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Ottawa gathers to express solidarity with Israel By Michael Regenstreif Just a few short hours after Operation Pillar of Defense ended in a ceasefire on November 21, a standing-room-only crowd of more than 400, waving Canadian and Israeli flags, gathered at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre as Ottawa’s Jewish community expressed its solidarity with the State of Israel and with Israeli citizens. The gathering was organized by the Jewish Federation of Ottawa in response to the eight-day battle Israel had just waged against the onslaught of terrorist rockets fired into Israel from Gaza by Hamas and other groups. Federation Chair Debbie Halton-Weiss recalled the normalcy she had experienced on a recent trip to Israel.

“It was only a few short weeks ago I sat at on the beaches of the Mediterranean, drank café afuch at the coffee houses in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and enjoyed fish and falafel at restaurants throughout the country,” Halton-Weiss said before mentioning the normalcy was tempered by an awareness of the rocket attacks being experienced in communities like Sderot and Beer Sheva. “We heard there was only so much more these people could bear after months and months of living on high alert, and their well-being constantly threatened. We felt badly for their on-going struggle, but also a little bit numb by the repetition of their stories.” She said she realized the situation had escalated when she (Continued on page 2)

It was standing room only as members of Ottawa’s Jewish community rally in support of Israel, November 21, at the SJCC. (Photo: Howard Sandler)

JNF Negev Dinner celebrates Canada’s strong bond with Israel By Michael Regenstreif “Canada will not accept the attempt to judge Israel by a different standard than any other state, we will not passively observe the effort to delegitimize and isolate it within the international community, nor will we stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory or its people,” declared Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird to thunderous applause. “Canada stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.” Baird was speaking at the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Ottawa Negev Dinner,

November 20, at the National Gallery of Canada, at which he was the honouree. The elegant, sold-out event, attended by more than 500 people, was very much a celebration of the particularly supportive relationship, strongly reinforced in recent years, between Canada and Israel. The strength of the Canada-Israel relationship, and it’s manifestation at the highest governmental levels, was remarked on often during the Dinner, which took place while Operation Pillar of Defense was still occurring (the cease fire (Continued on page 2 )

Foreign Minister John Baird speaks at the JNF Ottawa Negev Dinner, November 20 at the National Gallery of Canada, at which he was honoured for his steadfast support of the State (Photo: Howard Kay) of Israel.

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Page 2 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Canada and Israel share values (Continued from page 1)

came about 20 hours after the gathering began), not only by Baird, but also by Israeli Ambassador Miriam Ziv and such community leaders as Dinner Chair Barbara Farber, JNF Ottawa President Oliver Javanpour, JNF of Canada President Frank Wilson and Rabbi Reuven Bulka, MC for the event. Referring to the onslaught of Hamas rockets that led to the operation, Baird unequivocally described the rocket attacks as “a despicable act of terror” and said Canada “stands by Israel’s side” in its defensive response. Baird said his personal commitment to Zionism began to develop at a young age when he learned of his grandfather’s role as a Canadian soldier fighting the Nazi army during the Second World War. “I’m deeply influenced by his contribution to combating an evil which sought to exterminate the Jewish people – that moment in history when the Devil almost drove a stake through the heart of humanity,” he said. “The heavy spirit, the knotted stomach and the paralysis of shock I felt as I learned details of the horrors of the Nazi era have been in-

grained in my soul. They shook me to my core and have become part of my DNA.” Baird said the anti-Semitism that drove the Nazi ideology is now being manifested as a new antiSemitism aimed at Israel as the collective Jew. “Just as conventional anti-Semitism denied Jews the right to live as equal members of humanity, the new anti-Semitism denies the State of Israel the right to live as an equal member of the international community,” said Baird. “When this new anti-Semitism expresses itself in the call for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, it is no longer hate-speech, it is incitement to genocide. And we have to name it for what it is,” adding the Iranian regime’s declarations about wiping Israel off the face of the earth cannot be dismissed as hyperbole. “History has taught us that genocide is preceded by hyperbole. In fact, the genocidal horrors of the Holocaust were made possible by the deliberate incitement of hatred against and demonization of the Jewish people,” said Baird. Baird cited “freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of

law” as common values and principles shared by Canada and Israel. “Working together, we strengthen and affirm these important principles in word and deed.” According to the citation presented to him by JNF, Baird was chosen as the Negev Dinner honouree “for his outstanding leadership, integrity and diligence in support of the State of Israel.” At Baird’s request, funds raised by the Dinner will support the work of JNF’s research and development stations in the Negev Desert. Keynote speaker Rex Murphy also referred to the horrors of the Holocaust in a passionate address, which painted Canada and Israel as allies bound by the common values cited by Baird. Murphy, host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup, a weekly commentator on CBC Television’s The National, and a columnist for the National Post, said the Holocaust should have exempted the Jewish people “for thousands and thousands of years” from existential threats. “And, yet,” Murphy said, “the only country under threat is Israel.” But, even in Canada, “we have these lunatic things called ‘Israel

Keynote speaker Rex Murphy (right) was thanked by Barbara Crook, who with husband Dan Greenberg, was honoured at the (Photo: Howard Kay) 2008 Negev Dinner.

Apartheid Week’ [in which] even enlightened academics resurrect the very idiom, the language and the deepest insult – they reach so far to call you ‘Nazis.’” Murphy praised Israel’s accomplishments in its short history as a modern state. “You turned a split of land into one of the gleaming resources of the world,” adding the Jewish people have given the world the example of valour. “To be an Israeli citizen is to breathe valour.”

Murphy also congratulated JNF for choosing Baird as the Negev Dinner honouree. “I think you do a good thing in giving Baird praise and acknowledgment,” he said. Referring to Baird’s insistence on standing up for Israel in the face of terrorism or the Iranian threat, Murphy said, “It is hyperbole or an exaggeration to say Israel and the Jews could be targeted once more. Anyone that is resetting the compass is doing a very fine task.”

Fogel: Join the front line in the battle of ideas (Continued from page 1)

received a text message from Steven Kimmel, the Federation’s vice-chair, who was on a charity bike ride in Israel. “The ride was disrupted when rockets began flying and they needed to be moved to safety at a nearby hotel, and ultimately into a shelter,” said Halton-Weiss. “He recalled how his getting to the shelter on an hourly basis throughout the night was frightening, sleeping in his clothes and his shoes at his bedside, but more distressing was wondering how the elderly and those with small children could possibly manage this ordeal time after time after time.” Halton-Weiss asked Israeli Ambassador Miriam Ziv to “please convey to the government of Israel that the Ottawa Jewish community stands proudly and firmly with the people of Israel, that we regret the loss of life from this conflict, and hope and pray that this ceasefire, announced today, will take hold and that peace will reign.” The ambassador, visibly moved by the show of support, reiterated the Israeli government’s obligation to protect its citizens. “No democracy would tolerate an onslaught of rockets against its cities

Rabbi Howard Finkelstein leads the prayer for members of the Israel Defense Forces at the Israel Solidarity Gathering, November 21. (Photo: Howard Sandler)

and communities. Israel cannot tolerate such attacks. Neither would Canada, the United States, or any country,” she said in explanation of why Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza, and the other terrorist groups that operate from there.

“Israel achieved its stated aims. We stopped the onslaught of rockets.” Ziv said Israel would respect the ceasefire, but reserved “the right to defend ourselves if the agreement is violated by the terrorists,” and concluded by thanking the government of Canada for its

steadfast support of Israel. As Ziv concluded, the crowd spontaneously began to sing “Am

Yisrael Chai” with great enthusiasm. Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, strongly advised the community to “join with Israelis on the front line in the battle of ideas, of competing narratives, of the ability to help shape public perceptions and influence the way people thing about, talk about and act upon developments in the Middle East.” Fogel called on the assembly “to reach out to neighbours, to monitor and confront the media, to track and insert ourselves in the discussion on Facebook, to do all of the things that contribute to the public debate about issues that are so close to our hearts.” The gathering also heard from Brigadier General (Res.) Eden Attias, the Israel Ministry of Defense attaché, and, via telephone from Israel, Tobin Kaiman, a young Ottawan serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and Rabbi Howard Finkelstein who led the prayer for members of the IDF.

Correction The photos from the Holocaust Education Month launch event on pages 1 and 2 of the November 26 issue were incorrectly attributed. The photographer was Howard Sandler.

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 3

Ottawa Modern Jewish School Sunday mornings throughout the school year, young Jewish minds gather in various rooms of the Soloway JCC to learn about their history, language and culture. These curious minds are the students of Ottawa Modern Jewish School (OMJS). Founded in 1954, OMJS proudly provides a unique Jewish education that fosters an inclusive environment for both its students and families. Our mission is to connect children with their Jewish roots and cultural heritage, which is evident in our integrated curriculum. OMJS has seen great transformations since 1954, but we remain true to our roots: parent-driven, community-minded, open to everyone and mindful of our past. OMJS strikes a perfect balance between a traditional and alternative education. We are not trying to create Jewish scholars at OMJS, but to nurture an innate curiosity about who we are in an experiential way. We offer classes from JK through Grade 7. Principal Janet Kaiman and her staff are committed to making the OMJS experience

Our wonderful OMJS staff model T-shirts designed by our students: (front) Miriam Nightingale, Megan Hollinger, Diana Rappaport, Izze Rosenberg, Miriam Rapoport; (back) Aaron Kaiman, Sydney Moser and Janet Kaiman. Missing: Judith Weinman, Kami Francis and Anna Weltman.

something our children can enjoy and share with their parents – a true family experience. We offer modern Hebrew, Jewish art and music, synagogue skills and holidays, history and Yiddish. The Being Jewish Program, in its third year, is a shining example of the past meeting the future as Grade 6 and 7 students learn about Jewish life

from the cradle to the grave, and all places in between. Whether it is a trip off site or a visit from an old friend, students and parents alike are offered a glimpse into Jewish culture right here in Ottawa and beyond. We are continuing to develop our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program introducing parents to this rite of passage that will incorporate their

own family traditions and beliefs as well as the tools to prepare for this special event. We have offered workshops to parents over the years and, this year, they will include our Grade 6 and 7 students for an interactive family experience. It’s these types of programs that make this school unique. As a member of Ottawa’s Jewish community, OMJS is honoured to be able to give back to the same community that has supported us for 54 years: be it through the various fundraising events for the Federation, Mitzvah Day or visiting with the bubbies and zaidies at Hillel Lodge. We have an active Board of committed parents and, by working with our equally imaginative principal, teachers and teaching assistants (who are all graduates of OMJS), together, we make OMJS the best place for our children to spend Sunday mornings. For more information about OMJS, please visit (click on link for principal), or call the school office, 613798-9818, ext. 234.

Page 4 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Workshop helps educators prepare to teach about Raoul Wallenberg and the Holocaust By Benita Baker “To me there is no other choice,� Raoul Wallenberg said in 1945, when a fellow Swedish diplomat urged him stop helping Hungarian Jews escape the Nazis and look out for his own safety. To me there is no other choice is also the name of the travelling exhibition created by the Swedish Institute to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth. The exhibition is on view at the Canadian War Museum until January 6. To help teachers prepare their students for the exhibition, the Shoah Committee of the Jewish Federation of Ot-


tawa, in collaboration with the embassies of Israel, Sweden and Hungary, hosted a teachers’ workshop, November 12 at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre, entitled Raoul Wallenberg: Humanitarian of the 20th Century. More than 50 teachers from 25 Ottawa middle and high schools attended. The evening featured several speakers who provided historical, psychological and biographical insight into Wallenberg’s life and times. Dr. Tomas Bohm, a Swedish psychiatrist, couples therapist and psychoanalyst, began the evening discussing the psychological aspects of moral courage, passive bystanders and tolerance/ intolerance. “Even though we are not all Wallenbergs, we are capable of moral courage more than we realize,� he told the teachers. According to Bohm, moral courage is standing up

Shoah Committee Chair Mina Cohn (front) with teachers’ workshop presenters (from left) Robert Rozett, Tomas Bohm, Nathalie Sirois, Tibor Egervari and Ron Meisels. (Photo: Francie Greenspoon)

for your own values and not being afraid to take a stand. It is “the courage to express important values in words and actions, even in the face of opposition, potential disapproval or violent response.� The roots of moral courage begin in childhood

and provide the foundation for future acts of rescue and heroism. On the other hand, a lack of moral courage can result in bullying and/or being a passive bystander. Tibor Egervari, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and professor at the University of Ottawa, provided historical background. At the outset of the Second World War, he explained, Hungary was Germany’s ally and Hungarian Jews were relatively safer than Jews in other countries. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism was widespread. Beginning in 1938, laws were passed discriminating

against Jews and, by 1940, Jews were stripped of all civil rights. In March 1944, Germany occupied Hungary and the persecution of Hungarian Jews began in earnest. Rural Jews were moved to newly created ghettos in Budapest and to work camps. Ghetto conditions were appalling – 50 people in a small apartment, with no toilet facilities, no food, no cemetery to bury the dead. “Ask yourself,� Egervari requested of the teachers, “What would I have done in this situation?� Robert Rozett, director of Libraries at Yad Vashem, re-

peated the remarkable story of Raoul Wallenberg – who he was, why he was able to save tens of thousands of Jews in such a short time, how he did it and what happened to him – which he told at the Holocaust Education Month launch event (see “Wallenberg, ‘a symbol of the Righteous Among the Nations,’â€? Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, November 26). Ron Meisels told the teachers about his experiences as a 10-year-old in Nazi-occupied Hungary. Meisels and six members of his family survived the Holocaust because of Wallenberg. He issued them Schutzpasses and sheltered them, along with Meisel’s grandparents who did not have papers, in a “Swedish house.â€? Wallenberg was able to remove his stepfather from a locked train bound for Auschwitz. Of the 3,000 people on the train, only three survived. Nathalie Sirois, a teacher in the French school system, concluded the workshop by distributing materials she has developed to teach students about genocide and the Holocaust. The recipient of the 2012 Arie van Mansum Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education, Sirois founded the Institut canadien pour l’Êducation sur les gĂŠnocides.

