$2.00 • 32 PAGES • WWW.CJNEWS.COM MONTREAL EDITION APRIL 9, 2015 • 20 nisan, 5775 Inside Iran nuclear deal: what does it mean for Israel? Obama and Netanyahu differ on whether region will be more or less secure. PAGES 21, 22, 23, 24 Canadian prisons are home to some 200 Jews. From kosher food to prayer services and religious counselling, a small, but dedicated group of rabbis are ensuring their needs aren’t forgotten. PAGE 8 Talmud Torah-Herzliah rend hommage à des soldats morts de Tsahal Le Projet “Mezzouzot Shalom.” Are ‘No dogs, no Jewish groups back Play explores Jews’ signs a myth? hijab court motion good and evil PAGE 16 Pesach – Yizkor Candlelighting, Havdalah TIMES Halifax Montreal Ottawa Toronto Winnipeg Calgary Vancouver 7:34 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 7:24 p.m. 7:36 p.m. 7:56 p.m. 8:05 p.m. 7:39 p.m. 8:40 p.m. 8:21 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 8:41 p.m. 9:07 p.m. 9:18 p.m. 8:49 p.m. They’re synonymous with era of anti-Semitism, but there’s no proof they ever existed. PAGE 7 At issue is right to wear religious attire in judicial system. PAGE 12 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde production says people aren’t one or the other. PAGE 25 TORONTO THEATRE STARTS HERE WWW.CJNEWS.COM Canada Post Publication Agreement #40010684 2 Trending Gematria Nenshi buys bread, and Noah learns a lesson about Twitter Chametz fit for a mayor In what’s believed to be a first for a Canadian mayor, Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi bought the chametz from members of a shul in his city. Rabbi Shaul Osadchey of Beth Tzedec Congregation approached the country’s first big-city Muslim mayor with the idea at a recent interfaith event, the Calgary Herald reported. About 40 families in the 600-member Conservative synagogue had sold their chametz by March 30. The rabbi said the aim was to get more of them to take part than the 20 who normally do so annually. The chubby-cheeked Nenshi joked he was disappointed he wouldn’t get to take possession of the food. “I was hoping to fill the entire office with bread and pasta.” including one from 2010 that read “South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful.” Comedy Central said it was unfair to judge Noah based on a few jokes, and Noah himself tweeted: “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.” Anne Frank died earlier than thought 40 The Boca Raton Synagogue in Boca Raton, Fla., has set a world record for the world’s largest tallit, which is 40 times larger than a standard prayer shawl. $108,000 The value of a Russian-based Genesis PhilAnne Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Bel- anthropy Group’s grant to Danish Jews to sen earlier than previously believed, say re- increase security at Jewish sites in the wake searchers who looked into the last months of February’s shul attack in Copenhagen. of the teenage diarist and her sister and concluded they died some time in Febru- Quotable Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi ary 1945, not March 1945. The Anne Frank ceed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show. House in Amsterdam made the claim March The Anti-Defamation League and B’nai 31, the 70th anniversary of the official date Brith both urged Noah to avoid making dis- of the sisters’ deaths set by Dutch authorities Dear: ...................................................................................................................................... Day: ....................................................... tasteful jokes with Jewish stereotypes on the after the war. The researchers used archives Ukrainian Jews are part of the International show. After beingE-Mail named host by of the Red Cross, theyour Ukrainian political nation. Please orMarch fax 30 (514-484-8254) proofTracing back by .................................................................... Comedy Central, Noah came under fire for Service and the Bergen-Belsen Memorial, as well as eyewitness survivor testimonies. past tweets aboutrespond women, Jews, Israel, Josef Zissels, vice-president of Please byandthe above date, otherwise we willnuse —the ad as Kyiv-based shown below. B1E3R 2 0 1 1 JOuCl yT O 20 Proof Proof Sun. June 16 Feldman Messias Comic’s tweets haunt him Two Jewish groups expressed concerns over tweets about Jews and Israel by Trevor Noah, 31, the South African comic chosen to suc- ❍ Inside today’s edition Letters 3 Rabbi2Rabbi 4 Perspectives 7 THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 M Mon. June 17 ❍ OK as is the World Jewish Congress. See page 30. ❍ OK with corrections Revise as indicated International 21 About Town 27 Approved by: .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 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[email protected] Cell: 514-585-1453 Cell: 514.585.1453 Off.: 819-326-5331 Off.: 819.326.5331 Team DECKELBAUM Equipe THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 3 M Letters to the Editor The importance of dialogue Allow me, with great respect, to react to Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin, who, in his March 26 exchange with Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, (“The value of interfaith dialogue”) is skeptical, indeed negative, about interreligious dialogue. What is the fundamental Jewish objective in Christian-Jewish dialogue? To counteract anti-Semitism. Period. Everything else is secondary, a means to that end. Dialogue helped bring about the Second Vatican Council, which abolished Catholic teaching and preaching of anti-Semitism. Dialogue was instrumental in moving the Carmelite convent, with its conspicuous cross, away from Auschwitz. Dialogue includes Holocaust education. For close to 40 years, we have prevailed on Christian churches, of many denominations, to devote a regular Sunday service to commemorating the Shoah. If I, and Holocaust survivors, were unable to set foot in a church, how would we carry out that education? Dialogue also allows us to defend the State of Israel. We are not always success- ful, but no other Canadian church has followed the lead of the United Church [which endorsed a boycott on goods produced in the West Bank]. We had 19-1/2 centuries of anti-Semitism. We have had close to 70 years of dialogue, and at least here in Canada, although anti-Semitism has not completely disappeared, it is no longer the mainstream, pervasive, discriminatory phenomenon it was before World War II. This fall, the Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Montreal will be holding a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. Dialogue is a major asset to the Jewish community. Montreal sistently, my pleas, on behalf of Canadian Jewish Congress, to provide temporary sanctuary to specific Jews trapped, along with 4,500 of their fellow co-religionists, in their own country of Syria. No amount of pleading, in letters and in face-to-face meetings with ministers and government officials, ever resulted in a positive response. All I was able to get were statements that they were “monitoring the situation” in that country, which was a Jewish prison. Only when there were Conservative governments in office was I able to get minister’s permits for Jewish refugees. In addition, ministers such as Ron Atkey and Barbara McDougall went out of their way to assist in the endeavour to free Syrian Jewry. Tories also aided refugees Judy Feld Carr Victor C. Goldbloom The column “Canada failed the Pusama family” by Bernie Farber (March 26) deals with a human tragedy, indeed. It may well be that government inaction is to blame. Nevertheless, Farber should refrain from contorting that unhappy episode into a political party advertisement. I have never been a member of any political party. However, I recall, with great pain, successive Liberal governments that practised what Farber now characterizes as “no mercy” and “cruelty” in rejecting, con- Sweat less than your wealth manager. 514 842 7615 [email protected] NoonooPinslerDonato.com Noonoo Pinsler Donato Family Office is a part of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. Noonoo Pinsler Donato Private Office consists of Clifford Noonoo, Investment Advisor, Jonathan Pinsler, Investment Advisor and Christopher Donato, Investment Advisor. TD Wealth Private Investment Advice is a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. – Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund. ®/The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Toronto A recipe for school growth Contrary to the report, “Jewish high schools struggle with enrolment,” (March 26), I am very proud to say that Montreal’s Herzliah High School has been experiencing a very real increase in enrolment over the last three years. For this current, as well as for the coming academic year, our classes at all levels are full to capacity. With this good news though, there are specific directions that Jewish schools should consider to reignite the passion for Jewish education in our community. First, it is essential to ensure that classroom education is on trend with cutting-edge pedagogic practices. Combined with this, Jewish schools should be accredited by the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. This process requires a deep introspection in pedagogy, governance, financial management, fundraising and more. Equally important, boards of directors should be constantly seeking ways for schools to demonstrate to the community the value in attending a Jewish high school. Finally, elementary schools must be advocating to their parents the many benefits of a Jewish high school, as we know that Jewish identity-building and Israel advocacy can best be accomplished in a Jewish secondary school environment. Lawrence Kutler, Head of School Talmud Torah-Herzliah Montreal Letters to the editor are welcome if they are brief and in English or French. Mail letters to our address or to [email protected] We reserve the right to edit and condense letters, which must bear the sender’s name, address and phone number. 4 M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 RABBI•2•RABBI Family Moments Partners in our own redemption Is the lesson of the Exodus that God will do all the heavy lifting for us or that we must show initiative, courage and faith before God will act? Rabbi YAEL SPLANSKY holy Blossom Temple, toronto Rabbi MARK FISHMAN Congregation Beth Tikvah, MONTREAL Mazel tov to Ruth Levy on your 90th birthday. Love from Richard & Cheryl, Phillip & Geneviève, Ron & Marian, Robert & Patti and grandchildren. We honour you today on your 95th birthday with much love and great respect. You are an inspiration to all of us! Your Montreal Family Mazel tov and happy 90th birthday to Nathan Katz from your children and grandchildren. Email your digital photos along with a description of 25 words or less to [email protected] thecjn.ca or go online to www.CJNews.com and click on “Family Moments” Mazel Tov! מ ז ל !טוב Rabbi Splansky: Our Sages teach that we should “wear out our lips by saying the word dayeinu,” which means “it would have been enough for us” (Leviticus Rabbah 35:12). The most famous example of that effort is the song written more than 1,100 years ago that we sing at the seder. No less than 15 stanzas drive home the point: “If God had brought the plagues upon the Egyptians, but had not given us their wealth, dayeinu!… If God had split the sea for us, but did not bring us through it onto dry land, dayeinu! Rabbi Fishman: Classically understood, Dayeinu is a chance to keep asking for more while saying thank you. But perhaps we could look at the song from a new perspective – maybe the words actually mean what they say. So underserved were the Hebrew slaves that had God done nothing more for them than take them out of Egypt, it would have sufficed. With each stanza, then, we are left feeling overwhelmed by gratitude to a greater power that keeps going above and beyond. After a while, however, we realize that the greater the gift, the greater the dependency. Rabbi Splansky: The 14th-century Spanish commentator Abudarham asks if we really mean what we say when we say dayeinu. Would it really have been enough if God had brought us to Mount Sinai, but not given us the Torah? Would it really have been enough if God had brought us out of Egypt, but not into the land of Israel? On its surface Dayeinu is a pile-on of gratitude, but underneath may be the implied request for more. We can’t help but want more from God’s outstretched and open hand. We praise the Creator of the fruit of the vine and we drink deep from the four cups, but our story isn’t complete until Eliyahu drinks from his cup, too. Ours is an insatiable desire that human history will yet give way to complete redemption. Rabbi Fishman: What our Sages are most wary about How to reach us Vol. XLV, No. 14 (2,190)* Head Office: 1750 Steeles Ave. W., Ste. 218, Concord, Ont. L4K 2L7 mOntreal Office: Carré Décarie Sq., 6900 boul. Décarie, Ste. 3125, Côte St. Luc, Qué. H3X 2T8 tel: 514-735-2612; fax: 514-735-9090 editorial e-mail: [email protected] advertising e-mail: [email protected] Website: www.cjnews.com Subscription inquiries: 416-932-5095 fax: 416-932-2488 toll free: 1-866-849-0864 is an omnipotent God outshining His people and not leaving any room for them. Perhaps, like a rich uncle who keeps spoiling his nephew, our tradition was able to turn around and say “Enough already! You have given us so much, but now let us discover our destiny for ourselves!” Rabbi Splansky: Similarly, we begin Pesach with the Haggadah’s rendition of how we came to freedom by way of God’s miracles and wonders. Our sages who constructed the Haggadah wrote Moses out of the narrative. But we end Pesach with the Torah’s account that includes Moses, Miriam, and the “mixed multitude” driving toward change. Rabbinic legend drives home the point that redemption requires human initiative. With Pharaoh’s army at our backs and the sea before us, Moses raised his staff, and nothing happened. The sea was unchanged. Then, a man named Nachshon ben Aminadav stepped into the water while declaring God’s power and might. The waters rose to his knees, his hips, his neck, filled his throat. He was all but drowning in his faith when the sea flung open. An ordinary man forced the miracle. The Yiddish expression, “Be a Nachshon” means “Take initiative.” It may also come with theological undertones, as Yiddish expressions often do: to be a Nachshon is to be active in faith that God will act. Rabbi Fishman: One of the few songs Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote for Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was With a Little Help from My Friends. I believe that is a fitting title for God’s relationship with us. Yes there can be miracles, but first there needs to be a partner that God can call upon, even rely upon. God would rather a partnership than a dictatorship. God is looking for someone, who can show initiative and courage. God would rather see humanity transcend and overcome human nature than perform acts that defy human nature. Thus, what begins with God ends with man. In a saga that sets the God of history against the most powerful nation on earth, the true test of freedom is whether we mortals wish to take the plunge. Perhaps God, too, can sing these lyrics looking for someone to love: “Do you need anybody?/I need somebody to love/Could it be anybody?/I want somebody to love.” n israeli advertising representative: IMP, Tel: 02-625-2933. E-mail: [email protected] circulation: Total circulation: 33,717 copies Total paid circulation: 25,011 copies CCNA verified circulation: August 5, 2014 Postmaster: Please return 29Bs and changes of address to: CJN, 1750 Steeles Ave. W., Ste. 218, Concord, Ont. L4K 2L7. Postage Paid at Toronto Canada Post Publication Agreement #40010684 *Under current ownership We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Canadian Jewish News reserves the right to refuse advertising that in its opinion is misleading, in poor taste or incompatible with the advertising policies of the newspaper. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement by The Canadian Jewish News. The CJN makes no representation as to the kashrut of food products in advertisements. THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 5 M For you, tzedakah is a mitzvah. For your family and community, it's a blessing. “Our family places great importance on Jewish values, especially that of being responsible for one another. The Founda�on understands what we care about and helps us achieve our philanthropic dreams.” � ARLÈNE AND HENRI ABITAN Pictured from le� to right: YGAL BENABOU & INGRID ABITAN BENABOU • HENRI ABITAN • ALEXANDRE ABITAN • ARLÈNE ABITAN • JUDITH ABITAN FRIED & SHAWN FRIED Managing your family philanthropy, in a meaningful and personal way that transcends genera�ons, starts here – at the Jewish Community Founda�on. Our exper�se enables you to make informed choices that reﬂect your values while making perfect business sense. Because understanding what ma�ers most to you is at the heart of what we do. That’s smart philanthropy. Get started today. Contact us at 514.345.6414 or visit jcfmontreal.org 6 M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 President Elizabeth Wolfe Editor Yoni Goldstein General Manager Tara Fainstein Managing Editor Joseph Serge News Editor Daniel Wolgelerenter Operations Manager Ella Burakowski Art Director Anahit Nahapetyan Directors Steven Cummings, Michael Goldbloom, Ira Gluskin, Robert Harlang, Igor Korenzvit, Stanley Plotnick, Shoel Silver, Abby Brown Scheier, Pamela Medjuck Stein, Elizabeth Wolfe, Honorary Directors Donald Carr, Chairman Emeritus. George A. Cohon, Leo Goldhar, Julia Koschitzky, Lionel Schipper, Ed Sonshine, Robert Vineberg, Rose Wolfe, Rubin Zimmerman An independent community newspaper serving as a forum for diverse viewpoints Publisher and Proprietor: The Canadian Jewish News, a corporation without share capital. Head Office: 1750 Steeles Ave. W., Ste. 218, Concord Ont. L4K 2L7 From the Archives | Passover campaign Seen is the cover of a Moess Chittin Fund campaign pamphlet issued by a coalition of Canadian Jewish relief organizations just after World War II. (Recent research has established that the photograph used is a stock image of refugees in France in 1942.) Canadian Jewish Congress CC National Archives SeeJN |Clearance sale Haim Zach/GPO PHOTO Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen in his office April 2 with Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, left, and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, right, during a ceremony to sell the chametz of the State of Israel to Arab Israelis before the Passover holiday. Guest Column From disputation to dialogue Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl T his past weekend, as Jews around the world observed Passover, western Christian communities marked Pâques, known in English as Easter. Eastern Christians will celebrate next Sunday. This timely coincidence should remind us of the history of Jewish-Christian relations and help us realize how much has changed since the 1965 Vatican’s Nostre Aetate (“In Our Era,” Pope Paul VI’s declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions), which reframed the relationship of the Church with the modern world and re-conceptualized the relationship of the Church to the Jewish People. Although their spring dates often overlap, in 325 CE, the Church determined that Easter would no longer be dependent on Passover. Tragically, throughout the Middle Ages, European Jews experienced the Christian Holy Week as a time of physical danger and persecution, accusation and assault. In contrast, this season is now a time for Christians to note the Jewish roots and context of Jesus. Six hundred years ago, the Disputation of Tortosa pitted a team of Jewish scholars against leaders of the Catholic Church. That encounter, and there were many others, sought to compel Jews to accept the arguments of their adversaries. In more recent years, notwithstanding moments of disagreement, the two religions have moved from disputation to dialogue, from conflict to conciliation. Over the past 50 years, the Church has affirmed the teaching of the Apostle Paul that the divine covenant with the Jewish People is eternal. The Church has condemned anti-Semitism, affirmed that the “spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews” should lead to “mutual understanding and respect,” accepted the continuity of the living Covenant between God and the Jews, and recognized the existence of the State of Israel as a manifestation of divine blessing for the Jewish People. A year ago, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, travelling to the land of the people into which Jesus was born. Already known for personal humility, modesty and a commitment to social justice, this Pope demonstrated remarkable solidarity with the Jewish community in the wake of the 1994 terror attacks in Buenos Aires and was involved in a joint Jewish-Catholic organization called Tzedakah (justice and charity). He has pledged to continue the values articulated in Nostre Aetate. Last year, I joined with an imam, a priest and a minister to bring Jews, Muslims and Christians to the Holy Land. We travelled the Path of Abraham because Israel is the biblical and national homeland of the Jewish People, the spiritual birthplace of Christianity and the location of Muslim sacred sites. Our faiths are inextricably linked by ties of history, geography and theology. These ideals have been reaffirmed by Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, who has enjoyed a yom tov meal in my sukkah and who treasures a gift from the Toronto Board of Rabbis, A Jewish Commentary to the New Testament. It would be an important gesture of solidarity for Canadian Catholic religious leaders to travel to Rome and Jerusalem with rabbis and significant lay leaders from the two communities. This would advance the mutual understanding and respect that already exists between our faiths. n Baruch Frydman-Kohl is the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Senior Rabbi of Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto and the co-chair of the Canadian rabbinic caucus of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. YONI will return! THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS APRIL 9, 2015 Perspectives M 7 ESSAY ‘No dogs, no Jews’: no evidence Ron Csillag T he phrase has burrowed into the Canadian Jewish consciousness. Community leaders, politicians, local history buffs and yes, journalists, almost reflexively deploy the words to illustrate the horrible prejudices Jews encountered in Canada from the 1930s to the ’50s. The oft-cited message, repeats the Canadian Encyclopedia’s entry on anti-Semitism, appeared on signs in many places: at public parks and beaches in Toronto, outside resorts and hotels in the Laurentians and Ontario’s cottage country, and in the vacation areas of Manitoba and British Columbia. A few years ago, a Jewish candidate for public office uttered the “no dogs or Jews” meme. As recently as a few weeks ago, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), in a press release, recalled that “signs in public parks went so far as to declare: ‘No dogs or Jews allowed.’ ” There’s a problem, however, and it may shock you: there is no proof that such signs existed. Several top Jewish historians don’t recall ever encountering evidence of them in their research, with one acknowledging the signs could be an urban myth. Pundits often say: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” True. But logic also tells us that given the voluminous files at various archives brimming with photographic and documentary material confirming rampant anti-Semitic attitudes in Canada in that era, wouldn’t there be verification of the most insulting example, the sign declaring “No Dogs or Jews”? There’s not one. The Canadian Jewish Congress national archives in Montreal and the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre in Toronto hold photos of signs from the era with the following messages: “Christians Only – Jews Not Allowed”; “No Jews Wanted;” “Jews Not Allowed”; and several examples of “Gentiles Only.” They were found in Jackson’s Point, Ont.; Forest Hill Lodge near Burleigh Falls, Ont.; the Mossington Park Resort on Lake Simcoe; the Cawthra Mansions Tea Rooms in Toronto; Lakeside Point in Scarborough; Musselman’s Lake beach in Ontario; and Pleasant Valley Ranch in Oshawa. There’s one ominous number from the Quebec resort town of Ste. Agathe, north of Montreal, warning Jews to “scram while the going is good.” (The French message says the village is French-Canadian, “and we will keep it that way.”) The Jewish Public Library in Montreal also has no record of signs referring to dogs. The signs were said to be on two Toronto beaches: Sunnyside and Kew. The City of Toronto’s online archives produced no evidence, while the response from archivist Liam Peppiatt to an inquiry a few weeks ago was: “I cannot seem to find anything in our database that reflects what you are looking for.” Toronto attempted to eliminate “Gentiles Only” signs starting in 1932, when the Jewish alderman John Judah Glass, chairman of the parks commission, succeeded in forbidding the erection of any signs on city property without commission approval. Ontario’s 1944 Racial Discrimination Act banned racist signs and symbols (and would be used to overturn covenants forbidding the sale of land to Jews). Several years ago, the late Stephen Speisman, the foremost historian of Jewish Toronto, wrote an irate letter to the Toronto Star complaining of an earlier writer’s charge that the “No dogs or Jews” signs were myths. Speisman replied: “Although I am not aware of any photograph Toronto attempted to eliminate Gentiles Only signs like this one in 1932. ONTARIO JEWISH ARCHIVES, BLANKENSTEIN FAMILY HERITAGE CENTRE PHOTO depicting such signs, there are enough long-time Toronto residents who claim to have seen them to suggest they may have existed,” (emphasis added). With due respect to Speisman, that’s a lot of waffling. The writer of the original missive added that in a 1994 letter to him from Pierre Berton, the popular historian had said: “There is no evidence whatsoever – and I looked into this some years ago – that there was ever a sign in Toronto saying ‘No dogs or Jews allowed.’ ” Gerald Tulchinsky, in Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey, noted the “no dogs” signs “allegedly” existed. Historians Lita-Rose Betcherman, Allan Levine and Frank Bialystok (and others) have written that the signs did exist (they were “displayed prominently,” said Bialystok) but none provided references or examples. Ira Robinson, chair of Concordia University’s Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, said he could find “no visual evidence of ‘No dogs and Jews’ on the same sign.” Such signs, he added, “may be an urban legend, but it is one solidly based on evident and pervasive anti-Semitic attitudes in both English and French Canada in that era.” Other Jewish academics said they had no knowledge of such signs, or just never researched them. In their 1987 book The Riot at Christie Pits, Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir depended heavily on research by the late IS IT HAR D TO G E T YOU R ADVISO R ’ S AT TENTION? If you answered “yes”, then it’s time to partner with a team who makes you feel special. Call us today for a confidential introduction. Manage to outperform 514.933.6516 | www.pavilionih.com | [email protected] Pavilion Investment House is a division of Pavilion Advisory Group Ltd. which, along with its U.S. affiliate Pavilion Advisory Group Inc., provides investment advice and solutions to institutional clients with assets in excess of $625 billion. Ben Kayfetz, an expert in the history of Ontario Jewry. Both authors said Kayfetz claimed never to have seen such a sign and that he doubted their existence. There is “no hard evidence” to prove these signs existed, the authors concurred in a footnote. However, “when challenged, several of our respondents emphatically asserted that they had seen them with their own eyes.” Irving Abella, co-author of None is Too Many, said he had no “personal knowledge” of such signs, though he, too, had met “many people who remember seeing them.” But memories can be notoriously muddy and conflate or combine different events. At resorts, on beaches and in public parks, there were doubtless signs reading “No Dogs” and others with some variation of “no Jews” or “Gentiles only.” Over the decades, these two warnings could have morphed into a single declaration. CJC archivist Janice Rosen concurs: “I agree that there were separate signs and that memory fused them.” In no way does the issue of whether such signs existed detract from the virulent anti-Semitism of the era. But it’s better to set record straight. It’s time to bring the dogs in. ■ Ron Csillag is a freelance writer in Toronto. 8 Cover Story M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Easily shunned: Canadian Jews behind bars Lauren Kramer Pacific Correspondent When Rabbi Zushe Silberstein heard that the Jewish inmate standing before him in a Montreal jail was due to be released in just three days, he didn’t hesitate. “My daughter is getting married this weekend,” he said. “I would be honoured if you could attend the wedding.” The prisoner stared at him with unbelieving eyes, certain he had misheard. A rabbi inviting a newly released prisoner to a family wedding? It seemed impossible. But in the next breath, Rabbi Silberstein was offering to help arrange a suit if needed. It was clear his invitation came from the heart. The conversation between the two men occurred two years ago, and that weekend, the ex-convict did indeed attend the wedding. “No one knew where he came from, and at the wedding he danced with presidents of synagogues, family and friends, just like anyone else,” Rabbi Silberstein recalls. “At one point he approached me, clearly emotional, asking what kind of gift he could give the bride and groom. I told him, “The Correctional Service Canada said as of March 31, 2014 there were 177 offenders who identified themselves as being Jewish. SHUTTERSTOCK photo gift you’ll give will be a promise that never again will you go back to jail.’ He gave that gift and he’s leading a straight life now.” The encounter was nothing extraordinary for Rabbi Silberstein, who heads Chabad Chabanel in Montreal and regu- ISRAEL SPRING IN ISRAEL DIRECT FLIGHTS from $389 (+ tax $694.88 CAD) For a limited time only BEST FAMILY TOURS IN NORTH AMERICA Family, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tours Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony Incl. 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There’s a seder at Pesach, a Megillah reading on Purim, menorahs on Chanukah and services on Rosh Hashanah. But it’s not just about pushing spirituality, he insists. “My main thrust has always been to tell these marginalized Jews, ‘You’re not alone, you’re not forgotten. There’s someone out there who cares about you.’ We’re there to comfort, to advise them and to show them the Jewish community cares about them… Chabad is at the forefront of this care, here and everywhere else,” Rabbi Silberstein says. Fifteen years ago, the rabbi founded Maison Belfield as a halfway house for up to six men at a time, offering newly released Jewish inmates shelter, food, clothing, therapy and reintegration assistance. Aiding Jewish prisoners is a consuming task and one he takes seriously. “The [late Chabad] Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] teaches us not to forget any Jew, no matter where she or he may be,” he explains. “If there’s a Jewish person in need, we must care for them. It’s why my children and I have more than once travelled 14 hours to help one single Jew in jail. My Shabbos table often has former inmates gathered around it.” Over the 30 years Rabbi Silberstein has been involved with Jewish prison chaplaincy, he’s seen all kinds of Jews behind bars, “from a prominent lawyer to children from dysfunctional homes to people with substance abuse issues and those who are highly affluent,” he says. “Nobody is immune to falling into this kind of situation.” He refused to disclose the number of Jews presently incarcerated in Montreal, saying only “one is too many” and acknowledging that High Holiday services and Passover seders in the jails see an attendance of up to 10 people. Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said that as of March 31, 2014, there were 177 offenders who identified themselves as being Jewish, representing 0.8 per cent of the total prison population. That was up from 159 in April 2005. CSC engages Jewish chaplains who regularly provide religious services, religious education programs and one-onone counselling with Jewish inmates, said CSC spokesperson Julie O’Brien. “If a Jewish offender has a rabbi, the chaplain will put the two in contact.” Chaplains may approve kosher diets for inmates who require them, a religious dietary policy that was first formalized in 1992. It’s a policy Rabbi Silberstein was very much involved in. “Thirty years ago, the provincial government refused to allow kosher food, and we had to pay $30,000 to provide it to Jewish prisoners,” he recalls. “Eventually, under threat that we’d go to the Supreme Court of Canada, the federal and provincial governments eventually provided that kosher food at government expense, after the minister saw that we were serious and would not give up. Today, in Quebec’s prison systems, we have excellent co-operation for the needs of Jewish prisoners.” O’Brien says the CSC ensures spiritual accommodation to assist offenders in practising their religion or spirituality as fully as they desire within the correctional setting, up to a level generally available to people in the community. The Jewish community also has representation on the Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy, an advisory group on religious and spiritual practice for inmates in CSC institutions. Rabbi Ronald Weiss, director of chaplaincy services at Jewish Family & Child in Toronto, says that over the past 20 years, he and his team of chaplains have worked with federal, provincial and municipal correctional institutions across Ontario. “I feel we do a good job within the constraints placed upon us in meeting the needs of those Jews in jail,” he says. “The institutions by and large are very understanding and will do what they can to meet legitimate and reasonable requests. But individuals in custody are not happy campers – they’re legitimately unhappy with their situation. I wish we could do more for them, but we’re not lawyers, we’re not able to put up bail or sign on as surety. There are specific rules within which we have to operate.” Continued on page 20 THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 M 9 10 Comment M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS APRIL 9, 2015 Finding plenty in simplicity Mira Sucharov W hen I was in Winnipeg several weeks ago to deliver a talk at the University of Winnipeg, my cousins took me on a stroll on the frozen Assiniboine River. It was a crisp, sunny day, and we popped into several warming huts along the way that had been installed as part of an international design competition. One in particular caught our eye. Made of galvanized and painted corrugated steel in bright colours embedded in a snow drift, the hut included tubular openings protruding at various angles through which kids were keeping warm by climbing and laughing and sliding. As we remarked on it, we heard a man quip that the “flying children” part was unintentional. We turned around, and there was Jason Halter, one of the installers of the hut, who had worked with archi- tect Kevin Weiss’s Weissbau design team on the project – made by Canada Culvert. Turns out Jason is a fellow Jewish Winnipegger (I too spent my childhood there), who now lives in Toronto, where he runs a design company – with Anita Matusevics – called Wonder Inc. And while the jungle-gym aspect of the hut may have been unforeseen, there is a great deal of ecological intentionality – even infused with Jewish values, it turns out – behind Halter’s own work. As we spoke, I stayed warm in my deep-freeze winter boots, and Jason kept steady on hockey skates, a pair of DJ-style earphones around his neck. As Jason explained, the warming-hut structure – while itself not actually recycled – gives a nod to his current focus on simple and accessible “adaptive reuse.” One of his latest projects is transforming shipping containers into small homes. Jason is passionate about the environmental possibilities of this – he sees it as an innovative way to develop more affordable housing. He calls it “micro architecture.” With each container costing roughly $2,500, put four together and you’ve got an inexpensive, 1,280-square-foot house. Wonder Inc. works with Stor Stac in Toronto to retrofit the container for domestic use by spraying foam insulation, installing drywall and cutting out relevant openings. Given that shipping containers are meant to withstand the rough, salty waters of an ocean journey, their high-iron-concentrated steel form is well suited to housing. He explained that the containers naturally turn orange with rust, making this form of architecture a contemporary statement about freezing the passage of time. Jason’s personal story is also one about the passage of time. His paternal grandmother, Rhoda Lechtzier-Halter, was the first Jewish girl born in Western Canada, in Winnipeg, in 1881. By the time he was born in 1966, there was an active and well-integrated Jewish community in Winnipeg. He, along with many other Jewish friends, attended University of Winnipeg Collegiate, while playing in Jewish hockey leagues. Jason describes his work – and his “intensity and creative energy” – as being informed by Jewish values. “Inclusiveness and compassion are what I understand my Jewish roots to be. You always feel like an outsider. The type of work I do is on the fringe.” Jason might see himself as working on the margins, but that fringe is increasingly coming to find the centre. A September 2014 article in The Atlantic about a university professor in Austin, Texas, endeavouring to live in a retrofitted 36-squarefoot dumpster – replete with home decor items – captured the imagination of many on social media, who helped it go viral. And visit Vipp’s website – the company that’s known for its trash bins – and you’ll see it marketing its “Vipp Shelters” to urban hipsters who want all the design chic that any architecture magazine peddles. On one foot (or boot or skate), as the old talmudic saying goes, we didn’t get a chance to delve into the entire problem of housing and homelessness. But one could say that this was a good start, helping us enter the Passover season thinking about finding plenty in simplicity. ■ It does not seem to bother Beinart that his call to “punish” the lawfully elected government of Israel places him shoulder to shoulder alongside the haters of the Jewish state. He has substituted wishful thinking for reasoned judgment. This is not surprising since the ideology that provides him with the framework for solving Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians – American liberalism – and that he unquestioningly embraces does not mesh with the facts-on-the-ground of the region, the irrefutable, harsh reality that he refuses to acknowledge. The essence of that reality can be glimpsed in the following abbreviated list: 1. At least three times since 2000, Abbas has rejected signing a peace treaty with Israel. 