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‘I Feel Good’: James Brown song provides theme for 2012 Mitzvah Day By Ilana Belfer Seventy-five inches of hair donated to Locks of Love. Two hundred loaves of challah braided for the Kosher Food Bank. Four hundred hygiene kits made for patients at CHEO and Élisabeth Bruyère hospitals. And that’s just a sampling of what the Jewish community was able to accomplish in a mere two hours, February 12, at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s sixth annual Mitzvah Day. The Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC) and Hillel Lodge buzzed with Mitzvah Day activities. This year, for the first time, Mitzvah Day was affiliated officially with the United Way’s Ottawa Kindness Week, acting as a launch
pad for the February17-24 initiative led by Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Congregation Machzikei Hadas. “It’s grown in terms of participants, it’s grown in number of agencies helped, and it’s grown in terms of what we’ve actually accomplished,” said three-time event chair Stacey Segal. More than 1,500 good deeds were done this year – a step up from 1,100 in 2010, said Segal. Many were carried out by the largest cohort in the room: children. Segal’s own daughters, Talia Freedhoff, 7, and Leah Freedhoff, 5, contributed to making this happen. They donated their hair to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering from medical hair-loss.
Though donating hair is nothing new for the girls – it was Talia’s third time and Leah’s second – it’s not everyday that the mayor wields the scissors. “This is a wonderful tradition,” said Mayor Jim Watson after snipping the girls’ braids. “It’s a lesson we can all learn. We have a responsibility in our society to give back to the less fortunate, whether they’re cancer patients or whether they’re people suffering from unemployment or poverty.” Kitchissippi Ward city councillor Katherine Hobbs and Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi also stopped in to thank the Jewish community and show their support for Mitzvah Day. (Continued on page 2)
Talia (left) and Leah Freedhoff with Mayor Jim Watson and hairdresser Melvyn Fields after having their “Locks of Love” cut by the mayor on Mitzvah Day. Fields prepared the girls for the cut and supervised the mayor as he wielded the scissors. (Photo: Peter Waiser)
MPs express support for Israel at IAC event By Ilana Belfer The road to Israel activism was something that “suddenly all fell into place” for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. Addressing the crowd at the fourth annual wine and cheese gathering of the Israel Awareness Committee (IAC), February 8, at Beth Shalom, Kenney recalled his days as a college student in California. He had no personal stake in the Middle East conflict and a somewhat hostile attitude toward Israel. “When I turned on the TV, it was clear to me who the Goliath was. It was the IDF [Is-
rael Defense Forces] tanks and David was the underdog throwing the stones,” he said. But, as Kenney explained, as he became more informed about the Jewish homeland, it became one of the most important causes in his public life. “It’s your responsibility to explain those facts [to uninformed Canadians] and, if you do, you can help educate future generations … who will then continue this tradition of Canada as the greatest friend of Israel in the world today,” he said. Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a former minister of justice, who had just returned from Israel
the day before, echoed the sentiment. Cotler said every time he visits Israel, he’s struck by how Israel and Canada share the same set of values. But, said Cotler, there’s one fundamental difference. “Israel not only lives in a hostile neighbourhood, it is exposed to a critical mass of threat.” Cotler noted the dangerous climate has only become worse recently citing the capability of Hamas missiles to reach Tel Aviv, Turkey’s transition from ally to adversary, and the nuclear threat from Iran. While Cotler said the delegitimization of
Israel is nothing new, it has taken on new form by being masked, or “laundered,” under public and human values like the United Nations, international law, the culture of human rights and – primarily on campuses – the struggle against racism. “The worst thing you can do in the world today is call somebody a racist … no further proof is required,” he said. “It shames the real struggle against the real racism.” New Democratic Party MP Pat Martin agreed. “It’s somehow become fashionable in the (Continued on page 2 )
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Mitzvah Day: ‘Feeling good by doing good’ (Continued from page 1)
But Segal said she hopes the idea of Mitzvah Day spreads to other communities in Ottawa as well. “I had reached out ... to about eight different communities to try to get them to opt in to the kindness initiative,” she said “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a whole lot of bites ... it’s a work in progress, but we’re hoping.” Some people from outside the Jewish community did find a way to get involved, though. Scott Bowes, Jacob Maxwell and Ryan Maxwell – who range in age from 11 to 14 – sat crafting milk bags into chains, which will eventually be crocheted into mats for hospitals in Haiti. “We’re here because the lady teaching it is from our church,” Jacob said. That lady is Barbara Eade, the co-ordinator of the Milk Bag Project in Ottawa. Other projects included making therapy kits to help youth cope with mental health issues, creating birthday kits to distribute to children living in shelters, and tile and mural painting for the tunnel that runs between the Soloway JCC and Hillel Lodge. High school students Sydney Perelmutter and Josh Suey opted to help at Hillel Lodge, where seniors and children worked together on arts and crafts and participated in a sing-a-long. “I’m volunteering just so I can
make flowers for all the people at Hillel Lodge. They just really like seeing young people and it’s really good to see them smile,” Sydney said. “My grandfather used to live here, so it’s nice to come back,” added Josh. As the morning came to a close, and participants regrouped in the Soloway JCC social hall to hear the closing remarks, a flash mob dance broke out to James Brown’s “I feel Good,” with many members of the community, children and adults, including Jewish Federation of Ottawa President and CEO Mitchell Bellman, dancing. To Segal, the song was an appropriate choice. “I really can’t think of a better feeling than helping someone else,” she remarked. “I have three young children and it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach them ... how much they have and how easy and fun it is to help others.” And the fun didn’t end when the day was done. For the first time, Mitzvah Day continued into the week with such offsite activities as sandwich-making at the Ottawa Mission, a blood drive and emergency first aid training. “Feeling good by doing good,” said Segal. “That’s the motto and I see it everywhere right now.”
More on Mitzvah Day on pages 15 and 18.
At least three, if not four, generations work together making Mitzvah Day crafts at Hillel Lodge. (Photo: Peter Waiser)
Mitzvah Day flash mob dances to James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” (Photo: Peter Waiser)
Wine and cheese draws new friends (Continued from page 1)
left, in some circles, to view terrorists blowing up pizza parlours and school buses as freedom fighters. If you have all this goodwill pent up inside you ... go fight for many of the genuine injustices in your own backyard,” Martin said. “There’s absolutely no contradiction to being a New Democrat and a friend of Israel,” Martin added. The event, featuring an assortment of Israeli wines and Canadian cheeses, helped draw in some new friends for Israel. It was secondyear University of Ottawa student Katherine Koch’s first time attend-
ing any sort of Israel-related event. “I heard tidbits from other sides, but this really provides a foundation for my understanding so far,” she said, adding she plans to get more involved and keep learning. After the three MPs spoke, IAC city-wide president Hashem Hamdy announced he was stepping down from the position, effective the next day, to become Eastern Canada regional co-ordinator for Hasbara Fellowships. Former University of Ottawa IAC president Jake Goldstein has assumed IAC’s city-wide presidency.
(From left) Victoria Shore, Soleil Adler, Leah Labib and Jennifer Hadad at the Israel Awareness Committee wine and cheese event, February 8, at Beth Shalom.
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 3
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OJCS offers enriched, engaging program for high school students By Sara-Lynne Levine Ottawa Jewish Community School The Yitzhak Rabin high school division of the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS) provides enriching and engaging programming for all students from Grades 9 through 12. Our academic program follows and exceeds the Ontario Ministry of Education for all General Studies courses and our small class sizes provide individual attention and a personalized approach to learning. Our students develop such essential skills as independent learning, accountability, research, personal study habits, self-discipline, setting shortand long-term goals, and time management. Students are
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provided with a cross-curricular focus on literacy to strengthen their reading, writing and oral communication skills and have opportunities to strengthen their questioning and critical thinking skills, hone their abilities to understand and interpret data, and to identify and analyze points-of-view and bias. Our students learn in an inclusive, caring and supportive community. Skilled, creative teachers work with them focussing on problem-solving and real-world applications. Independent Learning Centre (ILC) courses are available to offer a broader selection of subjects to students. Each student’s academic path is planned and tracked from Grade 9 to 12 to ensure the selection of credits is appropriate to the student’s long-term career goals. Post-secondary applications, grants and scholarship opportunities, and course selections are all part of our guidance services. OJCS graduates typically attend their top choice of university. Students
OJCS high school students Noa and Ethan work on a science experiment.
who attend our school are enriched and challenged by our trilingual program. This exposure offers them a unique, comprehensive global learning experience. Differentiated instruction is a key to learning in the high school. The learning
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styles, preferences and needs of each student are identified and used by teachers as the foundation for planning. Concepts, content and skills are addressed and presented in a variety of ways including classroom activities, field trips, guest speakers, SMART board technology, group work, class discussions and debates, projects and homework to practise and consolidate material and skills. OJCS is a laptop school where each student is assigned a laptop for his or her academic use. OJCS focuses on classic Jewish study. As a community school, all practices of Ju-
daism are accepted. High school students learn about Jewish history, Hebrew, contemporary Israel, Jewish values, traditions and laws. Our curriculum uses integrated technology, combining the study of ancient texts with modern tools and resources. The Judaic studies curriculum follows a thematic approach to teaching at the high school level. Issues dealing with leadership, spirituality, ethics, science and contemporary Jewish life are discussed and debated. Studies are complemented and made relevant by visits to Hillel Lodge and joint pro-
gramming with residents. Parshat Hashavuah is studied each week in depth and made relevant within a modern context. A multi-track Hebrewlanguage program is offered at a base level, intensive level, as well as a new program for students who have not previously attended Jewish day school. Ontario Ministry credits are given for both Judaic study and Hebrew language. Our students gain a valuable global perspective by participating in Project ROPE (a philanthropy and education program) and Moot Beit Din (a program that enables students from Jewish high schools to delve into issues of Jewish law through creative engagement with contemporary situations). Throughout the school year, students have opportunities to participate in a variety of different activities including students’ council, winter fun day, a Cappies drama production, leadership events, trips to Washington and other destinations, attending Ottawa Senators games, coaching and mentoring younger students, and planning and participating in celebrations for many different calendar events. To learn more about OJCS, or to arrange a tour of the school, contact SaraLynne Levine at 613-7220020 or email@example.com.
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Torah Academy to honour Bram and Chani Bregman By Zev Singer for Torah Academy of Ottawa Torah Academy of Ottawa has announced it will honour Bram and Chani Bregman at a major event to be held Wednesday, March 21, at The Palace, 156 Cleopatra Drive. Something many people don’t know about Bram Bregman is that he holds an MBA from Queen’s University. That helps explain how, eight years ago, he was able to scoop up a vacant lot and turn it into one of the hottest corners in Jewish Ottawa. That neglected bit of turf was NCSY Ottawa. In 2004, Bram was a young engineer making his way as a management consultant at a major firm – but his heart was in Jewish leadership. He saw that Ottawa’s NCSY branch had been shut down and knew that if he switched careers he could do big things with it. Has he ever. With about 95 per cent of Jewish teens in Ottawa in the public high school system, that is where Bram set up his NCSY tent, and the kids have flocked to it in numbers no one could have predicted. Since he began, more than 700
educational program that they want to go to.” Never turning kids away, Bram also works hard to find scholarships for all in need. As a sign of just how successful NCSY Ottawa has become, NCSY International awarded Bram its Best of the Best Leadership Award in 2009 for creating what has become a model to other NCSY branches across North America. Of course, that is only half the story. Enter Chani Pfeiffer. Educated at Bais Yaakov of Montreal and Michlala in Jerusalem, she was halfway through a doctorate in political science at McGill University, when she came to Ottawa to work for the federal government on foreign affairs and defence policy, and more recently to be chief of staff to an associate deputy minister. Since marrying Bram, Chani has also provided NCSY with unChani and Bram Bregman will be honoured for their dedicated work countable hours of unpaid labour on behalf of Ottawa’s Jewish teenagers. helping a constant flow of teens. Beyond NCSY, Bram and Jewish teenagers have participated gram for which students earn high Chani also find time for many in such programs as the Jew- school credits. ish Culture Clubs Bram started His secret, he says, is to design other institutions, including Conin various public high schools, and programs that are “attractive to the gregation Machzikei Hadas, the Torah High, an after-school pro- teens themselves, so it is a Jewish Ottawa Torah Institute, and the
city’s mikveh. Even with the best of shoehorns, it wouldn’t be possible to stuff everything Bram and Chani do into this story. Suffice it to say, they have become a force on which Ottawa’s Jewish community has come greatly to depend. And that’s why Torah Academy of Ottawa is very proud to present this major event in their honour on March 21. Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, will be the keynote speaker. Fogel will speak on “Messages and Messengers: The Real Challenge Confronting Pro-Israel Advocacy.” Torah Academy of Ottawa works hard to be a “mensch factory” with its combined focus on traditional Jewish learning, a strong general studies program and an emphasis on ethics and values. Tickets for the evening honouring Bram and Chani Bregman are $100 (including buffet dinner at 6:00 pm) or $36 (main event and dessert reception beginning at 7:30 pm). For tickets, call Torah Academy at 613-274-0110.