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December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 5

Stephen Greenberg honoured as Outstanding Individual Philanthropist By Benita Baker Community leader Stephen Greenberg received the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) at the 2012 Ottawa Philanthropy Awards Gala, held November 14 at the Westin Hotel. “I think that visible philanthropy has a role to play by setting an example and helping others to see what might be possible with their own charitable giving,” Greenberg said in his acceptance speech, in reference to Maimonides’ premise that charitable giving should be anonymous. Greenberg was nominated for the award by the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. ”Stephen Greenberg is one of the most committed, generous, determined, conscientious and effective donors and volunteers we have ever worked with,” wrote Jennifer Van Noort, Ottawa Hospital Foundation vice-president (major gifts), in her nomination letter. “When Stephen commits to a campaign or a project, he is 100 per cent committed. He is always the first to make his own generous donation at the very beginning of a campaign as he takes great pride in setting an example for the community and his cabinet.” In 2011, Greenberg was instrumental in bringing a da Vinci Surgical Robot to Ottawa. Used primarily for prostate cancer surgery, there were only 10 of these groundbreaking systems in Canada when Greenberg personally donated $1 million to acquire one for the Ottawa Hospital and then agreed to chair the $5 million fundraising campaign. The Ottawa Hospital had no plans to purchase the surgical robot until they were approached by Greenberg. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, Greenberg travelled to Detroit for robotic surgery because the state-ofthe-art technology was not available in Ottawa. On returning home, he approached the Ottawa Hospital about ac-

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Stephen Greenberg accepts the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist award at the 2012 Ottawa Philanthropy Awards Gala, November 14.

quiring the system. In less than a year, the money was raised, the equipment was purchased and the first operation was performed. “It’s nice to know that guys in Ottawa who don’t have the same resources as me, now have access to the very latest cancer procedure that wasn’t available 14 months ago,” he said. Greenberg donated an additional $500,000 to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, which was directed towards purchasing the CyberKnife (another surgery robot), for laparoscopic prostatectomies at the Queensway Carleton Hospital as well as various other cancer initiatives. Greenberg is the first person in the 18-year history of the AFP awards to be honoured in two different categories. In 2007, he was named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. Greenberg has been an active community leader and fundraiser for more than 40 years. He has raised tens of millions of dollars and served on the boards of several organizations, including the Jewish Community Council of

Ottawa/Vaad Ha’Ir, the United Way, Boys and Girls Club and Ashbury College. He made his first personal donation at age 19, contributing his bar mitzvah money to a special campaign supporting Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. “There was a need and I was asked,” said Greenberg. Inspired by his parents’ charitable activities, as well as by the generousity of other members of his family and the Jewish community, Greenberg developed his own personal sense of philanthropy. “I would also hope that our gifts, in addition to addressing a community need, might in some way inspire others to give more or to expand the boundaries of their charitable activity in much the same way that I have been inspired by watching others,” said Greenberg in his acceptance speech. “That way, the public nature of our gifts would have an impact that far exceeded the services and equipment that we funded. And, hopefully, Maimonides would understand.”

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Page 6 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Secure our future with a strong Foundation! As I write this column, Chanukah is still a number of weeks away. However, thoughts of the holiday and what it means to our community are very present in my mind. The story of Chanukah is inspiring and can be a reference to the power the Jewish community can have when individuals come together and show their commitment to the future of all Jewish people. That message is as true today as it was in the time of the Maccabees and it is something I see every day in my role as chair of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation. Built on generous acts of tzedakah by dedicated community members, the Foundation seeks to ensure the continuity of our Jewish community and of our beneficiary agencies for generations to come. The continued growth of the Foundation is critical to achieving our goal of passing on our Jewish values and heritage to our children and grandchildren. Every dollar contributed to the Foundation makes a difference in sustaining our community, now, and in the years ahead. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 800 Foundation endowment funds have been created. These funds have made a significant difference in the lives of so

Federation Report Richard Roth OJCF many people, providing support for a wide variety of community needs, such as academic scholarships, support to our home for the aged, Holocaust education, Jewish studies, assistance for those with developmental disabilities, and so much more. We must continue to work together to increase the size of our endowment fund, so that the annual disbursement to our agencies continues to grow and we maintain the ability to sustain our community institutions in good times and bad. When we think of the power that rests in the hands of our community, we can look at the Foundation’s Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program – designed to bring women philanthropists together and to create positive change. We look at the teen philanthropists, engaged in the Foundation’s B’nai Mitzvah program, and feel confident we are helping develop the next generation

Creating a Jewish legacy through participation with the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation will ensure we will not have to rely on a miraculous jar of oil to keep the flames of the menorah lit. of committed community supporters. We look at the various community members who have participated in the OJCF Legacy Challenge, creating a bequest in their wills to ensure a thriving Jewish community in Ottawa for decades to come. Through these acts, we are all taking steps to create our Jewish legacy. The story of Chanukah reminds us of the miracles that can happen when even one individual decides to make a difference. Imagine what can happen when we all decide to make a difference! Individuals, alongside hundreds of other members of the Foundation family, serve as exemplars for

our community, lighting the way for our continued growth and vitality. At a time of the year when the days are growing shorter and there is more darkness than light, it is important to remember that we all play a role in the story of the Jewish people. If you want to ensure the light of Chanukah continues to inspire long after the holiday ends, please continue to give generously. Creating a Jewish legacy through participation with the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation will ensure we will not have to rely on a miraculous jar of oil to keep the flames of the menorah lit. Make a donation to your own endowment fund, send Chanukah tribute cards to your friends and families, ask us about making a bequest in your will or join the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program. There are numerous ways to give and we are ready to work with you to find the way that fits best. We wish you a bright, warm, and happy Chanukah, and remind you that, even in the darkest times, you have the power to help. Together, we can bring light to so many. For more information on creating your Jewish legacy, contact the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation at 613-798-4696, ext. 248.

Happy Chanukah, whatever that means You should be receiving this issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin during, or just before, Chanukah. So, my first order of business is to wish you all a Happy Chanukah. The next order of business is to ask what the words, “Happy Chanukah,” actually mean. Does the phrase mean we should be happy during Chanukah? That is problematic, because we want people to be happy all the time. It makes no sense to wish people a Happy Chanukah, if the intent is to preclude happiness on all other days. Of course, that is not the intent. Then, what is the intent? More likely, it is aside from being happy all the time, we wish that Chanukah will bring with it an extra measure of happiness, a Chanukah inspired and induced value added happiness. That is the wish. The next issue is how do we bring about this value added happiness? For many, it is by having a good time, a party, with latkes and apple sauce or sour cream, and other appropriate foods. The problem with this is that you cannot eat latkes for eight days straight; you cannot eat or drink anything for eight straight days. Yet, we wish for people to be happy for all of Chanukah. So, it is not all about the food. Then what is it about? For this, we need to go back to the roots. What exactly is it that we celebrate on Chanukah? We know we were not in physical danger prior to Chanukah. The danger was

From the pulpit Rabbi Reuven Bulka Machzikei Hadas spiritual. The danger was that we would disappear as a faith community. Many were willing to make the trade – drop the religion, drop the ethnicity, but stay alive. It was a tiny minority who said “no” to this offer, and who then had to fight a twopronged battle – against the enemy from without, the Hellenizers, and the enemy from within, fellow Jews who would rather switch than fight. The obstinate – extremist? – believers prevailed, against off-the-chart odds. This is not to suggest that, from then on, being Jewish was a picnic, but it was a real life reality. From then to now, we have endured many tragedies, colossal tragedies. It is a miracle we are here to tell the tale. But we are here. Can we really be happy as a people, given the seemingly incessant invasions of our space, and the continuing assault on our safety from enemies bent on our annihilation? Happiness depends on perspective. If we look at all the tragedies, it is almost obscene to be happy. But, given what could have happened, we are at the very least re-

lieved we have endured, and also grateful for being alive. Most important, we realize we have been handed a torch, from our ancestors going all the way back, to assure that Judaism stays alive in our lifetime and beyond. That is what we embrace on Chanukah – the responsibility to continue Judaism’s journey in history. Do we embrace this responsibility with dread, or with joy? The wish, “Happy Chanukah,” is the wish that we embrace this responsibility with joy, that we are happy to carry on the

tradition, inspired by Chanukah. In our community, as in many others, there are great challenges facing the Jewish community as it relates to Jewish continuity. As daunting as the challenges are, nevertheless, if we all happily confront these challenges, happy in the realization that we have the great opportunity to positively influence this and future generations, we will indeed have many more Happy Chanukah experiences, as will our progeny. Again, with gusto, Happy Chanukah!

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December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 7

The only path to peace remains direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians On November 29, 1947, with the British Mandate for Palestine drawing to a close, the United Nations (UN) voted to partition the area into two states: the Jewish State of Israel and an Arab Palestinian state. The partition was accepted by the Jews, who declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948, and rejected by the Palestinian Arabs with the support of the surrounding Arab states, which attacked the nascent Jewish state en masse in Israel’s War of Independence. We can only speculate on how differently the Middle East would have developed, and how different today’s Middle East would be, had the Palestinians accepted the UN partition plan. So many wars, so many acts of terrorism, so much retaliation – all with their tragic death tolls – could well have been avoided over the past 65 years. Think of all the resources that could have been deployed elsewhere and all the human suffering and all the hatred that could have been avoided. On November 29, 2012, the 65th anniversary of the UN partition plan that led to the creation of the State of Israel, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to recognize Palestine – under the administration of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – as a non-member observer state, a move which

Editor Michael Regenstreif MP Irwin Cotler, a former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, and one of the world’s leading international human rights lawyers, points out violates numerous UN resolutions providing frameworks for peace as well as bilateral IsraeliPalestinian agreements, including 1995’s Oslo II accord, which states “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.” (“An affront to the peace process, and to international law,” National Post, November 30) That the UN General Assembly would vote in favour of this measure was never in doubt. After all, in that forum, the votes of Syria and Iran carry the same weight in the tally as the United States and Canada. Israel, to be sure, opposed the Palestinian plan for this UN recognition, believing the only path to peace and Palestinian state-

hood is through direct negotiations without preconditions. And Israel’s strongest support in that position came from the United States and Canada. A few other major democracies, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, took a wishywashy approach and abstained, while others, including many countries that have relatively good relations with Israel such as France, Italy, Spain and Greece, voted in favour of the Palestinian bid. Canada’s reaction was swift. Foreign Minister John Baird quickly announced Canada will mount a full review of our relationship with the PA. “Canada is proud of the support it has provided to improve the stability and security of the Palestinian society. Yesterday’s unilateral action does nothing to further the Middle East peace process. It will not change the reality on the streets of the West Bank or Gaza. This unilateral step is an impediment to peace,” Baird said on November 30. “We again call on the Palestinian Authority and Israel to return to negotiations, without preconditions, for the good of their people.” While the results of the review will almost surely not be known by the time you read this column, the consequences for the

Palestinians could be significant with Canada’s five-year, $300 million aid package to the PA about to expire. As well, there are moves afoot in the U.S. Congress to slash American financial support to the Palestinians in reaction to their move at the UN. What does the UN measure realistically mean? Most significantly, it might add to Palestinian status in UN agencies or give them enhanced status at the International Criminal Court. But, as Baird, American UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have all pointed out, nothing really changes on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza. The only way to peace and to real Palestinian statehood is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. And the only way for those negotiations to take place is for the PA to come to the table without preconditions – something they’ve been unwilling to do over the past four years. And let us not forget that, although the UN has recognized the PA as the government in the West Bank and Gaza, it has no practical authority in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization opposed to the peace process and to the existence of the State of Israel.

