp Allan Karp by Dorothy Karp In Honour of: Betty Ballon Mazel Tov on your 103rd birthday.
The Lodge would like to extend its sincere apologies to Mr. Sol Kaiman and family. A message of sympathy was erroneously listed in the January 24 Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. The message should have read: “In Honour of Sol Kaiman Mazel Tov on your special birthday”
Wishing you Mazel always. All my love, Dorothy and family. Morris and Lillian Kimmel Family Fund In Honour of: Sylvia Kaiman Happy birthday by the Kimmel family Pencer Family Fund In Memory of: Karl Nerenberger’s father by Marcia and Irwin Pencer Stephen Aronson’s mother by Marcia and Irwin Pencer Irma and Harold Sachs Family Fund In Memory of: Susan Mayhew by Irma Sachs R’fuah Shlema to: Janice Charbonneau We miss you. Get well soon by Irma Sachs Stephen and Debra Schneiderman Family Fund In Memory of: Candy Schaffel by Debbie and Stephen Schneiderman Ruth Shugar by Debbie and Stephen Schneiderman and family Harold and Lillian Shoihet Memorial Fund R’fuah Shlema: Dr. Andre Engel by David and Jessica Shoihet In Honour of: Rebecca Stulberg Mazal tov on the birth of your grandson Eliezer Sadia Stulberg by Dovid Shoihet and Miriam Sabo Label and Leona Silver Family Fund In Memory of: Lilly Grossman by Label and Leona Silver Ralph and Anne Sternberg Memorial Fund R’fuah Shlema: Harvey Slipacoff by Laya and Ted Jacobsen In Honour of: Lynne and Barry Shulman Mazal tov on your
40th anniversary by Laya and Ted Jacobsen In Memory of: Joseph Ginsberg by Laya and Ted Jacobsen Sarah and Arnie Swedler Family Fund In Memory of: Sandie Taubin by Arnie Swedler Samuel Brinker by Arnie Swedler and Rhoda Zaitlin Eric Weiner and Arlene Godfrey Family Fund In Memory of: John Holzman by Eric Weiner and Arlene Godfrey In Honour of: Melissa Weiner Mazal tov on obtaining your B. Comm from Carleton University with love by Auntie Carol and Uncle Larry Gradus Feeding Program Fund In Memory of: Bessie Taller by Brenda and Stephen Saslove In Honour of: Betty Ballon Congratulations on your 103rd birthday by Brenda and Stephen Saslove *********** IN HONOUR OF: Betty Ballon Heartiest congratulations on your birthday by Sally Taller Joyce Kimmel Mazal tov and best wishes on your special birthday by Claire and Irving Bercovitch IN MEMORY OF: Simon Gold by the Rosenthal McCormack family Morris Gray by Evelyn and Howard Silverman John Holzman by Dee and Yale Gaffen; by Janet and Norman Ironstone Susan Mayhew by the Residents, Board & Staff of Hillel Lodge; Neil Moses by Susan and Dora Liu Miriam Rapoport by Donna and Joey Kruger Lillian Silverman by Janet and Norman Ironstone
THE LODGE EXPRESSES ITS SINCERE APPRECIATION FOR YOUR KIND SUPPORT AND APOLOGIZES FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, THE WORDING APPEARING IN THE BULLETIN IS NOT NECESSARILY THE WORDING WHICH APPEARED ON THE CARD. GIVING IS RECEIVING – ATTRACTIVE CARDS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OCCASIONS Here’s a good opportunity to recognize an event or convey the appropriate sentiment to someone important to you and at the same time support the Lodge. Card orders may be given to Bev at 613-728-3900, extension 111, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Friday. You may also e-mail your orders to email@example.com. E-mail orders must include name, address, postal code, and any message to person receiving the card; and, amount of donation, name, address and postal code of the person making the donation. Cards may be paid for by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cheque or Cash. Contributions are tax deductible.
Page 18 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Tikkun Olam project: ‘Nothing could fully mend their broken hearts, but, perhaps, I’d helped sew one more stitch’ As chair of community service for Chabad Student Network of Ottawa (CSN), I try to avoid writing about my own events. Reporting on something I organized could easily be interpreted as a ‘conflict of interest,’ and, in doing so, I’d probably disappoint my journalism professors. So, blatant bias and all, I would like to share a story about a particularly meaningful experience I had participating in a CSN community service event on January 12. A few months ago, Rabbi Chaim Boyarsky, who leads CSN, proposed that we hold a special sort of conference. Volunteers would sit at a table, laptops open and cell phones in hand, as we called the families of fallen Canadian soldiers and expressed our sympathies. We would also take down their addresses and ask if we could send them a gift – a token of appreciation. Rabbi Chaim assured me that he had done this type of project before and the families were always extremely grateful. So, I agreed, invited people to the event, and didn’t think much more of it until the day itself arrived. I wasn’t nervous until virtually all the volunteers started expressing their concerns. “How will the families respond?” “Is this an invasion of privacy?” I honestly didn’t know, and I was beginning to experience some anxiety myself. We had been given a list of soldiers’ names and we were required to match their last names with their hometowns in an online directory. In some cases, there was more than one ‘Smith’ in ‘Brampton,’ so it was explained that we might have to make a few calls before getting the right person. After reaching several answering machines and several responses of “No, I’m not related to so and so,” someone finally reached a cousin, who gave her the phone number of
the parents of a fallen soldier. The room was tense. No one wanted to make that first call. Rabbi Chaim volunteered. By the end of it, from merely overhearing the conversation, we were all in tears. One by one, each volunteer took a deep breath, summoned every ounce of courage they had, and got to work making phone calls. One by one, people reached relatives, and the tears continued to flow. After hanging up, each volunteer would breathe a sigh of relief, but also smile as though they had some sort of profound understanding about the world. For me, the process was slower. No one was answering, and those who did, didn’t speak English. “I organized this whole event,” I thought. “I want to know what the other volunteers are going through. I can’t go home a failure.” I called and called and called. “Are you related to Sgt. Fitzpatrick?” I asked, somewhat mechanically. I had got so used to rejection by this point. “Um, I’m his brother,” said the voice on the on the other end. My heart dropped. “Oh,” I said, as I tried to gather my thoughts. I mustered out whatever I could without bursting into tears. I told him how sorry I was for his loss, how much I admired and respected what his brother had done, how we, as Canadian citizens, would never forget this no matter how much time went on. I was embarrassed. It didn’t feel like enough. My words felt inadequate. They were meagre compared to what this young man had been through. “Would you mind calling my parents and saying the exact same thing?” he asked. “Because it means a whole lot.”