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Times of vulnerability remind us of the importance of community I struggle to write this Federation Report for the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin as it has been just three weeks since my mother passed away and I am feeling particularly contemplative and introspective. I would rather not draw attention to my personal loss, but, at the same time, want to share some of what I am going through and what is on my mind. It is at times of vulnerability that one is reminded how important community can be, and how we are so capable of supporting one another in times of need. I am reminded of how blessed and proud I am to be a Jew at this time, and in this place, and to have been given the opportunity to take on such a prominent and honoured leadership position in our Ottawa Jewish community. I also know how proud my mother was of me, filing away every picture, article and speech I have ever written, and how much I looked forward to sharing my challenges and achievements with her on a regular basis. I am also acutely aware that I would never be where I am today without her guidance, love and courageous actions. As I contemplate what makes me so proud to be a Jew, I realize those same values are what the Jewish Federation of Ottawa believes and demonstrates, and are
Federation Report Debbie Halton-Weiss Chair what inspires me to do what I can to promote these same values in our community. So, here are the top 10 reasons I have identified as to why I am proud to be Jewish, and chair of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. 1. We are one large family. We have our different personalities, perspectives and practices, but we are devoted to one another and strive to find our common interests and values. 2. We know how to support one another in challenging times, including personal mourning and existential crises. 3. We share a common history that is a constant reminder of the length and depth of our survival as a people. 4. We have a democratic and complicated homeland that provides passion, inspiration, meaning and challenges to our lives in the Diaspora.
We are cognizant of handing down our teachings, our values and our beliefs, from our grandparents, to our parents, to our children, maintaining the cycle of life and the continuity of our Jewish community. 5. We have our own language, which has lived on for millennia, is read from the Torah, is used in prayer, is taught to our children and is commonly spoken. 6. We value tikkun olam, making this world a better place, which we demonstrate time and time again as individuals who take on prominent leadership positions in philanthropic and hands-on endeavours in the community-at-large. 7. We recognize building community as essential to our survival, and struggle to continuously redefine and revaluate what is meaningful and important to maintain our engagement and connection as Jewish people.
8. We view education as our highest priority, and we have been willing to sacrifice other material benefits to ensure our children have the best possible learning opportunities to go forward in life with the tools needed to lead productive and meaningful lives. 9. We love Jewish geography. Maybe, on the surface, it’s a little trite and insignificant, but it is why a Jew can enter a foreign place, large or small, and, if seated in close proximity to another ‘member of the tribe,’ can usually delve into a game of Jewish geography, that finds one engaged and often feeling closely connected to someone who might otherwise be a total stranger. 10. We created, demonstrate and embrace the concept of L’Dor V’Dor (From Generation to Generation). At our ceremonies, life cycle events and fundraising endeavours, we are cognizant of handing down our teachings, our values and our beliefs, from our grandparents, to our parents, to our children, maintaining the cycle of life and the continuity of our Jewish community. Ron joins me in wishing you and your family a Purim filled with joy, happiness and good health. Chag Sameach.
Take a moment ‘to think about the miracle of Purim’ This edition of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin is being published during the week of our joyous Purim festival when we will be reading the story of the holiday from Megilat Esther (The Scroll of Esther). There is something strange about the Book of Esther. As Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov of Chabad of Northwest Indiana noted, it is the only book of the Tanach “in which God’s name does not appear even once.” (tinyurl.com/Zalmanov-Purim) Another anomaly we find in reading the story from this scroll is that, it makes the victory celebrated on Purim sound very different from other celebrated victories, such as Passover or Chanukah. As we read through the story, we find that very little of it sounds miraculous. In fact, most of it seems to be coincidental. It seems like the work of a great author, with all loose ends eventually coming together beautifully. Let’s have a look. As Rabbi Zalmanov noted, Queen Vashti dies and King Achashverosh chooses Esther as his new wife. Mordechai overhears a plot to murder the king and foils it, and Haman rises to power. Haman plans to annihilate the Jews, and the king discovers that Esther is in fact Jewish “and that Haman’s plan would have included her.” “All the events leading up to Purim seem to fit right into an almost natural course, and not once do we read about any great miracles, such as the sea splitting or manna falling from heaven. All we have is one coincidental occurrence after another.”
From the pulpit Rabbi Menachem Blum OTC Chabad Don’t get me wrong, it is a great celebration that Haman’s plot was nullified, “but there were no supernatural miracles,” no splitting of the sea, no miraculous victory of a few over the many. Friends, this is exactly “what makes the story of Purim so special.” Because it speaks to the way we experience our world. “Take a look around you; everything seems so ‘normal.’ The sun rises every morning in the east, and sets in the west at dusk. Trees and plants grow when they are properly tended to, and will wither and die when neglected. Fire rages and grows when in contact with anything flammable, but will be extinguished when in contact with water. “All this, and much more, is what we’ve come to know as nature,” wrote Rabbi Zalmanov. Think about it though, “nature, too, was created by God. Nature is God’s most incredible miracle. We are living a constant miracle. By waking up every morning, we experience this most miraculous event – life. Even though we don’t feel the Godliness or the miracle in it all, it is there.”
As mentioned above, the name of the scroll is Megilat Esther. “The name ‘Esther’ translates as ‘hidden.’ The true miracle of Purim, as well as that of our daily lives, remains hidden. But we know that God, although His name is not mentioned in Megillah, was in fact behind all that had transpired, just as He is behind all that happens in the world,” wrote Rabbi Zalmanov. This is a powerful message that Purim has for us. That “just as the Jews of that
time believed and trusted in God that He will save them from Haman’s … decree, so must we … have faith in God that He is the one who ultimately controls our destiny.” The Purim story will be read this year on Wednesday night, March 7, and again on Thursday morning, March 8. Join a Purim party or go to a synagogue to listen to it. Take a moment, as Rabbi Zalmanov suggested, “to think about the miracle of Purim,” and about the relevant message that it shares.
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March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 7
Norman Finkelstein rips the BDS movement to shreds It’s that time of year again. Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) is scheduled to take place from March 5 to 9 at several Canadian campuses, including the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The annual IAW events were first organized eight years ago in support of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel. The claim that Israel is an apartheid society is a cornerstone of the BDS movement – and one that has been refuted often. See, for example, a Huffington Post column by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz for a cogent analysis. tinyurl.com/dershowitz-IAW This year, the BDS movement is in a late-breaking uproar because American political science professor Norman G. Finkelstein sat down, February 9, with a pro-BDS interviewer at Imperial College in London and ripped the BDS movement to shreds. Make no mistake: Finkelstein is no friend of the State of Israel. For the better part of three decades, Finkelstein has been the most prominent Jewish anti-Israel activist – with the possible exception of his mentor Noam Chomsky. Denied tenure at DePaul University in 2007, Finkelstein has made a career of lecturing on behalf of anti-Israel groups around the world and by writing a string
Editor Michael Regenstreif of anti-Israel books. A son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein’s best-known book is The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, in which he claims that Israel has exploited the Holocaust in achieving its aims. In this surprising video – which you can see in its 31-minute entirety at vimeo.com/36854424 – Finkelstein exposes the BDS movement, which he repeatedly refers to as a “cult,” for its “silliness, childishness, and a lot of leftist posturing” that seeks to obfuscate its true goal: the elimination of the State of Israel. According to Finkelstein, the BDS movement does not come out and state its true goal because it knows the public will not buy into a movement seeking the dismantling of Israel. “No Israel. That’s what it’s really about. And you think you’re fooling anybody? You think you’re so clever that people can’t figure that out for themselves?
“No, they understand the arithmetic perfectly well. Are you going to reach a broad public which is going to hear the Israeli side [say] ‘They want to destroy us?’ No you’re not. And, frankly, you know what, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t reach a broad public because you’re dishonest. And I wouldn’t trust those people if I had to live in this state. I wouldn’t. It’s dishonesty.” Finkelstein also rips the BDS movement for taking its marching orders and following the lead of “Palestinian civil society.” Recalling earlier movements he’s been part of, Finkelstein said the anti-Vietnam War movement did not take its marching orders from Hanoi, and Latin American solidarity movements (in the Reagan era) did not take their orders from Nicaragua. They acted, he said, on their own initiative. He went on to describe “Palestinian civil society” as a collection of mostly one-person NGOs in Ramallah completely incapable of mobilizing more than a few hundred Palestinians. Toward the end of the interview, Finkelstein suggests that a solution to the conflict is possible. A solution, he said, that would not be perfect, but which would satisfy most Israelis and most Palestinians. Although he does not explicitly say so, the obvious conclusion is the
two-state solution. And that flies in the face of what IAW and the BDS movement are all about. Jewish Heritage Month The Ontario Legislature has passed a private member’s bill presented by Liberal MPP Mike Colle, and co-sponsored by Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman and New Democratic Party MPP Cheri DiNovo, establishing the month of May as Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario. The act, Bill 17, passed with strong support from members of all three parties. Irving Layton centenary Irving Layton, born Israel Pincu Lazarovitch on March 12, 1912 in Romania, was one of Canada’s greatest and most influential poets. The centenary of his birth – Layton died in Montreal in 2006 – is being marked this month by literary celebrations all across the country. The Ottawa celebration, hosted by Professor Seymour Mayne and sponsored by the University of Ottawa’s Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program and the Department of English, takes place Sunday, March 11, 2:30 pm, at uOttawa, Room 129, Simard Hall. Among the participants will be MP Irwin Cotler, who was Layton’s student at Herzliah High School in Montreal. Happy Purim to all!
There are no slam dunks in the world of international diplomacy I never liked being a wimp when I sit down to write and I don’t want to start now. Yet, I must admit the subject I am about to embark on scares me because every nerve ending in my body tells me I may not be understood. The general subject area is Israel. The specific subject matter is the Conservative government’s unequivocal support of Israel. As a Jew, and as a parent with two daughters living in Israel, and a third daughter working for Israel at the United Nations, I have more than a passing interest in geopolitical affairs as they relate to Israel. I am obviously appreciative that we have a government in Canada that does not join the chorus of countries that are always quick on the draw to condemn Israel. But I also spent years covering politics in this country and hope that gives me some legitimacy in questioning certain aspects of the government’s approach. Last spring, I attended a Chabad Shabbat supper in Ottawa. Foreign Minister John Baird was the guest speaker. While I knew he was part of a government that fully supported Israel, the reporter in me knew that if I were writing a story that night, my lead would be how the foreign minister was not just fully supportive of
Jason Moscovitz Israel, but how he was, in fact, overwhelmingly supportive. I was surprised at how he saw Israel as champions of everything good and the “other side” as everything bad. I had no doubt he really believed that, and thought, maybe, he can easily say things like that in front of a Jewish audience. Now, almost a year later, there are abundant comments, interviews and speeches, as well as an election campaign, which prove the message that Shabbat night was not tailored for a Jewish audience. The prime minister and several of his cabinet ministers deliver the same overwhelmingly supportive message for Israel everywhere they go. Give them full marks for consistency. There is no better example of that than Baird’s recent trip to Israel and the West Bank. Baird went to visit Palestinian Au-
thority officials and bluntly told them they were mistaken in believing recognition of statehood through the United Nations was a worthy enterprise. He also, again, in blunt terms, told them they should return to the peace talks table with no preconditions. Baird was so supportive of the Netanyahu government’s position that Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz was prompted to say, “I think the Canadian government is better friends with Israel than we are sometimes with ourselves.” The point is, over a wide spectrum, there is debate within Israel on many aspects of the peace process, as well as on all the specifics, like the thorny issue of continuing to build settlements in disputed territory. Outside Israel, throughout the world, there is a view that there are two sides to this age-old problem, and, unfortunately for Israel and its supporters, the pendulum runs against Israel. Canada is truly one of the exceptions. While I am proud and pleased the Canadian government doesn’t blow with the wind, I worry that having an overwhelmingly one-sided position could carry its own risks down the road. When I say one-sided, let me qualify that by saying what I find one-sided is the Conserva-
tive government’s apparent inability to acknowledge there is another side to this debate. There is another side to all these difficult issues. While I think that in foreign affairs you can nuance yourself to death with prudent utterances that become meaningless, there are times when nuance is an integral part of conducting foreign affairs. It is a fine line between making statements that are meaningless and making statements that have value-added credibility. Seasoned diplomats, particularly those who are effective, know the difference. In any debate, simply recognizing the arguments of the other side doesn’t legitimize them. Surely, there is a way to respect and acknowledge there is another point of view, which is often based on another interpretation of history, as much as one might disagree. There is more to it than just right and wrong. There is more to it than just black and white. There is always that grey zone in the middle. As the Americans learned to their eternal regret in Iraq, there are no slam dunks in the world of international diplomacy. The risk here is that in a real crunch, when Israel needs every friend it can find, will Canada be perceived as too one-sided to advocate in Israel’s favour.