‘Does the television camera tell the truth?’ For a certain generation, it was always more than ‘Where were you when you heard John Kennedy was assassinated?’ ‘Where were you’ is actually shorthand for all the news of that whole ugly weekend in November 1963 that became engraved in our minds. It was the power of television that did it. It was the best example of what real time technology or live television could bring. It was that weekend I decided – at the age of 12 – I wanted to be a journalist. I was hooked by the sad, but exciting and gripping live black and white images of momentous history unfolding before me. I remember on the Sunday, November 24, watching Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television. You heard the shot and, if you looked closely enough on the replay, you could actually see smoke come out of the gun. We’ve shared this power of television with succeeding generations. The events of 9/11 was the biggest story my children ever witnessed. That Tuesday morning after the first plane hit the first tower, there were millions who saw the second plane hit the second tower on live television. Millions more watched the two towers crash to the

Jason Moscovitz ground in front of their very eyes. My generation can recall the NBC peacock bringing us colour television in the mid-1960s, while the next generation saw the introduction of high definition and 3D television. We saw the beginnings of digital capacity, which brought us 100-plus channels. Our children can now watch anything they want on their smart phones. Over time, television continues to grow and evolve, and people around the world grow with it – as does world history, then and now, in so many meaningful ways. It used to be said the Vietnam War was the first war that played out in people’s living rooms. The anti-war movement was a product of that. There is a reason why the American military did what it could to prevent the televising of flag-draped coffins returning home during the recent war in Iraq. History records the beginning

of the end of the Vietnam War was when Walter Cronkite used the authority of his anchor chair to say it was a war that couldn’t be won. The ghastly images of today’s civil war in Syria once gain bring home this idea of how powerful television can be. How many times do we now hear warnings on newscasts that the images are gruesome? In most newsrooms, the editorial decision usually falls on the side of good taste and the worst is not shown. There is an old question that is asked of journalism students: Does the television camera tell the truth? The idea is that the camera can only shoot, and television can only show, one thing at a time. So is perspective lost when so many other things, like images deemed to be too gruesome, are not shown? A milder example: TV shows 50 people fighting in a demonstration on one side of the street and ignores images of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators on the other. Perspective can be lost, but not in all instances. It depends on the nature of the event. Students of politics can always relate to the historic accounts of the debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard

Nixon in 1960 – the first U.S. presidential candidates’ debate ever televised. The story goes that both sides agreed they would not bring make-up artists. Kennedy did anyway and Nixon looked like a bandit with his dark beard and sweaty appearance. Kennedy was pretty. Nixon was not. Camelot won the election. In a one-on-one televised political debate, people see it all. There is no loss of perspective. The most recent American presidential debates were fascinating. For 90 minutes, the candidates had to be absolutely on their game. The split screen shot of one talking and one listening provided no respite whatsoever. It was amazing to see post-debate coverage of body language experts probing how each candidate did, not only in terms of how they looked when they talked, but how they looked while they listened. Every word, every sentence, every grimace, every smile, every hand gesture was up for evaluation. Televised debates had come a long way from those grainy black and white images of Kennedy and Nixon but, once again, significantly, television manages to bridge generation gaps rather than create them.

Page 8 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Mailbag Chanukah On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to the Jewish community on the occasion of Chanukah. In Ontario, we derive our strength and unique character from the cultural and spiritual diversity that defines our great province. The Jewish community is a vital part of that cherished diversity and has made, and continues to make, invaluable contributions to the social, cultural and economic life of our province. Chanukah is a festival which constantly inspires as it tells a timeless story of how courage and conviction have the power to overcome adversity. It is also an affirmation of remaining true to one’s beliefs and a celebration of the inherent rights and dignity of every human being. As you gather with family and friends to mark the Festival of Lights, may the glow of the illuminated menorah fill your hearts and homes with a special joy. Please accept my very best wishes for a happy and memorable Chanukah. Dalton McGuinty Premier Giving blood Kudos to Mira Sucharov for her insightful column about the importance of organ donation and registering as a potential organ donor (Values, Ethics, Community, November 12). I would just like to add that Bulletin readers can start saving lives now by giving blood. According to Dr. Graham Sher of Canadian Blood Services, 600,000 Canadians need blood each year. During our lifetime, almost half of all Canadians will need blood or blood products, or know someone who does. The need never stops, yet fewer than 4 per cent of Canadians who are able to give blood actually do so. As someone who has given blood, plasma or platelets 140 times, I can assure you the process is safe, convenient and efficient – you can book an appointment that works with your busy schedule. The demand for blood will increase over the holidays, so please consider the mitzvah of becoming a blood donor this year. For more information about blood donation and who can donate, visit or call 1-888-2-DONATE. Barbara Crook Supporting Israel at demonstrations My oldest child will be going to university next year and I wanted to see what he will endure and prepare him the best way I can. So my husband and I went to the Embassy of Israel on November 16 to witness the pro-Palestinian demonstration. The demonstrators were mostly young Palestinian students, along with some others who have embraced the Palestinians’ cause, blindly reciting their litany of lies. Among the demonstrators was a leader of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, representatives of Mouvement de libération nationale du Québec, the very left wing and blind Independent

MARK S. BORTS Insurance & Financial Services Mark S. Borts, B. Comm., CFP, CLU, CH.F.C, RHU Telephone: 613 565 6275 Facsimile: 1 866 267 5635 Cell: 613 851 1198 Suite 350-117 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5X3 Jewish Voices and the infuriating and shameful members of the anti-Zionist haredi sect Neturei Karta. I asked two of the demonstrators if they had also demonstrated at the Syrian Embassy to protest the Assad regime’s continuous killings of civilians. Their answer spoke volumes. They did not feel it was a worthy cause. One of them actually thought Syria is a democracy. That’s what we have to fight against, ignorance and antiSemitism because they are only targeting Israel. We were four Jews in that crowd supporting Israel. Where were other Ottawa Jews in support of Israel to counter the anti-Israel demonstration? It is not enough to express your outrage on Facebook. It is not enough that Prime Minister Stephen Harper supports us. We have to show our support too. There are a lot of very wellspoken people in this community. Let’s surround the Neturei Karta with meaningful placards supporting Israel. Am Israel Chai. Viviane Ohana -Sandler Liberal congregations in Ottawa Rabbi Steven Garten was incorrect in his assertion that Temple Israel is “Ottawa’s only liberal synagogue” and the city’s “only religious institution that encourages individual questioning and posits itself as a home for many different paths to Jewish life.” (“Peter Beinart (2),” Mailbag, November 26) Temple Israel is actually in good company as those attributes perfectly describe Or Haneshamah, Ottawa’s Reconstructionist congregation. This year marks our 25th anniversary as a vibrant, inclusive and liberal Jewish congregation, a welcoming home for a variety of viewpoints and perspectives within the Reconstructionist movement, the newest denomination in the wider Jewish family. While we may not have our own building, we create sacred space wherever we gather to celebrate Judaism. Ottawa’s Jewish community is welcome to give us a look, either by visiting or by joining us at one of our gatherings. Eric Vernon

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

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 9

NCSY raises $5000 at community event to support Hurricane Sandy relief


JEWISH NATIONAL FUND More than trees 613.798.2411

Oliver Javanpour president

JNF responds to emergency situation Although JNF has created an infrastructure to provide a better day-to-day life for Israel and to support Israel’s land and environment, when emergencies arise, we move quickly to support threatened communities. By the time you read this, we hope the emergency will be over, but we ask for your support in helping us to help Israel’s front line communities, and the people who run the services so badly needed when communities are under attack and in the weeks and months afterward. The effects do not go away as soon as the rockets do – we need to support people both during and after these attacks. JNF is working with Sderot Mayor David Bouskila to keep its Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, which doubles as a state-ofthe-art bomb shelter, open 24 hours per day. JNF is providing aid to Israeli firefighters, who have been on call 24 hours per day and are the first on the scene of rocketignited fires and rocket-related accidents. Donations are being used to purchase much-needed firefighting equipment, send food to fire stations, and provide personal toiletry kits to firefighters. Fundraising supports respite from rocket fire for children Children cannot be expected to understand why rockets are being fired at them. Helping children cope with this threat and be safe is one of our primary concerns. In response to the emergency situation in Israel, JNF-KKL has asked communities around the world to raise funds to provide respite to vulnerable children living under the threat of rocket fire. JNF-KKL will take groups of children to the Nes Harim Field and Forest Education Centre in the Jerusalem Hills. The children will spend five days there and participate in diverse educational and social activities, including tours of Jerusalem, visits to sites of interest in the area, a forest orienteering program, and more. The participants are selected in co-operation with local community workers, in an effort to reach those most in need of respite, and those unable to organize or finance such activities. Providing a break from the missiles cannot change the reality of what is happening in Israel. However, time away from the missiles gives these youngsters a chance to recharge their emotional batteries and continue to function as normally as possible in the completely traumatic situation in which they find themselves. The cost per child for the five days is approximately $500. Donations of any amount are welcome and you will be provided with a charitable receipt for the full amount. Please visit and contact Susan Schwartzman at 613-798-2411 or Thank you for your support. Sefer Bar Mitzvah Inscriptions Liam David Simon Niznick, by his loving parents, Barbara Power and Joel Niznick; Noah Hamburg, by his loving parents, Lyon and Cybele Hamburg; Mason Lawrence Deskin, by his loving grandparents, Bill and Jane James and Beverley Deskin; Evan Miller Cameron, by his loving grandparents, Leon and Doris Bronstein and Marion Cameron. Sefer Hayeled Inscriptions Jacob Cogan and Noah Cogan, twin grandsons of Lisa and Fred Cogan, by Myrna and Norman Barwin.

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 Ariella Hoffman for NCSY In response to the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused to so much of the northeastern United States, NCSY Ottawa hosted a barbecue and bake sale, November 18, to raise funds for Jewish communities and families affected by the massive storm. The event came together in less than two weeks in the spirit of the Jewish concept of Kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh (all Jews are responsible for one another). Jews cannot stand by and wait for someone else to help. The Jewish nation is one and, when one part of us is hurt, we all rally our strength of thought and action towards a singular goal. With a turnout of more than 200 people at the NCSY Centre in Centrepointe, Ottawa’s Jewish community showed it has not lost sight of this fundamental Jewish concept as $5,000 was raised for the relief efforts. Bram Bregman, executive director of NCSY Ottawa, spearheaded the effort calling on volunteers, donors and community members to come out and support the event. “When our fellow Jews are in need and suffering, we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight just because we cannot see it,” said Bregman. “Rather, we must roll up our sleeves and help, which is why I chose to organize this event.” All of the publicity was done via email and social networking. Even parents of Torah High students were Facebooking and tweeting to their friends about the event, which attracted people of all ages from a wide spectrum of the community. “This well-organized event was a big accomplishment and the amount of people that turned out was very impressive,” said Susan Weisman, a Torah High parent. “It was beautiful to see people from all parts of the community attending.” There were many people who wanted to contribute

Rabbi Barry Schlesinger performs during the NCSY barbecue and bake sale, November 18, in support of the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

and, in total, there were 40 volunteers, including children, Torah High students, Torah High parents and other community members. The barbecue and bake sale netted $3,400, while a silent auction brought in another $1,600. There were many people in the commu-

nity who donated items for the silent auction. The assortment and range of auction items showed how so many people pulled together to offer something of themselves for this important cause. Itzy Kamil, a Grade 12 student at the Ottawa Jewish

Community School, provided comedic entertainment and Rabbi Barry Schlesinger of Agudath Israel played Jewish songs on his guitar. All proceeds from the event have been directed to the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

Page 10 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Panel discusses issues of inclusion in Jewish families By Cynthia Nyman Engel Editor’s note: The names of the speakers, and much of what they had to say, in the panel discussion reported in this article are not mentioned. This is at the request of several panelists due to the sensitive nature of their stories. The four women told it like it was. And it wasn’t always easy to tell. One is a young mother and recent convert to Judaism whose sister-in-law is an Anglican priest. One is a young woman from a Conservative background whose parents struggled with her decision to embrace Orthodoxy. One is the bubbie of grandchildren who are not being raised in the Jewish faith. One revealed she is in a same sex relationship and was barred from attending her Israeli nephew’s bar

mitzvah. The four shared details of their personal journeys with a rapt audience of 65 in a riveting panel discussion titled Our Stories, Our Journeys Our Judaism: Reflections on Inclusion and Boundaries in Today’s Jewish Families. The event was part of the Pearls of Wisdom series

gives us challenges and we have to meet them the best way we can.” Another agreed, adding, “And the greatest gift we can give to anyone is to give our acceptance.” The afternoon event included light refreshments and a show and sale of handcrafted jewelry by Marvalee Designs.

The goals of the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program are to engage, educate and empower women to become catalysts for change. To that end, the group has established a fund within the OJCF that seeks to bring about social change by supporting initiatives that strive to expand and

improve opportunities and choices in the lives of women and children. Contributions to the fund may be made through the OJCF. For information about the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program, contact Jared Isaacson at or 613798-4696, ext. 248.