2. Like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, he cannot concede – among other things –that Israel is the sovereign state of the Jewish People. 3. Like his predecessor, Abbas has repeatedly violated the Oslo accords of 1993. 4. Three times since the summer of 2005, when Israel unilaterally left the Gaza Strip, the Jewish state has been at war with the genocidal, Islamist leaders of Gaza. 5. Abbas has entered into a unity pact with those same Islamist leaders. 6. Time and again, through its incitement against Israel, its collaboration with Israel’s rabidly violent enemies and its hostile actions against the Jewish state, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has shown its indifference to trying to win the confidence of a majority of Israelis. In a real sense, therefore, it was Abbas’ PA that effectively “elected” Netanyahu’s centre-right, 30-person list. Beinart ignores this. He is slavishly captive to his ideology. Indeed, the ideology itself seems more important to him than the human beings for whose betterment he claims his ideology stands. Beinart’s repeated pronouncement of love for Israel reminds one of the Peanuts cartoon in which the often-testy Lucy dramatically professes her long-lasting and abiding love for all humanity. Then, noting the doubting look on Charlie Brown’s face, Lucy clarifies her bombastic proclamation by stating that “it’s just people I can’t stand.” At every opportunity, Beinart proclaims his love for Israel. Perhaps, like Lucy, it’s simply the Israelis he cannot stand. ■ Mira Sucharov is associate professor of political science at Carleton University. Ideology’s captive Mordechai Ben-Dat T he people of Israel selected their lists of new legislators almost a month ago. Benjamin Netanyahu’s list received the most support among Israelis – 25 per cent – entitling his centre-right party to 30 members in the 120-seat Knesset and enabling him to undertake the task of cobbling together a governing coalition. The president of the United States was clearly unhappy with the results. Ceaselessly, for nearly two weeks after the election he and his officials publicly pilloried Netanyahu whenever possible. They justifiably criticized the Israeli prime minister for patently expedient, ethnically inappropriate remarks he made prior to the election in an 11th-hour appeal for their vote. But they unjustifiably criticized him for remarks he made that were appropriate, self-evident and truth- Connect with us: E-mail: [email protected] ful concerning the viability of reaching a two-state solution with the Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian leadership, especially in light of the current violent, unsettled circumstances in the region. President Barack Obama wilfully distorted the full context of Netanyahu’s remarks, ignored his subsequent elaboration upon his original comments and resumed a personal campaign of ostracizing Netanyahu. Some of our American coreligionists were also very unhappy with the results of the Israeli elections, none more so, it seems, than the political commentator Peter Beinart. He was so angry with “Jewish Israelis” for not voting the way he wanted that he urged Jewish Americans to “punish” the Israeli government for not adopting Obama’s peace plan. In a March 19 article in Ha’aretz, Beinart suggested a list of punitive measures that he, like-minded Jewish Americans and the American government can – indeed must – implement until, presumably, Jewish Israelis finally behave the way he knows is best. “Israelis have made their choice. Now it’s time to make ours,” Beinart wrote. Facebook: facebook.com/TheCJN Twitter: @TheCJN THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Comment M 11 The State of Israel is a wondrous dream come true Rabbi Jay Kelman “W hen God brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like dreamers.” Who would have, could have, believed that after 1,900 years – and a mere three years after the greatest tragedy in Jewish history – the Jewish People could become sovereign in their land? Throughout most of our exile, Israel was a distant place – physically, spiritually and, perhaps most important, conceptually. Much of the opposition to Zionism was based on the notion that the mass return of the people to their land was something that had to await the messianic period. Re-establishing a Jewish state was considered otherworldly, the stuff of dreams, something we dare not try to implement in practice. The Holocaust “cured” most Jews of this way of thinking, but for the Jew living the nightmare of Auschwitz, the idea of the State of Israel was inconceivable even as a dream. Its creation would be a miracle as great – and likely greater – than any other in Jewish history. The return to our land, against all odds, allowed the people of Israel to turn the greatest of dreams into reality. As David Ben-Gurion famously remarked, in Israel, believing in miracles is the mark of a realist. The thrice recited prayer “to the city of Jerusalem [please] return in mercy” is being fulfilled before our very eyes. The world is a much more scary place than it was 10 years ago, or even last year. The Jewish state and the Jewish People (and they are one and the same) are singled out for hatred more than any other. Missiles in the thousands – and perhaps hundreds of thousands – are pointed toward Israel. Yet the Jewish People have never been stronger, and we can and must confidently move forward. One of the basic characteristics of a dream is the rapid pace at which time moves. While there may be much happening in a dream, the dream itself lasts mere seconds. The State of Israel has been in existence only 67 years. Yet in that historical blink of an eye, Israel has done what others have not accomplished in thousands of years. Torah, technology, science, art, music, innovation, agriculture and medicine – you name it, and Israel is a world leader. For a country with less than .1 per cent of the world’s population, this is unbelievable, even for a dream. The Talmud was greatly interested in the study of dreams, discussing their meaning and significance. Considering the role they play in biblical history, this is not surprising. Long before Freud, our sages surmised that dreams reflect reality – or if not actual reality, then the reality of our wants and desires: “A man is shown in his dreams only what is suggested by his own thoughts” (Brachot 55b). Furthermore, the Talmud teaches that “hakol holech achar hapitaron,” all occurs according to the interpretation. Nowhere is such interpretation more necessary than it is in regard to Israel. Sadly, not all recognize the tremendous gifts that God has blessed us with. Israel is not a perfect country. It’s run by humans, so how could it be otherwise? But it is a more perfect country than most, and perhaps it is more perfect than all. One can look at Israel and see division, challenges, political deadlock, social unrest and enemies all around. Yet one can interpret those as the inevitable growing pains of a young, dynamic, booming country. Should we not all be awestruck by all that Israel has accomplished? The rust of 1,900 years of exile does not come off overnight. Yet so much has been scraped off, revealing amazing beauty beneath. If we want to see even more beauty, we must properly and positively interpret this most amazing of dreams, so that the greatest of dreams may continue to turn to reality. n Comments to [email protected] Celebrating the special moments Norma Baumel Joseph I write this column on March 27. You will read it during Passover. I mention these dates because they are significant to me both personally and communally. And I believe that the lessons I take from them are worth sharing. Fifty years ago, on March 27, 1965, I married Rabbi Howard S. Joseph. Fifty years have passed, 50 years of a faithful, committed and loving relationship. It seems quite strange not only because of the rampant rate of divorce today, but because I am hard-pressed to locate such a long time span. Could it really be so many years? I recall my father telling me that he could not imagine how he had aged, that in his head he was still a young man though the calendar said he was 85. Now it is my turn to experience that same dislocation. How could time have passed so swiftly that I cannot catch my breath? It has been a wonderful, adventurous life but there have also been many challenges. I never thought I would leave the United States. I never anticipated how much I would grow. I never understood how miraculous long-lasting love is. I never appreciated how much I would learn from my husband. And it all happened so quickly. Consequently, I value the ability and necessity to celebrate these special moments. Celebrations help to mark the passage of time, to locate our transformations and perseverance. They make the private public, and in doing so, they generate a community of family and friends. Correspondingly, we need the celebrations of our heritage that take place via holiday cycles. Passover is the quintessential holiday for this type of experience. Passover marks the transformation of a group of slaves into a nation of free citizens. My marriage ceremony 50 years ago converted two individuals into one new entity; so, too, this holiday marks the creation of a new national unit. Before the Exodus, we were only a series of families. After it, even before Sinai, we became a people, united in history and legacy. We are not united politically or even in all our ritual practices. We are certainly not uniform in opinions. But we do comprise a unit, a known grouping of individuals. And that is celebrated most significantly through this holiday. Passover makes public our unique history and pride in our esteemed heritage. And of course, it marks the transition of winter into spring (which we really need already). The natural element of our Jewish holidays is also a very important aspect of commemoration and tribute. Remembering who we are is aided by locating our existence within the cycle of the seasons. The ritual of the seder seems to be especially geared to stimulating this mindfulness. Celebrating the design of the seasons and the gifts of new agrarian cycles seems particularly appropriate. Marking the passage of time through these rituals and ceremonies seems to me to be both ideally Jewish and incredibly necessary. How else can we grasp both our finitude and our eternal survival? The holidays link us to the past of our ancestors and bind us to the future of our inheritors. Celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries do the same. They all help to freeze frame our experiences and punctuate moments in our lives. In some sense, they stop the flow of time while celebrating it. Finally, it is very important to me that the Passover process takes place in the domestic space. Of all our holidays, this one enables a sense of Jewishness that includes the private space of home with the public recognition of nationhood. We sanctify ourselves and our history through this process of celebration. The public and private aspects of our lives can thus combine together to mark our own individual and communal existence and purpose. n 12 M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 News Cotler abstains from Syria vote in House of Commons Janice Arnold [email protected] Irwin Cotler broke ranks with the Liberal Party and abstained from voting on the Conservative government’s motion to extend and expand Canada’s military role against ISIS because he says it gives Syrian President Bashar Assad too much say over the situation. On the other hand, Cotler has long called for military intervention against jihadist extremism, and specifically in Syria to stop what he considers war crimes perpetrated by the Assad regime. Federal MPs voted 142-120 on March 30 in favour of extending the mission for up to one year and authorizing air strikes in Syria on ISIS targets. The Liberals and the oppos- ition New Democratic Party did not support the original mission or its extension. Cotler aide Michael Milech said some other Liberal MPs were absent for the vote, but Cotler was the only member of the party to be present in the House of Commons and to abstain. Similarly, Cotler abstained in October on the government motion to approve a Canadian combat role in the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign against ISIS. At that time he abstained mainly because he could not abide any co-operation with Assad. “My main concern has always been the protection of civilians in Syria and Iraq. In October, I was unable to support the government’s motion because of the prime minister’s statement that Canada would Irwin Cotler give a veto to the criminal Assad regime,” Cotler said in a statement made in advance of the March 30 vote. “I remain unable to support the government in this matter because its proposed expansion of Canada’s mission continues to allow Assad to assault Syrian civilians with impunity. Moreover, the government’s lack of clarity in October has only been compounded by a lack of forthrightness since.” However, Cotler is not opposed to military intervention. “I have been a longstanding proponent – together with my Liberal colleagues – of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine… It is because of international inaction three years ago against Syria’s criminal Assad regime that radical jihadists – including ISIS –have been able to take root, develop, and engage in a campaign of abhorrent brutality.” Cotler, who has represented Montreal’s Mount Royal riding since 1999, is not running in the election later this year. n Jewish groups back motion on religious attire Janice Arnold [email protected] Jewish groups are watching with interest if a court will render an opinion on whether Quebecers’ religious attire affects their access to justice. Constitutional lawyer Julius Grey is scheduled to present a motion in Quebec Superior Court on April 30 seeking a legal opinion clarifying the right to wear such clothing as hijabs, kippot and turbans in the province’s judicial system. Grey and fellow Montreal lawyer Mathieu Bouchard filed the motion on behalf of Rania El-Alloul, the Muslim woman who was told in February by Quebec Court Judge Eliana Marengo to remove her hijab or her petition to get back her impounded car would not be heard. El-Alloul refused and the judge postponed the case. The matter was settled in March and the vehicle was returned. Grey said this matter is about freedom of religion, equality and access to the courts. “We are asking to establish a principle, a principle that is a legal one: that you cannot refuse to hear a litigant because of a hijab, a turban, a kippah,” Grey was reported saying. “A judge has to sit and judge between all the people who come, and we would like that to be made clear to all.” B’nai Brith Canada and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said it supports the motion for clarification on Quebecers’ rights. Both organizations felt the judge had no legal grounds to turn away El-Alloul from her court because she was wearing a traditional head scarf. Marengo’s refusal to hear El-Alloul if she wore her hijab is “an apparent violation of religious freedom protected by the Quebec and Canadian Charters of Rights,” said lawyer Allan Adel, national chair of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “A legal principle needs to be established that a judge cannot refuse to hear a litigant because he or she may be wearing a hijab, turban or kippah.” David Ouellette, CIJA’s associate director for Quebec public affairs, told The CJN that Marengo’s decision was “wrong-headed and a denial of justice which should not be allowed to stand as a legal precedent.” It has no basis in law and went beyond even the Parti Québécois proposed charter of values, Ouellette pointed out. That charter would only have banned judges from wearing religious symbols on the grounds that they represent the state and should be – and look – neutral. Ouellette said he has never heard of someone wearing a kippah being turned away from a court in Quebec. n THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 News M 13 Students remember fallen soldiers at Shabbat dinners CJN Staff On recent Friday nights, Shabbat