Campus Life Ilana Belfer I didn’t waste any time. I wasn’t sure how much adrenaline I had left. It was now or never. I said the same things to Sgt. Fitzpatrick’s father and, this time, my voice was less shaky. I felt I had calmed, like I was more in control. So, when he asked if I would speak to his wife, I instantly agreed. I began my speech again, but I was interrupted by sobs. This wasn’t part of the plan. I just kept going, expressing my feelings of sympathy as best as I could. “It’s funny you should call today,” she said. “I was having a really rough day.” I could sense her appreciation. When I hung up, I breathed a sigh of relief like all the others had. But I finally understood why smiles had dawned on their faces amongst a somewhat traumatized expression. I had never felt so connected to a stranger. I had never realized the impact I could make sitting at a dining room table, chatting on my cell phone. Ten minutes earlier, I did not even know these people existed. Now my only wish was to soothe their pain. I wrote them a long, heartfelt letter that Rabbi Chaim promised would be packaged along with a gift and mailed the following day. Nothing could fully mend their broken hearts, but, perhaps, I’d helped sew one more stitch – and that is truly Tikkun Olam. As university students, we have extremely busy schedules. We often forget about volunteering and do not prioritize time to ‘repair the world.’ I only wish more people would have come to the event and shared in the experience. Chabad Student Network holds community service initiatives every month. More information can be found on the CSN Facebook site at tinyurl.com/ChabadSN.
A postmodern post-mortem of the Great Author – a homage to David Foster Wallace I just finished reading some stories by David Foster Wallace and am trying to figure out what in the world the Great Author was trying to say because he writes these long involved sentences about often hideous or disgusting subjects in a way that is somehow funny or peculiar, the way a wound overflows like fizz from a shaken can of Coke, and it’s all connected to physical interactions in the universe such as the collision of atoms in an accelerator producing a big bang or a mini-black hole that swallows everything like an open mouth chugging soda. I wish he’d stop circling around where he wants to go and get there; or at least to an end that has a period after it. The Great Author, who died September 12, 2008, is entertaining, but we seem to be laughing at things that are horrible. Like having a manager welcome candidates in a German accent: “Ve velcome you to ze last step in ze selection protsess.” The only people who would get this so-called joke are those who would find it repugnant. So, why is he funny? Why, when he describes the fistulated face of the man in the moon, does he draw me in like a coiling snake until I too feel my eyes are like spirals around dark matters? Why do his sentences, paragraphs and stories seem to swallow themselves like the serpent that started with its tail? (Arguing that irony and ridicule are entertaining and effective, and, at the same time, “agents of a great despair and stasis in U.S. culture,” his stories disap-
peared as they were read and had to be then regurgitated to be understood.) This is heavy, like metal atoms used in collisions to create superhot, bright flashes. The flash burns through us all, leaving infinitely small holes, through which we can see the peep shows of star dramas in heaven as they are on earth. Born to brilliant academics on February 21 (the reverse of 12), 1962, he was an omnibrained scholar at ease in math, English and philosophy. A comet on the dark horizon of literature after he wrote his 1,000 page novel (so widely read that it disappeared, becoming as valuable as a rare gem), he was feted, bestowed with prizes and looked on as the new literary messiah. After the flash, there is a bit of lingering light. According to the Great Author, showing his alienated generosity, “fiction’s about what it is to be a f—ing human being.” He describes our hideous, depressing daily crises and chronic disillusionment while promoting compassion, mindfulness and existentialism as cures. He reaches out as he grows more distant. Here was the promise of a new worm hole connecting a young star to some Shakespearean future beyond the life of mere mortals even as more and more of his works were read and evaporated. And the lingering light is soon consumed by dark. The Great Author suffered from depression for more than 20 years; antidepressants allowed him to function. In a
Humour me, please Rubin Friedman grotesquerie typical of his stories, when he experienced severe side effects from the medication, the Great Author, went off the meds on his doctor’s advice, and his depression returned. He received other treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy. When he tried his medication again, it didn’t work. His depression became deeper and darker and eventually the Great Author immortalized himself in the most final way possible by committing suicide on September 12 (the reverse of 21), 2008. This was the logical conclusion of his constant circling, like the action of a drill, to penetrate the heart of darkness. He reached his goal, but, perhaps, he passed through and has been ejected as a babe by some exploding singularity somewhere else where he will begin again. Here, the rest is silence and PhD theses. Period.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 19
I am distressed, alarmed and saddened, but not ashamed Many political players and observers have been discussing Israel’s recent social tensions using the language of shame. When 39 Israeli rabbis issued a letter urging their fellow citizens not to rent apartments to Arabs, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin told a Ha’aretz reporter that the letter “shames the Jewish people.” When David Rotem, an MK from the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, proposed a bill that would cease to recognize conversions performed by Conservative and Reform rabbis, then-Labor (now Independence) MK Einat Wilf said she was “ashamed of those who in the era after the establishment of the State of Israel accept the authority of rabbis that belong to a pre-Zionist era.” When Israel’s past-president Moshe Katzav was convicted of rape, sexual assault and harassment, Ha’aretz senior legal commentator Ze’ev Segal wrote that Katzav has “brought a mark of shame to our democracy.” And when the Knesset decided in early January to strike a parliamentary committee to investigate left-wing NGOs, Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz called it “a shame on the Knesset.” But, as a Diaspora Jew, I am not ashamed of the rabbis’ letter, reminiscent, as it is, of some of European Jewry’s darkest memories. I am not ashamed of the conversion bill that slaps the face of the liberal forms of Judaism in which I invest considerable time and emotional energy. I am not ashamed of Katzav’s acts of sexual brutality. And I am not ashamed of the sudden turn to investigate left-wing NGOs in Israel, as if those who seek a more just and humane society are a fifth column. I am distressed. I am alarmed. I am saddened. But I refuse to feel ashamed by any of these chinks in the armour of Is-
rael’s democracy. Because, as soon we own another’s actions – as if we, ourselves, committed them – we forfeit our ability to be the critic we need to be as self-declared friends of Israel. Shame is certainly an evocative way to express political anguish. But shame also does something very unhelpful: it can lead the ashamed to turn inward, burying the problem rather than fixing it. With shame come ostrich-policies, allowing Israel to careen down its dangerous course. What Israel needs more than anything is to turn outward and – to borrow a phrase from the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis – have sunlight disinfect the anti-democratic tendencies gripping the country in a chokehold. With sunlight and a microscope and a dry leaf, we can perhaps hope to ignite a smoke signal to send to our Israeli kith and kin to let them know we care. Nurturing a sense of shame isn’t going to help, but opening Israeli policies up to the light just might. There’s a short line to be drawn between the propensity to feel collective shame – whether within the chambers of the Knesset, along the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem corridor or across the communities of the Diaspora – and not wishing to “air one’s dirty laundry,” as the tired phrase goes. And who are at the forefront of this shush-away-the-criticism tendency? The elaborate network of what is known in the Diaspora as “Israel advocacy.” Israel’s democracy is hurting. Its institutions are vibrant, but its pluralistic, tolerant character is fast eroding. Israel is in danger of becoming an illiberal democracy, that hybrid political veneer that Fareed Zakaria warned us about – in his 2003 book, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home
International community watches Sudan’s referendum with skepticism and hope On January 9, the southern Sudanese went to the polls to determine whether they want an independent state. Nearly 200,000 exiled southerners have returned to the south since November, many of them fearing repercussions in the north after the vote. Many returned too late to register for the historic vote. Final results are officially expected before February 15, but they could be announced much earlier. The secessionists received a significant boost when Omar al-Bashir, the indicted Sudanese president, flew to Juba, the capital of southern Sudan, in early January and pledged to respect the referendum, regardless of the results. This is a far cry from his earlier assertion, “If south Sudan secedes, we will change the constitution, and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity … Shariah and Islam will be the main source for the constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language.” Bashir’s track record includes two arrest warrants issued by the International Court of Justice for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide, all stemming from his brutal treatment of people in the Darfur region (western Sudan). Under Bashir’s government, the power of Islam has not dealt kindly with dissent. “Shariah law has always stipulated that one must whip, cut, or kill,” said Bashir. While the northern Sudanese government has seemed to be flexible in the past few weeks, there are no guarantees that Bashir and his powerful northern government would play nice with the south. Most of the country’s oil fields are located in southern Sudan. That, and religious differences, are mitigating factors against an easy transition.