New courses for adults offered at SJCC By Roslyn Wollock SJCC In January, the Soloway Jewish Community Centre (SJCC) will launch Engaged Adult Learning providing a variety of new courses given by some of the most respected and engaging professors and artists in Ottawa in a relaxed, community setting. Engaged Adult Learning will offer a wide spectrum of subjects, including new Jewish content programs,

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sponsored by the Women’s Collective Philanthropy Program of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation (OJCF). It took place November 4 at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre and was moderated by Jacquie Levy. Following a candid question-and-answer session, one panelist observed, “God

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music, drama, literature, and art to complement the SJCC’s highly successful Judaic core programs and hands-on art and music programs. The scope of this initiative is evident in a few examples of upcoming courses. Carleton University Professor Shawna Dolansky, a scholar of biblical and religious studies, will provide an introduction to the origins of Christianity in What is the New Testament & Where Did it Come From? University of Ottawa history Professor Pierre Anctil will offer the History of the Jews of Canada, beginning with New France and the Hart family to the Jewish encounter with Quebec nationalism in the 20th century, and Professor Anthony Berman, whose thesis was one of the first comprehensive studies on the complete works of Leonard Cohen,

will present Leonard Cohen – The Early Years of Canada’s Most Prolific Artist, 1956-1979, a four-week interactive workshop. For those interested in the arts, playwright, actor and director Pierre Brault will teach Elements of Acting, an eight-week class, and a rare opportunity to study with one of Ottawa’s most talented actors and playwrights. And Israeliborn artist Tammy Galili Ellis will teach Dare to Draw, in which students will explore drawing techniques inspired by such

iconic modern artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keefe. Galili Ellis has taught both adults and children at the Ottawa School of Art for the past 15 years and her work has been featured in solo and group exhibits in Israel and Ottawa. Most of the 14 courses offered this winter by Engaged Adult Learning are new to the SJCC. For example, in The Laughs, Truths and Paradoxes of George Bernard Shaw, Professor Natalia Vesselova will share

the laughs and truths paradoxically intertwined in two of Shaw’s wittiest plays, Caesar and Cleopatra and Pygmalion, and, in British Stones in the Israeli Landscape, Charles Moore has created a cultural geography course on Britain’s role in mapping the topology and geography of Israel during the British Mandate. Contact Roslyn Wollock at or 613-798-9818, ext. 254, for more information on Engaged Adult Learning and other adult programs at the SJCC.

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 11

Arnie Vered accepts the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award at the 2012 Ottawa Philanthropy Awards Gala, November 14.

Arnie Vered honoured as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser By Benita Baker Tireless volunteer Arnie Vered was named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) at the 2012 Ottawa Philanthropy Awards Gala, held November 14 at the Westin Hotel. “This wonderful award is not just for me, but is also for my family, my wife, my kids, my brothers and especially my parents who were immigrants to Canada, who instilled upon me at an early age, the importance of giving to the community,” the modest Vered said in his acceptance speech. “I share my parents’ belief that a vibrant healthy community creates opportunities for everyone. I would like to pass this philosophy on to the next generation.” Vered was nominated for the award by Jayne Watson, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Foundation CEO, who was impressed with Vered’s leadership and passion as chair of the 2011 NAC Gala. “Arnie’s involvement with the NAC Gala as a committee member in 2010 and as chair in 2011 is truly remarkable because his commitment is so selfless,” Watson wrote in the AFP nomination form. “Arnie admittedly does not know much about the arts, however he is very passionate about Ottawa and he firmly believes that the National Arts Centre is a significant contributor to the health and vibrancy of the community. “He pushed us to think of new ways to do things and raise money,” said Watson. “When people heard that he would be working with us, they said ‘your problems are over’. They were so right. It was an honour to work with him.” Vered’s extensive and inspiring volunteer resumé began in his late teens when he sat as Beth Shalom Synagogue’s representative on the Hillel Academy board. He would later be president of that board. He has helped to raise

tens of millions of dollars for UJA, State of Israel Bonds, CHEO and the Royal Ottawa Foundation, and has provided his distinctive brand of strategic and heartfelt leadership to the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, the Soloway Jewish Community Centre, the United Way, Ashbury College, Carleton University Board of Governors and Congregation Machzikei Hadas. “I learned from my parents the importance of giving back, of making the community a better place to live,” said Vered. “I love what I do. I love helping people.” Vered’s approach to fundraising is simple. “I speak from the heart,” he said. “It says a lot to the donor and, in the end, they also give from the heart.” This was not the first time a Vered has been honoured by the AFP. In 1999, his parents, Zeev and Sara, were named Outstanding Individual Philanthropist. Vered’s leadership in the Jewish community was recognized in 2008, when he was presented with the Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award, the highest tribute the Ottawa Jewish community bestows on an individual for years of exceptional service, and, in 1991, when he received the Freiman Family Young Leadership Award. He is also a recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications Volunteer Service Award. The self-effacing Vered shared the AFP spotlight with the equally humble Stephen Greenberg, who was presented with Outstanding Individual Philanthropist award. Cousins by marriage, both men were quick to applaud each other’s efforts. “I have the highest regard for Steve,” Vered said. “He has such a big heart.” “I know from firsthand experience that there is no harder working or more dedicated volunteer in our community than Arnie Vered,” said Greenberg.

Page 12 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Hillel Ottawa working with Carleton to ensure a safe and inclusive campus

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By Emile Scheffel and Scott Goldstein Hillel Ottawa Considerable controversy has arisen following the circulation of an open letter by several Carleton University faculty opposed to the report of Carleton’s Commission on Inter-Cultural, InterReligious and Inter-Racial Relations on Campus. The report, released to the public on October 10, found a pattern of serious concerns among Jewish students and faculty about their treatment on campus. Among other findings, the report expressed disapproval of professors who exploit their position in order to foist one-sided, uncritical anti-Israel opinions on their students – and the conse-

quences for Jewish and pro-Israel students who speak up to challenge those faculty. The open letter attacking the report, which has attracted several hundred signatures from around the world through circulation on numerous anti-Israel blogs and websites, appears to claim that Jewish students and faculty used the Commission process in order to silence criticism of Israel. The letter portrays this as an attack on academic freedom. Aviva Freedman, a professor emeritus at Carleton who was involved in drafting the report, disagrees. While acknowledging the importance of academic freedom, she said faculty members must cultivate an atmosphere that “allows students to develop their own posi-

tions … without fear of reprisal or mockery.” Zane Colt, an undergraduate student representative on Carleton’s Board of Governors and city-wide president of the Israel Awareness Committee, echoed Freedman’s sentiments. “Too often, Jewish and pro-Israel students are afraid to challenge onesided lectures,” said Colt. “We know some faculty will make our academic lives difficult if we speak up for what we believe.” Hillel Ottawa and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa are working co-operatively with Carleton University’s administration to address the concerns expressed in the report and to ensure a safe and inclusive campus community.

Guest column

Open letter was written in the name of politics, not community By Chelsea Sauvé Graduate Student Carleton University Two years ago, Carleton University President Roseann O’Reilly Runte established the Commission on Inter-Cultural, Inter-Religious and Inter-Racial Relations on

Temple Israel

An egalitarian Reform congregation Where 21st Century Jewish Souls Journey Together

Wednesdays at noon: Talmud study with Rabbi Garten . New participants are welcome. Wednesdays: Torah class with Shlomo Feldberg, 7:30 pm . Saturdays: Torah study with Rabbi Garten, 9:00 am. Wednesday, December 12: Chanukah Freedom Lecture with Prof. Michael Geist of University of Ottawa, 7:30 pm. Thursday, December 13: morning minyan, 7:30 am. Friday, December 14: following Kabbalat Service, 6:15 pm, bring your own Shabbat Chanukah dinner, 7:00 pm. Sunday, January 20, 2013: Books and Bagels, 10:00 am Song for the Butcher’s Daughter by Peter Manseau (2008). Reviewer: Prof Rebecca Margolis. Bagel breakfast at 9:30 am. Suggested donation: $3.00 Rabbi Steven H. Garten, Spiritual Leader Barbara Okun, Cantorial Soloist For information, please contact Heather Cohen, Executive Director 613-224-1802 #4 For Temple Israel Religious School, please contact Andrea Lobel, Director of Congregational Learning 613-224-3133 Friday Kabbalat Shabbat Services, 6:15 pm Saturday Shabbat Services, 10:15 am

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Campus with a mandate to explore the climate on the Carleton campus. It was led by retired senator Landon Pearson, and the final report was released in October. Since its release, a group of Carleton professors and students have attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the report in an open letter – also signed by many individuals from around the world – deeming issues to Jewish students, staff and faculty at Carleton as irrelevant. “The Report rightly acknowledges Aboriginal peoples’ marginalization on campus, but it ignores the problems other racialized groups face, and focuses primarily on a small fraction of Jewish students and employees,” they write at the beginning of the open letter. To my mind, the very discrimination the commission seeks to address is present in those words.

I was a member of the Commission and wrote a response to the open letter, which was published in the Charlatan, the Carleton newspaper, on November 8 ( I pointed out the Commission’s diverse membership of undergraduate and graduate students, professors, university staff and community members; the important conversations that carefully considered the many requirements of the Commission’s mandate; and the deliberate process applied to the surveys and collective decisions. I noted the Commission heard from experts in the field and from all members of the Carleton community who wished to be heard. I further noted the open letter claims the Commission report unjustly singles out Jews and Aboriginal peoples as groups who are less satis-

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fied with “Carleton’s general climate of respect and with relations between religions on campus.” But, while the open letter writers accept the findings on issues faced by Aboriginals on campus, they dismiss the findings on issues faced by Jewish students on campus. I challenged the letter writers to explain why they accepted the findings on the marginalization of Aboriginals on campus to be statistically sound while objecting to the conclusions on Jewish students, professors and staff. After all, the method of data collection used for Aboriginal and Jewish respondents was the same. I called out the signatories of the open letter for their bias and their attempt to delegitimize Carleton’s effort towards inclusion. In order to provide a comprehensive and objective report, the Commission put politics aside and dealt with the issue at hand – the betterment of the Carleton community in the name of an inclusive campus. I believe the signatories of the open letter demonstrated they place the advancement of political interests above the creation of an inclusive campus. For this, they should be ashamed.

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 13

Sara Vered named to the Order of Ottawa By Louise Rachlis Sara Vered was among the first 15 Ottawans inducted into the new Order of Ottawa, November 22, during a formal ceremony at City Hall. “Passionate and proactive, she serves the community whole-heartedly exemplifying how each and every one of us can be an agent for change. Her involvement and commitment to the Ottawa community throughout the years is recognized and respected by civic leaders and citizens alike,” noted the Order of Ottawa Investiture Ceremony program book about Vered. “This honour is not only for me,” said Vered. “I was accepting on behalf of my late husband and my children. We all work together.” A sabra, Vered is well known for her lifelong dedication to the State of Israel, but the Order of Ottawa was for her contribution to Ottawa as “an accomplished community builder.” The award literature mentions her “steadfast commitment,” which has had an “extraordinary impact on the evolution of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, embracing the vision of defeating heart disease in this century.” “Dr. [Wilbert] Keon asked my husband and me to run the campaign to build the research centre,” she said, “and to supervise the building of it. It’s now one of the top 10 in the world.”

Sara Vered with Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mark Taylor at the Order of Ottawa Investiture Ceremony, November 22. (Photo courtesy of City of Ottawa)

She also champions the National Arts Centre (NAC) through generous financial contributions to the NAC Foundation. She is committed to the NAC’s Summer Music Institute, which provides training for exceptional young musicians, conductors and composers, helping hundreds of students from around the world to receive first-class music instruction in Ottawa. But what most pleased her about the Order of Ottawa was the recognition of her role in establishing Jewish Canadian studies at the

University of Ottawa, and in bringing Israeli culture to Canada. In 2005, she and her husband, who passed away in 2008, established the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program at the University of Ottawa, where she holds an honorary doctorate. The program promotes an understanding of Jewish life, culture, language, literature and history in Canada. She and her husband also established the Zeev and Sara Vered Bursary Fund at Carleton University, her alma mater, providing

annual support to students who are in good academic standing and require financial assistance. Through the Vered Israel Cultural and Educational program, and in partnership with the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation and the Embassy of Israel, Vered was instrumental in bringing Pnina Gary’s one-woman play, An Israeli Love Story, to the NAC in 2011. “I was proud the award recognized my identity as a Jew and as an Israeli as well as a citizen of Ottawa,” Vered said. “What is very important to me is promoting Israeli culture. I’m very involved in bringing Israeli culture to Canada. Only then can we really understand the Israeli psyche and connect with them. It’s important that we connect.” The Order of Ottawa was established this year by Mayor Jim Watson and City Council as a way to recognize exceptional residents who have made a significant contributions to many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports, entertainment, and other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa. “The Order of Ottawa enables us to recognize outstanding residents and meritorious service within our city,” said Mayor Watson. “These remarkable individuals have made a difference to countless people in our community, and make our city the special place it is.”

“To me there’s no other choice” « Je n’ai pas d’autre choix » — Raoul Wallenberg 1912–2012

From November 21, 2012 to January 6, 2013 Du 21 novembre 2012 au 6 janvier 2013

1, place Vimy Place , Ottawa ON This exhibition was created by the Swedish Institute in partnership with the Living History Forum, and is presented at the Canadian War Museum. Cette exposition a été réalisée par l’Institut suédois en partenariat avec le Living History Forum et est présentée au Musée canadien de la guerre.

Valuable assistance has been provided by: Avec le précieux soutien de :

Page 14 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Winter specialty fitness programs at SJCC By Pamela Rosenberg Soloway JCC The Soloway Jewish Community Centre (JCC) Health & Wellness Department is making it harder to come up with excuses to be a couch potato by introducing a variety of unique specialty fitness programs that make exercise interesting and keep you feeling fit and healthy throughout the winter. With golf season well behind us, and months to go before the clubs come out again, the perfect solution to keep golfers fit for the fairways and ready for the spring is Pilates for Golfers, which makes its debut in the new year. The class, beginning Tuesday, January 8, focuses on core strength, spinal alignment, posture, flexibility and balance, all key elements in golf, and is taught by Pilates pro Vanessa Novini. With 15 years of teaching Pilates under her belt, Vanessa is a Stott Pilates certified instructor who leads classes both on the mat and on the Reformer. While Pilates for Golfers is specifically designed for the muscles used in playing a round of golf, Vanessa says anyone would benefit from this class as it is based on exer-

Soloway JCC Pilates instructor Vanessa Novini.

cise designed to strengthen the core. “Golfers benefit greatly from Pilates as the exercises specify muscles used in playing the game. For example, by strengthening the oblique muscles and teaching golfers to focus from their core muscles, they can improve their swing and hit the ball farther,” she said. “In engaging and exerting the correct muscles, they can lessen the

probability of overuse injuries.” In addition to the new Pilates for Golfers, the Soloway JCC offers Pilates Accessories and Pilates Essentials, which teach the five basic principles of the Stott Pilates method. According to Vanessa, everyone, including those who are injured or living with spinal issues, can do the exercises as they can be modified.