Page 8 â€“ Ottawa Jewish Bulletin â€“ March 5, 2012
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Rabbi Plaut On behalf of the citizens of Ontario, the premier, cabinet and the government, I would like to express our sincere condolences on the passing of Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut. Rabbi Plaut was held in high regard by the people of Ontario. Through his tireless work as vice-chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, he was well known, especially for his sensitivity and understanding of minority issues. When it came to human dignity, Rabbi Plaut was a fearless advocate. Having barely escaped the Nazis as a young man, he saw the brutality of hatred first hand. He vowed â€œNever Againâ€? and he delivered on that promise through his words and actions. His was a world view in which the dignity of all humankind was paramount, no matter the colour of oneâ€™s skin, their sexual orientation or the God of their faith. Ontario is a better place today thanks to the tireless efforts of Rabbi Gunther Plaut. We are all proud of the rabbiâ€™s work and his legacy. It is also a reflection of the value Jewish Canadians have put on human rights and civil liberties. Rabbi Plaut understood this well. He will be missed. His memory and legacy of caring for people and his community will live on for generations to come. With deepest sympathy, Charles Sousa Minister of Citizenship OPIRG fee I write this letter in respectful disagreement with Ilana Belferâ€™s Campus Life column (Jewish peer pressure to opt out of OPIRG fee, February 20). As a student, I was actively involved in the campaign to opt out of OPIRG fees, locally, through Hillel Ottawa, and nationally, through the Canadian Federation of Jewish students. In the 1970s when the PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) were created, it was with a commendable social justice mission. However, over the years, they have become radicalized to the point that they are a polarizing figure on campuses across Canada. Many would agree they have played a central role in the breakdown in academic discourse. A role that has left pro-Israel students on campus feeling marginalized and, in some cases, bullied. At Carleton, OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group) is funded by an automatic levy. This means it is fund-
email@example.com ed by all students on campus, with or without their knowledge. Other groups on campus, such as religious organizations, including Hillel Ottawa, and clubs such as Lifeline and the Firearms Association, must go through the process of applying for funding and are only allotted whatever amount the student union deems appropriate. I would like to remind the community of the incident three years ago in which OPIRG refused to partner with Hillel Ottawa on an event focused on interfaith co-operation, sustainable living practices, and perseverance with limited resources â€“ issues that are addressed in OPIRGâ€™s overall priorities and mandate. Why then did OPIRG refuse to partner with Hillel? It justified its decision by citing what it called Hillelâ€™s â€œZionist ideology,â€? which â€œdoes not fit within OPIRGâ€™s mandate of human rights and social justice.â€? This stance clearly showed the uninformed and ideologically motivated nature of OPIRGâ€™s decision-making structures. At the heart of OPIRGâ€™s objection was its conclusion that Zionism is antithetical. This outrageous position flows from the insidious strategy set out during the infamous Durban Conferences and is reminiscent of the sentiments expressed at them. It is unfortunate that Ilana felt she was being pressured to opt out of the OPIRG fee. However, I can assure her the goal was not to pressure, but to educate our students about OPIRGâ€™s agenda and stance on Israel. As we head into Israel Apartheid Week, I would point out this divisive event is heavily funded by the OPIRG levy. Personally, I never wanted a cent of my money going towards an organization that has left me and many others feeling personally targeted for our beliefs. Ariella Kimmel
Letters welcome Letters to the Editor are welcome if they are brief, signed, timely and of interest to our readership. The Bulletin reserves the right to refuse, edit or condense letters. The Mailbag column will be published as space permits. Send your letters to Michael Regenstreif, Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, 21 Nadolny Sachs Private, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 1R9; or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 9
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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 Aaron Sarna Ottawa Torah Institute Ruinous business competition and ignoring the best interests of consumers can undermine the ethical foundations of a free market economy, said Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Porat. The dean of the Ottawa Torah Institute High School for Boys (OTI) and Machon Sarah High School for Girls was speaking, February 6, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre, during the schools’ eighth annual Adina Ben-Porat Memorial Lecture on Jewish Ethics. “A balance must be struck between a person’s right to earn a livelihood and benefits to consumers,” he said. Rabbi Ben-Porat’s topic was fair competition in the free enterprise system and he drew on Judaic law rulings from the Talmud, poskim and current dayanim. Rabbi Ben-Porat noted there was a consensus that corporate predatory pricing policies entailing sales below the cost of production are prohibited.
“The Gemara, in tractates Sanhedrin and Makkot, forbids destroying a person’s livelihood,” he said. Similarly, brazen market positioning through opening business operations in proximity to an established competitor would be considered an infringement of the livelihood of the owner and his employees. Judaic case law cites the interdiction of a new market entrant setting up shop at the entrance to a cul-de-sac when a similar store exists at the end of the street. And, for that matter, opportunist fishers seeking to set their nets in an area already exploited by another operator would be ultra vires. Other damaging business conduct includes stealing a competitor’s non-Jewish clients by undercutting the former’s lending rates or illegally acquiring his client list. These are considered immoral acts in Judaism. Nonetheless, Rabbi BenPorat emphasized that Jewish courts have avoided “one size fits all” rulings. In what he termed the
OTI Dean Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Porat speaks, February 6, at the school’s annual Adina Ben-Porat Memorial Lecture on Jewish Ethics. (Photo: Issie Scarowsky)
“Chicago compromise,” two bagel bakeries in close proximity agreed that one would exclusively produce bagels while the other would drop bagels and concentrate on pizza, cake and pastry. In Israel, the Egged Bus Company is granted a monopoly for the benefit of the public since it also services not profitable intercity lines. Moreover, the Israeli dayan, Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss, has said the Talmud does not cover the impact of technological change on business. Thus, it would be absurd for today’s society to insist that production of typewriters should be pro-
tected against the advent of computers or that animal transport be favoured over the motor vehicle. Such competition is not deemed unfair. “We have to take into account the benefits to consumers. We cannot be held hostage to protecting livelihoods engaged in selling outmoded or inferior products,” Rabbi Ben-Porat said.
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JNF Ottawa was delighted to support Hillel Ottawa’s Shabbat dinner on February 10. Thanks to JNF financial support, Hillel and its executive director, Ross Diamond, were able to host over 60 students who listened to Noam Dolgin speak on Jewish environmental values and climate change. The dinner provided a welcome opportunity for JNF to reach out to students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from both universities. KKL-JNF never misses Tu B’Shevat. Even though its Israeli offices were closed for five days in solidarity with the general strike declared by the Histadrut union in support of Israel’s contract workers, the annual Tu B’Shevat tree planting ceremonies went ahead as planned. Here in Ottawa, our Tree-a-thon also went ahead. With the support of our many hardworking volunteers and staff, we raised money to pay for the Carmel Terrace rehabilitation. In other parts of Canada, people contributed to the Adopt an Acacia program. The Ark of the Tabernacle was made of acacia, a species native to Israel’s desert areas and oft-mentioned in the Torah. Acacias are now being planted in the Negev’s Arava Valley to enhance agriculture, offset damage caused by human habitation and provide food and shade for animals. I would also like to share some of the Tu B’Shevat tree planting ceremonies in Israel with you because it is worth noting that JNF doesn’t just go out and plant trees by stealth at night – we involve local communities and use the occasions to remember why trees are important to Israelis. One of this year’s most moving ceremonies was at Biq’at HaNezirim near Ben Shemen Forest. Balloons of Hope involved almost 1,000 young Magen David Adom volunteers, Israel Police sappers, children with disabilities, and members of the Krembo Wings youth movement. The children, aided by volunteers, planted saplings, which will grow and provide shade in this special accessible recreation area. Toward the end of the ceremony, to the accompaniment of blasts from the ram’s horn, large bunches of red and white balloons were released into the sky. It takes time for trees to grow, but the balloons were a visible sign of the energy of the children and the soaring spirits of the group. More than 300 students from the local ORT high school planted trees and herbs to stop erosion and flooding in the Switzerland Forest. The forest, situated on the steep slope descending from the Poriah Heights to Tiberius and the Sea of Galilee, covers once-barren slopes on which 34 people were killed at the beginning of the 20th century when erosion and flooding caused the slopes to give way. The trees planted by the students will help hold the soil down and prevent such disasters from reoccurring. All of these projects extend the livable space in a very small country and make the most of the resources Israel has. The trees we donate are gifts to Israel that will give for many years to come.
Rabbi Ben-Porat addresses business issues at annual ethics lecture
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Page 10 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
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Latin American group Colores Andinos performs for AJA 50+ in a program presented in partnership with MASC.
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Temple Israel Friday Kabbalat Shabbat Services 6:15 pm Saturday Shabbat Services 10:15 am Purim: Wednesday, March 7 Family party, 6:00 pm; Adult, 8:00 pm Thursday, March 8, 7:30 to 9:30 pm Film viewing and discussion for International Women’s Day Friday evening, March 9 bring your own dinner at 7:00 pm following Services For more info please go to www.templeisraelottawa.ca 1301 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, ON K2C 1N2 www.templeisraelottawa.ca 613-224-1802
AJA 50+ group benefits from partnership with MASC By Dena Speevak AJA 50+ It takes a dedicated team of volunteers to plan and execute the more than 100 programs provided annually by AJA (Active Jewish Adults) 50+. Our programming is diverse and well attended – the total number of participants for events this past fall was more than 2,300. According to Program Chairs Sophie Kohn-Kaminsky and Marcia Aronson, the Program Committee continually assesses participation data to help tailor programs to the needs of the membership. Musical and artistic performances are programs that are consistently well attended. AJA 50+ works with partners to secure high quality programming at affordable cost. One such partner is MASC (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities). MASC is a charitable organization that brings arts
and culture to schools and seniors’ groups. “At all ages and stages in life, productive experiences in the arts build a healthy outlook,” states Audrey Churgin, MASC executive director. “MASC artists offer unique programming to suit the needs and creativity of seniors and older adults who wish to have their imagination engaged, arts awareness deepened, and who wish to learn about different cultures. MASC can help make any day wondrous and meaningful.” Through this partnership, facilitated by generous subsidies from an anonymous donor, AJA 50+ is able to offer a varied selection of performers and musicians of diverse cultural traditions at a very affordable cost. Over the past three years, there have been more than a dozen MASC-subsidized programs offered through
AJA 50+. They have included Colores Andinos, who play modern and traditional music of Latin America; Galitcha, a group that plays music from India; Philippe Gélinas, who plays music and instruments of the Middle Ages; storytelling by Daniel Richer; and Aboriginal dance and storytelling with Aboriginal Experi-
ences. Programming in May will include Junkyard Symphony with its special kind of percussion instruments, and, in June, Boris Sichon from Vancouver will be doing a program on Jewish music. For more information on current AJA 50+ programming, visit our new website at aja50plus.ca.
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Vered Israel offers varied cultural programs Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC). Originally from Baghdad, Dalal’s music has Iraqi, Jewish and Bedouin roots. The Vered Israel Program will screen Iraq N’ Roll, a Hebrew and Arabic documentary with English subtitles, in partnership with the Free Thinking Film Society on Thursday, March 22, 7:30 pm, at the Soloway JCC. The movie follows popular contemporary Israeli rock musician Dudu Tassa as he embarks on a deeply personal journey to reconnect with the musical legacy of his grandfather, Daud alKuwaity. With the support of Barbara Crook, season three of Israel’s hit TV series Srugim, returns to the Soloway JCC in April with a special appearance from one of the cast members. Applauded for its true-to-life portrayal of the modern-Orthodox community in Israel, Srugim follows five single friends looking for love in Katamon, a part of Jerusalem known as “the Swamp,” while adhering to
By Pamela Rosenberg Soloway JCC For more than 10 years, the Vered Israel Cultural & Educational Program has been showing Ottawans a different side of Israel than the one they see on the news. By teaming with other organizations to import musicians, films, and even TV shows, the Vered Israel Program showcases great Israeli talent, and puts the spotlight on the artistic and creative strength of the country. “It’s important to let people see there is another side of Israel, with lots of great artists in many different fields who appeal to a large audience, not just Jewish people,” said Israeli native Penni Namer, the Vered Israel Program manager. Together with the Embassy of Israel and the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies at Carleton University, the Vered Israel Program is bringing composer, violinist, oud player and singer Yair Dalal to Ottawa for a concert on Sunday March 18, 7:30 pm, at the
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their religious lifestyle. We commemorate Israel’s constant struggle for security with the Yom Hazikaron memorial ceremony on Tuesday, April 24. Then, on Thursday, April 26, we celebrate the State of Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’Atzmaut with a flag-raising ceremony and the biggest community party of the year at its new location, the CE Centre. “We are really excited about celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut at the CE Centre this year,” said Penni. “Thanks to the efforts of our chair, Penny Torontow, it’s going to be a great party and we are hoping that the entire community will help us celebrate this special day.” Reuven Shiloah: The Mossad’s First, a film about
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the man considered to be the father of Israel’s intelligence services comes to the Soloway JCC on Sunday, May 6. Shiloah’s son Dov will be on hand to discuss the film. The Israeli Film Festival, which unspools for its ninth season in June, is a collaboration of Vered Israel, the Is-
raeli Embassy, the Canada Israel Cultural Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University. “Israeli films are being recognized and are winning awards all over the world. The quality of the films has changed over the years we
have been hosting the film festival and the audience reflects that,” Penni said. “The films screened at the festival are playing to packed houses.” (Schedule and locations TBA) Acclaimed Israeli writer, social and cultural commentator Sayed Kashua will make an appearance at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on Sunday, April 22. Kashua writes about the problems faced by the Arab Israelis today. He wrote the popular Israeli TV series Arab Labor and writes satirical columns for Ha’aretz and Kol Ha’ir. (Time and location TBA) Israel’s Boom Pam unleashes its tunes at the Ottawa Jazz Festival on Thursday, June 28 and the Israeli Chamber Project plays the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival on Tuesday, August 7. For more information on all of these programs, visit jccottawa.com or contact Penni Namer at 613-7989818, ext. 243.
Page 12 â€“ Ottawa Jewish Bulletin â€“ March 5, 2012
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Na’amat holds annual kosher-for-Passover wine sale By Deana Schildkraut Aviva Chapter Na’amat Canada Aviva Chapter of Na’amat Canada Ottawa will help you prepare for Passover with our annual kosherfor-Passover wine sale. We have a large selection of wines available from a variety of countries including Israel, Australia, Italy, and Chile.