Unlike the Arab dominated north, the south is dominated by traditional indigenous animist beliefs rounded out by some smaller Christian and non-Sunni Muslim populations. The population of the south is one-third that of the north and is much dependent on local small economies, a contrast to the north’s oil-based and urbanized economy. First inhabited as long as 70,000 years ago, Sudan’s indigenous settlements go back 8,000 years. Cultural and political exchange between Egyptians and Sudanese tribes go back 3,000 years. While Islam and Arab culture took root slowly over the past 1,000 years, the recent Arab domination of Sudan, or at least northern Sudan, goes back to the economic woes of the early 1800s, which saw the government overthrown and replaced by an Islamic republic. After that, racial purity and the supremacy of being both Arab and Muslim became key cultural and political forces that did not favour the south, or the west. The non-Arab population is viewed as inferior even if they are Muslim. Chinese and Russian interests have helped support the current government since 1990. With significant oil and mineral resources, Sudan has become very attractive for Chinese investment. Dealing with a central government that has a strong presence and can guarantee an uninterrupted supply of raw resources has worked well for China. Russia’s presence is less strategic. They are simply a supplier of sophisticated weapons. How China responds to the vote will influence the expected new state’s stability and prosperity. The situation in western Sudan continues. Despite calls for peace, the genocide and crimes against humanity that began in 1994, and which peaked between 2003 and 2006, continue to be the focus of media attention. No relief is in sight for a peo-
Values, Ethics, Community Mira Sucharov and Abroad – as many democracies the world over, particularly young ones, were scoring well on ballot boxes but low on liberties. Many individuals and groups engaged in mainstream Israel advocacy would no doubt agree that the trends I listed above are problematic, and maybe even tragic. But Israel advocates are taught to defend Israel from the weapon of public opinion. Many think any trenchant criticism of Israel is like a missile, threatening Israel’s well-being. But, the logic is mixed up. Only robust discussion of where Israel’s democracy is headed can have a hope in heck of saving it. Many Diaspora voices are doing just that, realizing that to support Israel doesn’t mean enabling these illiberal tendencies. Groups like J Street, the New Israel Fund, Peace Now and Ameinu are the kinds of friends that will help Israel regain its democratic composure. Canadian Jews, sadly, have been slower than our American counterparts to join this urgent conversation. Regrettably, for Canadians, J Street, the biggest “proIsrael, pro-peace” player these days, is busy expending its limited resources on Capitol Hill rather than on Parliament Hill. Let me hereby ask my fellow Canadians who will join me? The time is now to turn outward, toward the light of honest critique. And that – rather than turn away in silent shame – is what friends do for each other. Mira Sucharov, an associate professor of political science at Carleton University, blogs at the Huffington Post.
World Affairs Oliver Javanpour ple who have suffered through the government-backed Arab Janjaweed militia raids on their villages – killing men, raping women and girls, burning the villages and killing livestock – while Bashir’s army helped through aerial bombing. So far, this ethnic cleansing has killed nearly half a million people and displaced another 2.5 million. It is with a sense of skepticism, and hope, that most of us in the international community watch the independence vote and preparation for secession of southern Sudan. The deeprooted conflicts, intermingled with ruthless acts coloured by religious overtones and a drive toward purity of race and belief, create an almost irresolvable puzzle on their own. Throwing in competition for natural resources, and the economic interests represented by Chinese investment, makes for a situation that attracts global attention but no easy solutions. China can see that internal conflicts in countries that supply the fuel, literally, for their economic engine are not to their advantage. Accordingly, they have made significant efforts to assure both sides that resource compensation would be, and should be, shared. However, there are many chapters left as we await the birth of a new country in Africa. One can only hope that the vote will point southern Sudan down the road to stability and security – and that Darfur will be next. Oliver Javanpour is a senior partner at Cyrus Echo, a public policy, and international relations consulting firm in Ottawa.