While Pilates classes focus on the core and the spine, specialty yoga classes like Yoga for Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain, Yoga for Parkinson’s and MS, and Yogilates, a combination of yoga and Pilates movements, are designed for those looking to gain strength and flexibility, but also want a relaxing yoga class. Absolutely everyone can benefit from yoga, according to Soloway

JCC Health & Wellness Director Carla Gencher, a certified yoga instructor. “Yoga focuses on the mind and body; it is a journey, a process, not a destination. There is no competition in yoga and it can enhance flexibility, strength and technique for other non-yoga related activities as well as enhance your mind and attitude and have a calming effect on your life,” she said. And although most are motivated to exercise when the weather is warmer and the days are longer, Carla says exercise is an investment in your health and in your quality of life. It is important to make exercise a part of your life always. “Eating and sleeping isn’t seasonal; exercise shouldn’t be either.” GLOW Girls, a specialty program for girls aged 10 to 14, is a powerful opportunity for girls to develop their whole, true, genuine self – socially and emotionally. The program offers a safe forum to discuss teen-related topics to encourage leadership via knowledge and strength. In addition, the girls are also introduced to a variety of quick, easy-to-make nutritional snacks, and they finish with a different fitness class each week.

Members of the Ontario Liberal Caucus wish you a

Happy Hanukkah!

Hon. Dalton McGuinty Premier of Ontario Ottawa South 613-736-9573

Hon. Bob Chiarelli Ottawa West-Nepean 613-721-8075

Phil McNeely Ottawa-Orléans 613-834-8679

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur Ottawa-Vanier 613-744-4484

Yasir Naqvi Ottawa Centre 613-722-6414

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 15


h a C n u y k p ah p a

to o ur Ottawa family

t Helping build our next generation of community leaders in Ottawa t Committed to providing financial assistance to those families who qualify - no Jewish child should have to miss camp because they can’t afford it t We are your children’s “Home Away from Home”

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Page 16 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Wallenberg stamp unveiled Guests including Israeli Ambassador Miriam Ziv, Swedish Ambassador Teppo Tauriainen, and relatives of the late Erwin Koranyi, at the opening of the exhibit, To me there’s no other choice, Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012, November 21 at the Canadian War Museum, applaud the unveiling of Canada’s stamp honouring Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. The exhibit continues at the museum until January 6. The stamp will be released by Canada Post on January 17.

David Broza in Ottawa David Broza, one of Israel’s most popular performers, made his long-awaited Ottawa concert debut, November 24 at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre during the Sephardi Festival. An exciting and dynamic guitarist, and a powerful singer, Broza’s songs – in Hebrew, English and Spanish – reflect his passions for life, love and (Photo: Howard Sandler) the pursuit of peace.

Kleztory concert at SJCC, January 5 Kleztory, the Montreal-based inter-cultural klezmer band , will appear in concert, Saturday, January 5, 7:00 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. Call Alla at 613-226-6970 for tickets or information.

Truda Rosenberg with OJCS students Holocaust survivor, psychologist, professor and author Truda Rosenberg speaks with Grade 8 and 9 students at the Ottawa Jewish Community School, November 26, during a Holocaust Education Month program. Unmasked, Rosenberg’s memoir of surviving the Holocaust was published in 2009.

Extended Shopping Hours* Until Dec 23rd Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 9 pm Saturday 9:30 am – 6 pm Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

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Festival of Lights 1309 Carling Avenue * The mall will be closed December 25 and 26, 2012 and January 1, 2013

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 17





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Remembrance Day Irving Aaron laid a wreath on behalf of the Jewish War Veterans of Canada, Ottawa Post, and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, at the Remembrance Day Ceremony, November 11, at the National War Memorial.

Perform a Purim mitzvah By Ilana Albert-Novick JET While Chanukah may be on our minds now, at the JET office our thoughts are on Purim (February 24). JET’s Mishloach Manot program is a monumental undertaking and requires many months of work and planning well in advance of Purim. The project relies heavily on volunteers, and Hannah Dayan has volunteered for the important role of planning the purchasing and procuring of the contents of the Purim basket. Hannah has volunteered with the program for a number of years helping to pack and deliver, but, this year, she’s taking on a new role. “It’s exciting to search for new and different kosher items for 1,300 baskets that hopefully everyone will enjoy,” said Dayan.

Order forms are available at and various locations including the Soloway Jewish Community Centre. More than 270 people send baskets through JET every year to more than 1,300 recipients. Past senders receive a special list for their re-ordering, while new customers can use the regular order forms. The deadline to order is January 9. Volunteers will also be needed on February 17 to pack the baskets and on Purim to deliver them around the city. “This is a great opportunity for high school volunteer hours and for families to deliver together, performing one of the important mitzvot of the holiday,” said Rabbi Zischa Shaps. For more information or to volunteer, contact JET at 613-798-9818, ext. 247.

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Page 18 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

Ottawa student participates in new program at Hebrew University By Diane Koven for Canadian Friends of Hebrew University For Danny Schwartz, it was a case of being at the right place at the right time. A serendipitous sequence of events led to his being one of 15 participants in the first cohort of the Glocal Community Development Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – and the only one who was not an Israeli or already living in Israel. The two-year MA program in the Faculty of Social Sciences is focused on international development work and is designed to give students an opportunity to combine their academic expertise with practical, hands-on experience. Through an internship, the students participate in international development projects with non-governmental organizations. Schwartz grew up in Ottawa, attended Lisgar Collegiate High School and Carleton University, where he

switched his major a couple of times, and spent a year in Japan on an exchange program. While attending a Hillel Shabbat dinner, he heard a talk by Hebrew University Professor Dan Avnon, the founder of the Glocal program. Intrigued, Schwartz found out more, applied to the program, and was accepted. Not only that, but he was fortunate to have received a scholarship from Canadian Friends of Hebrew University. “They generously gave me enough money to cover the whole first-year tuition and I am grateful,” said Schwartz. In January 2011, Schwartz left for Jerusalem to begin his new adventure. Although the program is designed to take two years, with the third semester being the internship portion, the first group of students accelerated their program, completing it in 18 months.

For his internship, Schwartz worked with Village Help Works in Burundi. “I designed and ran a regional soccer tournament, which involved six regions playing in tournaments. The youth groups from the villages did performances to raise awareness about AIDS,” he said. “I also worked on an economic development project where we did a market survey in the local area and used the information to start cooperatives for women who were survivors of genderbased violence. Those co-ops are non-farming, such as weaving and candle-making,” he said. The co-ops have enabled women to have independent incomes and, therefore, independent lives. Schwartz has returned home to Ottawa and is now looking for ways to implement his knowledge and degree. “Being with a group of

Community Milestones


Adam Moscoe (left) was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi. The presentation took place November 17 at Congregation Beth Shalom during Hillel Ottawa’s evening honouring Ottawa’s Holocaust survivors during Holocaust Education Month. Moscoe, chair of Hillel Ottawa’s Holocaust education initiatives, was recognized for his volunteerism and dedication to the community.

Send us notices of your important family milestones – an engagement, wedding, special birthday, birth announcement or other significant events!

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Danny Schwartz in Burundi during his internship with Village Help Works, October 2011. “That day, I handed out school bags with supplies donated by a partner school in Texas. I had some bubbles and was playing with the kids.”

people who were dedicated, mature and focused on making the world a better place – it’s something I have always

wanted to do, and now I have the tools to do it,” he said reflecting on his experience in the Glocal program. “You

can learn development anywhere, but it is the people involved who make the difference.”

AJA 50+ winter registration event By Dena Speevak for AJA 50+ Opportunities to get out and enjoy life this winter are plentiful with the wide range of programs offered by AJA (Active Jewish Adults) 50+. Come hear Diane Koven speak on her new book, Who Am I, Really? Adoption Stories. View distinctive art at the Michael Gennis Gallery. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural Heritage Building. Hear about the city’s Arts and Heritage Culture Plan. Or partake in multi-session series such as Jews in the Soviet Union, the Jewish Film Series, or Money Matters.

Prevent cabin fever with some of AJA 50+’s outdoor activities – join us in a charming horse and wagon ride through the ByWard Market, take a heritage walk along Sparks Street, or welcome spring birds on a guided bird watching outing. To learn about the extensive list of winter opportunities, view the Winter 2013 Program Guide online at or come to the AJA 50+ registration event at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre on Monday, December 17, 9:30 to 11:30 am. For more information about membership, contact Dan Sigler at 613-224-6110 or

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 19

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December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 21

EL AL and CFHU create partnership By Shelli Kimmel Canadian Friends of Hebrew University You can be eligible to win two tickets to Israel and have EL AL donate to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem when booking flights through the EL AL Canada office. Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University (CFHU) and EL AL Airlines have joined together to create a unique philanthropic initiative. About 10,000 Canadians who are already donors to Hebrew University through CFHU will get a free membership to Matmid, EL AL’s frequent flyer program. For every flight booked on the Canada-Israel route, EL AL will make a donation to Hebrew University, which will be directed to the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC). In addition, five per cent all frequent flyer points earned from this Canadian group will go to the GlobaLY Club, which funds flights for young Jews

from abroad to come to Israel and flights for lone soldiers serving in the IDF without their families being in Israel, allowing them an opportunity to visit home or have their families visit them. The GlobaLY Club is also used to fulfil wishes of children with terminal illnesses who hope to fly before they die. Frequent flyer points donations will be made quarterly at EL AL’s expense. This partnership is the first of its kind with an airline’s frequent flyer program and provides a win-win situation for both organizations. From CFHU’s perspective, it will strengthen donors’ commitment to Israel and to the Hebrew University, and encourage individuals to create a connection to Israel while offering a philanthropic incentive to the university. For EL AL, the program expands its pool of frequent flyer club members and offers it an opportunity to contribute to the Hebrew University. For every flight booked to Israel, the

Hebrew University of Jerusalem receives a donation and you have a chance to win two tickets to Israel. It’s easy to participate. Visit and register for your free membership to the Matmid frequent flyer program using code: AOW24483828. Then book a flight to Israel directly with the EL AL Canada office at 416-967-4222, ext. 700, using the CFHU promo code: LY-CFHU2012. For each flight booked using the code, a donation will be made to CFHU. Book your flights by December 31 to be eligible to win two tickets to Israel. “The Hebrew University and EL AL are both important national symbols and we are delighted to have founded a partnership that will promote both institutions together,” said CFHU Chair Nathan Lindenberg. “I hope this project will lead to many other innovations and partnerships between Jewish organizations and Israeli institutions, both governmental and commercial.”

Connecting Miles of Smiles unites Ottawa volunteers and Israeli students By Abigail Arodi for Connecting Miles of Smiles It is heartwarming to see Jewish people come together in difficult times. While it may be hard to know exactly what our brethren are going through in Israel, all Jews feel involved with each other. It is our connection that keeps us united. Jews in the Diaspora have fostered and nurtured a bond with our brothers in Israel. We all feel like one family. Connecting Miles of Smiles (CMOS) is an example of this connection we have to Israel, which is manifested in the digital age. Volunteers in Ottawa Skype with Israeli students, helping them achieve academic success. “My husband and I have recently returned from Israel, where we had the pleasure of meeting with many schools, setting up computer labs and preparing the students for this year’s program,” said Sarah Gordon co-founder of CMOS, a 15-minute weekly Skype meeting between an Ottawa volunteer and a student in Israel. During the meetings, students and volunteers learn together while chatting and getting to know each other. The program assists students in their personal and academic growth by connecting them through learning with Ottawa volunteers. The program enhances the lives of its local volunteers by

connecting them to someone for a weekly visit that brings warmth and lights up their week. Simultaneously, CMOS connects everyone involved to our deep heritage of learning. Now in its second year, CMOS has grown from last year’s 10 volunteers to 50. The volunteers connect with young students at 10 Israeli schools. The recent emergency in Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense was an eyeopener for many of the volunteers. It certainly hits home when you hear the student you have been speaking with on a weekly basis cannot attend school because of constant missile attacks; or

when the school says it must put the project on hold because all of the teachers have been called up from the IDF reserves; or when you are talking with an Israeli student and you hear an air raid siren. You can begin to imagine what life must be like under 24-hour threat. “Unfortunately, sometimes this feeling of connection surfaces during rough times,” said Rabbi Sender Gordon. “However, the friendships the volunteers and students have made are priceless.” For more information about CMSO, or to register as a volunteer, visit or email