This year, we are collaborating with Canadian Hadassah-WIZO Ottawa Centre and Congregation Beit Tikvah in hosting a Passover Fair where you will be able to pick up your wine order and buy handcrafted Passover items such as wine bags, seder matzo covers, matzothemed aprons and many other items suitable as Passover gifts.
is a registered Canadian charity and raelis experiencing hardships is inpart of a worldwide progressive creasing greatly and many people women’s organization dedicated to turn to Na’amat for help. Some of improving the quality of life for the services Na’amat funds include women, children and families in Is- daycare centres, vocational and agricultural high schools, single-parent rael and around the world. Na’amat is a Hebrew acronym support services, legal aid centres, for Nashim Ovdot Umitnadvot and a facility for abused women. Locally, Na’amat Canada Ot(Movement of Working Women and Volunteers). We believe that every tawa is involved in the School Supcitizen is entitled to respect and ply for Kids project. Every fall, we equal opportunity within a just soci- supply hundreds of backpacks filled ety. Generations of Na’amat women with supplies to children living with have been making a difference their mothers in shelters for abused women. The generous support of since 1925. Na’amat Canada helps support a the Ottawa community over the brating the victory of good over vast network of social and educa- years has allowed us to continue evil. The event will incorporate all tional services. The number of Is- funding this project. the important customs associated • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • with the fun and exciting holiday. Every child will be given his or Getting married, her own gragger to shut out the celebrating a special birthday evil Haman’s name during the Megillah reading. or anniversary, Children and adults are encourjust had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? aged to come in costume and will receive a gift. There will also be a Share your good news (photo too)! grand masquerade with prizes for the child in the most creative cosTo advertise call Barry Silverman tume. 613-798-4696, ext. 256 The event takes place Thursday, March 8, 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Email: email@example.com Fun Haven is at 1050 Baxter Road next to the new IKEA. • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov •
The Passover Fair will be held Sunday, March 25, 10:30 am to 4:00 pm at Beit Tikvah Synagogue, 15 Chartwell Avenue. Contact Deana Schildkraut at 613-726-9595 or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the list of available wines or to place an order. Na’amat Canada (naamat.com)
opportunity to celebrate and interact with each other in a fun and relaxed environment. The $20 entrance fee will include unlimited access to all Fun Haven’s attractions including a 20-foot climbing wall, a multilevel jungle gym with blasters and vacuum cannons propelling and dumping thousands of foam balls, a high-tech interactive laser shooting game, mini-bowling and bumper cars. There will also be a delicious, hot, catered buffet feast in the party room with lively Jewish music playing. Purim is a Jewish festival cele-
• Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov •
By Matthew Monson for Chabad of Centrepointe Chabad of Centrepointe has invited the Jewish community to participate in our annual Purim extravaganza being held this year at Fun Haven, Ottawa’s newest entertainment centre. “It is exciting to be able to team up with Fun Haven to be able to provide Purim fun,” said Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn, director of Chabad of Centrepointe. “Chabad always looks for novel ways to bring the community together.” The event will give our community, particularly children, an
• Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov • Mazal Tov •
Chabad of Centrepointe heads to Fun Haven for Purim party
Page 14 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
Jewish Community Service Awards Members of the Jewish community are invited to nominate individuals to receive the following community awards at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation in early June.
Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award The Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award is the highest tribute that the Ottawa Jewish Community can bestow on an individual for exceptional service over the course of many years. Initiated in 1980, it bears the name of the late Past President of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, Gilbert Greenberg, who exemplified the qualities of leadership, which the award endeavours to recognize.
Freiman Family Young Leadership Award The Freiman Family Young Leadership Award recognizes an individual or an organization within the Jewish community, under the age of 40, who has contributed actively to the Jewish community in the two or more years following his/her participation in the Young Leadership Development Program, or as a young leader rendered exceptional service to the Jewish community.
The Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award presented by the Ottawa Citizen “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship; but the crown of a good name excels them all.” - Rabbi Shimon The Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award was created to recognize an outstanding and active volunteer with the Jewish community who, through many years of service, has contributed to the enrichment of Jewish life in Ottawa. Address Recommendations by March 31, 2012 to: Chair of the Community Award Selection Committee Jewish Federation of Ottawa 21 Nadolny Sachs Private, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 1R9 or email: email@example.com For more information, please visit www.jewishottawa.com
NOMINATION FORM (Please attach another page to tell us more) ❏ Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award ❏ Freiman Family Young Leadership Award ❏ Shem Tov Community Volunteer Award ABOUT YOU ________________________ Nominator name ________________________ Daytime Phone ________________________ E-mail Address
ABOUT NOMINEE ___________________________ Nominee ___________________________ Agency or Organization ___________________________ E-mail Address
Detail community involvement and special contributions
BDS and IAW are not campaigns for peace By Jake Goldstein, president Israel Awareness Committee In recent years, many North American universities – including the University of Ottawa and Carleton – have witnessed the involvement of radical students with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and their support for the so-called Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). The BDS and IAW campaigns call for the divestment of university funds from companies that invest and do business in Israel. While universities are places for the cultivation of ideas, freedom of speech and open debate, the sole purpose of the BDS and IAW campaigns is the exclusion and delegitimization of the democratic state of Israel. There is a silver lining however. ProIsrael students on our university campuses have mobilized in response to this campaign of delegitimization. Through our hard
work, dedication and passions for freedom and democracy, we have made it extremely difficult for the BDS and IAW campaigns to gain momentum as we call for the support of a more just and civil environment on campus, the antithesis of BDS and IAW. BDS is not a campaign for peace. Not once in its literature is the word “peace” even mentioned. Its objectives are actually antithetical to justice and human rights, the core values of Canadian society. IAW attempts to paint Israel as an apartheid state – an obviously false and hateful claim. Arabs comprise 20 per cent of Israel’s population, hold positions of significant power and have equality under the law. Among the most prominent Israeli Arabs are Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran and soccer star Walid Badir. Israel is a nation of peace and democracy. BDS and IAW are simply messages of hatred towards the Jewish state that we must stand against.
CHW Ottawa tea to honour Dave Smith By Anna Bilsky Ottawa Centre CHW Hold the date! The incomparable Dave Smith, philanthropist, entrepreneur and fundraiser extraordinaire, will be the honouree when the Amit, Mollie Betcherman, and Ina McCarthy chapters of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) Ottawa Centre hold our annual tea on Sunday, June 10 at the home of Ricki and Barry Baker. Dave is well known in Ottawa. He has raised more than $150 million for local, national and international causes. He has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from both the University of Ottawa (2001) and Carleton University (2006). Not bad for the son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant who ran a shoe repair shop on St. Patrick Street. Dave was born in Ottawa and grew up with his 13 brothers and sisters. His father kept a pot of soup going at the back of the shop, so it appears Dave learned about catering from birth. In 1959, Dave opened Nate’s Deli on Rideau Street. In 1960, he branched into catering and opened The Place Next Door, a steak and seafood restaurant. Over the years, he spread the Nate’s brand to California, Florida and the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa. And, a year after closing the Rideau Street deli in 2010, he and a business partner opened Nate’s Deli Family Kitchen on Merivale Road. Dave has helped numerous charities all over the world. He listens to all requests and rarely refuses. He is a treasure we
CHW Ottawa will honour legendary fundraiser and deli owner Dave Smith at annual tea, June 10. (Photo: Jacqueline Shabsove)
should all cherish and be proud of. So, join us for tea on June 10 as we celebrate this wonderful man. Funds raised by the tea will support the CHW Netanya Technological High School in Netanya, Israel. For more information, e-mail Lynn Gillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anna Bilsky at 613-728-4202.
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 15
‘I like to do mitzvahs because it helps people’ By Ilana Belfer Two days before their ninth birthday, Max and Talia Gottfred were at the Soloway JCC, participating in Mitzvah Day, making and packing birthday loot for kits that will be distributed to children living in shelters. Wearing tie-dye shirts they made especially for Mitzvah Day at the Temple Israel Religious School, the twins know why they were at the Soloway JCC volunteering. “I like to do mitzvahs because it helps people,” Talia said. “It’s going to people who don’t have parties and people that don’t really get birthdays.” Her brother agreed. “I am going to tell my friends to maybe do this next time,” Max says. Their mother, Michelle Lajzerowicz, said she wanted to bring her kids to Mitzvah Day to see the greater Jewish community because otherwise they don’t get to see too many other Jewish children. The family lives in Chelsea, Quebec, and there are no other
Twins Max (left) and Talia Gottfred with mother, Michelle Lajzerowicz, prepare birthday kits for kids living in shelters on Mitzvah Day. (Photo: Ilana Belfer)
Jewish children in their neighbourhood or at their school. “It’s particularly important ...
[for them] to see the Jewish community working together on something,” Lajzerowicz said.
Mitzvah Day Gift of Life By Ilana Belfer Hildy Lesh sat in the Soloway Jewish Community Centre on Mitzvah Day filling out a registration form for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. She then used what looked like oversized Q-Tips to painlessly swab the inside of her cheek. If she’s a match for someone in need, she can donate bone marrow and potentially save a life – much like her husband’s eyesight was saved when he received a cornea transplant about 20 years ago. Even before Mitzvah Day, though, Lesh was part of the bone marrow registry. She re-registered as a sort of renewal for the sake of assurance because she originally registered more than 15 years ago. “It’s one thing you can do to help somebody else’s life that is so easy,” she said. “It’s such a
Hildy Lesh registers for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation on Mitzvah Day. (Photo: Ilana Belfer)
non-issue.” Lesh said she lives her life doing mitzvahs for others and that it’s something she works hard to teach her children. “This is something we do in our family. It’s not an option,” she said. In the past, her 11-year-old twin daughters, Dahlia and Maya, have donated hair and raised money for Angel Hair for Kids, and volunteered at Hillel Lodge, among other mitzvahs. “I think it should be school-
wide. I think it should be boardwide,” Lesh said about Mitzvah Day, mentioning that her daughters’ public school does nothing in particular for Ottawa Kindness Week. “But they should.” Based on their experiences, Lesh and her family know the value of helping people in nonmaterial ways. “What a great feeling that is to be able to help somebody [when] that’s not something you can buy,” she said.
Janet Kaiman donated her braid, cut 40 years ago, to Locks of Love on Mitzvah day. (Photo: Peter Waiser)
A mitzvah 40 years in the making By Ilana Belfer Janet Kaiman came to Mitzvah Day with a mission: donate a braid of her hair to Locks of Love, the organization that uses donated hair to create hairpieces for children suffering from medical hair loss. While most of the hair donated on Mitzvah Day was freshly cut then and there, Kaiman had kept her braid in a box for 40 years. “I was 17, it was the 70s, the layered look was in. So it was perfect. He held up the braid, cut and I had perfect layers,” she said. At the time, Kaiman said, she was simply looking to cut her long hair. But she decided to keep the braid as a souvenir of her youth, one of two braids, that is. She gave the other to her boyfriend at the time. “I thought it was special,” she said. But her boyfriend’s mother threw it out. Kaiman didn’t think of donating the hair back then. It wasn’t common practice until a few years ago. But, when she heard of other people doing it, Kaiman said she wanted to contribute. “I just never got around to it so
I thought today, Mitzvah Day, would be the perfect opportunity to donate,” she said. “It wasn’t as convenient as it is today. I just didn’t know how or where ... I’ve been waiting all year to do this.” Kaiman, who is principal of the Ottawa Modern Jewish School, said her students, friends and family members had mixed reactions about the gesture. “They think it’s funny. Some people think it’s creepy. Some people think it’s cool,” she said, noting she herself doesn’t find it creepy at all. Locks of Love spokesperson Lauren Kukkamaa said that hair doesn’t go bad and, as long as it’s in a braid or ponytail, stored in a clean, dry place, it’s still acceptable. “We do hear of situations like that from time to time. Sometimes it’s family hair that’s been passed down through generations,” Kukkamaa said. Kaiman’s braid meets Locks of Love’s length requirements. “It’s still soft,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll have my hair long enough again to donate it, so this is my gift.”
Page 16 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
Death of a Salesman High school students at the Ottawa Jewish Community School presented a sold-out run, February 14 to 16, of the Arthur Miller classic, Death of a Salesman. The production was the school’s entry in Canada’s Capital Cappies program for high school theatre. Photos by Howard Sandler
Willy (Itzy Kamil) cavorts with a woman in Boston (Cassandra Starosta)
The boss Howard (Raphael Sandler) boasts to Willy (Itzy Kamil)
Willy (Itzy Kamil) talks to his brother Ben (Jonathan Roytenberg) while wife Linda (Michaela Sadinsky) and sons Biff (Yona Steinman) and Happy (Ethan Sabourin) look on.
Miss Forsythe (Jasmine Segal) in the restaurant
In the cemetery left to right: Happy (Ethan Sabourin), Biff (Yona Steinman), Linda (Michaela Sadinsky), Charley (Hartley Melamed), Bernard (Jacob Landau).
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 17
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Painting the tunnel OJCS and Hulse students work together on mitzvah
Students brighten the tunnel between the Soloway JCC and Hillel Lodge by painting tiles and a mural. (Photo: Peter Waiser)
Mitzvah Day continued, February 16, when Grade 6 students from the Ottawa Jewish Community School and Charles H. Hulse Public School got together in the Soloway JCC gym to make sleeping mats from recycled milk bags to be sent to people in Haiti still in need of mats in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010. (Photos: Michael Regenstreif) (From left) Rabbi Howard Finkelstein, of the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS), Imam Sami Metwally of the Ottawa Muslim Association and Mitchell Bellman of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa joined OJCS and Charles H. Hulse Public School students at the Soloway JCC for their Mitzvah Day project.
Ottawa Jewish Community School basketball
The Ottawa Jewish Community School boys’ basketball team is all smiles after an undefeated 5-0 season. The team includes students from Grades 7 and 8.