Page 20 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
My brush with fame at a London restaurant Last summer, Roger and I travelled to London, England for a wedding. I hadn’t been there since 1982, so I was very excited to be going back. With only a few days, there were so many restaurants and so little time. One restaurant I really wanted to try was the River Café. Opened in 1987 by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, this simple Italian restaurant has really stood the test of time. I first heard of Ruth and Rose when I was a culinary student in the mid-1980s. They were partly responsible for changing the culinary scene in London. Back in ’87, most fine dining establishments in London were stuffy and formal. Ruth and Rose changed all that and were really the front runners in emphasizing sourcing and on focusing on the ingredients. They brought the flavours of Italian home cooking to London. The menu constantly changes to reflect the seasons and, of course, what looks best at the market that day. The restaurant is modern, with an open-plan kitchen and dining room. The whole place really has a fun vibe. Sadly, Rose succumbed to cancer a year ago, but Ruth continues to run the place. Located on the bank of the River Thames in Thames Wharf Studios in West London, it is a little out of the way from the more popular tourist spots and it took us more than 20 minutes to get there by taxi from our hotel. But it was worth it! When we first arrived, I noticed a group of people outside the restaurant. I watched as they were ushered to a table on the outdoor patio. As I looked more closely, I was positive I recognized one of the members of that group. Apparently my eyes grew wide, my face got a bit flushed and I was rendered speechless. I just grabbed Roger’s arm and ushered him into the restaurant. “Was that who I thought it was?” I stammered to the maître d’ when we got inside. She smiled and said, “Yes, it was Jennifer Aniston.” “What? No, not her! Was that Jamie Oliver?” I asked. “Oh, yes,” she replied. “He was with her group.” For those who don’t know, Jamie Oliver is a Londonbased chef and is culinary royalty there. He has several shows on the Food Network and is just as cute as a button! Of course, most normal people would have recognized Jennifer Aniston and been excited about seeing her. I didn’t even notice her. I only had eyes for Jamie. Roger said he hasn’t seen a glow like that on my face since our wedding day. Yes, I have a bit of a crush. He is such a brilliant chef. I just love his style of cooking; unpretentious, with bold
flavours shining through. No fusion or complex sauces, he just lets quality ingredients speak for themselves. We ate inside and they were outside on the patio. I never did manage to get the courage to go over for a photo or autograph. It was just enough for me to see him. I had forgotten that he trained at River Café as a young chef. We were there in August, the height of tomato and peach season and I started with Mozzarella di Bufala – squashed ridged tomato bruschetta with wild oregano, basil and Selvapiana extra virgin olive oil. Roger had the Risotto di Pesca Bianca – white peach, prosecco, red basil, stock and parmesan. We both had fish for our main course, Spiedino ai ferri – char grilled monkfish and scallops on a rosemary stick with zucchini fritti, rocket and anchovy and rosemary
Made with Love Cindy Feingold sauce for Roger, and Branzino in cartoccio – wild sea bass fillet baked in the bag with basil, lemon and vermouth, with Casteluccio lentils and samphire for me. For dessert, we shared caramel ice cream and lemon tart. I left there a very satisfied woman!
The Quickest Tomato Sauce Here is a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Jamie at Home. It is a simple tomato sauce. Now you may be thinking, “What? After describing that amazing meal, she’s just giving us a recipe for tomato sauce!” But, trust me. This basic tomato sauce is quick, fresh, fragrant and a bit sweet. If you are used to tomato sauce from jars or cans, this will be a revelation to you. It has none of that artificial sweet taste that is characteristic of jarred sauces. If you make your own tomato sauce, you will notice that this has none of the typical ingredients usually seen. No onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, oregano or sugar. This sauce can be made in about 10 minutes. It is quite a thin sauce but the depth of flavour is amazing. It is wonderful on pasta, in lasagne or on pizzas. To make this you will need a coarse mesh strainer. They are available everywhere, from Canadian Tire to kitchenware stores. These strainers usually come in several ‘hole’ sizes. For this recipe, you’ll want the coarsest mesh you can find. The key to success with this sauce is to use only canned Italian whole plum tomatoes. Look for ‘San Marzano’ on the label. San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of plum tomatoes, are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world. They come from a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy. Compared to the Roma tomatoes with which most people are familiar, Marzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, sweeter and less acidic. You can find them at Italian grocers and sometimes I see them at Costco.
2 large (28 oz.) cans Italian whole plum tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked off the stem and roughly torn 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes Pour canned tomatoes and their juices into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, squish the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped. Place a large saucepan over high heat. Add olive oil and garlic and turn heat down to medium. Cook garlic for a minute or two, just until it begins to turn golden in colour. Add tomatoes and basil. Add salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes, if you are using them. Using the back of a wooden spoon, continue to squish the tomatoes so they break down even further. Continue cooking until the mixture comes to a boil. Have a large bowl with a coarse mesh strainer set over it. Pour about half the sauce into the sieve. Discard the basil and garlic. Strain the sauce, using the back of a wooden spoon to push through any larger bits of tomato. Repeat with the remaining sauce. Don’t forget to scrape off any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the strainer with a spatula. Pour sauce back into the pan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to concentrate the flavours. This sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for several months.
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How to make an event unique and special What makes an event memorable? Is it the people, the location, the atmosphere? Over the past few months, I’ve attended some events in the community that have been out of the ordinary. As someone who loves to plan events and attend well-planned gatherings, I’ve been trying to figure out what made those particular events so fulfilling, and what’s the secret to making an event such a success. The events that stick out in my mind have been part of a diverse offering: a pool night for Jewish graduate medical and law students; a formal gala for young professionals and grad students; and an eco-Shabbat dinner featuring organic products. Events in the Jewish community that hone in on our unique interests and values – be they political, social, artistic, etc. – are enriching. They open us up to new ideas, people and opportunities that we might otherwise seek out in the wider community. While some interests might be better served by the wider community, it’s also great to bring the Jewish community together and expose people to a wide range of options – to new and different things. Events like these can meet our personal, social, spiritual and cultural needs. And, sometimes, they’re just plain fun! The community is as diverse as we make it, and cities with great resources at hand, like New York City, demonstrate this well. There’s the New York Jewish Film Festival, frequent speed dating events, social nights at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jewish singles cooking classes and the list goes on and on. I’ll be checking out the Jewish scene there on an upcoming business trip to Manhattan. Yep, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! So, tell someone if you have an idea for an event. A lot of event organizers are open to hearing new ideas. Yours just might be a fantastic idea that could bring even more people together. For years, people have talked about a party that would bring together Montreal and Ottawa Jews – someone could bring this idea to fruition. Anyone have a bus? Beyond a great idea, there’s another element that is even more important. It’s having people at events who are welcoming and who help to create an inclusive atmosphere. When people take the time and make the effort to reach out to someone new, it makes all the difference – even if the location is beautiful, the event isn’t the same if the people there aren’t friendly. So, for those people who attend events regularly, and for those who organize them, your effort in welcoming others is being noticed, and you are an integral part in making the party a success. Speaking of meeting new people, wait until you hear this! I just heard about a new website, thejmom.com – “Jewish Matchmaking Mom’s Way.” This site features Jewish mothers who set up their sons and daughters on dates
Mazal Tov Getting married, celebrating a special birthday or anniversary, just had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Send us your good news (photo too)! $50 + hst Mail to: Ottawa Jewish Bulletin 21 Nadolny Sachs Private, Ottawa, ON K2A 2R9 Fax: 613-798-4730 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
through other mothers online. Can’t you just hear the Jewish mother jokes now? Not to mention all the kvelling! What’s next, jbubbie.com? Here are a couple of upcoming events. The Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies will be screening the film Like a Bride (Novia que te vea) on Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 pm at Carleton University, Paterson Hall, room 303. The film focuses on two Mexican Jewish girls who come of age in Mexico City during the 1960s. Carleton Film Studies Professor Zuzana Pick will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. JET will be hosting a Shabbat weekend getaway for young professionals at the Kollel of Ottawa cottage on Lac Cayamant from Friday, March 4 to Sunday, March 6. The cost is $25. For more information, contact Rabbi Michael Goldstein at email@example.com.