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Page 22 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 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 October 31 and November 21, 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: Bess Fyman by Ruth and Irving Aaron In Honour of: Arthur and Maxine Rabinovitch Mazal tov on the birth of your grandson with love by Ruth and Irving Aaron Bill and Leona Adler Memorial Fund In Observance of the Yahrzeit of: Father of Zahava Farber by Elayne Adler, Farley Jordan and Benjamin Stenzler In Memory of: Lilian Rotstein by Marilyn Adler Samuel and Jean Akerman Memorial Fund In Honour of: Sheila and Larry Hartman In honour of the birth of your granddaughter by Evelyn Greenberg Fred and Esther Ballon Family Fund R’fuah Shlema: Mark Lane with love by Freddie and Esther Ballon Mother of Eva Friedman by Freddie and Esther Ballon In Memory of: George Vinokur by Freddie and Esther Ballon Boris and Dolly Blacher Family Fund In Memory of: Bo Blacher by Sandy Shapero Jenny and Morris Citron Endowment Fund In Memory of: Sol Sherman by Murray Citron

Gloria Goldberg by Murray Citron Debra Karby by Murray Citron Tania Firestone Family Fund In Memory of: Leo Cook by Ida Firestone Friedberg and Dale Families Fund In Honour of: Maxine and Arthur Rabinovitch Mazal tov on the birth of your grandson by Elaine Friedberg and Bob Dale Malcolm and Vera Glube Endowment Fund In Memory of: Marvin Kampel by Malcolm and Vera Glube Eleanor Weiner by Malcolm and Vera Glube In Honour of: Donna and Bernie Dolansky Mazal tov on the birth of your granddaughter by Malcolm and Vera Glube Thea and Martin Ginsburg Memorial Fund In Memory of: Martin and Thea Ginsburg by Joan Katzeff John Langsner by Joan Katzeff Helen Rosenthal by Joan Katzeff Maurice and Rita Ryant by Joan Katzeff Rhoda Abbey by Joan Katzeff Nell Gluck Memorial Fund In Memory of: Father of Debbie Shifrin and Steve Newman by Henry and Maureen Molot R’fuah Shlema: Mark Max by Henry and Maureen Molot Get Well: Judy Piazza by Henry and Maureen Molot Nordau and Roslyn Kanigsberg Family Fund In Honour of: Nordau and Roslyn Kanigsberg Thank you for your warmth and kindness with love by Sherry Sheffman Dr. Michael Davis Thank you for your warmth and kindness with love by Sherry Sheffman Morris and Lillian Kimmel Family Fund In Memory of: Bess Fyman by the Kimmel family Renee Fresco by Janet, Steve, Tobin and Aaron Kaiman; and by Brenda and Nathan Levine and family Paul Bogdonov by Brenda, Nathan, Jesse and Daniel Levine; and by Janet Kaiman and family Joan and Russell Kronick Family Fund In Honour of: Evelyn Greenberg Happy special birthday by Joan and Russell Kronick Zelaine Shinder Happy birthday by Joan and Russell Kronick Dodo and Liney Bronstein In honour of your grandson’s Bar Mitzvah by Joan and Russell Kronick

Irma and Harold Sachs Family Fund In Honour of: Sheila and Larry Hartman Mazal tov on Sophia’s birth by Irma Sachs Cantor Shneur and Tracy Bielak Mazal tov on Sophia’s birth by Irma Sachs Stephen and Debra Schneiderman Family Fund In Memory of: Eleanor Weiner by Stephen Schneiderman and Hillel Lodge In Honour of: Larry and Carol Gradus Happy anniversary by Stephen and Debra Schneiderman Harold and Lillian Shoihet Memorial Fund In Honour of: Cantor Levinson Mazal tov on your big night by Dovid Shoihet and Miriam Sabo Murray and Marsha Kaiserman Mazal tov on the birth of your granddaughter by Dovid Shoihet and family Dr. Andre and Shelley Engel Mazal tov on the birth of your grandson Tuvia Zev Shalom by Dovid and Jessica Shoihet Rabbi Zvi and Dovi and Michla Finkel Mazal tov on Dovi’s Bar Mitzvah by Dovid Shoihet and family Ralph and Anne Sternberg Memorial Fund In Memory of: Angie Marshall by Laya and Ted Jacobsen In Honour of: Lynne and Barry Shulman Mazal tov on the birth of your grandchild by Laya and Ted Jacobsen Annette Millstone Wishing you a fast and healthy rehabilitation with love by Laya and Ted Jacobsen Bert Phillips Warmest wishes with love by Laya and Ted Jacobsen Harvey Slipacoff Best wishes on your milestone birthday with love by Laya and Ted Jacobsen Louis and Diane Tannenbaum Family Fund In Memory of: Jack Caplan by the Honourable Mr. Justice Louis and Mrs. Diane Tannenbaum Milton and Mary (Terry) Viner Family Fund In Observance of the Yahrzeit of: Freda Pearl Viner beloved mother by Millie, Fran and Steven Schaenfield Eric Weiner and Arlene Godfrey Family Fund In Memory of: Eleanor Weiner Carol and Larry Gradus Toby and Joel Yan Family Fund In Memory of: Ruth Hess Dolgin by Toby and Joel Yan Carole and Norman Zagerman Family Fund In Memory of: Rita Ann Leger by Norman and Carole Zagerman and Andrea Arron In Honour of: Dundee Sachs Happy special birthday by Norman and Carole Zagerman Stephen Greenberg Mazal tov on your receiving your award by Norman and Carole Zagerman Stephen Victor Mazal tov on your receiving your award by Norman and Carole Zagerman Arnie Vered Mazal tov on your receiving your award by Norman and Carole Zagerman Sara Vered Mazal tov on your receiving your award by Norman and Carole Zagerman

************* Capital Campaign In Memory of: Jack Caplan by Ellen and Marty Cardash; and by Sharon Cardash Feeding Fund In Honour of: Diana Barnes Thank you for all you do by Sydney Lipsey and family Arnie Vered Congratulations on receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award presented by Telus by Barbara Fine and Steve Levinson Stephen Greenberg Congratulations on receiving the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award presented by Telus by Barbara Fine and Steve Levinson Ritual Fund In Honour of: Faigy and Zachary Muroff In honour of the birth of your grandson by Dale and Ruth Fyman Marsha and Murray Kaiserman In honour of the birth of your granddaughter, Rena Chaya Segall by Dale and Ruth Fyman Annie and David Garmaise In honour of the birth of your grandson by Dale and Ruth Fyman Arthur and Maxine Rabinovitch In honour of the birth of your grandson by Dale and Ruth Fyman In Memory of: Leon Gluzman by Dale and Ruth Fyman Lilian Rotstein by Myra Presser Allen Schwartzberg by Dale and Ruth Fyman

IN HONOUR OF: Dr. and Mrs. Lyon Hamburg and family Mazal tov on Noah becoming a Bar Mitzvah by Golda and Ned Steinman and Yona Morton and Sylvia Pleet Happy 60th anniversary with love by Roslyn Gould Norma and Phil Lazear Mazal tov on Emily’s Bat Mitzvah with love by Claire and Irving Bercovitch Faigy and Zachary Muroff Mazal tov on the birth of your grandson by Golda and Ned Steinman Laurence Wall With great appreciation by Musica Ebraica

IN MEMORY OF: Bess Fyman by Miriam and Victor Rabinovitch Benny Steck by Beverley and Abe Feinstein; and by Grace and Irving Dardick Leon Gluzman by Sid and Sandy Cratzberg; by Zelda and Leon Zelikovitz; and by Marcia and Dick Zuker Helena Ekler by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge Moe Cardash by Elihu Edelson and Jack and Annette Edelson Lilian Rotstein by the Residents, Board and Staff of Hillel Lodge; by Laurie and Carol Pascoe; by Rosalie Schwartz; and by Christine and Mike Bradley

R’FUAH SHLEMA: Joyce Melamed by the Ottawa B’nai Brith Bowling League Mark Steinberg by the Ottawa B’nai Brith Bowling League Walter Fogel by the Ottawa B’nai Brith Bowling League

In Observance of the Yahrzeit of: Dan Landen, beloved husband by Edith Landen

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 or online donations can be made through 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.

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 23

‘A celebration of what it is to be a Jew’ The eight women stood on the bimah, arms and prayer shawls around each other, smiles lighting their faces as the tears shimmered in their eyes. The smiles and tears were reflected in the faces of the congregation at Temple Israel last month, when these mature women celebrated a communal b’not mitzvah. For those of us who were fortunate to bear witness, it was also a celebration of what it is to be a Jew, and what it is to be a member of a supportive Jewish community. Joanne Burgess, Robin Chernick, Pat Dunphy, Debbie Kaplan, Shaina Lipsey, Fortunée Shugar, Sandra Thomas and Lynn Young took turns chanting or reading from the Torah and delivering Dvrei Torah that were as unique as the women themselves. The parasha was Chayei Sarah. The section from which the Temple group read concerned the search by Abraham’s servant for a suitable wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Without having consulted each other in advance, each bat mitzvah focused on a different element of the parasha and of her Jewish journey. Dunphy converted to Judaism 11 years ago, a decade after marrying a Jewish man and raising their child as Jew. The verses she chanted include a rare Torah melody called a shalshelet, a six-note scale repeated three times over a word. It appears only four times in the entire Torah – in this case, over the word vayomar (and he said). This trope can indicate indecision and personal conflict on the part of the speaker. In this case, Abraham’s servant, who has been sent by Abraham to find the ideal wife for Isaac, hesitates outside the walls of Abraham’s native city, Aram, as he prays for divine guidance. For Dunphy, that unusual cantillation epitomized the hesitation and emotional roller-coaster she had experienced as her conversion date approached. “It meant a complete change in my identity. I was moving from being a member of a majority population to a minority, and all that that entails. Converting to Judaism would fundamentally and irrevocably change my sense of self and my identification with a particular community – its traditions and practices.” Kaplan, also a Jew by choice, focused on the servant’s petitionary prayer, a concept with which she has struggled as a new Jew. “Much like the servant living in an Israeli household, I too came into the Jewish community as a ‘stranger-in-the-midst.’ “Learning the power of prayer has been new to me – particularly petitionary prayer. I have had to change in order to pray. And, as a result, prayer has made a change in me.” Chernick saw parallels between Rebecca’s decision to go to Canaan to marry Isaac and her own decision to move from Los Angeles to Ottawa to be with a man she “barely knew” – now her husband of 25 years. She renewed her commitment to Judaism when their daughter was a toddler. “I knew then that I needed to learn more about who I was as a Jew, and why living our lives according to Jewish principles was so important to me.” Shugar, who was born and raised Jewish, but had little formal Jewish education, described learning to chant from the Torah as “new, yet so familiar somewhere deep inside. Uncomfortable, yet soothing. Finding the strength within myself to do so has been the unexpected reward.” Thomas grew up in an interfaith household, and reconnected with her Jewish roots as an adult. Thomas’ description of her emotional connection to Judaism during Shabbat services brought a lump to my throat, because she captured the way that I – also a Jew by choice – often feel in the midst of communal prayer. “Sometimes during a service, my heart starts to race, my stomach does a flip and a smile comes over my face! It happens because I am thinking how happy and comfortable I am

My Israel Barbara Crook being a Jew and being part of the Jewish community.” Lipsey traced her journey from braiding the fringes of her father’s tallit in an Orthodox shul as a child, to feeling the embrace of her husband’s prayer shawl during the priestly blessing, to chanting Torah in her own tallit. “Mi dor l’dor, from generation to generation ... We are tied

to each other through our shared experience. We are embraced and enfolded in something more than mere words.” As I listened to these remarkable women, I felt as if I were reaffirming my own commitment to Judaism and retracing the steps of my own Jewish journey, which started more than 15 years ago with my decision to convert. But I was also reminded that what makes us strong as Jews is not just our individual journeys, but how we embrace our diverse paths, customs and backgrounds to come together as a community. As we light our Chanukah candles this week, let us be inspired not only by the stories of our forebears and their triumphs, but by our own stories and our own voices – and by the often strained but never broken chain of faith and ritual that unites us. Mi dor l’dor.