was made especially meaningful by young Jewish Montrealers. Hillel Montreal launched a program called Or Le’nefesh, which means “light to the soul.” The initial idea was to have 66 “do-it-yourself” Shabbat dinners hosted by students across the city, with or without their families. Each dinner was to be in memory of one of the 66 Israel Defence Forces soldiers who were killed during Operation Protective Edge last summer. The initiative was funded by the Gross, Segel and Spatzner families so that Hillel Montreal could offer subsidies to the hosts if they needed it. Each host received a basket with an educational guidebook, participant booklets, Shabbat candles, grape juice, challah baked by its Challah for Hunger volunteers, a memorial candle and a biography with photo of a soldier. “We aimed for 66, but we had 85 – and more than 800 Shabbat guests,” said Hillel Montreal associate executive director Bev Shimansky. Participants dedicated their Shabbat meal to “light up the lights of each soldier’s soul,” thus fulfilling the Jewish value of Kavod HaMet, honouring the dead. “Our tradition teaches us that lighting candles brings light from darkness and hope from despair,” Shimansky said. Hillel Montreal executive director Jeff Bicher said the organization tries to inspire students to make a commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. “This project resonated on all levels. And it is proof that not only is Hillel a global movement, but Jews are a global people, and a ripple on the other side of the world makes waves here.” Elyse Wieskopf, senior engagement associate at Hillel Montreal visited the homes of five students who hosted dinners. “Five beautifully set Shabbat tables, five empty seats in memory of a fallen soldier and 42 students doing Shabbat their own way. This is what I witnessed. “I was incredibly moved by the thought, care and level of preparation that went into each meal – whether it was reciting the Prayer for the Soldiers of Israel while gathered around a lit memorial candle with 18 other students, participating in discussion about the history of modern-day Israel, or having an emotional late-night conversation over fresh danish… I could not have Staff-Sgt. Omer Hay, one of the 66 Israeli soldiers who fell in last summer’s conflict in Gaza, was remembered at a communitywide Shabbat dinner hosted by university students. been more proud of our student hosts who stepped up to facilitate these meaningful Shabbat experiences for their friends. “While the streets of the McGill ghetto were filled with students running to and from parties, it was an honour to catch a glimpse of the ways our millennials, the next generation, are keeping the traditions of our religion and culture, each with their own flavour and spin.” Participants shared their thoughts on Twitter and Instagram using #OrLenefesh, #LightUpTheLights and #HillelMontreal hashtags. “The Or L’Nefesh Shabbat experience… allowed me to come together with my friends on a regular Shabbat and turn it into something a little more,” said McGill University student Rayna Lew. “We were honouring a soldier around our age, which made the issue all the more tangible and brought it closer to home. “It was a meaningful night of discussion, food, laughs and memories. Thank you to Hillel and the generous donors for enabling me to host this special night.” Concordia University student Erica Szwimer said her evening was dedicated to Lt. Nathan Cohen, who lost his life just before he was to marry his fiancée Tal. “In his honour, we carried out a tradition of breaking a glass and wishing a mazal tov to him and his family, to mark the union that was not to be.” n Luxurious Hotels & Spa by the sea. Herods - The Premium collection by Fattal Hotels Herods-Canadian jewish News-quarter page.indd 1 08/03/15 14:38 14 News M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Jewish authors from near and far at Blue Metropolis Janice Arnold [email protected] Jewish writers from several countries, including Israel, are taking a part in the 17th edition of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, and the late Mordecai Richler will also be getting his due. The festival will be held April 20-26 at Hotel 10 and other venues. City University of New York professor André Aciman, who was born in Egypt in 1951 and wrote the memoir Out of Egypt; Latvian-born fiction writer David Bezmozgis of Toronto, a Scotiabank Giller Prize and Governor General’s Award nominee, and Liana Finck of New York, the young author of the graphic novel A Bintel Brief take part in a round-table discussion entitled “Old Country, New Country: Jews in Transit” in which they will talk about their characters’ and their own migrations. Finck will also give a workshop on comics, drawing on her own exploration of Jewish immigrant life in New York inspired by letters to the advice column of Yiddish Forward newspaper in the early 20th century. A new discovery for many Montrealers will be 31-year-old German Jewish author, Olga Grjasnowa, who was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. She left with her family for Germany in 1996, and has also lived in Poland, Israel and Russia. Her debut novel All Russians Love Birch Trees has received international notice. She will give a writing workshop in German at the Goethe Institut and be interviewed in English by Will Aitken about her novel, whose protagonist is a young immigrant woman in Frankfurt “for whom the issue of origin and nationality is immaterial.” The two Israeli writers, whose appearance is sponsored by the Israeli consulate, are Eshkol Nevo and Assaf Gavron. Nevo, who spoke via Skype at last year’s Blue Metropolis, is a grandson of Israel’s third prime minister, Levi Eshkol, who served during the Six Day War. Nevo, who was born two years after his famous elder’s 1969 death, is one of the more luminous Israeli literary writers today, a master of portraying the ambiguities of contemporary Israel life. He is the author of three novels, including the most recent Neuland, which has been translated into English. Both of Nevo’s appearances during the festival will be at the Jewish Public Library. He will speak in Hebrew on April 19 and in English the following day. Gavron, 46, an Israeli Prime Minister’s Eshkol Nevo Moti Kikayon photo Award winner, is the author of the recent novels The Hilltop, set in the West Bank, and Croc Attack. He teaches creative writing at Bar-Ilan University and Sapir College in Sderot. One of Gavron’s claims to fame is that he translated Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint into Hebrew. Gavron will be interviewed about The Hilltop by Shelley Pomerance at a session titled “The Wild West Bank” on April 25, as well as take part in a discussion called “Writers on Hate” along with American writer Russell Banks and others earlier that day. Charles Foran, who wrote the most comprehensive biography to date Mordecai: The Life & Times in 2010, will lead walking tours of Mile End, highlighting the colourful and now trendy neighbourhood where Richler grew up and in which some of his novels are set. Foran will also take part in a discussion with two translators of Richler’s work into French, Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné. There will also be a discussion on “Mile End in Fiction” by three writers in whose work the district figures, including Brooklyn’s Sigal Samuel, author of the forthcoming The Mystics of Mile End. This is the debut novel by Samuel, who was born in Montreal and received a master’s of fine arts in creative writing at the University of British Columbia in 2012. She is a writer and editor of The Forward, and former senior editor at The Daily Beast. The Mystics of Mile End, scheduled to be published in Canada by Freehand Books in May, is a surrealistic tale about a dysfunctional Montreal family living in a Mile End of hipsters and Chassidim, filled with oddball characters haunted by the past and its secrets. Visit bluemetropolis.org.for more info. n THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 News M 15 Friendship Circle’s 13th celebrated with special bar mitzvah Janice Arnold [email protected] What better way to celebrate a 13th anniversary than stage a real bar mitzvah? That’s what the Friendship Circle (FC), a non-profit group that provides social and recreational programming for special-needs children and adolescents did at its recent gala dinner held at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. Jacob Mogil, one of the more than 100 youngsters who benefit from the FC, recited the prayers under the watch of Rabbi Yossi Paris, who founded the organization in Montreal with his wife Sima, and with the encouragement of Rabbi Leibel Rodal, FC’s assistant program director. Looking on proudly were the Summit School student’s parents, Jeffrey and Elizabeth Mogil. There were two cantors: David Guber, chazzan of Beth-El Congregation, and Steven Abadi, a 16-year-old FC volunteer who hopes his powerful voice will take him places. Jacob had an audience of 500 guests, who had come to support FC, and they hoisted him on a chair and danced the hora after the ceremony. Those 100 youngsters, who live with developmental and/or physical challenges, and the nearly 400 teen volunteers from 40 high schools and colleges who are their friends were the stars of the evening. FC, whose flagship centre is in Bloomfield, Mich., near Detroit, is inspired by the teaching of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson that no child should be excluded from the community and that all should feel valued. A cornerstone of the non-sectarian program is encouraging able teens to volunteer as “friends” of the special-needs kids, thereby developing in those teens empathy, a sense of responsibility and an appreciation of determination. As Hebrew Academy student Gabby Cons said, the FC is “a place where differences don’t matter, where we witness miracles every day. When I’ve had a hard day at school, my buddy Maxwell invigorates me…I can shift the focus to what really matters in life.” The parents and siblings of those with disabilities are also cared for – given not only respite, but also the message that they do not have to be isolated. “Each of these children is a beautiful diamond,” said Sima Paris. “Their souls are born whole and pure…They radiate love and goodness…They teach us that our intrinsic value is much deeper than what we can do. “The teen volunteers learn to look past the outside, to see the inner beauty.” Rabbi Yossi Paris puts tfillin on bar mitzvah boy Jacob Mogil as his parents Elizabeth and Jeffrey Mogil look on. The FC’s centre in Côte des Neiges, in the former Chevra Shaas synagogue, is a hub of activity throughout the week, with sports, cooking, yoga, dance and art. The teen volunteers also visit their “friends” in their home. The accent is on having fun. Sometimes the parents of volunteers are motivated to give time themselves, like Raquel and Shmulik Spiegelman, who teach first aid, following in the footsteps of their daughter Naomi, a Royal West Academy student. “It’s so amazing,” Raquel Spiegelman said. “My daughter brought some of her friends from school, who had no idea what the FC was, now they are volunteers and learning about all the Jewish things at the same time.” The FC began modestly with a handful of children and volunteers, who met in the basement of Pomerantz House on Van Horne Avenue, where Chabad gave free Hebrew lessons. Through the dedication of the Paris couple and generosity of philanthropists, the FC obtained its own spacious building, and has grown rapidly. Current president Josh Cummings said the FC has had an impact on hundreds of people thanks to the dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters. A poignant moment during the evening was when Linda Shapiro Zunenshine, mother of Robbie, who has enjoyed the FC for years, related how ill he was five months ago after a heart procedure. “It was touchand-go more than once,” she said. “The Paris’ gave us the friendship to endure.” But Robbie is fine now, and he led the FC Choir in singing One Small Candle. The evening also recognized 13 people who have been particularly devoted over the years, some right from the beginning, for giving their time and/or money: Douglas Avrith, Lindsay Fazekas-Benhamron, Pearl Bratin, Gabby Cons, Fred Dubrovsky, Lynn Smolkin Kauffman, Paul Lieberman, Larry Reznick, Greg Sigler, Manya Stendel, Abie Sterner, Molly Wolanski and Linda Shapiro Zunenshine. n tuesday THE GRaND RETURN OF ZUBIN mEHTa may Benefit concert 19 artists Zubin Mehta, conductor Michelle deYoung, mezzo-soprano OSM Women’s Chorus Chœur des enfants de Montréal andrew Megill, OSM chorus master work Mahler, Symphony no. 3 in D minor For the first time at Maison symphonique Zubin Mehta Music director of the israel PhilharMonic orchestra and the forMer Music director of the osM (1961 to 1967) PuBlic Partners transPorteur officiel Partenaires PuBlics tickets also on sale at 16 News M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 ‘Mezzouzot Shalom’ un Projet remarquable Elias Levy [email protected] La Residence stegeR Retirement canada L’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah a pris der nière ment une initiative remarquable: honorer la Mémoire des 66 jeunes et braves soldats de Tsahal tombés au combat l’été dernier durant l’Opération Bordure Pro tectrice. Cette Opération militaire fut lancée par l’Armée d’Israël contre les terroristes du Hamas à Gaza pour faire cesser les attaques de roquettes quotidiennes contre les villes israéliennes. Pour honorer le courage inouï et la Mémoire de ces jeunes recrues de Tsahal morts au champ d’honneur, l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah a initié le Projet Mezzouzot Shalom. “La mort de ces 66 jeunes soldats de Tsahal a bouleversé et attristé profondément tout le peuple d’Israël et les Juifs de la Di aspora. Pour rendre hommage à ces grands héros d’Israël, nous avons décidé d’appo ser 66 Mezzouzot sur le seuil des portes des classes de notre École. Ainsi, l’admirable héritage et la Mémoire de ces jeunes soldats de Tsahal, qui ont donné leur vie pour dé fendre leur patrie, seront perpétués à l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah afin que nos élèves et ceux qui les succéderont se souviennent des sacrifices incommensurables que ces jeunes Israéliens ont faits pour protéger le peuple d’Israël”, nous a dit en entrevue l’initiateur de ce beau Projet, David Azer ad, Directeur des Études juives de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah. Larry Kutler, Directeur général de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah, est convaincu que le Projet Mezzouzot Shalom contribuera à promouvoir et à renforcer l’Israel Advocacy -la défense de la cause et des droits d’Is raël- auprès des élèves du niveau Primaire et du niveau Secondaire de Talmud Torah- Herzliah. “Israël est aujourd’hui l’objet de viru lentes attaques et de fielleuses campagnes de boycott dans les Institutions académi ques post-secondaires et les Universités du Canada et des États-Unis, dit-il. À l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah, les Programmes et les activités visant à sensibiliser nos élèves à la défense des droits très légitimes d’Israël sont prioritaires.” Les plaques commémoratives dédiées aux 66 soldats de Tsahal tués durant l’été 2014 au cours de l’Opération Bordure Protectrice, qui seront apposées à l’entrée des classes près de chaque Mezzouzah honorant leur Mémoire bénie, rappellera chaque jour aux élèves de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah “l’importance de défendre avec conviction Israël face aux attaques virulentes de ses ennemis”, ajoute Larry Kutler. “Nous souhaitons que quand nos élèves Larry Kutler (à gauche), Directeur général de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah, et David Azerad, Directeur des Études juives de cette Institution scolaire montréalaise. Photo : Elias Levy arrivent au Cégep et plus tard à l’Université ils aient le background sioniste nécessaire pour réfuter les thèses mensongères mar telées par la propagande palestinienne.” Chaque don de 1 800$ permettra de placer une Mezzouzah sur le seuil de la porte d’une classe de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah qui jouxtera une plaque commémorative dans laquelle sera inscrite une courte biographie du soldat défunt honoré ainsi que le nom de la famille, ou des familles, ayant parrainé cette Mezzouzah. “Chaque Mezzouzah rappellera chaque jour à nos élèves l’importance de protéger Eretz Israël et le fait que des jeunes soldats de Tsahal, un peu plus âgés qu’eux, ont sacrifié leur vie pour assurer la sécurité et la liberté d’Israël et du peuple juif”, dit David Azerad. Le Projet Mezzouzot Shalom sera dédié aussi à une remarquable jeune ensei gnante de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah, Sarit Malka, décédée brusquement il y a quelques mois. Sarit Malka était la Coordonnatrice du Projet éducatif Haï Gesher qui permet chaque année, après les fêtes de Pessah, à des jeunes collégiens israéliens de séjourner à Montréal pendant plusieurs semaines et de participer pleinement à la vie estudian tine de l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah. “La très regrettée Sarit Malka, une éduca trice hors pair, vouait un grand amour à Israël. Elle aurait été très heureuse d’être associée au Projet Mezzouzot Shalom”, dit Larry Kutler. Les familles des soldats de Tsahal honorés seront prochainement contactées afin de les informer que la Mémoire de ces êtres chers sera gravée à tout jamais à l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah. Une cérémonie spéciale au cours de laquelle seront apposées les Mezzouzot aura lieu bientôt à l’École Talmud Torah- Herzliah. Pour plus d’informations sur le Projet Mezzouzot Shalom, contacter l’École Talmud Torah-Herzliah. Tél.: 514-739-2291, ext. #221. E-mail: [email protected] Site Web: www.utt.qc.ca/mezuzot-mezzouzot n THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 News M Réflexions sur l’antisémitisme en France De gauche à droite: Charles Barchechath, président du Comité “Conférences” d’Or Hahayim, Glen Feder, Michelle Whiteman, Coordonnatrice de l’I.S.G.A.P. au Canada, et Charles Asher Small, Fondateur et Directeur de l’I.S.G.A.P. Photo: Elias Levy Elias Levy [email protected] L’universitaire américain Glen Feder vit à Paris depuis quelques années. Détenteur d’un Doctorat en Philosophie politique de l’Université Paris IV-Sorbonne et Diplômé de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris et de l’Université de Chicago, ce spécialiste de l’antisémitisme et de l’idéolo gie des mouvements radicaux