Eighteen things you may not know about Abigail Freeman Abigail Freeman is a Grade 12 student at Sir Robert Borden High School and in Ottawa’s Torah High program. I had the opportunity to get to know this thoughtful, friendly, intelligent and fun individual when I chaperoned her March of the Living trip. If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting her, here are 18 things you may not know about Abigail … 1. I have a black belt in taekwondo. 2. I definitely want to go to university next year, but am just not sure where, or what to study. 3. I am the treasurer of Sir Robert Borden’s Student Council, a position that I won by election. 4. I have spent the last eight summers at Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa and will be returning this summer as sailing staff. 5. My first ever trip to Israel was last April for March of the Living. I can’t wait to go back. 6. I would love to travel to England. 7. A lot of my friends are Facebook friends with my dad, Moose. 8. I am a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen. 9. I don’t like going to sleep early or waking up early. 10. My Bubby Sylvia makes the most incredible chicken soup ever. 11. I was the Hebrew valedictorian when I graduated from Hillel Academy. 12. I go to synagogue (Machzikei Hadas) every week. 13. I really enjoy playing sports, especially football, basketball and soccer. 14. I have a great relationship with my older brother Harrison and miss him since he’s at McGill this year. 15. I don’t mind being called Abi. 16. My dream job would be either lawyer or accountant. 17. I really don’t watch much TV and only the occasional movie. I prefer to spend time with my friends. 18. I would love to learn how to play the guitar.
18 things ... Sarah Silverstein
Abigail Freeman with her brother, Harrison Freeman.
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Page 22 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Guide book to Jewish kid lit is informative and enjoyable JPS Guide: Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens By Linda R. Silver The Jewish Publication Society 325 pages. All ages. Guide books are most usually perused by librarians, educators and assorted other individuals with unique needs or interests. Why, then, am I devoting a column intended for a general readership to a review of Linda Silver’s JPS Guide: Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens? There are two reasons. First, Linda Silver, the PJ Library and I all share the belief that immersing Jewish children in Jewish kid lit as a natural part of their upbringing is a powerful way of transmitting a wide range of deeply felt Jewish experiences to our children. Second, although children’s books go out-of-print very quickly, truly good children’s books can be enjoyed by succeeding generations. But parents, grandparents and other interested adults have to know about the books so they can hunt them up. That was the motivation that led me, more than 20 years ago, to propose this column to Cynthia Nyman Engel, then the editor of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. It continues to be my motivation to this day. Guide books are based on selection. The author establishes specific criteria and uses those criteria to decide what to exclude, what to include, how to organize and describe the chosen material. In her brief introduction, Silver tells us that the books she’s included “represent the best writing, illustration, reader appeal, and authentic Jewish context” for children from preschool through their late-teens, with the occasional mention of “to adult.” The vast majority of books that appear in the guide were published between the Second World War and 2009, with an occasional book published in 2010. For the most part, the books are written in, or translated into, English, and issued by mainstream American trade book publishers. However, I’m delighted to report that there are also books from Jewish American specialty publishers of all denomina-
Kid Lit Deanna Silverman tions, as well as a number of Canadian authors and publishers, who are also mentioned in the guide. The organization of JPS Guide: Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens is user-friendly in every sense of the word. Its chapter headings are further broken down into fiction, nonfiction and such subheadings as Bar and Bat Mitzvah, birth, adoption, names, loss, marriage, divorce, collections, individual stories, humour, Midrash, women of the Bible, etc. Each chapter begins with an informative, often thought-provoking introduction. An age range is suggested for each book, and books similar to the one being described are often noted. The guide also includes a description of the two major American awards for Jewish children’s books, the National Jewish Book Award and the Sydney Taylor Book Award, plus lists of the winning books from their inception to 2009-2010. It ends with a series of listings that make it very easy to find individual books: titles for recommended age levels, and indexes by title, author, illustrator and subject. Best of all, the writing describing each book sparkles with enjoyment and clarity. The summaries, describing the author’s and illustrator’s styles, make it easy for a reader to decide if this book is or is not suitable for a particular child. And that’s really what adults want to know. What’s not in the guide that might have been? I won’t quibble about specific titles. However two additional categories of kid lit come to mind: dictionaries and Yiddish-language children’s books. While I fully realize that neither of these categories meets Silver’s English-language crite-
By Linda R. Silver
ria, I would have appreciated a bit more flexibility. Over the years, I’ve reviewed a few Hebrew-English dictionaries, one Yiddish-English dictionary and a couple of Yiddish children’s books that are very good. Without a word about them in the guide, I wonder how anyone will learn of them. Be that as it may, Silver’s JPS Guide: Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens was a tremendous undertaking that became a superbly informative and enjoyable gem of a book for librarians, educators and parents needing to find the right Jewish-content book for a specific child. Now that you know what to look for, remember that those out-of-print oldies can often be found as used books on the Internet or in synagogue, Jewish community and Jewish school libraries. Happy hunting and happy reading!
A British Muslim discovers his Jewish identity The Infidel Directed by Josh Appignanesi E One Films Canada 105 minutes I reviewed Michael Wex’s book The Frumkiss Family Business in the December 13 issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. In that hilarious book, members of the Frumkiss family, including the wife of a Chasidic rebbe, discover that they are not halachically Jewish. There’s a variation, of sorts, on that theme in The Infidel, a 2010 British comedy now available on DVD. Mahmud (Omid Djalili) is a not-particularly-religious British Muslim. He drinks and likes to listen to rock music, especially to Gary Page, a deceased ‘80s pop singer. Mahmud’s son wants to marry the daughter of a fundamentalist Muslim cleric, who must approve of the boy’s entire family before he’ll allow the marriage to proceed. Meanwhile, Mahmud is closing up his recently deceased mother’s home and is feuding with Lenny, her Jewish neighbour, played by Richard Schiff, well-remembered as presidential aide Toby Zeigler on TV’s The West Wing. It’s clear that Mahmud and Lenny each feel the weight of stereotypical prejudices against the other. While going through his mother’s papers, Mahmud discovers that he was adopted as a baby. He visits the local social
DVD Michael Regenstreif service centre and discovers that he was born Jewish and that his birth name was Solly Shimshillewitz. While attempting to maintain his Muslim identity, Mahmud enlists Lenny to teach him about what it means to be Jewish and in tracking down his still-living Jewish father, Izzy Shimshillewitz – all to comic effect. Things begin to unravel when Mahmud puts a kippah on under his head covering before attending a Muslim rally. When the kippah is inadvertently discovered, he covers up by yelling an anti-Semitic slur. Later, at a family gathering with the family of the cleric, the police arrive to arrest Mahmud for inciting hatred with his anti-Semitic comment. He can’t be anti-Semitic, he pleads, because he’s actually Jewish. The story moves forward. Mahmud and Lenny develop a genuine friendship and learn to respect each other’s religion
and culture. They get beyond their prejudices and see the other as fellow human beings. There is a particularly poignant segment surrounding the death of Izzy Shimshillewitz at a Jewish nursing home. And, in a later comic twist, Mahmud exposes the fundamentalist cleric for the fraud that he is. The film is rather amusing and, occasionally, laugh-outloud funny. Ultimately, it has a Rodney King “can’t we all just get along” message. Among the supporting cast is Archie Panjabi – Kalinda on TV’s The Good Wife – who plays Mahmud’s wife.