Thankfully, protesters stayed away from dinner honouring Holocaust survivors Campus Life

Last month, two major events affected the lives of Jewish students on campus: the conflict in Israel and Gaza and Holocaust Education Month. While I was hoping and praying these two events would not collide in any way, unfortunately, they did. As a Jewish journalism student, several other student journalists asked to interview me for a story about Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense and my reaction was the same as my Palestinian counterpart being interviewed for the same story. Apparently, he asked, “So, just because I’m Palestinian, how does that make me an expert?” The journalist’s response was that she was planning to focus on how the conflict was affecting Jewish students in Ottawa. I thought about it and realized that it was, indeed, affecting me because I know people in Israel and worried about them; because, as rockets reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I recalled once feeling so safe there; and because, while Hamas and the IDF waged their own social media battle, the campus community was doing the same. Left, right and centre, people were posting their thoughts and comments about the conflict. Online, it felt like the Middle East had hit campus. One commenter used the following analogy in his Facebook status: “So, you throw a rock at me, I block it with a shield and then you come and kill my family.” On the other end of the spectrum, someone wrote: “How do you fire 12,000 rockets into a country and then get pissed off when they fire back?” It was on. Most times, I bit my tongue, because it’s not worth fighting over such a complex topic online. But there were plenty of people who clearly didn’t feel the same. Although I saw social media friends commending a demonstration for Gaza or others attending I Stand with Israel Day (which simply meant they would wear a pro-Israel T-shirt), nothing really felt different as I walked through the Carleton hallways. I saw no T-shirts or protests. Maybe they existed, but not to the extent where they so much as caught my attention. In the hallway, I saw my friend who had commended that Gaza protest, and we hugged. I felt blessed. Mentally, I was back in Canada again. For a second, I questioned the power of social media. Then, in Ottawa, I saw anti-Zionism turn into anti-Semitism. I had seen numerous people on Twitter and Facebook comparing the situation in Gaza to genocide or the Holocaust. But even that didn’t prepare me for the screen shot of someone named “Caryma S” from the University of Ot-

Ilana Belfer tawa’s Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights club, who posted, “Anybody interested in getting some flags and bodies out to this Hillel event tonight? 6:30 pm.” She included a link to the Facebook event page for Hillel Ottawa’s dinner honouring Holocaust survivors with all the information about where, when and what it was. This event, which I attend every year during Holocaust Education Month, gives students and community members an opportunity to have dinner with Holocaust survivors, to hear their stories and to ask questions. One of the dinner organizers responded online to the call to protest the dinner. “Do not bring politics into an event honouring Holocaust survivors, all of whom are in their 80s and 90s. We are working to create an environment in which they feel comfortable sharing their painful stories with students, while at the same time being recognized for all they have contributed to the city. There is a time and a place for discussion on the broader themes of “Never Again.” There is also a time and a place for discussion on the complex Middle East conflict. Tonight is not the night, because any disturbance, I guarantee you, will cause irreparable harm to our honoured guests and the event we have created.” Disgust and outrage spread around almost as fast as a group to protest could have developed. Dinner co-chair Sarah Spitz said she was forced to confront the issue by sending “Caryma S” a message reiterating the message above. We held our breath throughout the event. Thankfully, there was no demonstration, and I got to see the looks on the faces of non-Jewish students attending the dinner as they met Holocaust survivors for the first time. The dinner successfully helped educate to ensure the Holocaust never happens again. Social Media has the potential for power, but we can determine whether or not that potential is reached and whether it’s used for good or evil. I applaud the 2012 Holocaust Education Committee for how they handled this situation.

Page 24 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

The Middle East after Operation Pillar of Defense U.S. President Barack Obama thought he could relax after having won the day at home and decided to go out and win Asia by visiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership nations to strengthen economic relationships in the Asian market. Unfortunately, the economic agenda was upstaged by Hamas. The Iranian proxy chose this time to increase its rocket fire into Israel. The increase was small enough to fly below the global media radar, but irritating enough for Israel to react. Israel’s reaction got on the radar. World focus shifted from Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program. This incident brought death and destruction to both sides and allowed us to see how the new Middle East is shaping up. Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a proxy for Iran, was testing how ready, able and willing Egypt was to support and protect them. The answer became obvious – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has no stomach for war right now. It does not want to send the country it has just inherited down a rabbit hole after Hamas. This was a rude awakening for Hamas. Egypt responded to its outlandish demands with a more moderate negotiation strategy. The second element Hamas was testing was the Israeli public and the international community. The usual Gaza supporters and satellite NGOs hit the news circuit and Internet with their usual responses. The reactions were not what they expected. In Israel, there was majority support for airstrikes, but also for a ground invasion to wipe out Gaza’s weapons. In the rest of the world, there was a slight, but perceptible, shift to more balanced reporting that at least recognized the existence of rocket fire into Israel. The losers were the innocent civilians of Gaza, put at risk again by the Hamas leaders’ need to test the waters. Iran timed the incident to take the spotlight off Syria, its

other proxy, and decrease the airtime devoted to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s scrutiny of its nuclear intentions. Iran also wanted to test the will of the Muslim Brotherhood and the strength of its organizational solidarity. Having long tapped into Egyptian criminal elements and gangs to import illegal weapons into Egypt and export them to Gaza through the Sinai, Iran saw an opportunity to disrupt and terrorize Israel through its doctrine of asymmetric warfare. Developing and nurturing proxy groups globally allows Iran to engage its targets without putting itself at risk. This made Iran the actual winner in all of this. It successfully tested the lay of the land and diverted focus from its other proxy and nuclear issues, without harming a hair on Iranian heads. Israel was certainly not the winner. The death and destruction caused by Hamas will leave scars. The aggressive campaign by the anti-Israeli media, including those well paid by Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, shows the world is still willing to buy the distorted picture they paint. Israel is still chastised by a biased press as responding with disproportionate force. Israel did find out it still has some friends in Egypt’s military and the United States still wields some influence in Egypt, specifically on President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi found himself tested by all sides. The underhanded Hamas leadership, consistently showing little care for its own people by launching rockets from homes and storing ammunition in hospitals, schools and mosques, was shown to care even less about Egypt by trying to bring that country into its war. Morsi saw through that and seemed to realize Egypt has more important things to do at home. Morsi had to balance pressure from the United States with public and Muslim Brotherhood pressure to support

World Affairs Oliver Javanpour Hamas. He decided to support Egypt. The discipline of the Muslim Brotherhood in supporting its president was notable. The Brotherhood showed resilience and discipline, a good indication of its future approach. It will use the Turkish model of a systematic and methodical, but slow, approach to reform. While Iran has suggested it could replace the United States as a funding body for Egypt, Morsi is too intelligent to get into such a deal. The American response was typical of the Obama administration. No one was really happy, but people went along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and Obama’s demands. They did not challenge Iran on weapons shipments, but asked Morsi for tighter control over the Sinai. While there is no love lost between the Obama camp and Israel’s government (particularly Bibi), the U.S. was adamant that Egypt stay the course and remain on the list of supporters in the region. For the United States, it was a draw. Its hopes for more focus on Asia and economic issues were overshadowed again by Middle East politics. It showed it can still influence Egyptian foreign policy, but, like Egypt, would rather be tending its own garden. Oliver Javanpour is a senior partner at Cyrus Echo, a public policy and international relations consulting firm in Ottawa.

What is the cost of focusing on who is loyal enough? At the time of this writing, Israel and Hamas have reached a ceasefire agreement with the help of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The agreement is thin on details. According to the text of the agreement: “Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods,” a ceasing of rockets and other hostilities by Hamas, and a ceasing of hostilities and a commitment to refrain from assassinations by Israel. Whether or not the blockade – imposed by Egypt and Israel – will continue is vague, but it is likely it will. The coming weeks and months will reveal how robust the ceasefire manages to be. There will also be much parsing of who was to blame and which side started it. The two sides have already been very predictable. One need only visit Twitter and enter the hashtags #FreeGaza and #IsraelUnderFire to see how social media has become its own kind of battlefield, with words and pictures rather than with rockets and artillery. The trading of hateful and accusatory barbs from one side to another is, by now, a familiar and depressing side aspect of the conflict. But, among Jewish thinkers and writers, the question of loyalty reared its head during the week of conflict in a most distressing way. One particular exchange in the blogosphere was quite striking. Writing from Jerusalem, Daniel Gordis laid into Rabbi Sharon Brous, who has gained great popularity and admiration from running IKAR, a Jewish outreach community in Los Angeles. In the Times of Israel (“When Balance Becomes Betrayal,” November 18), Gordis wrote, “It’s become clear that this universalized Judaism has rendered not only platitudinous Jews, but something worse. It bequeaths us a new Jew

Values, Ethics, Community Mira Sucharov utterly incapable of feeling loyalty. The need for balance is so pervasive that even an expression of gut-level love for Israelis more than for their enemies is impossible. Balance has now bequeathed betrayal.” And what had Rabbi Brous written to cause such a gutwrenching reaction? Among other things, Brous wrote to her congregants that “supporting Israel’s right to protect and defend itself does not diminish the reality that the Palestinian people are also children of God, whose suffering is real and undeniable.” Among other things, IKAR’s website states, “The IKAR challenge is to be simultaneously wholehearted and brokenhearted – to engage deeply in the world as it is, but to always believe that things can be better. And to know that religious commitments must manifest themselves in a deep dedication to bringing healing, justice, dignity and peace to our world.” I have followed Rabbi Brous via social media over the last few years, I have listened to her sermons and I have watched with interest as she has twice made the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of 50 most influential rabbis in America.

Gordis, one of the most eloquent writers on the contemporary Jewish condition, appears to have decided to dedicate himself to being an arbiter of loyalty. His Jerusalem Post review of Peter Beinart’s The Crisis of Zionism dealt less with the robustness of Beinart’s arguments and more with accusing Beinart of not loving Israel enough, and not being sufficiently tribal. Now, he is levying the same weapon against Brous, a woman who, he shares with readers, used to babysit his kids. What is the cost of focusing our communal conversation on who is loyal enough? There are multiple costs. It threatens to drive the universalists not only to the margins, but to force them to abandon the conversation altogether. Those who simply don’t want to play we-are-good-you-are-evil games will lose interest. It also wastes a lot of important analytical and emotional energy when our community needs it most. With Jewish identity at risk through assimilation and competing value systems vying for the commitments of young Jews, the smartest and most creative Jewish thinkers should be dedicating themselves to reinvigorating the Jewish conversation. Instead, what we are seeing is the beginnings of an entity that threatens to eat itself alive. These collectively selfinflicted wounds are much more threatening than the kind of isolation that Gordis is apparently feeling, and which he is strangely attributing to rank disloyalty. Accusing those who are devoting their hearts, minds and souls to furthering the Jewish people’s fate of being disloyal would be simply bizarre, if it weren’t also scary. Mira Sucharov, an associate professor of political science at Carleton University, blogs at

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 25

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December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 27

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Page 28 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

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What do your “kids” really care about? Do they care about hanging out with their friends? Playing sports? Playing their musical instruments? How about helping the homeless in their community? Fighting antiSemitism? Supporting people with disabilities? Through the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, our community’s youth can achieve both! They can be the active individuals that they are all while making a difference through tzedakah, one gift at a time. Teens can make their Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s an extra special event by opening a B’nai Mitzvah Fund in their name. This gives them the vehicle to support causes dear to their hearts. Forever!

You can make a difference in your child’s life by encouraging your son or daughter to establish a B’nai Mitzvah Fund. Their participation in the B’nai Mitzvah Club, which is for teens age 12 up to pre-post secondary, will affect the rest of their lives in a positive and philanthropic manner. Now is the time to encourage your child to become a charitable, responsible member of the Jewish Community. To obtain information on how to open a B’nai Mitzvah Fund for as little as $250, call the Foundation office today at 613-798-4696 extension 252 or email Additional information can be found on our website at

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December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 29

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Page 30 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

The great Canadian winter workout Millions of Canadians hibernate in the winter. They hide indoors. They eat comfort food. They sit around more than ever and put on weight. They feel tired and depressed from the lack of sunlight and lack of movement. By late afternoon, it’s dark and even more freezing cold outside. The sidewalks are slippery. The wind is bitter. Blech! Then there are the millions of Canadians who enjoy the great outdoors in winter. It’s all about attitude. Complaining about the inevitably long, cold winter won’t make it go away. Instead, these hearty folks bundle up and make the most of it. They walk, run, snowshoe, cross-country ski, downhill ski, skate. They feel invigorated in the crisp fresh air. Although I prefer the spring blossoms, the summer sun and the autumn leaves, I’ve learned to embrace winter. I made this conversion a few years ago, after realizing that my attitude was self-defeating. I had an epiphany one evening when I found myself curled up on the couch in a fetal position, with the remote control clenched in one fist and Twinkie in the other. Actually, my wiener dog’s name is Twinkie and she was keeping me warm. I wasn’t eating that soon-to-be-extinct snack cake. However, I was noshing non-stop out of boredom as I gazed at some longforgotten but surely equally mindless precursor to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. What I realized was that I could spend the next several months feeling lethargic. Or, I could make a different choice. A light bulb went off in my head. I felt a brain wave jump across a synapse and it was then that I became Gloria – Win-

ter Warrior! I didn’t don a superhero cape. Instead, I headed off – in my cozy car – to a sports store where I stocked up on winter running gear. I decided I was going to enjoy the great outdoors in winter, even if it killed me. The next day, I prepared to go out for a run. It took me more time to get ready than I ended up spending on my run. Layer upon layer went the clothing, like King Tut being wrapped for all eternity. Lightweight long johns designed to wick away sweat, matching undershirt to keep me warm and dry, a long sleeve top, form-fitting aerodynamic running pants, a fleece vest, wicking socks with wool socks on top, a windbreaker, a neck warmer, gloves with mitts over them, my watch with timer – I’m fanatical about keeping track of my time – and running shoes with running cleats hooked onto the soles to prevent me from falling on the ice. And, to cap it all off, no pun intended, the pièce de resistance – my Elmer Fudd-style hat with ear flaps and fake fur. Oh, and of course, sunglasses, iPod and a fanny pack containing my cell phone in case of an emergency. Then I rubbed special cream on my nose and cheeks to prevent frostbite. By the time I was ready, I was exhausted and sweating! It reminded me of all those times getting my toddlers dressed in their snowsuits. So, there I was, standing in my doorway, squinting at the winter wonderland. The glistening, snow-covered sidewalks were indiscernible from the roads. The wind was howling. It looked like a storm was brewing. Should I stay or should I go?