Mitzvah Day challah Students display a tray of braided challahs prepared for the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank on Mitzvah Day. (Photo: Peter Waiser)
Israel advocacy workshop Jordan Kerbel, deputy director, communications and training, of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), led a workshop, Israel Advocacy in 5 Minutes: How to Create Effective Messages for all Media, attended by more than 50 people, February 15, at the Soloway JCC. During the interactive workshop, Kerbel provided guidance to community activists interested in advocating for Israel at the grassroots level. The workshop was organized by JET with support from CIJA and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. (Photo: Michael Regenstreif)
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 19
Growing ranks of Orthodox musicians in mainstream pop music By Lisa Alcalay Klug (JTA) – With his yarmulke, ritual fringes and lyrics occasionally borrowed from ancient texts, Grammy-nominated reggae star Matisyahu may be the most publicly Jewish performer in the mainstream music scene. But he’s not the only one. Growing ranks of Jewishly committed performers are finding success on the international stage. These independent artists share more with Matisyahu than keeping the Sabbath. They, too, are attracting audiences with compositions informed by their spiritual lives: building connection, meaning and hope. “The fuel that keeps us going is the feedback we get all the time that says, ‘Your music inspires me,’” said Yehuda Solomon, who, with his band Moshav has opened repeatedly for Matisyahu. “People tell us all the time, ‘I don’t listen to Jewish music, but you guys break all the stereotypes.’” Solomon is the cantor for the Orthodox Happy Minyan in Los Angeles, dedicated to the lively, liturgical compositions of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. As Moshav’s lead vocalist, Solomon performs original world music, folk and rock in Hebrew and English, as well as “Shlomo tunes.” For mainstream musicians hoping to make it big, Friday night gigs help build successful
careers. Without that option, licensing material and composing produce vital income for some Orthodox musicians. Some artists moonlight behind the scenes, which led to a Grammy Award for guitarist C Lanzbom of Pomona, N.Y. Although Lanzbom loves performing, he received a Grammy last year for mixing the album Tomorrow’s Children by Pete Seeger and the Rivertown Kids. The album was the Grammy winner as “best musical album for children” of 2010. Lanzbom, the son of Holocaust survivors, began his foray into music at age seven. Like Solomon, he was heavily influenced by Rabbi Carlebach. Although Rabbi Carlebach was never as mainstream as Matisyahu, his iconic singing career spanned more than 40 years. Constantly touring, Carlebach performed at Carnegie Hall, the Berkeley Folk Festival and a range of international venues, from coffeehouses to synagogue basements. It was Rabbi Carlebach who paid for Lanzbom’s first flight to Israel and introduced him to meaningful religious practice. After Rabbi Carlebach died in 1994 from a heart attack aboard an airplane, Lanzbom dedicated his first solo album to him, covering his songs. The album, Beyond This World,” propelled Lanzbom into the Jewish
Notice of Annual General Meeting The Jewish Federation of Ottawa will hold its 78th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the Social Hall of the Joseph and Rose Ages Family Building. The entire Jewish community of Ottawa is invited to attend. For more information contact Dawn Paterson 613-798-4696, ext 236 or email@example.com
The Moshav band performs original world music, folk and rock in Hebrew and English, as well as “Shlomo tunes” of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.
music market. “It might look like I chose to limit myself,” he said. “But it also gave me an identity.” Lanzbom works with some household names, recently mixing a Seeger track featuring Bruce Springsteen. But he is best known to Jewish audiences as part of the folk-rock band Soulfarm, which he cofounded with Solomon’s brother, Noah, a gifted vocalist and mandolin player. Together they record original compositions, Car-
lebach songs and Breslov Chassidic tunes. The Solomons grew up in Israel next door to Rabbi Carlebach on the moshav Mevo Modi’im. The religious, musical village Rabbi Carlebach founded in 1976 has spawned numerous bands, including Moshav, which performs worldwide on Jewish and mainstream stages. Its next album, Light the Way, will be released this spring. Even when the music of these artists boasts wide appeal, the spiritual under(Continued on page 20)
Page 20 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
Some Orthodox musicians find success licensing songs for TV (Continued from page 19)
Irving Layton: A Centenary Celebration Poets and Members of Parliament celebrate Layton’s legacy
Sunday, March 11, 2012, 2:30 p.m. University of Ottawa Room 129, Simard Hall 60 University Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 The Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program and the Department of English at the University of Ottawa welcome you to a celebration of the writings and legacy of Irving Layton (1912-2006), with readings from his works by Ottawa poets and brief reminiscences from friends and associates who knew him. Participants will also include Members of Parliament Irwin Cotler and Mauril Bélanger. The Centenary Celebration will be hosted by Professor Seymour Mayne. Reception to follow. Admission to the event is free. For further information: Professor Seymour Mayne, firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-562-5800, ext. 1148
pinnings often resonate as uniquely Jewish. Perhaps the most extreme example is the Matisyahu hit “One Day,” which speaks of a messianic era. NBC aired the song in promos for its Winter Olympics coverage. Songs from his forthcoming album recently performed in San Francisco suggest more inspirational material ahead. The same applies to singer and guitarist Dov Rosenblatt, who with Talia Osteen, his non-Orthodox band mate in The Wellspring folk-pop duo, has opened for headline rockers Pete Yorn and Ben Kweller. While Yorn and Kweller do not keep Shabbat, they delayed Saturday night shows to accommodate Rosenblatt, who grew up modern Orthodox, attended Yeshiva University and recorded three albums with his previous rock band, Blue Fringe – an allusion to ritual fringes. After marrying into a Lubavitch family in Los Angeles, Rosenblatt jokes that he is now “modern Lubavodox.” But, it’s licensing fees that have generated anywhere from one to a few hundred thousand dollars for Rosenblatt. His compositions, co-written with Lanzbom or Osteen, have appeared on several television shows including The Real World, The Kardashians and Cougar Town. When The Wellspring’s cover of Big Star’s “Ballad of El Goodo” was featured on House, a tweet from House costar Olivia Wilde triggered massive interest in new licensing deals. Rosenblatt’s L.A. colleagues, Yael Meyer and Cathy Heller, each have a long list of licensing credits, including “Beautiful People,” which they co-wrote. ABC aired it in network promos. Just as Matisyahu’s gold single, “King Without a Crown,” resembles a contemporary psalm, their songs, too, often are spiritual meditations. When Heller learned that Arab terrorists had murdered five members of the Fogel family in the Itamar massacre in March 2011, she felt helpless and overwhelmed. “I realized the only thing I have control over is my own happiness, so that’s what I need to get busy working on,” she said. The result is her ukulele-driven pop song, “Gonna Be Happy,” a call to “Turn your inside out/Let it shine.” The song will air on the March 28 series finale of One Tree Hill. Meyer, whose compositions “write themselves,” watched her song “Shed Their Fear” emerge as a prayer: “Grant me strength to dissipate the dark that haunts and pierces deeply like a spear.” The song was heard on Private Practice. For Meyer and Heller, who attend Orthodox synagogues, performing for mixed audiences of men and women once may have raised concerns over kol isha, the religious restriction on hearing a women’s voice. That’s what happened to Rabbi Carlebach’s daughter. As a teenager, Neshama Carlebach per-
The folk-pop duo Wellspring features the Modern Orthodox performer Dov Rosenblatt and his non-Orthodox band mate Talia Osteen.
formed on her father’s last tour. He would announce that she was heading on stage to sing one song, “B’Shem Hashem (In God’s Name).” “He would say if anyone has a problem with that, go out for five minutes and then come back,” she recalled. After Rabbi Carlebach’s death, Neshama continued his tour. At times she has encountered intense condemnation from the same audiences attending her concerts and buying her eight albums. Her father’s mission, to “heal, uplift and transform the world,” has profoundly impacted Neshama, who identifies as modern Orthodox. “My response to kol isha was so passionate because I believe I was born to this man to continue the work he began that is so needed in this world,” she said. Her perspective on kol isha was echoed recently by Orthodox Rabbi Dov Linzer, dean of the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York. “As the Talmud plainly puts it,” Rabbi Linzer wrote in a New York Times opinion piece, “the responsibility is on a man, not a woman.” These days, Neshama anticipates performing in Soul Doctor, the Broadway-bound, full-length musical she co-created which celebrates her father’s life. She also is touring solo and performing her father’s compositions together with a charismatic Baptist gospel choir. She said ongoing criticism won’t stop her. “I put interfaith and kol isha in the same category: defined by fear,” Neshama said. “I will walk where I walk and people will say what they say. I pray that they find their own healing.”
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 21
Visit our web site: www.hillellodge.ca
ife at the odge
From here on in: Wonderful days to come By Stephen Schneiderman Executive Director Hillel Lodge The promise of 21 new beds was the longest enduring agenda item in the history of Hillel Lodge. For six years, we talked about it at virtually every Board of Directors meeting. Now, it has finally come true! Interestingly, such an accomplishment is not the end, but rather the beginning of many wonderful days to come. This is especially true for the 21 new residents who can now call Hillel Lodge their home. While everyone can easily appreciate the time it takes to get the new residents settled, it is hard for most outsiders to understand the major adjustments required by the newcomers as well as residents who have been at the Lodge for a number of years. The recent influx of so many people involves more than just newcomers getting their bearings or learning about all the programs and services that the Lodge has to offer. For the 21 arrivals, they are starting to share their lives and their home with many whom they have just met. While all of this is taking place, the staff and volunteers are not bystanders. Our job is to cultivate relationships, make connections, and sensitize residents to what it is like to be “the new kids on the block”. For the residents, this is not an easy or automatic adjustment. For those who support them, this is not an easy task. It begins with the resident’s bedroom with pictures on the wall and tchachkas adorning the shelves, which reflect the resident’s individuality and lifetime of achievement. It continues with the design of a recreation and therapeutic program that devotes itself to all the aspects of a full and fulfilling schedule, including all the dimensions of cultural, spiritual and physical activities. Next, it involves the sights and smells of home cooking and holiday celebrations that bring people together to do more than “just break bread,” but rather congregate and
interact like family. Finally, there are the nurses and social workers who surround the residents with a “security blanket” of being available around the clock. Luckily, for all, when we say “welcome to Hillel Lodge,” we really mean it. Aside from offering our residents the finest in fixtures and furnishings that long-term care has to offer, the emphasis is placed on creating an atmosphere that feels like home. We live it every day at Hillel Lodge and everyone is the beneficiary because of it.
Watercolour Art Class
Ottawa Jewish Community School – High School Visit
Oneg Shabbat Celebration
If you want to make a difference in people’s lives (including your own), give volunteering at Hillel Lodge a try. The time commitment can range from a few hours per month to regular weekly or bi-weekly visits. To become a volunteer, please contact Marilyn Adler, our Manager of Recreation and Volunteer Programs.