Lenny (Richard Schiff) places a kippah on the head of Mahmud (Omid Djalili) in a scene from The Infidel.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 23
FOUNDATION DONATIONS Our future is in your hands
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To make a donation and/or send a tribute card, call Erin Bolling (613-798-4696 ext. 232) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • website: www.OJCF.ca
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MARY AND ISRAEL (AL) ALLICE MEMORIAL FUND Anniversary wishes to: Lester and Myra Aronson by Irving and Beverly Swedko. CAYLA AND MICHAEL BAYLIN ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Cayla and Michael Baylin.
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JAMIE BEREZIN ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Shelley, Gary and Jamie Berezin. Lillian Aronson by Shelley, Gary and Jamie Berezin.
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TILLIE AND HARRY CHERM MEMORIAL FUND In memory of: Bessie Taller by Sol and Sylvia Kaiman. CYNTHIA AND ABE ENGEL ENDOWMENT FUND Mazal Tov to: Cynthia Engel on the birth of her 3rd grandson by the Levitz family. BARBARA AND LEN FARBER ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Barbara and Len Farber. Anniversary wishes to: Dr. Victor and Laraine Kaminsky by Barbara and Len Farber. ALAN FREED FAMILY FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Alan Freed and Sharon Rosentzveig. R’Fuah Sh’Leimah to: Arnell Goldberg by Alan Freed and Sharon Rosentzveig. Mazal Tov to: Norman and Arlene Glube on the birth of their grandson by Alan Freed and Sharon Rosentzveig. GILBOA/MAOZ FAMILY FUND In memory of: Bessie Taller by Helen and Chaim Gilboa. Neil Moses by Helen and Chaim Gilboa. JACK AND GERT GOLDSTEIN MEMORIAL FUND In memory of: Lily Silverman by Allen and Diane Abramson.
SUSAN AND DAVID KRIGER ENDOWMENT FUND Birthday wishes to: Harvey Goldberg on his ‘special birthday’ by Susan and David Kriger. ANNICE AND SYDNEY KRONICK FAMILY FUND In memory of: Joanne (Zeve) Berman by Debi and Neil Zaret. MAYER AND ROSE LANDAU MEMORIAL FUND In observance of the Yahrzeit of: Nancy Segal by Sally Taller. LEON AND BYRTHA LECKIE MEMORIAL FUND In memory of: Sarra Chernick by Robin Leckie. Ruth Stern by Robin Leckie; by Faith and Rick Marcotte; and by Norman Leckie, Robin Chernick and Joscelyn Leckie. HILDY AND STEVEN LESH ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: Miriam Rapaport by Hildy, Steven, Maya and Dahlia Lesh. NORMAN AND ISABEL LESH ENDOWMENT FUND Birthday wishes to: Norman Lesh by Ron and Ruth Levitan. Continued on page 24
Page 24 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
FOUNDATION DONATIONS RON AND RUTH LEVITAN ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Ron and Ruth Levitan. Lily Silverman by Ron and Ruth Levitan. Lillian Aronson by Ron and Ruth Levitan. Anniversary wishes to: Lester and Myra Aronson by Ron and Ruth Levitan. JOSEPH AND EVELYN LIEFF ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Joseph and Evelyn Lieff. JACOB MALOMET MEMORIAL FUND Birthday wishes to: Ruth Viner by Alvin and Diana Malomet. CHUCK AND BONNIE MEROVITZ FAMILY FUND Mazal Tov to: Len and Heather Ritter on the birth of their granddaughter Kayla Mollie by Chuck and Bonnie Merovitz. Norm and Arlene Glube on the birth of their grandson Theo Zacharia by Chuck and Bonnie Merovitz. Steve and Sarah Morgan on the Bar Mitvah of their son by Chuck and Bonnie Merovitz. JEAN AND MAX NAEMARK ENDOWMENT FUND Mazal Tov to: Josephine and Tom Linden on the marriage of their daughter Alexandra to John by Jean Naemark and family.
GERALD AND MARY-BELLE PULVERMACHER FAMILY ENDOWMENT FUND Birthday wishes to: Sheldon Wiseman by Gerald and Mary-Belle Pulvermacher. SAMUEL AND RUTH ROTHMAN MEMORIAL FUND In memory of: Lillian Aronson by Sheldon and Corinne Taylor. HAROLD SHAFFER MEMORIAL FUND In observance of the Yahrzeit of: Mary Shaffer a beloved mother by Sheldon and Sonia Shaffer. STELLA AND LOUIS SLACK MEMORIAL FUND Anniversary wishes to: Lester and Myra Aronson by David, Rhoda, Harris, Sara, Owen and Ev Eisenstadt; by Stanley and Daphne Arron; by Herb and Annette Feldman; by Barbara and Len Farber; by Millie Weinstein; and by Elissa and Avraham Iny. Birthday wishes to: Sol Armel by Lester and Myra Aronson. MOE AND CHARLOTTE SLACK MEMORIAL FUND Anniversary wishes to: Lester and Myra Aronson by Marlene Levine and Andrew Siman. DORIS AND RICHARD STERN FAMILY FUND In memory of: John Holzman by Doris and Richard Stern. Perry Lande by Doris and Richard Stern.