Our brain and religion Our Religious Brains: What Cognitive Science Reveals about Belief, Morality, Community and Our Relationship with God By Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenburger Jewish Lights Publishing 250 pages (The Reporter) – Are our brains hardwired for religion? Is the belief in God solely a matter of synapses and electrical signals? Does a soul exist only in our imagination? These are only a few of the questions explored in Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenburger’s fascinating Our Religious Brains: What Cognitive Science Reveals about Belief, Morality, Community and Our Relationship with God. In recent years, many books have explored the connection between biology and psychology in order to help us understand the way they jointly influence human thought and behaviour. While most of these works focus on the scientific aspects of the research, Rabbi Mecklenburger examines it from a religious point of view, concentrating on the way our brains create and interpret religious experience. Leaving out the technical scientific terminology of the original research, the author instead stresses practical understanding of the material. Rabbi Mecklenburger’s interest in brain research began after his son was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. Learning about his son’s condition led to a more general interest in neuroscientific research. The author found himself wondering what cognitive science could teach us about religion. Focusing first on how consciousness and perception can lead to faith, he then explores their impact on spirituality and religious experience. He also seeks to define the word soul in scientific terms, in addition to examining the ways culture and genetics play a role in community formation. Although the term faith is usually attached to specific religious traditions, it also plays a role in everyday life. We have faith in the predictability of the world – for example, that we

can trust our senses, that our memories function correctly or that the laws of the physical world have not changed overnight. Rabbi Mecklenburger doesn’t claim this is religious faith, but a general belief in the stability of the world. A change occurs when we begin to personalize the world, to think “of things, situations, and natural forces as if they were consciously directed at us.” This occurs because “our brains are emotional as well as rational and take their jobs of getting us safely and successfully through life seriously,” something easier done if we can discern patterns and connections. When we attribute these patterns to a divine being, our beliefs then become religion. Rabbi Mecklenburger discusses how a combination of emotions and reason create spiritual experiences, using the act of celebrating Shabbat in the home as an example. The sense of holiness he feels comes from a combination of physical factors (the lighting of candles, the eating of special foods, etc.), experiential knowledge, which activates memories and emotions from his past, and abstract understanding (the idea these activities are related to his worship of God). According to the author, emotions play a very important role in helping us recognize a moment as spiritual. While religious ritual does appeal to cognitive sense, it is “the emotional satisfaction that keeps bringing us back,” regardless of the particular form of the ritual. In fact, Rabbi Mecklenburger acknowledges that different experiences will appeal to different people: “Some prefer classical-style music, and some folk-rock. Some thrilled to soaring cathedrals, and some would rather sit in a circle faceto-face with fellow worshippers.” The specific ritual has less meaning than the emotion it raises. Scientists and theologians debate whether or not the soul exists in a concrete form. Mecklenburger sees the word soul as a metaphor for consciousness, the information our brains store, which includes the “sensory data, the story we feel ourselves living, planning and decision making, our recollection of the

Focus on Fitness Gloria Schwartz The Clash was playing on my iPod as I literally and figuratively stood at the threshold. I could return to my comfort zone or I could change my life for the better. I made up my mind at that moment. I stepped out into the freezing cold with trepidation. I adjusted my ear buds, turned up the volume and started the timer on my watch. I was off! I knew I’d made the right decision. The sound of my feet on the crunchy, packed snow was delightful. The crisp air made me feel exhilarated. It took a few minutes to get into a good pace and acclimatize. I was running outdoors in the winter! Since then, winter running has become a staple of my exercise routine. If your winter pastime is peering out the window and watching the world go by, I urge you to try something different. Crawl out from the shadows and into the sunlight. Ski. Nordic walk. Snowshoe. It doesn’t matter as long as you do something. Real Canadians aren’t afraid of nostricles. With the right gear and the right attitude, you can join the ranks of the winter warriors. Send your questions and comments to

Book Review Rabbi Rachel Esserman past and hopes and dreams for the future.” However, cognitive science recognizes there is no one spot in our brains that contains this consciousness. Rather, it is a combination of all of the processes occurring. That means the term “soul is a convenient shorthand for our love, our creativity, our esthetic capability; for our apprehension of truth and justice; as well as for the opposites of all this – our hatred, cruelty, and greed.” The fact that we feel ourselves as a single consciousness, that we don’t notice the different process occurring within us, just shows how well our brains have integrated the process. Rabbi Mecklenburger also notes that scientists now believe we are hardwired for morality since certain principles occur worldwide – for example, the restrictions against murder, theft and incest. However, the specific definitions of these terms vary by culture. One of the best known examples is cousin marriages: some cultures encourage marriages between cousins, while others forbid them as incestuous. The purpose of religion – something common to all religions – is that they offer meaning to their followers’ lives and “motivate moral behavior.” However, although one might claim that all religions are therefore equal, Rabbi Mecklenburger doesn’t accept this. In fact, he notes, for a religion to truly work, adherents need to believe their religious beliefs are better than others, even if they acknowledge different people find other paths more satisfying. In a short review, it’s impossible to do justice to the many intriguing ideas Rabbi Mecklenburger offers. His work will stimulate readers into thinking differently not only about religion, but their own mental processes. Our Religious Brains serves as an outstanding introduction to the way theology and neuroscience can create greater understanding of the world in which we live.

December 10, 2012 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Page 31

Made with Love

Embracing bitterness We are all born with a natural aversion to anything bitter. From an evolutionary standpoint, that’s a good thing, since so many things that are bitter also happen to be toxic! Humans, thanks to their super refined bitter-taste receptors, have avoided death by declining many bitter tasting substances. However, the aversion to bitterness from a culinary standpoint is actually a shame. Bitterness, when used correctly, is a wonderful but often underutilized tool in the arsenal of every home cook. As we get older, we learn to appreciate bitter flavours. Some scientists have suggested we crave bitter foods when we need to have an energy or mood pickup. Look no further than the adult palate’s appreciation for coffee, red wine and bittersweet chocolate! One of my sisters used to play a game with her kids

Treviso Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and Manchego This recipe comes from the October 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. Treviso is the long thin variety of radicchio. I can usually find it at Farm Boy or Herb and Spice. If you can’t find it, regular radicchio would work well, or try Belgian endive or frisée (curly endive). Manchego is a firm Spanish sheep’s milk cheese. Farm Boy usually carries it. Asiago or Pecorino Romano cheese would make delicious substitutes. Serves 8 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 4 teaspoons honey 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 1 pound Treviso, cut through the core into thin wedges 1 4-ounce wedge Manchego cheese 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast chopped walnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant and toasty, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Whisk oil, orange juice, honey, and vinegar in a large bowl until well blended. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Add Treviso to bowl with vinaigrette; toss to coat. Divide among plates. Scatter walnuts over. Using a vegetable peeler, shave cheese onto salads. Garnish with parsley and orange zest.

when they were little. She would blindfold them and give them little tastes of different foods to help refine their palates. I suspect she got a small amount of joy from watching their little faces screw up in horror and dismay when they would get a squeeze of lemon or grapefruit or a drop of Tabasco! In her defence, I will say her kids are now quite sophisticated diners. As a society at large, I see that Canadians are starting to embrace bitter. The signs are all around us. McDonald’s is putting a few radicchio leaves in its garden salads. Starbucks are popping up all over the suburbs and most of us can be heard ordering an espresso – 10 years ago we were pronouncing it “expresso.” The fastest growing segment in the chocolate market is the bittersweet category, with varieties containing 70 per cent and above cacao selling quite briskly. The thing you need to understand about bitter is that it does not like to play alone. The key is balance.

Cindy Feingold “In some cases, finding the bitter balance is knowing when to pull back and when to be patient. Bitter peaks throughout your meal are nice. I love the way you can use bitterness in the mouth to stimulate the palate and get people salivating and excited,” Chef Wylie Dufresne of the Manhattan restaurant wd-50 explained to Lessley Anderson (, October 2, 2006). Salads are a perfect place to start experimenting with the fine balance of flavours. Here are two great recipes to get you on your way to embracing bitterness.

Arugula, Apple and Pomegranate Salad with Cider-Honey Vinaigrette I discovered this recipe at Food blogger Jennifer Segal (Once Upon a Chef) adapted it from Catherine Walthers new book, Raising the Salad Bar. Serves 4 1 crisp apple (like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith) 1 lemon 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 to 7 cups baby arugula /4 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup sliced almonds Goat cheese, crumbled

Readers and advertisers are advised the next edition of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin will be published Monday, January 21, 2013. Deadline: Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast sliced almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool. Wash but do not peel apple. Cut the apple into quarters. With a paring knife, remove the core from the quarters and slice them as thinly as possible. Place the slices in a bowl, squeeze lemon juice over them, and toss to coat to prevent discoloration. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and honey. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, toss the arugula and the apples with just enough dressing to coat the leaves. Divide the salad among four plates. Sprinkle each salad with pomegranate seeds, sliced almonds and crumbled goat cheese.

Help Wanted Torah Academy of Ottawa seeks F/T secretary beginning mid-December. Good interpersonal and technical skills required. Some knowledge of Hebrew preferred.

613-274-0110 or


the most dynamic traditional klezmer ensemble in Canada Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 7 pm Soloway Jewish Community Centre * Adults, $30; Seniors & Students, $25; Children under 10, free Tickets available at Russian shops: Stolichny Deli, 2280 Carling Ave & Lakomka Deli, 1127 Baxter Rd. Or by calling: Alla at 613-226-6970; Tania at 613-599-7939 or Arkadi at 613-491-3001 * Photo ID required at the door

Page 32 – Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – December 10, 2012

WHAT’S GOING ON December 10, 2012 to January 20, 2013 WEEKLY EVENTS Programs will not operate over holiday break. Check with organization for exact dates. MONDAYS Motorin Munchkins drop-in program for children 5 and

under. Kids expend lots of energy, supervised by a parent or guardian, 9:00 am to 11:45 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294. Chaverim, offered by Jewish Family Services for Jewish seniors with mild cognitive impairment, 2255 Carling Avenue, 11:00 am. Info: 613-722-2225, ext. 392. TUESDAYS Israeli Folkdancing: No experience or partner necessary, Ottawa Jewish Community School, 881 Broadview Avenue, 6:30 pm. Info:

CANDLELIGHTING BEFORE Dec 14 Dec 21 Dec 28 Jan 4 Jan 11 Jan 18

✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡

4:00 pm 4:02 pm 4:07 pm 4:12 pm 4:20 pm 4:29 pm

WEDNESDAYS Drop-in Playgroup for newborn to 3 years old. Parents and kids romp and play and make new friends, 9:00 to 11:00 am. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 294. CONTINUING UNTIL JANUARY 6, 2013 Exhibit “To Me There’s No

Other Choice – Raoul Wallenberg, 1912-2012,” Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place. Info: 613-798-4696, ext. 253. TUESDAY DECEMBER 11 Latkes & Laughs, sponsored by Jewish Education through Torah. Experience latkes from around the world, light the Menorah, hang with friends, and learn with Rabbi Tuvia Hoffman. Bijou Lounge, 129 Bank Street, 7:30 pm. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 247. WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 12 Menorah Lighting with City Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, sponsored by Acheinu, the Jewish Russian Educational Centre of Ottawa. Beaverbrook Mall, 2 Beaverbrook Drive, 7:00 pm. Info: 613-668-2770. Temple Israel Chanukah Freedom Lecture presents

For more community listings, visit Select “Click to see more months”

“The Year the Internet Fought Back” with Professor Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law, uOttawa. Talk covers the latest developments in internet law, and the politics behind them. 1301 Prince of Wales Drive, 7:30 pm. Info: 613-2241802. SATURDAY DECEMBER 15 Chanukah Open House, sponsored by the Glebe Minyan. Latkes, holiday treats, potluck dairy buffet. Donations welcome for the Ottawa Food Bank, and Centre 507. 19-612 Bank Street, 4:00-10:00 pm. Info: 613-867-5505. TUESDAY DECEMBER 18 Information Session for Young Adults Social Action Mission to Israel. Mission takes place May 1-12, 2013,

7:00 pm. Info: 613-798-4696, ext. 270. WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 19 “Torn,” a moving documentary about the journey of a Polish priest who, 12 years after his ordination, discovers he was born to Jewish parents killed in the Holocaust. Today, he lives in Israel and works at Yad Vashem. Part of the Greenberg Families Library Film Series, 1:00 pm.

Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 245. SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 Books ‘n Bagels, sponsored by Temple Israel, features Song for the Butcher’s Daughter, by Peter Manseau. The book weaves 100 years of Jewish history, the sad fate of an ancient language and a love story shaped by destiny. Reviewed by Rebecca Margolis. 1301 Prince of Wales Drive, 9:30 am. Info: 613-594-4556.

COMING SOON FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 TO SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2013 Annual Winter Shabbaton with Jewish Education through Torah. Guest speaker Aliza Bulow, a 13th generation American born to Protestant parents, converted to Judaism at age 16. She has been a Jewish educator for over 25 years. Victoria Park Suites, 377 O’Connor Street. Info: 613-798-9818, ext. 247.

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 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: Paul Bodgonov Shirley Ruth Feller

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.


JEWISH MEMORIAL GARDENS Your one-stop resource centre for funeral planning 613-688-3530

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