islamistes est Chercheur associé à l’Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (I.S.G.A.P.), un Centre d’étude international spécialisé dans l’étude de l’antisémitisme contempo rain. Glen Feder est conseiller du gouverne ment américain en matières de législations antiterroristes et de Sécurité nationale. Fondé en 2004 par un universitaire réputé natif de Montréal, Charles Asher Small, l’I.S.G.A.P., dont le Président honoraire est Élie Wiesel, écrivain renommé et Prix Nobel de la Paix, a établi des Partenariats avec plusieurs prestigieuses Universités américaines, européennes et israéliennes. L’I.S.G.A.P. vient de créer, en collabora tion avec l’Université Sorbonne de Paris, le premier Programme d’étude sur l’antisé mitisme à être offert dans une Université française. Le 9 janvier au matin, Glen Feder venait de dresser sa liste d’épicerie pour la semaine. Comme tous les vendredis, il s’apprêtait à aller faire ses emplettes dans un magasin d’alimentation juif, L’Hypercasher, situé près de son domicile, à la Porte de Vincennes. Retenu par la rédaction d’un Rapport de recherche, il décida de faire ses courses à L’Hypercasher plus tard dans la journée. En début d’après-midi, un Djihadiste français, Amedy Coulibaly, prit en otages les clients de L’Hypercasher qui faisaient leurs achats avant la tombée du Shabbat et assassina froidement quatre d’entre eux. En France, l’antisémitisme a pris ces der n ières années des “proportions démesurées”, rappela Glen Feder au cours de la conférence qu’il a donnée à la Congrégation Or Hahayim de Côte Saint-Luc. La multiplication des actes antisémites ces dernières années a plongé la Commu nauté juive de France dans “un grand désarroi”. Aujourd’hui, beaucoup de fa milles juives envisagent de partir défi nitivement de France. Après avoir atteint un sommet en 2014, l’Aliya des Juifs de France devrait de nouveau battre un record en 2015: quelque 15 000 Juifs français émi greront cette année en Israël. “La France est en train de perdre sa Com munauté juive. Si cette tendance migratoire des Juifs français perdure, dans une dizaine d’années, il n’y aura plus de Juifs en France. Ce phénomène, très néfaste pour la France, pays où les Juifs vivent depuis plus de 1 000 ans, semble inéluctable”, a dit Glen Feder. En France, l’antisémitisme émane prin cipalement de deux sources: l’islam radical et l’extrême gauche, a constaté cet observa teur averti des scènes politique et sociale françaises. “La combinaison des idéologies très ra dicales prônées simultanément par les islamistes fondamentalistes et les militants de l’extrême gauche française nourrit un antisémitisme très virulent, qui est relayé via le Web et les Réseaux sociaux. C’est ce qui explique la popularité dont jouissent deux antisémites patentés, Dieudonné et Alain Soral, qui attaquent les Juifs sans am bages, malgré le fait qu’en France une légis lation sanctionne sévèrement tout propos antisémite ou négationniste.” Le gouvernement socialiste français a adopté une série de mesures très fermes pour combattre l’antisémitisme et assurer la protection des Institutions et des lieux de culte juifs dans toutes les villes de France. “Le renforcement des mesures de sécurité aux abords des synagogues, des Centres communautaires et des Écoles juives, ce n’est pas une solution à long terme. Ces mesures, même si elles sont importantes, ne pourront rassurer les Juifs français que temporairement. Entre-temps, iro niquement, en France, le nombre d’actes antisémites ne cesse de croître chaque se maine”, rappela Glen Feder. Ces mesures supplémentaires de protec tion coûtent mensuellement à l’État français 25 millions de dollars U.S., précisa-t-il. Suite à la prochaine page 50% on third night Summer Promotion The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel provides a 5-star deluxe experience, with quiet elegance and personalized service. Free Wi-Fi • Free parking World-class spa • Italian Restaurant Semi-Olympic Swimming Pool • Grill-house Restaurant For Information and Reservations Tel: +972-2-675-6666 | U.S. Toll Free 1-877-443-7443 [email protected] www.InbalHoTel.Com * For selected dates only * The hotel reserves the right to stop this promotion at any time * Cannot be combined with any additional promotions 1ST ANNUAL CANADIAN FRIENDS OF THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY P L AY O F F HOCKEY ONLINE TOURNAMENT THE MADNESS DOESN’T HAVE TO END... FACEOFF with your friends and SCORE BIG! $3,600 in prize money! Supporting THE BERNARD PERSIKO & DARREN KENDAL MERIT STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND AT THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM Register Now at www.cfhu.org/hockey 1 Tournament Hockey Sheet for $30 or two for $50 Further information call 416.485.8000 17 18 News M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Le grand désarroi des Juifs de France We extend our deepest condolences to Rina, Larry and Rachel on the loss of your beloved daughter and sister Jackie Lea Fisher Z’’L May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may her memory be a blessing Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Montreal Gala co-chairs and committee and the Quebec staff B”H SHABBATON Chabad of the Town invites you to a APRIL 24 - 25 2015 WEEKEND with Iron Dome Rocket Scientist Ari Sacher of Rafael Advanced Systems Defense Friday, April 24 Dinner: 6:30 PM Topic: Iron Dome - the inside story Saturday, April 25 Services 10:00 AM followed by Kiddush Topic: Looking for G-d in all the wrong places Seudah Shlishit & Lecture: 7:30 PM Topic: Torah and science, are they compatible? Cost: Dinner $40 Seudah Shlishit $20 Sponsor $180 Venue: Chabad of the Town 4054 Jean Talon W. RSVP & Info contact Chana: T 514-342-1770 W www.Chabadtmr.com/irondome E [email protected] Co-sponsored by Charles & Lucille Shemie, Simon & Tara Ahdoot Suite de la page précédente La Communauté juive de France est “très bouleversée” par les attaques violentes dont elle a été la cible ces derniers mois, a observé Glen Feder. “On n’avait pas entendu crier “Mort aux Juifs” dans les rues de Paris depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Cet été, pendant la Guerre à Gaza entre Israël et le Hamas, des manifestants survoltés, Musulmans et non-Musulmans, ont clamé sans la moindre gêne des slogans ouvertement antisémites, attaqué des synagogues et vandalisé des commerces juifs. En dépit des paroles de réconfort émanant des autorités publiques, les Juifs de France se sentent seuls et désarçonnés.” Le 11 janvier dernier, plusieurs millions de Français ont défilé dans les rues de France pour dénoncer la tuerie barbare qui a coûté la vie aux journalistes de Charlie Hebdo. “Beaucoup de Juifs français se demandent pourquoi il n’y a pas eu autant de Français qui ont manifesté dans les rues après les assassinats répugnants du jeune Ilan Halimi, en 2006, et de trois enfants Juifs cruellement tués à l’entrée d’une École israélite de Toulouse, en 2012?” La conférence de Glen Feder a été organisée par la Congrégation Or Hahayim en collabo ration avec l’I.S.G.A.P. et la Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec (C.S.U.Q.). Charles Barchechath, Président du Comité “Conférences” de la Congrégation Or Hahayim, présenta Glen Feder et modéra la période de question qui a suivi sa conférence. n American political science professor Glen Feder, who lives in France, recently spoke at Congrégation Or Hahayim in Côte St-Luc about the increase of anti-Semitism in France. Two new appointees to regional health body CJN Staff Two senior administrators of Jewish healthcare institutions have been named to top posts at the new regional body that now administers these institutions and others in central West End Montreal. Beverly Kravitz was appointed director of human resources, communications and legal affairs, and Carrie Bogante director of finance of the Centre integré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Ile de Montréal. Kravitz, a lawyer, had been director of human resources at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) since 2007, and more recently took on the additional position of director of legal affairs. After 15 years practising law, she joined the staff of the JGH Foundation in 2002, serving as director of planned giving and strategic planning, as well as general counsel. She also was responsible for the annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer fundraiser. “Ms. Kravitz and Ms. Bogante will be an integral part of the management team for Montreal’s new west-central health-care region [which came into existence on April 1],” said Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, former JGH executive director, whose appointment as president-director general of CIUSSS Centre-Ouest was announced in March. Among the accomplishments Kravitz is most proud of is the recognition of the JGH as one of Montreal’s Top Employers in 2013, 2014 and 2015. “I echo the sentiments of Ms. Kravitz in Beverly Kravitz that we are living through a period of great change in our health-care system,” Rosenberg said, “and we recognize that this transformation is affording us an extraordinary opportunity to re-imagine the way all staff contribute to the provision of care and medical services to our patients.” Bogante, a chartered accountant, had been director of finance for 13 years at the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre and Jewish Eldercare Centre. Previously, she worked with health-care clients at the accounting firm Richter. She sees Bill 10, the major health-care reorganization legislation passed in February, as “a historic change” and “welcomes this new challenge as an opportunity to develop the finest patient experience” at the nine institutions under this CIUSSS. In addition to the JGH, Maimonides and JEC, this body administers Mount Sinai Hospital, Miriam Home and Services, Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Cavendish Health and Social Services Centre, the de la Montagne Health and Social Services Centre and, a recent addition, the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre. n THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 News M Sports stars support Cummings Centre 19 New showroom Now opeN iN Dorval 1250A Herron St. Dorval, QC H9S 1B4 opening hours Mon - Wed: 10 am - 6 pm, Thurs: 10 am - 8 pm Fri: 10 am - 6 pm, Sat: 10 am - 4 pm t: 514.538.7117 Among those attending the Sports Celebrity Breakfast were, from left, Serge Savard, Peter Mahovlich, Mayor Denis Coderre, Guy Lafleur, Mitch Garber and P.K. Subban. John Zimmerman photo Janice Arnold [email protected] Teammates from the glory days of the Montreal Canadiens reunited to support seniors much less fortunate than they are at the 11th annual Sports Celebrity Breakfast benefiting the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors (CJCS) on March 29. More than 600 people, some representing three generations of a family, came out to see former Habs star Peter Mahovlich, a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams in the 1970s, honoured as Sports Personality of the Year. The event, held at the Gelber Conference Centre, raised more than $200,000 for the CJCS’s Seniors in Crisis program. Since their inception, the breakfasts have raised a total of $1 million. Mahovlich, now a pro scout for the Florida Panthers, was joined by other stellar players from the era: Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer and Serge Savard, as well a more recent retiree, Mathieu Darche. But the real attraction was clearly current Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. Young and old lined up to have their photo taken with the $72-million contract holder. Other athletes and ex-athletes attending were current Montreal Alouettes Jeff Perrett and Kyries Hebert and former player Ben Cahoon; former player and now technical director of the Montreal Impact, Adam Braz, a graduate of Herzliah High School; and onetime Montreal Expos pitcher Don Stanhouse. Two legends of sports journalism, former Pulse News sports director Dick Irvin and Red Fisher, who covered hockey for the Montreal Gazette for 58 years, were also treated royally. Sports rapper Annakin Slayd was present. Politicians out in full force included Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler and D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum. The guest of honour was Mitch Garber, a former radio sportscaster who today is CEO of the online gaming company Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Las Vegasbased casino operator Caesars Acquisition Company, positions that have made him a multimillionaire. He continues to maintain his principal residence in Montreal. Garber, 51, a Bialik High School alumnus, recalled that his late father, Steve Garber, dropped out of school in Grade 8 and was a self-made man who owned a pizza restaurant chain. The younger Garber got his start running a snack stand at the Hampstead municipal pool with money borrowed from his mother. He followed his dad’s advice to get a law degree, even if he never practised. Lawyer Morden “Cookie” Lazarus, a longtime sports agent, was honorary chair. He’s good friends with Garber and Mahovlich, and the latter lived in his Hampstead home for a year. Fisher, 88, brought down the house when he asked Mahovlich, a centre who earned 773 points during his 16-year NHL career and is one of only four Canadiens to have had a 100 point-plus season, whether he thought he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. “You’re a funny guy, a great player and you disliked Scotty Bowman – that should qualify you,” Fisher quipped. The memory of the abrasive Stanley Cup-winning coach apparently still touches a nerve. Replied Mahovlich: “The one thing about Scotty was that he treated us all the same – like dogs. Only one player liked him – Kenny Dryden… But he pushed us to be great, so it’s OK.” As for getting into the Hall, the former number 20, still a hulking figure at 68, said: “It’s enough for people to say that I deserve to be in it. I’m fine with whatever happens. It won’t change my life a bit whether I’m in it or not.” n rBq :2323-7506-74 Comptoir St-Denis specializes in the manufacturing and installation of granite, quartz and solid wood surfaces 2480 Henri-Ford St. Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC J7V 9H5 [email protected] www.comptoirst-denis.com opening Hours Mon - Fri: 8 am - 5 pm Sat: 9 am - 3 pm t: 450.455.1120 Itzhak Brook M.D. served as a battalion physician in the Yom Kippur War and has published a book about his experiences entitled "In the Sands of Sinai: A Physician's Account of the Yom Kippur War". This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Yom Kippur war. The war posed the most serious threat to the existence of Israel in its young history. Dr. Brook is an professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C., specializing in infectious No Charge. Everyone is welcome. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED BY MON. APRIL 27, 2015 Kindly reserve @ SZC office: 514-484-1122 # 101 or #104 Shaare Zedek Congregation 5305 Rosedale Ave. Montreal, QC H4V 2H7 20 Jews in Jail M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS APRIL 9, 2015 Jewish prisoners tend to be marginalized, rabbi says CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 There were 50 Jewish inmates in Ontario jails 20 years ago, but today Weiss estimates the number is closer to 75. “When Jewish inmates have needs that come to our attention, we meet them to the best of our ability in working with the institutions,” he says. In some cases, this involves making tfillin available to Jewish inmates who want to put them on. Jail can present significant challenges to daily observance, Rabbi Weiss says. In most cases, an inmate can only put on tfillin under supervision because the straps are deemed a security risk by the Ministry of Correctional Services. Funding for visits to Jewish inmates and to support the expenses of institutions such as Maison Belfield in Montreal is direly needed, Rabbi Silberstein says. “Prayer books cost money and so does the seder, the tfillin and the food we bring to Jewish inmates each week,” he says. “Our halfway house is also an expensive proposition, with a mortgage and heating to be paid and the costs of regular living supplies in addition to food, clothing and therapy.” Chabad of Richmond, B.C., recently replaced its High Holiday prayer books and was looking for a new home for its several hundred older versions, which were still in great condition. When Rabbi Yechiel Baitelman posted on a Chabad site that he was ready to pass them on, the first request came not from Canada, but from Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman in Illinois. The founder of the Hinda Institute (formerly known as the Jewish Prisoners’ Assistance Foundation), Rabbi Scheiman’s organization aids families of Jews incarcerated, arranges visitation for incarcerated Jews in Illinois jails and helps with their re-entry process once they are released. He jumped at the opportunity to receive the machzorim. “We estimate there are up to 150 Jews incarcerated in the state THIS IS NOT A CONTAINER Rabbi Zushe Silberstein of Illinois and these High Holiday prayer books are so important,” he reflected. “For Jewish inmates, Rosh Hashanah is a time in their life when they’re very open and repenting for mistakes they’ve made in their lives. The prayer books are an extremely generous contribution.” In general, Jewish prisoners are very marginalized within Jewish communities, sometimes even demonized, Rabbi Scheiman says. “It’s even worse than being forgotten – they and their families are sometimes shunned by the community.” He works closely with the Chabad-affiliated Aleph Institute, an American organization founded in 1983 and one that has branches in many different states. One of its missions is to provide professional services to nearly 4,000 Jewish men and women in U.S. federal and state prisons and their approximately 25,000 spouses, children and parents left behind. No such organization exists in Canada, though various rabbis in different parts of the country carry out initiatives on their own. Rabbi Baitelman visits the roughly six to 12 Jewish inmates in Metro Vancouver jails from time to time, and tries to send Purim packages to them on Purim. In Vancouver, semi-retired Jewish Renewal Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy has served as THIS IS NOT PACKAGING the Jewish chaplain to Pacific region federal prisons since 2012 and takes weekly excursions into B.C.’s Fraser Valley, where there are 10 federal prisons, to meet with the small number of Jewish