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ZIPES KARANOFSKY FAMILY ENDOWMENT FUND In memory of: Henry Albert by Rick and Helen Zipes. Lillian Marshall by Rick and Helen Zipes. Mazal Tov to: Adele Reinhartz and Barry Walfish on the birth of their second grandchild Adira Hanna by Rick and Helen Zipes. Len and Heather Ritter on the birth of their first grandchild Kayla Mollie by Rick and Helen Zipes. THE SAUL AND EDNA GOLDFARB B’NAI MITZVAH PROGRAM ELIZABETH GREENBERG MITZVAH FUND Mazal Tov to: Elizabeth Greenberg on becoming a Bat Mitzvah by Shelli and Steven Kimmel; by Simmy Gardner; by Margo and David Kardish; by Mimi and Merv Kerman; by Josee and Gerald Posen; by Ruth Soloway; by Gordon and Laura Spergel; and by Cally and Sid Kardash. GABRIEL HAMBURG MITZVAH FUND In memory of: Lily Silverman by Lyon and Cybele Hamburg. STACEY SAMANTHA KATZ B’NAI MITZVAH FUND Mazal Tov to: Joany and Andy Katz on the engagement of Jaclyn to Ivan by Cindi and Mark Resnick and family. SAMUEL MORGAN B’NAI MITZVAH FUND Mazal Tov to: Isra and Jacquie Levy on the Bar Mitzvah of Josh by Sarah and Steven Morgan.
Contributions may be made online at www.OJCF.ca or by contacting Erin Bolling at 613-798-4696 extension 232, Monday to Friday or by email at email@example.com. Attractive cards are sent to convey the appropriate sentiments. All donations are acknowledged with a charitable receipt. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Amex.
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Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 25
Ottawa Birthright trip:
Sign up for May 2011 Canada Israel Experience! By Ross Diamond Hillel Ottawa A special orientation session for Taglit Birthright Israel applicants and parents will be held Tuesday, Febru-
ary 8, 7:00 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. This year, we’re asking Ottawa applicants, aged 18 to 22, to sign up for the May
Birthright trip so that we can achieve the 50 to 60 participants necessary to create a dedicated Ottawa bus. In the past, the Ottawa participants have spread their registra-
Bulletin Campus Life columnist Ilana Belfer (left) and Kayla Resnick at the Western Wall during their 2010 Birthright trip to Israel.
tions over several months, not enough to generate our own bus. The Canada Israel Experience office has indicated to us that we will get our own bus, if enough participants
sign up for the same month. So, this is a call for unified Birthright sign-ups. Having a dedicated Ottawa bus will build bridges and foster community between our students while they create their own
personal connections to our people and our land. Online Registration opens February 15 at noon. I’ll see you in Israel! For more information about Birthright, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 26 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011 – Page 27
Yitzhak Rabin students prepare for The Last Night of Ballyhoo By Cynthia Bates Yitzhak Rabin High School In just over a week from now, Yitzhak Rabin High School will present Alfred Uhry’s Tony Award winning play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo. There are only three performances and seating is limited – so be sure to get your tickets for this humorous and poignant tale of an Atlanta Jewish family in 1939 who have a few things to learn about their heritage. The cast includes both experienced student actors and some who are new to the Yitzhak Rabin stage. Grade 11 student Michaela Sadinsky plays Boo, the family matriarch, an embittered woman who believes that life has let her down and who is now trying to claim her rightful place in society by manipulating her daughter into a match with the son of an old Louisiana family.
Daughter, Lala, played by Racheli Mandelker, is a young woman caught between her societal shortcomings and her lofty dreams and ambitions. Lala is saved from Boo’s clutches by her spunky approach to life and a free-spirited personality. Jordan Molot plays Boo’s brother, Adolph Freitag, a kind-hearted gentleman who owns the Dixie Bedding Company and looks after the material – and, often, the emotional – needs of the family. He hires Joe, a young man from Brooklyn – the role is shared by Raphael Sandler and Jonathan Roytenberg – who observes the family’s lifestyle and introduces them to new ways of thinking through his relationship with Sunny, Lala’s cousin. Played by Cassandra Starosta, Sunny is a sweet college girl who is favoured by her Uncle Adolph,
which creates dramatic friction between Boo and Adolph. Hannah Silver plays Sunny’s mother, Reba, a somewhat naïve woman whose gentle spirit adds a light comic touch to many scenes. Cappies Award winner Itzy Kamil takes on the comic role of Peachy Weil, from the aristocratic Louisiana family. Itzy’s is a not-tobe-missed performance. This talented young man is also the play’s student assistant director. Emma Hamer and Elana Fogel are the stage managers responsible for the smooth technical running of the production. The three performances are Tuesday to Thursday, February 15 to 17, 7:00 pm nightly. Tickets are $15 (general admission) and $12 (students and seniors) and are available by calling 613-722-0020, ext. 344.
Student Assistant Director Itzy Kamil (right) offers notes to cast member Michaela Sadinsky during a rehearsal for the Yitzhak Rabin High School production of The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
JCC of Ottawa Summer Camps
Exciting summer planned for various camps By Pamela Rosenberg Soloway JCC There is so much to do at JCC of Ottawa Day Camp that an additional week has been added this summer just to fit it all in. The summer Day Camp fun this year begins July 4 and runs for eight weeks through August 26. Travelling Sports Camp runs for seven weeks from July 4 until August 19, and there are 13 one-week Specialty Camps that run between July 4 and September 2. “Camp is one of the most enriching programs our kids experience,” says Barry Sohn, Soloway JCC president and COO. “Combined with parents’ need for child care throughout the summer, it just makes sense to extend our camp dates to meet their needs and create opportunities for children to have the best programs possible.” Jon Braun is back again as JCC of Ottawa Summer Camps executive director and Gail Lieff, who has worked with the children at the Soloway JCC for many years, assumes the position of Specialty Camps co-ordinator. After a year as a Day Camp counsellor and two years as assistant director, the Soloway JCC Ganon Preschool’s Lauren Lee returns, this time, as Day Camp codirector with Jessica Gluss. “We’re very excited to have
JCC of Ottawa Day Camp Co-Directors Lauren Lee (left) and Jessica Gluss look forward to a great summer.