Hillel Lodge is proud of the quality care we provide to our residents. Donations to the Lodge can be made in several ways: by going to our web site at www.hillellodge.ca; contacting the Long-Term Care Foundation at (613) 728-3900 extension 111; or e-mailing us at email@example.com
Page 22 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
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 well-being. 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 February 1 and 15, 2012 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. Ruth and Irving Aaron Family Fund In Memory of: Joe Lieff by Ruth and Irving Aaron Bill and Leona Adler Memorial Fund In Memory of: Rhoda Abbey by Marilyn Adler Kurt Brewer by Marilyn Adler Peter MacNeil by Marilyn Adler Anita Dubinsky by Marilyn Adler Shirley Winer by Marilyn Adler Abe and Bea Dubinsky Endowment Fund In Memory of: Geety Freedman by Bonnie and Robbie Cape and family
Nell Gluck Memorial Fund In Honour of: Zvi Nix In honour of your 75th birthday with love by Julia Gluck, Ted Overton and Jess Mr. and Mrs. Mordechai Bendat Mazal tov on the birth of your granddaughter, Orli Ella by Julia Gluck and Ted Overton Adele and Geoff Sidney Mazal tov on the birth of your granddaughter by Julia Gluck and Ted Overton In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Henry and Maureen Molot Shirley Winer by Henry and Maureen Molot Gunner Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Sol and Estelle Gunner Shirley Winer by Sol and Estelle Gunner
Jack Baylin by Stephen and Debra Schneiderman and family Norman Beiles by Stephen and Debbie Schneiderman Milton and Mary (Terry) Viner Family Fund In Observance of the Yahrzeit of: Doris Schaenfield beloved sister by Millie Schaenfield and family Fanny Belfer beloved mother-in-law by Millie Schaenfield and family Jake Belfer beloved stepfather by Millie Schaenfield and family Eric Weiner and Arlene Godfrey Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Miriam Weiner; and by Carol and Larry Gradus Toby and Joel Yan Family Fund In Memory of: Sylvia Shapransky by Toby and Joel Yan Anita Dubinsky by Toby and Joel Yan Shirley Winer by Toby and Joel Yan R’fuah Shlema: David Binder by Toby and Joel Yan Howard Strauss by Toby and Joel Yan **************
David, Harvey and Victor Kardish Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Sheryl, Harvey, Mallory and Ryan Kardish Nordau and Roslyn Kanigsberg Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Nordau and Roz Kanigsberg and family Geety Freedman by Nordau and Roz Kanigsberg and family Dorothy and Maurie Karp Endowment Fund In Memory of: Arthur Max by Dorothy Karp and family Vera and Leslie Klein Family Fund In Honour of: Vera Klein Mazal tov on your special birthday by Irma Sachs
Friedberg and Dale Families Fund In Memory of: Jack Baylin Elaine Friedberg and Bob Dale
Shelley and Sidney Rothman Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Shelley Rothman and family
Malcolm and Vera Glube Endowment Fund In Honour of: Arlene Glube Best wishes on your special birthday by Malcolm and Vera Glube
Stephen and Debra Schneiderman Family Fund In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Stephen and Debra Schneiderman
Feeding Program In Memory of: Anita Dubinsky by Harold and Lisa Sandell; and by Heidi and Steve Polowin Therapeutics Fund In Memory of: Guenter Krebs by Ira and Joanna Abrams and family Kurt Brewer by Joanna Abrams; and by Sally, Mariel and Shala Anita Dubinsky by Linda and Michael Senzilet IN HONOUR OF: Arlene Glube Best wishes on your special birthday by Janet and Norman Ironstone; and by Anna and Ronnie Cantor Inna Royz by Jessica Firestone Sunny and Sheldon Shaffer Best wishes on your special anniversary with love by Ingrid Shapiro Sandy Granatstein Happy 70th birthday by Roz and Stan Labow IN MEMORY OF: Bernice Mark by Elaine Hauptman Frances Rothman by Lou Lalonde; by Barbara Fine; and by Arlene and Gary Bonn and family Rhoda Abbey by Anna Bilsky; by Esther and Ron Paritzky; and by Larry Weisz Husband of Alana Goldberg by Annette Millstone Dorval Lahaie by Annette Millstone
Evelyn Oberman by Libby and Leo Ratner Beatrice Lesser by Marian Vexler Grandfather of Carla Bolling by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge Peter MacNeil by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge Geety Freedman by Anna and Ronnie Cantor Eliezer (Leo) Lipnowski by Steve and Roz Fremeth; and by Arlene and Norman Glube Anita Dubinsky by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge; by Bev and Bryan Glube; by Steve and Doris Rauch; by Leona Freeman; by Gabrielle and Yonatan Lew; by Debra and Howard Krebs; by Sarah, Jack, David and Lev Silverstein; by Annette Albert; by Arlene and Norman Glube; by Danny and Rhonda Levine; by the Ben-Israel family; by Cheryl Leyton and Manuel Glimcher; by Janet and Marty Shimkofsky; by Harvey and Beverly Silverstone; by Cathy and Dan Sigler and family; by Steve and Roz Fremeth; by Frayda and Charlie Wiseman, Yossi, Julia and Michael Bokhaut; by Roslyn and Arnie Kimmel; by Lily Feig; by Shelley and Morris Schachnow; by Warren and Linda Melamed; by Don and Pauline Irving; by Etta Martin and Gail Chernin and Judy and Arnie Budovitch; by Louisa Garib and Ruben Benmergui; by Gail Krochmalnek; by Betty and Ed Rose; by Felice and Jeff Pleet; by Gail and Irwin Prince; by Howard and Cheryl Bogomolny; by Susan, Jonathan and David Heisel and Sye Mincoff; by the PascoeBriggs family; by Sandi and Rod Della Vedova; by Beverley and Abe Feinstein; and by David Rubin Jack Baylin by Danny and Rhonda Levine and family; by Steve and Roz Fremeth; by Arlene and Norman Glube; and by Etta Karp Shirley Winer by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge; by Anna Bilsky; and by Sheila Bahar Arthur Max by Etta Karp Kurt Brewer by Dena and Herb Gosewich Father of Phea Meas by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge; and by Elizabeth Richard Father of Sunn Meas by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge; and by Elizabeth Richard Grandfather of Sophoeun Soun by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge Rose Kardash by Arlene and Gary Bonn and family R’FUAH SHLEMA: Rabbi Levy Teitlebaum by Robin Mader Irving Taylor by Alvin and Monica Stein Anne Mozersky by Alvin and Monica Stein
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 728-3900, extension 111, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. You may also e-mail your orders to firstname.lastname@example.org or online donations can be made through CanadaHelps.org. All 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.
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 23
In Japan, Israelis bring trauma expertise to tsunami victims By Boaz Arad Sendai, Japan (JTA) – Tears run down the face of Kohata Yuriko as she recalls the events of March 11 last year, when a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Japan in the early afternoon. Shopping for groceries in the small fishing town of Iwanuma, she heard the tsunami sirens. Realizing she had little time, Yuriko collected her son and 93year-old father and fled. As her foot hit the gas pedal, she could hear the horrible noise of the wave as it came crashing through the neighbourhood. Later that day, Yuriko learned that a grandmother and her grandson, a good friend of her son’s, perished in the neighbouring house as the tsunami smashed into it. Upon hearing the news, her son started to cry. “Thank you Mom,” he said again and again. “Thank you for coming back for me.” Through an interpreter, Yuriko says she still cries all the time when she’s alone.
“I’m so stressed and nervous that I can hardly breathe,” she says. But, with the assistance of volunteers and post-trauma experts from the Israeli non-governmental organization IsraAID, she is beginning to learn to cope with the tragedy. Yuriko is sitting on the floor of a caravan converted into a community centre in one of the temporary housing sites built to accommodate the tens of thousands of tsunami survivors who lost their homes to the wave. Helped by the aid workers, she dances, bangs on drums, laughs and smiles – and then, asked to choose from a pile of special cards used as psychotherapeutic tools, she begins to cry. It is the first time since the disaster that she has cried in front of someone, and Yuriko is apologetic. She has been unemployed for nearly a year, shares a cramped temporary housing unit with her father, husband and son, and constantly feels like she is about to faint from anxiety. “It’s OK to cry,” says Judy Spanglet, an Orthodox Israeli social worker and family therapist who
For information call 613-274-0110 or email email@example.com
Yotam Polizer, IsraAID’s Japan project manager, plays guitar for residents of a temporary housing site for tsunami survivors in Ishinomaki as part of a music therapy session run by post-trauma experts from (Photo: Boaz Arad) the Israeli NGO.
has worked with trauma victims all over the world. “It’s perfectly normal. Let it out. You have been so busy worrying for and taking care of other people that you have forgotten to think of yourself.” Yuriko lets out a big smile; sud-
denly she seems relieved. “Thank you for listening,” she says, sighing. “Until now, I didn’t really have anyone I could speak to.” The Japanese government has worked to clean up the material
damage from the tsunami and find housing for those it left homeless. The government has been less determined in providing survivors with needed psychological support. A number of volunteer groups, most (Continued on page 31)
Page 24 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
Exercise: What’s in it for me? We live in a fast-paced culture. From instant messages to instant food, we have become increasingly accustomed to instant gratification. Exercise provides delayed gratification. Most of the benefits of exercise happen over time. Often, we are not even aware of all of the good things that exercise is doing for us because many of the benefits are internal. So some people just don’t bother to exercise. But there are compelling reasons to be physically active. I want to share some of them with you. I want to empower you with knowledge that will leave you wanting to exercise! Exercise provides many benefits for your physical and mental health. Exercise reduces risks from a variety of diseases and can also slow the progression of some diseases. Let’s explore three types of exercise and their key benefits. Cardiorespiratory exercise, also known as cardio or aerobic exercise, develops cardiorespiratory fitness, including strengthening the heart and increasing lung capacity. The heart is a muscle and needs to be exercised to remain healthy. Examples of cardio exercise are walking and stair climbing, which you can incorporate into your day-to-day life, and sports, such as running, cycling and swimming. You can also get a cardio workout using a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike, or by taking aerobics classes. Heart disease is the number one cause of premature death in Canadian adults. You can reduce your risk of heart disease by performing cardio exercise. Cardio reduces hypertension, resting heart rate, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. Cardio is also beneficial because it burns fat, resulting in
a leaner body which, in turn, reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Cardio increases energy and endurance, making sports as well as everyday activities less fatiguing. Cardio can also reduce the risk of certain cancers such as breast and colon cancer. It can lessen the symptoms of some chronic diseases such as arthritis. Some studies suggest that cardio may even prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Cardio also benefits mental health by increasing levels of mood enhancing brain chemicals. Going for a brisk walk or jog may lift your mood and alleviate anxiety, stress and mild depression. Resistance training, also known as strength training, develops your muscles and increases your strength. Examples of resistance training are push ups, pull ups and sit ups. You can do resistance training using dumbbells, machines or your own body weight. Benefits include an increase in lean muscle mass and an improved metabolism. Your body will become more efficient at burning fat and you’ll even burn more calories while at rest. Another benefit is improved bone density, which lowers your risk for osteoporosis. Stronger muscles also improve your balance and coordination, thereby reducing your chance of falling and injuring yourself. Stronger muscles make everyday activities, such as lifting and carrying items, easier. Some women never do resistance training because they are afraid to develop massive muscles. In fact, women do not naturally develop big muscles because they have significant-
Focus on Fitness Gloria Schwartz ly less testosterone than men. Flexibility training, also called stretching, is often neglected. Stretching is important for several reasons. It can increase flexibility. It can improve athletic performance. It can decrease the risk of injuries by helping your joints move through the full range of motion. Daily activities requiring flexibility include bending down to tie your shoe, reaching overhead to get something from a cupboard, gardening and getting in and out of a chair or car. If you golf, curl, bowl or participate in just about any sport, flexibility training can help improve your game. An added bonus is that stretching feels really good and is a nice way to relax after a cardio or strength training workout. If you would like to experience a better quality of life, and increase your chance of living longer, I urge you to incorporate cardiorespiratory, resistance and flexibility training, along with a healthy diet, into your lifestyle. And don’t just do it. Do it like you mean it! If you’re overweight, over 40, or have a medical condition, please check with your doctor before beginning any new type of exercise. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Activist works to preserve Jewish way of life in Ukraine My brother Joel and I attended a meeting in Toronto, February 9, on preserving cemeteries, synagogues and mass grave sites in the Galician region of Ukraine. What really attracted us to make the trip was that one of the two speakers was a dynamic Ukrainian Jew named Meylakh Sheykhet. We first met Meylakh by chance in 2005 in the city of Lviv (formerly known as both Lvov and Lemberg). We were at the beginning of our two-week journey through Poland and Ukraine, visiting the shtetlach that were important to our family history. While strolling through the former Jewish Quarter, we noticed an obviously observant Jew crossing the street towards us. Like many of us in North America, we believed no one was left practising Judaism in that part of the world. Our guide, Alex, knew the man, introduced us to him, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that he spoke English very well. After only a minute or two, he apologized to us
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Connecting the branches John Diener for having to leave for an appointment and disappeared into a waiting car. Realizing we had missed an opportunity to find out about life as a Jew in modern day Ukraine, we asked Alex if there was any way we could meet with Meylakh sometime during our stay. Alex said he could probably arrange a meeting for the following day. Without giving us more details, Alex told us we would not be disappointed if we were able to get together with Meylakh. Meylakh’s apartment was on the second floor of a five or six storey building – one of a group of identical buildings on the street. We walked to the entrance and were shocked by the rundown condition of the place. It reminded me of the poor tenement apartments we see on American police shows that house drug dealers and criminals. It really was a scary place. The apartment was up a flight of stairs. When we entered, we were surprised to see that it served as an office as well with several people, both teenagers and adults, at work. Meylakh greeted us, and took us to a room at the end of the hallway. The room had a couple of computers and fax machines, so it was obviously a workplace. Meylakh started to tell us a little about what he does and gave me his business card. He represents an organization called Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry, American Jewish Organisation for Human Rights. The card gives his Ukrainian contact numbers as well as an address in Wash-
ington, D.C. After offering us refreshments, he started telling us about what he does and what life is like for the remaining Jews in Ukraine. We found out that he fights for the rights of the Jewish population, as well as for those who assisted the Jewish community during the Second World War. He also provides social services like Meals on Wheels and counselling for Jewish Ukrainians. Meylakh is obviously committed to his way of life and believes he has to preach the Orthodox teachings to preserve Jewish religion and culture. We were very moved by what he had to say and amazed by how he was able to accomplish despite all of the obstacles he faced. Most of his support comes from the United States. He invited us for Shabbat dinner the following evening, but we had to decline as we were scheduled to be away from Lviv by then. The next day, we were in the town of Grzymalow where my Diener family lived. Visiting the town hall, we asked if they had any Jewish records. One of the women showed us a letter and we were surprised to see that it was from Meylakh Sheykhet. It was a protest by his organization over the fact that construction had been done, and was continuing to be done, on the grounds of the Jewish cemetery destroyed by the Nazis. The letter had a map of the town attached, which showed the large area where the cemetery had been before the War. We were amazed to see this letter written by the man we had spent time with the previous day. This gentleman left a great impression on us. In Toronto, he spoke about his projects, and the support his organization needs from Jews around the world. A group called the Synagogue Project has been formed in Toronto to promote awareness and to foster connections between our Jewish communities and those of Central and Eastern Europe. If you would like more information on Meylakh Sheykhet and his work, contact the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa at email@example.com.