inmates there and any others who want to talk to her. “There are definitely people in my group that are not halachically Jewish,” she says. A basic need they all share is for a kind, listening ear, one that won’t judge them and report on them, she says. She’s also committed to practical projects, including the delivery of donated prayer books and general Jewish literature into the federal institutions. As a woman visiting men in jail, Rabbi Mercy says she’s never felt physically threatened. “The guys tend to be fairly protective of their chaplains,” she says. “In many ways the prisons are far safer than the city streets, because the inmates have been called to task for their offences and are monitored, whereas out in the community, you have people who might still be in their crime cycle.” There isn’t enough support and understanding for inmates in the Jewish community and the wider community in general, she laments. “It’s a societal perception that bad guys are put away and should stay away, but these people need to find jobs and take a place in the community when they come out. Many have just committed incredibly stupid mistakes in judgment with terrible consequences, but they need our help to reintegrate into community.” What’s needed, she says, is a halfway house based on Jewish values, a place that might offer a job bank, educational opportunities and perhaps even a small business where they can get work experience. “Inmates need a way to regain their self-sufficiency. They come out of prison with $80, which is barely enough to get you from the Fraser Valley into Vancouver. As a society, we need to work on our com- THIS IS NOT PRINT passion for people who want to rebuild their lives, and yes, it means doing things that are not comfortable for us.” Rabbi Menachem Matusof, head of Chabad in Alberta, has visited Jewish inmates in Alberta jails for the past 27 years. He estimates there’s six to 12 incarcerated Jews in his province at any given time and finds funding a challenge. “The visitations take time and the travel expenses mount, books for inmates cost money and the process of getting security clearance each year is demanding,” he says. Sometimes, there are conflicts. One year he brought a mobile sukkah to the Jewish women’s jail in Calgary, where an inmate was incarcerated for murder. In an old newspaper interview, Rabbi Matusof was asked why he would bother doing this for a murderer. “Murdering is a much bigger issue than sukkah and lulav,” he was told. “My response was this: because someone committed a crime one time, this means he or she should not do another mitzvah? What does one have to do with another? The murder was being handled by the courts. Meanwhile, this is still a Jewish individual who needs help, and we’re here to help them at whichever level they need.” He describes most of the Jewish inmates he visits as “sweet, wonderful people who unfortunately got caught in bad situations. It’s not our place to judge,” he says. “We need to reach out and help people wherever they are.” There are also schemers, and Rabbi Matusof gets lots of requests from non-Jewish inmates who want to speak with him about possible conversions to Judaism. His response is always to wait until they are released from jail, “but once they’re out, they no longer have interest!” Other inmates claim they are Jewish and want kosher meals. “We talk to them and find out immediately if they’re telling the truth,” he says. “Most of the time, I’m not fooled.” ■ CONTAINERS PACKAGING AND PRINTS THAT’S ALL THAT GOES IN THE BIN TO FIND THE DROP-OFF POINT FOR EVERYTHING THAT DOESN’T GO IN THE BIN RECREER.CA The advertising placement of this campaign falls under the Environment Quality Act (Chapter Q-2) and its related regulations. Newspapers subject to these regulations are required to contribute their fair share of advertising space. THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 21 M INTERNATIONAL Obama and Netanyahu dig in for fight over Iran Uriel Heilman JTA, Washington For U.S. President Barack Obama, the framework agreement reached April 2 with Iran is a “historic understanding” that does more to roll back Tehran’s nuclear program than any possible alternative and avoids the risk of a destructive war in the Middle East. But to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s the complete opposite: a pact that “threatens the survival of Israel” and would “increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war.” With many of the deal’s details yet to be worked out before the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive agreement, the fight is on over whether the outline of an accord reached this week is the best the United States and Europe can do to stop Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. Critics say the Obama administration should press Iran harder for a better deal. Obama insists the agreement is the best one possible. “Iran is not going to simply end its program because we demand it to do so,” the president said at a White House news conference April 2. The agreement reached between Iran and the six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, the U.K., France and Germany – has three main components: • Iran will not develop weapons-grade plutonium, and the core reactor of its nuclear facility at Arak will be dismantled or removed from the country. • Iran will reduce the number of its operating centrifuges by two-thirds, to 5,060; won’t enrich uranium using advanced centrifuges for at least 10 years; and will cut its current stockpile of uranium from some 10,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms for 15 years. • International inspectors will have unprecedented access to Iranian nuclear facilities and their entire supply chain. In exchange, Iran will get relief from certain U.S. and United Nations sanctions, and the relief will be phased in as Iran takes steps to meet its end of the bargain. If Iran violates the deal, those sanctions will be restored. According to Obama, the deal ensures that Iran’s “breakout time” to acquiring a nuclear weapon is at least a year and imposes strict limitations upon Iran’s nuclear program for at least 15 years. U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014. File Photo Many details remain murky. It’s unclear how fast the sanctions will disappear, exactly what steps Iran must take in order for them to be removed, or how they would be restored in the event Iran fails to meet its obligations. The framework agreement also does not say what will happen to the uranium that Iran must give up. Critics say the deal allows Iran to continue working on perfecting its advanced centrifuges so that, once the deal expires, Tehran can more quickly assemble a nuclear weapon. In a rare statement by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the organization said it’s concerned that the deal could leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, igniting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “Some claim that the only alternatives to this framework are capitulation or military action. We reject that assertion,” the AIPAC statement said. “A clear alternative to a bad deal remains the good deal that is achieved by the application of increased economic and political pressure on Tehran to reach an agreement that transparently does not allow Iran a path to nuclear weapons capability.” AIPAC called for the agreement to be subject to review by Congress, where there is more skepticism than in the White House about the deal’s chances of success. While Obama does not need congressional approval for the deal, he promised that he would brief members of Congress and welcomed a “robust debate” on the deal. Congress could scuttle the agreement with a veto-proof majority prepared to vote against the deal or if it approves new sanctions on Iran. Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the deal’s announcement that the United States “must remain clear-eyed regarding Iran’s continued resistance to concessions, long history of covert nuclear weapons-related activities, support of terrorism and its current role in destabilizing the region.” Corker is the lead sponsor of a bill that would require congressional review of the nuclear deal. House Speaker John Boehner, who was in the Middle East last week and held a joint news conference with Netanyahu, said Congress must be allowed to “fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted.” In his news conference Obama acknowledged the battle he’ll face in Congress. “The issues at stake here are bigger than politics; these are matters of war and peace,” the president said. The U.S. administration also faces skepticism from Sunni Arab allies in the Middle East who feel threatened by Iran’s Shiite regime and fear that America is reaching out to Tehran at the expense of its friends in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have expressed alarm similar to Israel’s about Iran’s nuclear program. In a nod to those concerns, Obama said he had invited the Saudi king and the leaders of half a dozen Gulf countries to join him at Camp David later this spring to discuss regional concerns. Obama also lifted a freeze on U.S. military aid to Egypt that had been in place since 2013, when the military deposed the country’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and installed Abdel Fatah Sisi in his place. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the main Arab power centres in the Middle East and rivals of Iran; both countries are expected to pursue nuclear weapons of their own if they believe Iran is on a quick path to the bomb. With the recent overthrow of Yemen’s U.S.-allied president by Shiite Houthi rebels aligned with Iran, Tehran’s allies now control four capitals in the region: Sana (Yemen), Damascus, Baghdad and Beirut. Critics say the new agreement will enhance Tehran’s ability to further threaten and destabilize the region. The deal does not address Iran’s support for terrorism or the threats Iranian officials continue to lob toward Israel. In addition, they say, Iran’s track record of lying, obfuscating and failing to fulfill previous commitments to allow inspection of its nuclear facilities does not bode well for its future compliance. While Iranian and Western negotiators engaged in marathon sessions in Switzerland last week in an attempt to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline for an agreement, the outline they presented April 2 – two days late – is still missing many key elements. “Those details matter,” Obama said. “Our work is not yet done.” But the president said if a deal can be made and Iran follows through, “we will be able to resolve one of the greatest threats to our security, and to do so peacefully.” Continued on page 24 22 International M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Nuclear deal leaves Israel with few options Mitch Ginsburg Jerusalem From an Israeli security perspective, the framework deal reached in Switzerland on April 2 with Iran will require three central efforts – in the realms of intelligence, diplomacy, and, perhaps, in Israel’s regional posture. The latter may be the most pressing. Israel has sat on the fence since the Arab Spring melted into sectarian war in March 2011. Recently, a resident of the Israeli town of Majdal Shams, a Druze Assad loyalist, went to great pains, primarily via Facebook, to show that Israel was not merely an implacable foe behind a thick steel fence, but an active agent in Jabhat Nusra’s battle against Bashar Assad and Iran’s Hezbollah henchmen. Sudki Makat, a former security prisoner who has been re-arrested, posted videos, primarily against a dark night backdrop, of border regions where, he claimed, without providing evidence, Israeli troops were meeting with members of the Al Qaeda affiliate. A senior military source confirmed in March that there have been debates within the Israel Defense Forces’ General Staff regarding Israel’s posture and which side it should prefer in the battle that still rages in Syria, but said that the prevailing understanding is that the forces run by Iran’s al-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, a highly competent operative and one of the most influential regional actors, are a more dangerous foe. The immediate repercussions of the world powers’ deal with Iran – and Iran will surely portray the results as a glorious victory and vindication – is not a sprint to the bomb, but rather an emboldened posture across the region. Iran-backed forces currently control four Arab capitals: Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, and Sana in Yemen. Incredibly, even while its diplomatic chiefs were seated around tables in Lausanne, Iran aided – some say initiated – the Houthi overthrow of the Yemeni leadership. With the deal in hand, Iran will likely take more strident steps. Israel, of course, will have to act to defend its immediate interests, such as the Iranian attempt to set up a Hezbollah front along the northern Golan Heights, as occurred in January. But it may, at least covertly, also have to increase the aid it provides to its allies as borders melt and the balance of power shifts more to- ward Tehran. Diplomatically, the overt rift with the Obama administration is troubling in too many ways to detail here. But the key, from a security perspective, relates to understandings that might, at a future date, enable a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Today, that option is off the table. Israel cannot act now in open defiance of the entire world. That window closed, as then-defence minister Ehud Barak warned it would (albeit for different reasons), sometime in early 2012. And while many, including the past two army chiefs of staff and the former heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet, were against a strike then, the debate has always been about timing, not need. Israel is quite certain that the regime in Tehran will, as it has for the past two decades, begin cheating on the agreement when the time seems right. It will likely be a careful and well-calibrated advance. In order to thwart such a move, Israel needs rock-solid intelligence. With a deal in hand and a presumed one-year buffer between Iran and the bomb, convincing the world powers of a violation so significant that it demands action will be a Herculean task. It bears mentioning that in the summer of 2007 the prime minister of Israel reportedly showed up in the Oval Office with photos stolen from the computer of Ibrahim Othman, the head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission; the three dozen colour photos, the New Yorker reported in 2012, depicted a North Korean-made plutonium reactor near the Euphrates River. Israeli commandos, at great risk, had collected soil samples from the site. And still president George Bush, an uncommonly strong advocate for Israel, did not agree to launch a military strike. He did, however, according to his own account, agree to let Israel do what it felt necessary. At this stage, for Israel to possess a credible military option against Iran’s nuclear program – and it is crucial that it possess one – the prime minister might want to weigh carefully how much effort he puts into rousing opposition to the deal in Congress during the coming months. And how much he invests in reaching an accord with the administration, alongside the nuclear deal, that would cement Israel’s ability to act in the event of flagrant violations. n Times of Israel timesofisrael.com BE PART OF OUR SPECIAL SECTIONS LITERARY SUPPLEMENT SHANAH TOVAH HOME BEAUTIFUL uc,f, vcuy vbak SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 • 29 ELUL, 5774 WWW.CJNEWS.COM To Your Health Inside The past and the future are inextricably linked. O BACK OTL we are headed, the future builds upon what has come before. Rosh Hashanah is an TribuTe To israel Made in Canada 514.337.2933 for all its achievements in the past 66 years 2013 appropriate time to reflect on Mazel Tov! the year we just completed and, equally, to look forward to what lies ahead in the new year. With that in mind, The CJN asked Canadian Jewish writers, thinkers and academics from across the political and religious spectrums to examine Jewish history as a means to predict what the future holds for Judaism and Israel. 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Rosh Hashanah is an builds upon what has come we are headed, the future History informs where LITERARY SUPPLEMENT HOME BEAUTIFUL 514-735-2612 linked. inextricably the future are The past and Inside SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 • 29 ELUL, 5774 WWW.CJNEWS.COM uc,f, vcuy vbak SHANAH TOVAH To Your Health 2013 GREETINGS CHANUKAH THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 International M 23 Netanyahu, Obama differ over Iranian nuclear deal JTA Washington Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to U.S. airwaves to criticize the framework agreement between Iran and the world powers on Iran’s nuclear program, as U.S. President Barack Obama defended the deal while reassuring Israel that it stands by the Jewish state. Netanyahu appeared on April 5 morning news programs on ABC, NBC and CNN. “The entire world celebrated the deal with North Korea. It deemed to be a great breakthrough. It would bring an end to North Korea’s nuclear program. You’d have inspectors. That would do the job. And of course everybody applauded it, but it turned out to be a very, very bad deal, and you know where we are with North Korea,” Netanyahu told NBC’s Meet the Press. “I think the same thing would be true in the case of Iran, except that Iran is a great deal more dangerous than North Korea. It’s a militant Islamic power bent on regional domination, in fact, bent on world domination, as it openly says so. They just chanted ‘Death to America’ a few days ago on the streets of Tehran, the same streets where they’re rejoicing right now. “Don’t give the pre-eminent terrorist state of our time the access to a nuclear program that could help them make nuclear weapons. It’s very bad for all of us,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu told CNN that under the deal, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain in place, with “not a single centrifuge destroyed, not a single nuclear facility shut down, including the underground facilities that they built illicitly. Thousands of centrifuges will keep spinning, enriching uranium. That’s a very bad deal. “They’re getting a free path to the bomb,” Netanyahu said. Democrat Jewish Senator Dianne Feinstein told CNN’s State of the Union that the agreement does not threaten Israel’s survival and that Netanyahu should “contain himself, because he has put out no real alternative. In his speech to the [U.S.] Congress – no real alternative. Since then – no real alternative.” Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama defended his pursuit of a diplomatic resolution of the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program and vowed to defend Israel. In a lengthy interview April 4 with columnist Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama acknowledged that Israel Congratulations! In honour of your marriage, The Canadian Jewish News is pleased to present you with a 6 month subscription. Please fill in the requested information and mail to PO Box 1324 Stn K Toronto, ON M4P 3J4 or fax to 416-932-2488 Name ___________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________ City_____________________Province___________ Postal Code________________ Phone number ___________________________________________________________ Email ____________________________________________________________________ Doc key: W15FXCJN Benjamin Netanyahu being interviewed on U.S. television ISRAEL SUN PHOTO. “is right to be concerned about Iran,” noting the regime’s denial of the Holocaust and repeated threats to eliminate the Jewish state. Still, Obama reiterated his view that a negotiated agreement with the Islamic Republic is the best strategy to prevent the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon while “sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there. “There is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward — and that’s demonstrable,” Obama said. Obama called the opportunity to reach an agreement with Iran a “once-in-alifetime opportunity.” Comparing his engagement with Iran to his diplomatic opening with Cuba, Obama asserted that the United States could pursue detente with Tehran without risking its core strategic interests. Obama spoke at length about Israel’s concerns about Iran, acknowledging that Israel is more vulnerable to Iran than the United States and that Israel is right to be worried about the regime’s expressed desire to destroy the Jewish state and its denial of the Holocaust. “But what I would say to [the Israelis] is that not only am I absolutely committed to making sure that they maintain their qualitative military edge, and that they can deter any potential future attacks, but what I’m willing to do is to make the kinds of commitments that would give everybody in the neighbourhood, including Iran, a clarity that if Israel were to be attacked by any state, that we would stand by them,” Obama said. “And that, I think, should be… sufficient to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see whether or not we can at least take the nuclear issue off the table.” n 24 International M Israel’s security cabinet opposes deal with Iran Israeli man fakes his own kidnapping Continued FROM page 21 JTA Jerusalem The Israeli man who faked his own kidnapping said he did so because criminals were looking for him due to his massive gambling debts. Niv Asraf, 22, was found alive on April 3 in Kiryat Arba. Asraf told interrogators, according to reports: “I got mixed up in gambling and owed tens of thousands of shekels. The debt grew and grew because I couldn’t pay back what I owed. Criminals are chasing after me and won’t let up. I was afraid to tell police about them and my salary from work is not enough to pay the amount they want, so I panicked. I didn’t mean to stage a kidnapping. I took a sleeping bag and some canned food in order to disappear for a few days.” THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 The story contradicts a version offered by Asraf ’s accomplice, Eran Nagaukar, who said his friend staged the kidnapping to get the attention of his former girlfriend. Asraf remained in jail over the weekend; he is accused of giving false evidence, breach of public order and obstruction of a police officer’s performance of duty. The search for Asraf last week involved some 3,000 soldiers and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Israeli security forces were alerted to Asraf’s disappearance on April 2 by Nagaukar. Asraf reportedly entered the Palestinian village of Beit Anun, near Hebron, to get help after he and the friend became stranded with a flat tire. Three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed last summer near the same West Bank area. n Looming behind all this is whether the nuclear deal could lead to gradual detente between Iran and the West, though Obama administration officials insist that is not the goal of these negotiations. Critics charge that Obama’s quest for a transformative moment is clouding his judgment when it comes to Iran. On April 3, Israel’s security cabinet met and expressed unanimous opposition to the deal, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. “On the Iranian issue there is no opposition and no coalition,” Yair Lapid, head of Israel’s Yesh Atid party, said. “We are all concerned that the Iranians will circumvent the deal, and Israel must protect its own security interests.” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson said Canada will continue to judge Iran by its actions not its words. “To that end, Canada is announcing a contribution of $3 million to support the International Atomic Energy Agency efforts to monitor Iranian compliance with its commitments.” David Cape, chairman of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said Canada and Israel have long shared a desire for the Iranian nuclear crisis to be resolved through a diplomatic process and that it’s crucial that any agreement ensures the Iranian nuclear program is, and remains, exclusively peaceful. “Canada’s position is based on a non-partisan consensus that a nuclear-armed Iran would be an unacceptable threat to regional stability, global security, and – given the Iranian regime’s genocidal statements – Israel’s very existence,” he said. “Today’s announcement of the parameters for a final deal, and President Obama’s public remarks, underscore the need for all parties in Canada to reinforce these requirements and reaffirm the Canadian consensus.” n It's easy to subscribe online SUBSCRIBE TODAY Subscription Rates ❏ 1 YEAR $65.70* ❏ 2 YEARS $124.83* ❏ 1 YEAR DIGITAL (eCJN) $34.44* bit.ly/subcjn ❑ YES, I would like a subscription to The CJN ________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME _________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS *TAXES INCLUDED Delivery made only to Canadian Addresses ___________________________________________ CITY Log on to: bit.ly/subcjn Mail this form to: PO Box 1324, Stn Main, Toronto, ON M4P 3J4 Call us: PROV. _________________________________ TELEPHONE _____________________________ POSTAL CODE ____________________________________________________ EMAIL ✔ Payment: $____________ ❏ Cheque Enclosed Charge my ❏ Visa ❏ MasterCard ❏ Amex _______________________________________________________________ ________ ______ /______ CARD NUMBER CVC EXPIRY 416-932-5095 or 1-866-849-0864 ________________________________________________________________________________________ SIGNATURE Doc key: S15PHCJN, S15WMCJN How to Subscribe _________ THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Jewish Life M 25 Play explores opposing poles of human nature Arts Scene by Heather Solomon Allie Shapiro plays a character that was never in Robert Louis Stevenson’s original novella. But as Elizabeth Ann Jelkes in the upcoming Persephone Productions adaptation Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, she is the one who recognizes that people cannot be purely good or only evil. It’s a hard concept to swallow when one thinks of certain historical figures. However, Judaism has long recognized that all people must balance their inclinations between yetzer hara (the inclination to do evil) and yetzer hatov (to do good). The choice to go either way is a matter of free will, and this is what playwright Jeffrey Hatcher explores at Mainline Theatre, 3997 St. Laurent Blvd., April 16 to 26. “The play asks if everybody has an infinite number of sides in different moments. It has more to do with who we choose to be, rather than what our nature is,” says director Chris Moore. “A lot of it is about compromise and grey areas.” The action is set in 1883 London around the time of the novella’s writing. Victorian England was a nest of vices buried under the prim mores of the time. Dr. Henry Jekyll (Alex Goldrich) decides to eradicate his inner lusts and violent thoughts with a mixture of drugs. Unfortu- Director Chris Moore, left, and actors Alex Goldrich and Allie Shapiro prepare to define good and evil in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde April 16 to 26 at Mainline Theatre. Heather Solomon photo nately, he releases rather than removes his darker side, played by the various other cast members, as they double up on their primary roles of colleague, attorney, witness and butler. In this way, the playwright does not have both sides embodied in one actor, as is traditional. Jekyll and Hyde instead come up against one another in physical struggles that Moore choreographs. “Jekyll and Hyde place themselves as adversaries because neither of them wants to admit that they have elements of the other, which is probably at the core of most conflicts,” The Mervin (Mesh) and Avriel Butovsky Memorial Lecture presents Eshkol Nevo on “Neuland” Monday April 20, 2015 7:30 p.m. outside of Israel’s literary border, Zionism, and the search for fathers and mothers. Nevo will also talk about his novel Neuland, and the impact of leaving one's homeland following a personal trauma. In collaboration with Blue Metropolis. Gerda's Spa Connection Lives On 4 Winter in Paradise Great Rates for Clients of Gerda’s Spa Connection and Lee White At Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts or Tucson, Arizona Jewish Public Library 5151, Côte Ste-Catherine Free, registration required Max 4 tickets p.p. Limited seating Join multi-award winning Israeli author and Tickets + Info: Academy Award-nominated screenwriter (514) 345-6416 Refreshments Eshkol Nevo as he discusses the journey Doors open 30 minutes prior to the event. Free parking at the YM-YWHA. says Goldrich. Shapiro is the romantic interest of the doppelgangers and finds herself in the midst of their clashes, as they literally sweep her off her feet. “She’s the one character who truly sees past how Jekyll perceives Hyde. Jekyll sees good and evil as black and white, but she and Hyde are living examples that it’s not always the case. Humans are complex,” she says. Shapiro comes to the role after having portrayed a sort of female Jekyll and Hyde in the person of Mme Arthenice in a Marivaux compilation titled The Islands of Love, staged by Concordia University in 2013. “My character was an upper-class lady who transforms into a savage,” says Shapiro, who graduated in 2014 with a BFA in theatre and a minor in psychology. Just a year out of theatre school, the 23-year-old has made her home in Montreal, travelling back to the United States for holidays to see her parents in Stamford, Conn. She most recently modelled the title role of Rose in Rose Quartz after her screen idol Lauren Bacall for Raise the Stakes/Jubilee Theatre and performed the small but key role of Margaret in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at Montreal’s Théâtre Ste-Catherine. Goldrich, 35, is a Maritimer from Saint John, N.B. Moore has been artistic director of Persephone since taking over in 2013 from Gabrielle Soskin, whom he directed in Martha Blum/Geoffrey Ursell’s touching Holocaust drama The Walnut Tree. His co-direction with Soskin of Spring Awakening went on to raves last October as a Centaur Theatre Brave New Looks production. “When I chose Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it grabbed me from the outset. It becomes very suspenseful and intense,” Moore says. He is continuing the company’s mandate to employ emerging theatre artists, and Shapiro and Goldrich are grateful for the opportunity. Tickets for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are available at 514-849-3378 or at www.persephoneproductions.org. n Introduction by Mia Swartzman Barsheshat, member of the Executive Board of the JPL. Your Canyon Ranch all-inclusive package includes: • Gracious accommodations with thoughtful amenities to surround you in comfort • Three meals daily — fresh gourmet creations combining great taste and nutrition • Full use of the facilities & more then 40 ﬁtness classes & outdoor activities oﬀered daily • Presentations by our wellness experts and Lunch & Learn in our Demo Kitchen oﬀered daily • Generous allowance toward spa, sports or integrative wellness services • Round-trip transfers from Albany, NY, Hartford, CT, or Tucson International airports or Albany train station • All taxes | Canyon Ranch is a no-tipping resort For reservations, please contact Lee White Montreal: 514-488-5111 | Florida: 561-482-8872 email: [email protected] 26 Travel M JOIN US FOR OUR 2015 THEATRE LOVERS TOURS Stratford fEStIVaL June 16 - 19, 2015 THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Exploring authentic Cuba from the luxury of a cruise ship Melody Wren SHaW fEStIVaL July 28 - 31, 2015 Tours include: transportation by a/c deluxe motorcoach 3 nights hotel accommodation - 3 breakfasts - 3 dinners - orchestra seats to four shows - escorted from Montreal. Cost of each of tour $1199.00 CDN (excluding FICAV cont.) single supplement available. For reservations... please call SANDRA 514-342-9554 ext. 259 We reserve the right to cancel minimum 25. Quebec License 5415 Rue Pare #1, Ville Mont-Royal, Quebec, H4P 1P7 [email protected] www.groupeideal.ca Stay updated anywhere, anytime at www.cjnews.com Special to The CJN After a two-hour drive through rural mountain villages in a decommissioned Russian army truck, we arrived at El Nicho conservation area, a nature lover’s dream with hiking trails and a panoramic backdrop of the Escambray mountains. We hiked a steep rugged trail, passing dozens of waterfalls. Anxious to cool off, we stopped to swim at the base of one, the water invitingly clear, aqua green , but I yelped at the surprisingly freezing temperature. On our way back, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand to buy several enormous local fruits called mamay that take 25 years to grow. Tearing them apart with our fingers, juices dripping down our faces, they tasted deliciously like a cross between a sweet potato and mango. Tourists are a rare sight in the villages of rural Cuba. Locals ran out of their houses, waving, trying out their English, shouting the carefully enunciated “How are you?” The few vehicles were primarily horse drawn carts, farmers plowed fields with horses and I was surprised to see a number of cowboys on horseback. I had arrived here by way of Cuba Cruise, a Greek Louis Crystal Ship that circumnavigates the island during the winter season taking passengers places they wouldn’t normally visit. Most tourists go to the resort side of Cuba, approximately a 12hour drive from Cienfuegos city centre where we had docked. I had boarded the ship in Havana, after a tour of the city in a 1950 red and white Chevy convertible, one of 70,000 classic American cars that account for half of the vehicles on the island. After a couple of hours, we reluctantly left Lucito, our driver and his grandfather’s car and strolled around Old Town Havana. Wafts of Cohiba cigars followed us so it seemed natural when our guide took us to a cigar specialty store where we saw them rolling them by hand. I dearly wished I had more time there to explore the cafes, shops and see more of the faded elegant beauty of the historic buildings, but the ship was waiting. Three days into the trip, we disembarked at Paradise Island for a nature and adventure tour. A catamaran took us around the Bay of Nipe, One of thousands of classic American cars in Havana Melody Wren Photo where we snorkeled in the clear, aquamarine water. Our guide, Alberto, pointed out a variety of urchins, and schools of brightly coloured fish. After lunch at an ocean-front restaurant, jeeps took us to Cayo Saetia, a natural reserve of pure white sand. A former place of leisure for the government, it’s now open to tourists and locals. The reserve is stocked with animals from Africa and China. Two days later, we pulled into port at Montego Bay, Jamaica, docking shortly after 7 a.m. Eager to see the island, I stood on deck with my morning cup of tea. It wasn’t the black clouds, but the rainbow that caught my attention. As I had never been to Jamaica before, I wanted to take full advantage so we went on a bamboo raft excursion for around three kilometres down a winding river. The seven-metre long, flat-topped rafts, used to carry bananas for export, became famous when Errol Flynn put a seat on the raft, for the comfort of his vacationing Hollywood friends. Birds were plentiful and we were lucky enough to see a swallow-tailed hummingbird, the national bird of Jamaica. At one point, our guide, Capt. Jeff made a paste from limestone out of the river, which he rubbed on my feet and legs. Just before we disembarked, he rinsed it off, leaving my skin silky soft and smooth. One of the guides, Romeo, sang Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier as we pulled into shore. Back in the south part of Cuba, my travel companion and I hadn’t signed up for an excursion, so we explored the city of Santiago de Cuba on our own.. A city map cost two pesos, and the helpful local vendor even circled landmarks to visit. We headed for the beautiful spires we had seen from the ship, and found the Catedral de Santiago de Cuba, built on the central square in 1535, with its dramatic yet simple pulpit in marble and silver. We then combed the side streets for the Trova de Oro or Club 300 where the music movement of Cuba was first born. We were rewarded with the incredible voices of two older female singers, and fleet-footed salsa dancers sweeping through the closet-sized club. We both enjoyed the sociable aspect of the cruise and dining with six strangers every evening insured that we met people from all over the world, including a 93-year-old grandfather who was delighted when we took him snorkeling for the first time. Every day there were many excursions available but as most ports are close to city centres, you can explore them on your own. Exchange some dollars for Cuban pesos, and you can take a local taxi, and design your own tour, but do discuss the fare before you set out. Would I recommend the cruise? Absolutely. It shows an authentic view of Cuba, that is likely to soon disappear, a place where farmers wave from their horses as they plow the fields – wanting only a smile or a wave in return. n For more information: www. yourcubacruise.com. To read more of Melody’s travel adventures, visit her website: www.melodywren.com THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 27 M About Town by Janice Arnold Thursday, April 9 wagschal retrospective An exhibition highlighting the 50-year career of Montreal painter Marion Wagschal opens at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion and continues until Aug. 9. Marion Wagschal: Portraits, Memories, Fables showcases her figurative family portraits set against historical hardships, notably the Holocaust. Her depictions of the human body are never idealized; they are wrinkled, aged and tired. This is the first retrospective of Wagschal’s oeuvre to be presented in a Quebec museum. Sunday, April 12 Womenswear sale A sale of women’s fashions and accessories is held by the Auxiliary in the Jewish General Hospital auditorium from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., continuing on April 13 from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 514-340-8216. new play at segal Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play Travesties opens at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts and continues until May 3. Directed by Montreal film director Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky, Good Neighbours), this historical comedy imagines a fictional meeting between three of the 20th century’s most original minds: Vladimir Lenin, James Joyce and Tristan Tzara the Dadaist poet in Zurich at the height of World War I, as recalled by an aging British diplomat Henry Carr, played by Greg Ellwand. There was a real-life Carr, who moved to Montreal after the war where he remained until 1933 when he returned to England. Tickets, 514-739-7944. At [email protected] Segal at 11 a.m., André Furlaini, a Concordia University associate professor of English, gives background on the play. family tree workshop The Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal presents a Family Tree Workshop at the Jewish Public Library (JPL) from 10 a.m. to noon when beginners can receive one-on-one help to research their family history. 