Jessica and Lauren working together to ensure all of our kids have a fantastic summer time experience,” says Braun. Both are committed career educators who truly love and embrace everything about the Soloway JCC. We’re very fortunate to have them on board.” Holding a spot on the directorial team is a natural progression for Gluss who has been working her way up through the summer camp ranks for seven years. She began as a junior counsellor, was then a
senior counsellor. For a few summers, she was the music and drama specialist before becoming CIT programming specialist for Day Camp and Travelling Sports Camp. Gluss recently graduated from McGill University, where she earned a bachelor of education degree. She is working as an elementary school English and French supply teacher for kindergarten to Grade 8 while she continues to look for a full-time teaching job. “I spent four years as a student
teacher and gained tons of experience working with children in many different educational settings,” explains Gluss. It helped me to understand that every child is unique, has different areas of interest and they are each going to experience camp in a different way.” One of the things Gluss is particularly excited about for this season is coming up with all of the exciting weekly themes – like Magical Scientists, where they will try a different experiment everyday and have a visit from Radical Science. Camp Rock will have all the kids and staff in the spotlight for a talent show, and the summer comes to a close with Party Palooza, the biggest party of the summer, planned by the kids themselves. “We have a fantastic team and it’s going to be smooth having the support of one another,” says Lee. “We are going to work as a team through the whole thing.” And, to keep connected to the parents this summer, the Day Camp team has set up a blog that they will update daily with information, pictures and a weekly newsletter. The Specialty Camps roster is full for this summer boasting 13 unique, one-week options combining the best of the past with such incredible new ones as Off Ice Dry
Land Training Hockey Camp; Summertime Splash; You Go Girl!; The Great Adventure; and Triple Threat. Returning are Girls on the Go; Fit Kids have Fun; Horseback Riding Camp; Tennis Camp; Soccer Camp; All Star Basketball Camp; Girl Power; and Last Blast, which runs right into September. Travelling Sports campers are in for another great season with tons of great trips. Mornings at the Soloway JCC will be filled with sports instruction in soccer, volleyball, badminton, lacrosse, flag football, archery, ball hockey and swimming lessons, followed by afternoon adventures in ice skating, windsurfing, horseback riding, canoeing, tennis, go-karting and lots more. “Travelling Sports Camp bus has been patiently waiting in the garage to get rolling and be part of the many athletic adventures we offer our sports campers all summer long,” says Braun. “It’s truly amazing. There’s something for everybody!” Camp registration is already underway. Register early as spaces fill fast. Visit jccottawa.com to download and print a registration form or drop by the Soloway JCC and pick one up. For more information on camp, contact Jon Braun at 613-798-9818, ext. 267 or email@example.com.
Page 28 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – February 7, 2011
WHAT’S GOING ON February 7 to 20, 2011 WEEKLY EVENTS MONDAYS Motorin’ Munchkins DropIn for ages 5 and under, sponsored by the SJCC Family Life Centre. All children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult, 9 am to 12 pm. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294.
CANDLELIGHTING BEFORE Feb 11 Feb 18 Feb 25 Mar 4 Mar 11 Mar 18 Mar 25 Apr 1
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5:05 5:15 5:25 5:35 5:44 6:54 7:03 7:12
pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm
TUESDAYS Israeli Folkdancing, learn dances, have fun, no experience or partner necessary. Hillel Academy, 31 Nadolny Sachs Private, 7:00 pm. Info: 613-722-9323. WEDNESDAYS Baby and Toddler Play Group, sponsored by JCC Family Life Centre. 9:00 am to 11 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294. FRIDAYS Shabbat Shalom Drop-In for ages 5 and under, sponsored by the JCC Family Life
Centre, welcomes Shabbat through crafts, songs, stories and games. Bracha Bear will be there! All children must be accompanied by an adult, 9:30 am to 11:00 am. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Monday Matinée featuring a documentary on “The History of Dance and Hollywood Musicals,” sponsored by Jewish Family Services, The Westwood, 2374 Carling Avenue, 2:00 pm. Info: 613722-2225, ext. 411. Jewish Ethics Lecture, Ottawa Torah Institute High School Annual Adina Ben-Porat Memorial Lecture. OTI’s Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Porat will speak on “Euthanasia: a Jewish Ethical Perspective,” 7:15 pm. Info: 613-244-9119. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Taglit Birthright Israel Information Night, 7:00 pm.
For more community listings, visit ottawa.jewishottawa.com Select Calendar/Upcoming Events and Click to See More
Info: 613-236-2345. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Gymboree Shalom Baby. Come and play on the fun, safe equipment, 10:30 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 243. Beyond Time and Place: Civilization of the Jews, sponsored by Jewish Family Services. Rabbi Ely Braun will present a documentary and speak on “The Shaping of Traditions,” Embassy West Seniors Living, 1400 Carling Avenue, 2:00 pm. Info: 613-7222225, ext. 411. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13 Bhutan: Travelling the Rocky Road to Gross National Happiness (GNH), sponsored by the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. See how the world’s newest democracy with GNH at its foundation is coping with the conflicting ideals of western-
ization and Buddhist roots, facilitated by Helen Hirsh Spence, 10:30 am. Info: 613798-9818, ext. 254. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Registration for Taglit Birthright Israel opens for previous applicants. And for new applicants on Tuesday, February 15, www.birthrightisrael.com.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Let’s Do Lunch, sponsored by Jewish Family Services, features Dr. Barbara Power, chief, Geriatric Medicine, Ottawa Hospital, on “The Overmedicated Senior,” Congregation Agudath Israel, 1400 Coldrey Avenue, 12:00 pm. Info: 613-728-3501.
COMING SOON THURSDAY, MARCH 3 Soloway Jewish Community Centre Annual General Meeting, 7:00 pm. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 221. SUNDAY, MARCH 6 Jewish Comedy, Redefined – Joel Chasnoff’s act is a hilarious mix of personal anecdotes and keen observational humour centred on the absurdity of modern American life, 7:30 pm. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 254.
Unless otherwise noted, activities take place at The Joseph and Rose Ages Family Building, 21 Nadolny Sachs Private. This information is taken from the community calendar maintained by the Jewish Ottawa InfoCentre. Organizations which would like their events to be listed, no matter where they are to be held, should send the information to InfoCentre coordinator Benita Siemiatycki via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at 613-798-4695. She can also be reached by telephone at 613-798-4644. Accurate details must be provided and all events must be open to the Jewish public.
Condolences Condolences are extended to the families of: Myer Goldin, Montreal (father of Beverley Glube) Miriam Kage, Montreal (mother of Ian Kagedan and Allan Kagedan) Maurice “Mulla” May, Montreal (father of Richard May and Nina May) Miriam Rapoport Janina Rashba, Australia (mother of Paul Pearl)
May their memory be a blessing always.
The CONDOLENCE COLUMN is offered as a public service to the community. There is no charge. For a listing in this column, please call 613-798-4696, ext. 232. Voice mail is available.
BULLETIN DEADLINES FEBRUARY 16 FOR MARCH 7 MARCH 2 FOR MARCH 21 MARCH 23 FOR APRIL 11 APRIL 6 FOR APRIL 25 APRIL 27 FOR MAY 16 MAY 11 FOR MAY 30 MAY 25 FOR JUNE 13 JUNE 29 FOR JULY 18
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