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 25
Multifaith Housing Initiative works to ease lack of affordable housing Last November, I found myself grooving to Sufi rock in a conga line before being beckoned to dance in the middle of an approving group of revellers from an array of cultural and religious backgrounds. It was National Housing Day, and the event was an awareness-raising dinner hosted by the Ottawa-based Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI). Barbara Levine, chair of the MHI development committee and a member of my shul, Agudath Israel, had invited me. I was pleased to learn more about an important organization that toils a bit below the radar to address one of the most pressing social problems of our time. There is a shortage – some would say a crisis – of affordable housing in Ottawa. For people experiencing various hardships, whether it is substance-abuse recovery, mental illness or simply poverty, housing is one of the most important factors in helping maintain and nurture a stable life. Without a home, and kitchen, of one’s own, people are more likely to fall prey to the cynicism and sometimes violent dangers of street life, and the scourges of poor nutrition and ill health. MHI is a coalition of individuals and faith-based groups seeking to remedy the problem of lack of access to affordable housing, through advocacy and awareness. But MHI goes even further by owning and managing 42 affordable rental units around Ottawa. MHI is not just any housing organization. By specifically comprising faith organizations, individuals come togeth-
er with an overarching spiritual aim of bettering the lives of their fellow Ottawa residents. I recently spoke with Fran Klodawsky, the president of MHI. Fran is a member of Temple Israel and a Carleton University professor of geography and environmental studies who found her way to MHI through her passion for affordable housing and her Temple involvement. “If each of us, in our own little boxes, tries to repair the world, it’s not as effective as if we expand the box in which we’re working for the big goal in mind,” Fran said. Fran sees access to decent housing as being a basic human right. MHI has signed onto the Charter for Compassion, a statement written by theologian Karen Armstrong that rests on the golden rule, which, in the Jewish tradition, is expressed as “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” MHI includes members from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Unitarian communities. Of Ottawa’s shuls, only Temple Israel and Adath Shalom are currently MHI member organizations – which entails an annual $100 contribution. Rabbi Steven Garten of Temple Israel is one of the faith-leader patrons of the organization and took a leading role in the multifaith prayer meeting that preceded the dinner event. I hope other Ottawa synagogues, including my own, will consider joining as well. Increasingly, we see Jewish groups being formed to engage individuals in tikkun olam – not just for Jewish ends, but for more universal goals as well. American Jewish
Values, Ethics, Community Mira Sucharov World Service, AVODAH and Hazon are thriving examples of the good that can come when people join together, inspired by their ethno-religious identity, to extend the notion of tikkun olam outward. A group like MHI also enables us to reflect on the crossover between social action and social justice. Creating one more housing unit for a needy individual is a laudable act. But one could argue that striving to address the root of the housing crisis problem is even more important. MHI strives to combine social action with social justice through hands-on work, along with advocacy and awareness, thus trying to chip away at the structural causes leading so many Canadians to be without adequate housing. MHI’s goal over the next three years is to double the number of individuals and families they can house. It’s a worthy and important goal. Fran tells me that volunteers are greatly appreciated for tasks ranging from painting and building to working one-on-one with tenants, to getting involved with the annual Tulipathon (MHI’s walkathon). Visit multifaithhousing.ca for more information about MHI. To get involved, as an individual or as an organization, contact MHI at 613-686-1825 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mira Sucharov, an associate professor of political science at Carleton University, blogs at Haaretz.com.
Iranian regime seeks legitimacy and shift in balance of power By all accounts, the opposition and general population in Iran saw the 2009 presidential election as a soft coup, which reconfigured the power centres and created a very slim layer of hands-on leadership. Domestically, for the past several years, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) cohorts have led a rebranding exercise redefining conservatism – not only what it means, but also who could be part of this breed. In the run-up to Iran’s parliamentary elections on March 2, there has been proactive control over the media and growing dissent that is evident from headlines in the last couple of months: • New assault on journalists, bloggers arrested ahead of elections • Iranian intelligence minister warns against election turmoil • Khamenei predicts “public intervention,” urging massive turn-out that will be enemy-busting • Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has announced the arrest of several “election disrupters” in Tehran • General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, has warned that the “enemy” is planning “street disturbances and social protests” around the upcoming parliamentary elections • IRGC chief has openly admitted that the political and cultural situation in Tehran is far from ideal, one that poses security threat to the regime. He has also threatened that IRGC and Basij cannot remain indifferent and they have plans to address the situation • Iranian security forces have arrested 50 people over the past two weeks in Khuseztan • The security forces are telling elders of the tribes in the region to bring people to the voting booths • Turning Internet off during the anniversary of the election preventing communication • President Ahmadinejad prompting that a significant
World Affairs Oliver Javanpour announcement is eminent In a speech broadcast on state television marking the 33rd anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad told a large crowd in Tehran’s Azadi Square on February 11 that “all needs of the Iranian nation” would be met by its nuclear scientists in the near future. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s Gaza chief, was present at the Ahmadinejad speech having been flown in from Kuwait on an Iranian private jet to observe the festivities. He has been resisting pressure from Iran, Hamas’s principal backer, to express support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The Hamas leadership outside Gaza recently left its base in Damascus and is looking for a new home. Haniyeh has also been trying to capitalize on the new atmosphere in the Middle East after a wave of uprisings and the subsequent rise of Islamist parties in the region. Hamas, as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, feels a growing sense of legitimacy and is trying to break its political isolation and seek its fortunes elsewhere. It isn’t clear whether Haniyeh realized why he was brought to Tehran to join Ahmadinejad on the podium watching the military march, but the message to Israel was very clear. It is becoming clearer that, domestically, the theocracy will be slowly shifting toward an authoritarian military. It is not clear how long the religiously dominated Majlis (Iranian parliament) will continue, but there are signs that, per-
haps, after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, there will be much less emphasis on the supreme leadership and more power will be transferred to the president. What Iranians on the street talk about is the weakness of the American president and his misguided policies. What the regime thinks is that this is its golden opportunity to get as many concessions from the U.S. as possible before the American election in November. The street also knows there is little trust between the ruling layer and the rest. In fact, the trust levels have decreased further since the blast that completely destroyed a major missile-testing site and killed a Revolutionary Guard commander, Hassan Moqaddam, known as the ‘architect’ of Iran’s missile program on November 12, 2011. Making matters worse, it looked as if some of Khamenei’s closest confidants and guards had encouraged him to be there that day at the base near Malard. The regime is feeling the pressure from within and, perhaps, a realization that there may be influential moles within the IRGC as well as the supreme leader’s office. Given the state of things, both domestically and internationally, the Iranian regime appears to be holding all the cards. The sanctions are hurting the population, but not the IRGC, the regime, or any of the internal or external players on the regime’s payroll. It appears the IRGC and Ahmadinejad will have some sort of viable weaponized nuclear capability by November. For Iranians, the time has come to shift the balance of power in the Middle East from the Saudis and the Israelis to themselves. They seek legitimacy. And such legitimacy could occur on Iranian terms by setting up a normal, direct relationship with the United States, on equal terms, after the U.S. election in November. I believe the question is what Iranians would settle for, and not how much the U.S. and Israel are prepared to give up. Oliver Javanpour is a public policy and international relations adviser in Ottawa.
Page 26 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 27
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Page 28 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
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Erratum The Foundation apologizes for an error published in the Grossman Klein Families Fund, in the February 20, 2012 Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.
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Try it TODAY!
March 5, 2012 â€“ Ottawa Jewish Bulletin â€“ Page 29
Homemade ricotta is delicious The other day, I told my husband I was planning to make my own ricotta cheese. â€œWhy?â€? he asked, looking at me like I was from another planet. As in why bother making it when you can buy it? Until recently, when I was away on holiday out for dinner, I would have asked the same question. One of the appetizers we ordered was homemade fresh ricotta cheese, served on toasted baguette slices with a dollop of blueberry jam. The slightly salty, creamy ricotta contrasted so beautifully with the sweetness of the blueberry jam. Since my first bite, I have become obsessed with learning how to make my own ricotta. Fresh ricotta has a rich and milky sweet taste and moist texture. Most ricotta from
Homemade Ricotta Cheese This recipe comes from the September 2009 issue of Cookâ€™s Illustrated. The real key to good ricotta is to handle it as little as possible. Donâ€™t stir too hard, and be very gentle with the curds once they form. You could also make this with skim milk, but it will not be as creamy and delicious! 16 cups homogenized milk (whole milk) 1 teaspoon table salt 1/2 -3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons) Heat milk and salt in 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high, stirring frequently with rubber spatula to prevent scorching, until milk registers 185 F. on instant read thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Using rubber spatula, slowly stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice until fully incorporated, 15 seconds. Allow milk to stand, undisturbed for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, milk should separate into white solid curds and translucent liquid whey. If after 5 minutes whey is still milky and opaque, add 2 more tablespoons lemon juice, gently stir to combine and let rest 5 minutes longer. Check separation again and repeat with another 2 tablespoons juice until whey is no longer opaque (depending on your milk, whey may appear different shades of yellow or blue). Once milk is separated into curds and whey, allow pot to rest for 20 minutes. Line colander or large strainer with double layer of cheesecloth and set over sink. Using large spoon, carefully spoon curds into colander. Discard whey. Using rubber spatula, gently fold curds over themselves until liquid no longer runs out of colander and curds have texture of grainy cream cheese. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
the supermarket is made with gums or stabilizers to prevent the ricotta from weeping. These additions often make for a gummy and grainy ricotta. In Umbria last fall, I learned that, technically, ricotta is not a cheese at all, but a cheese by-product. Ricotta is made from the whey drained from such cheeses as mozzarella, provolone and other cheeses. The word ricotta means cooked again, a reference to the production method used to make it. Unless you are busy making your own cheese at home, it is unlikely you have some excess whey floating around. But, not to worry, you can make it without whey. Combine whole milk with salt and heat to 185 F. Take it off the heat, stir in some lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. At that point, you should see curds beginning to form. Let it sit for another 20 minutes and then spoon off the curds and discard the whey. The first time I tried it, I was awed by the chemical re-
Made with Love Cindy Feingold action. Basically, the acid in the lemon juice and the heat cause the proteins in the milk to clump together forming curds that separate from liquid whey. I was quite blown away at how easy this was to make. Homemade ricotta is delicious slathered on good toasted bread and treated with a little dollop of something sweet like preserves or just a simple drizzle of honey. It is also wonderful with pasta. Below is a recipe for Whole Wheat Penne with Ricotta and Peas. So, go ahead and channel your inner Little Miss Muffet. You too could soon be eating your curds and whey!
Whole Wheat Penne with Ricotta and Peas Serves 4 4 cups uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 large shallots, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 cup fresh homemade ricotta cheese 1/2 cup milk (2% is fine, do not use fat free) 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese Salt Pepper 2 cups frozen baby green peas, unthawed Fresh basil, coarsely chopped, for garnish Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sautĂŠ until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. When water is boiling, cook penne according to package directions. When there is about 1 minute left in the cooking time, add the frozen peas. Cook pasta and peas together for additional minute, scoop out about 2 cups of cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta and peas and set aside. Whisk ricotta and milk into shallots and garlic. Mix in Pecorino Romano cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add penne and peas to the skillet and toss well. If sauce looks too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking water. Spoon into bowls and garnish with fresh basil.
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Page 30 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
Art book tells the Purim story in mosaics and commentary The Hidden and the Revealed: The Queen Esther Mosaics of Lilian Broca By Lilian Broca, Sheila Campbell and Yosef Wosk Gefen Books 167 pages “A Biblical Thriller, Told for Centuries” is the title of Sheila Campbell’s chapter of The Hidden and the Revealed: The Queen Esther Mosaics of Lilian Broca. Campbell summarizes the story of Esther as a series of events hidden and revealed “in the manner of any good thriller.” And Esther’s story is a thriller, fraught with tension as Haman’s plot is hidden and revealed to Mordechai, to Esther and then to the Persian king. As events unfold, we see Esther evolve into a brave leader, undertaking tasks she would never have thought possible. Campbell’s analysis of each of the mosaics in artist Lilian Broca’s series about Queen Esther tells the story with the added richness brought by an art historian’s knowledge of other art telling the same story. She reflects on Broca’s focus on the changes in Esther’s character at the points in the story that Broca has chosen to portray, changes that make a leader out of a follower. Rabbi Yosef Wosk contributes what he calls a “combination of essay, poem, and narrative conversation” that speaks in the voice of the mature Esther. Rabbi Wosk presents the story of Esther as she might have told it herself, with seven pages of historical notes to back up and illuminate his interpretation for those who want to know more about how we know Esther’s history. Rabbi Wosk’s work is followed by the Scroll of Esther, in Hebrew and English. Broca’s contribution to the book is her stunning mosaic panels. We see the panels as drawn and painted sketches, as works in progress, and as finished mosaics. We see them in their entirety and in detail. Each photograph has been chosen carefully to illustrate a point, in the story or in the process of creating the works. Each photograph builds the story of Esther, overlaid by the story of Lilian Broca and her art. Broca came to Canada by way of one of those circuitous
routes that Jews often follow. Born in Romania, she immigrated to Israel in 1958 and arrived in Canada in 1962. While the years in Bucharest formed her affinity for the glow of Byzantine art, Montreal’s Sir George Williams University – now Concordia University – provided Broca with the opportunity to study fine arts. It even provided the unlikely, but catalytic, opportunity to assist one of her professors in completing a glass mosaic. Now a well-established Vancouver artist, Broca has turned to biblical women to help illustrate her concerns for societal and feminist issues. Her first biblical series, which took seven years, focused on Lilith, who she interpreted “as the messenger of and hope for human courage and egalitarianism.” This second series, which also took seven years, tells Esther’s story
Book Review Diane Crouse in 10 shining panels of glass. Broca took her discovery that one of the earliest written references to mosaics actually appears in the biblical Book of Esther as a sign that it “was the right time to return to mosaics and, hence, Byzantium.” The result is an ancient story told in an ancient medium, but with a modern message. For Broca, the story of Esther is a story that “encourages women to believe in their own strength.” She also sees it as the “exemplification of a successful intermarriage of two people from different cultures, namely Jewish and Persian.” One of the most beautiful things about this book is Broca’s description of mosaic techniques. She writes with love about techniques for laying the tesserae, the small cubes of marble, stone and glass that create the play of light in mosaics. The Esther series is made “mostly of vitreous and smalto glass, plus 24-carat gold sandwiched between two thin layers of transparent glass.” Broca takes us to the Orsoni factory in Venice where she “grows giddy” at the brilliance and the range of colours of smalti available. She shows us how the mosaics are created, tessera by glowing tessera. Having described her medium and techniques, Broca does something that she says she normally does not like to do. She describes the symbolism of her panels and how she determined what to include in each. She explains details, such as the lion in the “Esther’s Offering” panel. A lion motif representing both the Lion of Judah and the Persian lion mythology “becomes the newlyweds’ unifying symbol” as well as a symbol of royalty and courage. Small details, such as the word “secret” written in the Middle Farsi of Esther’s time, reinforce the theme of hiding and revealing. Each viewing of the panels reveals new insights and provokes new thoughts. “I hope my mosaics have brought new light to fascinating, multifaceted story of Esther,” writes Broca. They have.
If your phone is so smart, why ain’t it rich? I recently read an article about a new modus operandi of thieves who steal high-end cars. They hack into the car’s computer – it’s connected to the Internet – and steal the lock security information and the GPS location. They then disable the lock and enable the start mechanism while informing a colleague of where to go get the car. And, voilà, the car is gone. These guys steal not your identity, but your car! Your car needs an antivirus. At least these thieves are probably young smart guys exercising their entrepreneurship skills. As the article notes, some cars have become “smart phones on wheels.” This is probably true of other high-end modes of transportation. Jets are smart phones with wings. Trains are smart phones on tracks and boats are smart phones with outboard motors. All you need are a few implants and you can become a smart phone on legs. It reminds me of the age of dinosaurs when, instead of smart phones, you could have spoken of reptiles that swam, that flew and that travelled on land. Alien visitors from other planets will conclude that smart phones are the dominant life form on earth. The only rejoinder I can think of is, “If your phone is so smart, why ain’t it rich?” But that sounds weak, even to me, as I am apparently neither rich nor smart.
Humour me, please Rubin Friedman By the way, my own car is smart enough to recognize a signal from a fob in my pocket when I curl my fingers around the door handle and it unlocks. It gives onlookers the impression the car recognizes my touch. This inspired me to imagine a future when my car would only unlock if it had a sample of my DNA. In order to unlock the door, I would have to spit on my windshield. In such a future, people would have to chew gum when out of the car in order to have enough saliva to get back in. At least no one could hack it. Last week, while lying on the couch with nothing to do but contemplate the nature of the universe, I was reading a book by Steven Pinker about how the meanings of our words relate to the structures of language and the structures
of thought. For instance, there is a difference between how “tell” and “say” are used that one can’t catch all the time. It is possible to hear both of these phrases without interpreting them differently. “He told it to me,” and “He said it to me,” are both OK. While the two verbs seem to relate to the same activity of talking, they aren’t the same. “He told me he was going” is OK, but “He said me he was going” isn’t. Try other verbs like ‘wrote,’ ‘whispered,’ ‘murmured’ and see what fits. If you can figure out why, you’re a linguist. I wish I could have stopped there. But, as they say, one thought leads to another and the phrase, “contain yourself,” flew into my consciousness. This is a strange kind of command. After all, what do you usually contain besides yourself? And, if it wasn’t contained in you already, where would it be? In an external hard drive? On a high shelf, out of reach? How does this command to contain oneself make sense? Where does this self usually hang out? I finally realized it was in my self-contained house. These thoughts were the highlights of my week. I tried to refrain from telling you them, or saying them to you, but my eagerness to share overcame my reticence. I just couldn’t contain my self and it spilled all over the page.
March 5, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 31
Marie Stovicek prepares to retire after 22 years with Early Beginnings By Pamela Rosenberg Soloway JCC Walking into the Early Beginnings daycare early in the morning you’ll smell the aroma of fresh baked goods and see little children file in and get ready for their day. And for the past 22 years, you’d see daycare director Marie Stovicek with a smile on her face greeting the first children to arrive. For almost as long as there has been an Early Beginnings Multicultural Child Development Centre, Marie has been there at the helm. But, this month, Marie is preparing for a new morning routine as she puts down her crayons and gets ready for retirement. Originally a kindergarten teacher from Czechoslovakia, Marie came to Canada 40 years ago. She learned to speak English and, in 1974, obtained her ECE (early childhood education) equivalency and continued to work in the field she loved. Marie’s passion for Early Beginnings is apparent in the faces of the children, the look and feel of the classrooms, her attention to detail, and the quality of her staff, all of which give the program its outstanding reputation and a coveted waiting list that expectant mothers get their names on before their babies even see the light of day. But what is it that truly makes Early Beginnings a special place? If you ask the staff, they attribute it to Marie’s experience, leadership and love for the children. If you ask
Marie she says it’s the staff. “Mostly everybody that works at Early Beginnings is here for many years. This is a testimony to our staff’s dedication and it explains our family atmosphere,” said Marie. “As parents drop their children off, they know we are a group of people who make a difference in their child’s lives.” Assistant director Sandy Deyo has been with the daycare for almost 20 years. She said Marie does a tremendous job of running the daycare. “I have worked closely with Marie since I became her assistant and have learned so much from her,” said Sandy. “When she first told me she was retiring, I had mixed feelings. I was thrilled for her, but, at the same time, a little sad. I’m going to miss her … All of us will.” Early Beginnings is unique in that it is a multicultural program with a strong Jewish flavour. Located on the Jewish Community Campus, the children visit Hillel Lodge and have access to the gymnasium and swimming pool at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC). While 70 per cent of the children are from Jewish families – the homemade food is strictly kosher and all the major Jewish holidays are celebrated – the door is open to everyone and they welcome diversity. For Dena Kingstone, the Early Beginnings Multicultural Child Development Centre board president, it’s a special place. Her el-
dest daughter, now in university, is an Early Beginnings alumna and her younger daughter is in the senior kindergarten program. She appreciates the Jewish environment that reinforces holidays, values and showing respect and kindness to others. And, as a parent of Jewish children born in Canada, China and Vietnam, the multicultural aspect is important. “It means a lot to me to have all aspects of my children’s backgrounds celebrated. Marie and her team have figured out how to balance the Jewish underpinnings of the daycare with the multicultural flavour of its constituents,” said Dena. “Marie has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of families in her more than 20 years of services” said Soloway JCC President and COO Barry Sohn. “She is a caring and competent educator/administrator who will be missed. I wish her the very best in her retirement and want to express how grateful we are for all she has accomplished at the centre and in our community.” Marie has agreed to be a special adviser to the board. While she will no longer be at Early Beginnings, the positive impact she has made in the classrooms, in the hearts of her staff and on the children over the past 22 years will remain. “Marie is like a great orchestra conductor, making sure everything comes together flawlessly,” said Dena. “She has nurtured Early
Marie Stovicek retires this month after 22 years as director of the Early Beginnings Multicultural Child Development Centre. She will be honoured, March 25, at the Soloway JCC.
Beginnings as if it was her own, and our community is richer for it.” A celebration honouring Marie will take place Sunday, March 25, 2:30 pm at the Soloway JCC. In keeping with Marie’s love of children, the festivities are geared toward children of all ages. Parents, children, staff and colleagues, past and present, are all welcome. Send RSVP to RSVP2012@gmail.com by March 22.
Israeli social workers ‘saw into our hearts’ (Continued from page 23)
of them Japanese, have worked to fill that hole, running communitybased support programs focused mainly on fun activities for children and the elderly. A few, however, have dug in deeper. IsraAID, a humanitarian organization funded by a number of North American Jewish federations, is one of them. Arriving in Japan shortly after the disaster, IsraAID’s small team of volunteers has supplied medical relief items, provided training to handle post-traumatic stress disorder and organized art, music, movement and drama therapy sessions for residents of the many small towns devastated by the tsunami. The sessions – which utilize a mostly nonverbal approach to help people express their feelings – have been so successful that IsraAID is now planning to operate a training centre for at least another year-anda-half. The NGO was honoured for its work recently by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in New York. “Israel, sadly, is pretty much a trauma lab,” said Meirav Tal-Mar-
Yuriko Kohata (centre), who saved her father and her son from the tsunami, is comforted by IsraAID project co-ordinator/translator Celia Dunkelman (left) and therapist Osnat Nisanov at a workshop in one of Iwanuma’s many temporary housing sites. (Photo: Boaz Arad)
galit, an IsraAID volunteer and movement therapist who works with domestic abuse victims and residents of the rocket-stricken Israeli town of Sderot. “We have extensive experience in this field, and the tools we use here have been proven effective worldwide,” he added. “We make
cultural adaptations, of course, but, in the end, we are all human and we share the same fears and the same dreams.” It is a tight operation, effectively run by two people: project manager Yotam Polizer, a 28-year-old social worker who spent the last few years volunteering in Nepal; and project
co-ordinator Celia Dunkelman, an energetic Indonesian-Jewish musician who grew up in Japan and functions as both translator and co-ordinator. Polizer shuttles almost weekly between workshops in affected towns and meetings with Ministry of Health officials in Tokyo. “The main idea behind our activities is to supply the Japanese with the therapeutic tools and the knowhow to help them deal with the trauma themselves,” Polizer said. “We locate local community leaders and professionals from the health and education sectors, and work directly with them. They then use what they learn and pass it on to many more people than we can reach on our own.” One of these local leaders is Chiho Shimura, an independent event organizer from Tokyo who was so shaken by the disaster that she left her business to volunteer with survivors in her native Ishinomaki, a port city of 164,000. Ishinomaki was so badly devastated by the tsunami that nearly a fifth of its population now lives in temporary housing.
Some survivors, tired of waiting for the temporary shelters to be constructed, returned prematurely to their partially destroyed houses, living in some cases with no heat or running water. Shimura has been running a support centre for them, supplying warm clothes, mobile heaters and food. “I had a storm raging inside me for a very long time,” she said. “And then, in the first IsraAID workshop I participated in, it finally came out. I cried like I have never cried before, and it was so relieving. We’ve had Japanese social workers come here and talk to people, but they were not able to do what the Israelis have done. They immediately saw into our hearts. They definitely saw into mine.” IsraAID, Shimura added, is different from the other aid groups that have come to Ishinomaki, delivered their donations, made a speech, took some pictures and left. “They don’t just keep coming back,” she said. “They come whenever we need them, even on the weekends. They have become a part of this place.”
Page 32 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – March 5, 2012
WHAT’S GOING ON March 5 to 18, 2012 WEEKLY EVENTS MONDAYS Motorin Munchkins for children 5 and under, sponsored by the Family Life Centre. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 9:00 am to noon. Info: 613-7989818, ext. 294.
TUESDAYS Mommy and Me Playgroup for babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age, Rambam Day School, 31 Nadolny Sachs Private, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Info: 613806-7700. Israeli Folk Dancing, no partner necessary, Ottawa Jewish Community School, 31 Nadolny Sachs Private, 7:00 pm. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAYS Playgroup for babies and toddlers, sponsored by the Family Life Centre. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 9:00 to 11:30 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294.
FIRST SEDER Apr 6 ✡ 7:17 pm SECOND SEDER Apr 7 ✡ AFTER 8:20 pm
FRIDAYS Shabbat Shalom for children 5 and under, sponsored by the Family Life Centre. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 9:30 to 11:00 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 7 Purim Carnival presented by Congregation Beth Shalom. Join in the fun with a raffle, dinner, games, costume parade, kids’ activities, Megillah reading and prizes, 151 Chapel Street, 5:30 pm. Info: 613789-3501, ext. 223. Purim African Style, sponsored by Ottawa Torah Centre. The fun for both children and adults includes a Jungle Cat World Animal Show, African hair braiding, African-style dinner, Megillah reading. Come in your best African attire (or any costume), Cedarhill Golf and Country Club, 56 Cedarhill Drive, 6:00 pm. Info: 613843-7770. THURSDAY MARCH 8
For more community listings, visit ottawa.jewishottawa.com Select Calendar/Upcoming Events and Click to See More
SUNDAY MARCH 11 Irving Layton: A Centenary Celebration, presented by the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program of uOttawa. Participants will include writers and MPs Irwin Cotler and Mauril Bélanger. Hosted by Prof. Seymour Mayne, reception to follow, University of Ottawa, Simard Hall, Room 129, 60 University Street, 2:30 pm. Info: 613-562-5800, ext. 1148. SUNDAY MARCH 18 Concert by Yair Dalal, composer, violinist, oud player and singer, who draws on his extensive knowledge of Iraqi, Jewish and Bedouin music. Co-sponsored by the Vered Israel Cultural & Educational Program, Shusterman Visting Artist Program, and the School for Studies in Arts and Culture & Religion program, Carleton University, 7:30 pm. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 243.
COMING SOON SUNDAY, MARCH 25 A Touch of Klez and Musaica Ebraica perform a benefit concert in support of the Kosher Food Bank, Machzikei Hadas Congregation, 2310 Virginia Drive, 7:00 pm. Info: 613-234-1649. TUESDAY, MARCH 27 Guys’ Night Out, presented by the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, Velvet Room, 62 York Street, 7:00 pm. Info: 613-798-4696, ext. 241. SUNDAY, APRIL 1 7th Annual Shalom Bayit Women’s Seder, sponsored by Jewish Family Services, Agudath Israel Congregation, 1400 Coldrey Avenue, 5:00 pm. Info: 613-722-2225, ext. 406.
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 email@example.com 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: Helmut Max Kallmann Rochelle Levitt, Montreal (sister of Weldon Cleiman) Arthur Max Ethel Murray Gloria Roseman Jack Weinman Shirley Winer
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. 274. Voice mail is available.
BULLETIN DEADLINES MARCH 14 FOR APRIL 2 APRIL 4 FOR APRIL 23 APRIL 18 FOR MAY 7
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