514-489-0969. Also at the JPL today from 1-3 p.m. is the first-ever Russian book swap “Knigovarot”. Bring books in that language to exchange with other participants. All types of books can be brought. maria. [email protected] Monday, April 13 blood drive Congregation Beth Tikvah in Dollard des Ormeaux holds a blood drive from 2-7:30 p.m. General Hospital. 514-345-6416. Héma-Québec hopes to collect 100 donations. [email protected] a romanian history Jeffrey Gorney, author of Mysterious Places: Memoir. Journey. Quest, gives a lecture at the Jewish Public Library (JPL) at 7:30 p.m., presented by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal. He talks about his search into his Romanian Jewish roots. www.jgs-montreal.org. Also today at the JPL at 7 p.m., the Mother-Daughter Book Discussion Group looks at Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. Registration, 514-345-2627, ext. 3028. palliative care A free workshop called “What You Wanted to Know About Hospitals and Were Too Afraid to Ask” is given by Dr. Eugene Bereza, an expert in medical ethics, at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom from 6-8 p.m. This is the first of a three-part series sponsored by McGill University’s Council on Palliative Care. [email protected] Tuesday, April 14 book review The Innocents by Francesca Segal, a novel about love set in a Jewish suburb of London, is reviewed by writer Elaine Kalman Naves at the Jewish Public Library (JPL) at 2 p.m. Tickets, 514-3452627, ext. 3006. Also at the JPL today, an 11-session beginners Yiddish course taught by Lorna Smith starts at 7-8:45 p.m. Registration, [email protected] interfaith relationships The four-part “Love and Religion: An Interfaith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners” presented by Congregation Dorshei Emet at Dépanneur Café, 206 Bernard St. W., begins at 7:30-9 p.m. The program, led by Rabbi Ron Aigen, offers a “welcoming and safe place” for couples, both gay and straight, to explore the challenges of an interfaith relationship. The next sessions are April 21 and 28 and May 5. Registration, 514-486-9400. At another event related to this topic, Rabbi Lisa Grushcow of Temple EmanuEl-Beth Sholom leads a discussion for the parents and grandparents of adult children in interfaith relationships at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors’ West Island branch, 96 Roger Pilon St., Dollard des Ormeaux, at 7:30 p.m. 514-624-5005, ext. 230. artwork recalls holocaust Montreal artist Abe Pinchuk’s arresting 4- x 8-foot triptych 77835 Defied the Nazi Final Solution goes on view in the Cummings House lobby where it remains until April 28. The painting is inspired by the story of a survivor of the death camps whose number was 77835, who went on to build a new life out of tragedy. The vernissage takes place on April 22 at 3:30 p.m. when “77835” is on hand to answer questions. The exhibition is sponsored by the Jewish Public Library and Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, and coincides with Yom Hashoah. Wednesday, April 15 Tribes of israel Rabbi Ron Aigen commences a fivepart series “iEngage Israel 2.0: The Tribes of Israel” at noon at Congregation Dorshei Emet, which explores the nuances of the Israeli-Arab, religious-secular divide in Israel. Also today at the synagogue, Menachem Rotstein launches a four-part series “Reflections of the Shoah in Israeli Literature” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration, 514-486-9400. yom hashoah commemoration A commemoration of Yom Hashoah is held at CongregationTifereth Beth David Jerusalem at 7:30 p.m. by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, under the auspices of Israeli Consul General Ziv Nevo Kulman. 514-345-2605. all about drugs Pharmacist Spiro Koutsouris answers questions about medications and health at a meeting of the Canadian Hadas- sah-WIZO Golda Meir Chapter at the Shaar Shalom Synagogue in Chomedey at 1 p.m. A nurse is also on hand to take blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol readings. Reservations, president Evie Applebee, 450-681-9342. ...Et Cetera... small heads ometz Gail Small has been appointed chief executive officer of Agence Ometz, effective May 1. She has been co-executive director of this Federation CJA social services agency since 2008. Prior to that she was executive director of Jewish Family Services which was merged into Ometz, along with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services and Jewish Employment Montreal. Akiva triumphs Aaron Widman, a Grade 6 Akiva School student, placed first for the second consecutive year, for Quebec in the annual Chidon Hatanach competition, held under the auspices of the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre. He moves on to the national contest in May. Akiva is also proud that its girls’ basketball team won its fifth championship at the YM-YWHA’s W.E.S.B.L. tournament, after edging Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools 16-15. MIDEAST doc cited The Israeli-Palestinian documentary Write Down, I Am an Arab by Ibtisam Mara’Ana Menuhin about the late Palestinian poet and nationalist Mahmoud Darwish won the Award for Best Film for TV at the recent International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). n Meeting of the minds Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler, left, has a friendly tête-à-tête with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre at the Sports Celebrity Breakfast, benefitting the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors. Janice Arnold photo 28 M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Pesach | Deuteronomy 14:22 - 16:17 Rabbi Ilan Acoca wonders why many Jewish holidays revolve around the number seven Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl finds a common thread uniting the songs of Passover Rabbi Catharine Clark explores the theme of infinite gratitude found in Dayeinu Rabbi Ilan Acoca Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl Rabbi Catharine Clark W T O e’re all familiar with the historical reason for celebrating the seventh day of Passover, for, according to the midrash, the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea took place seven days after the Israelites left Egypt. Yet, to our surprise, that reason never appears in the Chumash. In fact, the Torah simply commands that we eat matzah for seven days, then make a special celebration on that last day, without explaining why (Shmot 13:3-7). In regard to other Jewish holidays, seven also seems to be a “magic” number. Not only is Pesach seven days, we also count seven weeks to Shavuot, then in the seventh month, we celebrate several holidays, including the seven-day holiday of Sukkot! So why do so many holidays revolve around the number seven? Is it simply because there are seven days in a week? Jewish tradition teaches us that the number seven is the divine number of completion. When God created the world, the completion of the task happened on the seventh day. Our sages compare the Nation of Israel’s slavery to a rough diamond that is being refined. It takes time to get to the point of having a beautiful diamond, but the hard work is worth it. The Israelites had to go through long and hard slavery in Egypt in order to refine themselves and get to the point of being freed. God chose to free them on the seventh day to remind them that the number seven represents completion, thus the Nation of Israel reached the point of completion. I believe the reason God did not reveal this in the Torah was because completion is something personal. Often, life is challenging, and it’s up to us to go through the challenge and reach the point of completion. May God give us the guidance to always get to the point of completion in our lives. Chag Samayach! n Rabbi Ilan Acoca is rabbi at Congregation Beth Hamidrash in Vancouver. here are four types of songs associated with Passover. The seder songs are playful melodies sung with gusto. The psalms of Hallel, chanted during the seder and each morning, are poems of praise and thanksgiving. The Song of the Sea, read on the seventh day of Pesach, recalls the redemptive crossing of the Sea of Reeds. The Song of Songs, descanted on the Shabbat of the festival, celebrates the love of youth and the Land of Israel. What unites these songs? While some of the seder songs refer to the Exodus, others devote attention to and articulate a yearning for the future redemption of the people of Israel and the building of the Temple. Quite appropriately, the evening commemorating the Exodus culminates in the prayerful hope, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” The six Hallel psalms (113-118) also do more than recall the Exodus. They speak of joyfully entering Jerusalem, bringing offerings to God. “I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Eternal… in your midst, O Jerusalem.” According to Torah tradition, the crossing of the Sea of Reeds corresponds with the seventh day of Pesach. In addition to praising God for the miraculous deliverance then, Shirat Hayam speaks of God’s care throughout the journey from Egypt to the Land of Promise and extols God for successfully building the Divine sanctuary, the Temple. Shir Hashirim, a dialogical song of two lovers, is read allegorically by our rabbis to refer to the relationship between God and the people of Israel. The Song of Songs is replete with images of spring in the Land of Israel with references to the daughters of Jerusalem who serve as witnesses to the ardour of the two lovers. These four songs remind us of the singularity of the Land of Israel. They indicate that the Passover Exodus was not simply intended for liberation from Egypt. It was to direct our people to the Land of Promise. n Follow me at www.beth-tzedec.org and https://www. facebook.com/bfrydmankohl. Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl is senior rabbi at Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto. n the seventh day of Passover, the Torah reading includes Shirat Hayam. The Song of the Sea is part of the Torah’s best drama. The Israelites are trapped between the Sea of Reeds and Pharaoh’s charioteers. Perhaps the Israelites have been delivered from slavery in Egypt only to die so close to the land of their oppression and so far from the Promised Land. Moses holds out his arm over the sea, and the Israelites cross safely to the other side while the Lord destroys the Egyptian army. The Israelites express their gratitude by singing Shirat Hayam. If it were a Broadway musical, the story would end there. But this is Torah, and the reading for the day continues. The Israelites trek to the wilderness of Shur. Three days pass, and they have found no water. They arrive at the well in Marah, but the water is bitter. The Israelites complain to Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” What a reverse from the gratitude they expressed when they sang Shirat Hayam. The epilogue of this Torah reading is a telling contrast to another great Passover song. Only a few days before we sang Dayeinu at seder. We declared over and over that it would have been enough if God had delivered only intermediate steps in the Israelites’ salvation. By all rules of logic, these statements are not true. If God had only split the sea for the Israelites but not led them through to dry land, they would have died. If God had sunk the Egyptians but not provided manna for the Israelites in the desert, they would have died. Yet we declare at seder that each step on its own would have been enough. Shirat Hayam is followed in the Torah reading by complaint. Each line of Dayeinu is a statement of infinite gratitude. May the spirit of Dayeinu be the attitude with which we approach each day. n Rabbi Catharine Clark is the spiritual leader of Congregation Or Shalom in London, Ont. MONTH XX › cjnews.com THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS APRIL 9, 2015 REAL ESTATE Classified/Books ????? M The Canadian Jewish news 29 M Page ?? SECTION Canadian political crisis told through three distinct voices REAL ESTATE MORDECHAI BEN-DAT SPECIAL TO THE CJN It’s rare when we have an opportunity to examine a single event through multiple, disparate lenses or illuminate a singular truth through the refractive light of a multi-faceted diamond. But this is precisely the literary device Daniel Goodwin uses in his recently published novel Sons and Fathers. He tells us a story that revolves around three individuals through each of the men’s distinct voices and unique perspectives. And he does so to deeply satisfying effect. The story is absorbing. Most of us are fascinated by the intrigues in the halls of government and Sons and Fathers deals with political crisis at the highest level of government, namely, with the prime minister, his main communications adviser and an enterprising, veteran journalist at a national newspaper. The prime minister, adviser and reporter are Allan, Eli and Michael respectively. Each grew up in Montreal. Eli and Michael were childhood friends. But at university their friendship evolved into something far less, due to their shared interest in SECTION and rivalry for the affection of a beautiful woman. Eli and Michael meet Allan at McGill. Their lives intersect somewhat symbiotically from that point on. Each man has been profoundly influenced by his father. These fathers hover throughout the novel somewhat like guidance counsellors at a high school who are visited occasionally for advice or assurance by trusting students. The fathers – for good or for ill – have sculpted their sons’ characters and thus, perhaps, are most responsible for steering them toward the destiny that each son then further shapes SERVICE DIRECTORY the substance of the man himself. Goodwin spends a great deal of time developing the characters of the three men, writing through their intersecting relationships about life’s sustaining foundations, such as friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, empathy, compassion and love. However, there are many other pleasing aspects to the book. Goodwin provides authentic insights to the world of politics and journalism. Borrowing from his considerable experience as a journalist, communications and government relations’ executive, the Montreal-born Goodwin thoughtfully expounds SECTION upon the roles and natures – in theory and in practice – of journalists and journalism, of politicians and politics, of ethics and cynicism, and of idealism and pragmatism. As the elected politician, Allan astutely describes Eli’s desire to work with him as Eli’s “quest to write words that would change people’s lives.” From Eli’s point of view, his motivations are encapsulated in a conversation he had with Allan’s father when both he and Allan were embarking on their careers: “I have integrity. I’m always going to give Allan the best benefit of my professional advice, without regard to what I think he might want to hear, or to what is popular, or to what even he wants to do. I will tell him what is right, both from a pragmatic and from an ethical point of view. My biggest motivation is to do the right thing and do a good job.” Michael, the journalist, has a different point of view about the successful professional pairing of Eli and Allan. It is his involvement that provides the suspense that grips the reader from the first pages of the book. It is worthy to note that because the story unfolds in Montreal and Ottawa, the references are, refreshingly, to Canadian iconography. For example, references to the Governor-General’s literary awards, hockey, Don Cherry, Tim Hortons and numerous Canadian historic and literary figures provide the factual and colour background to the story. The cultural and geographic markers in the story are all based on a distinctively Canadian consciousness and sensibility. But perhaps most gratifying of all is the near sacrosanct place that Goodwin holds for the use of words and the sense of responsibility he feels personally and professionally that writing imposes on the author. Goodwin recently wrote on one of his blogs: “In many ways, although Sons and Fathers is clearly prose fiction, I see it in part as a bit of a love song to poetry and the role it plays in our lives.” The author has succeeded in combining this literary effort with an exciting political story. ■ SERVICE DIRECTORY SERVICE DIRECT CLASSIFIED SECTION ARTICLES WANTED ANDREW PLUM FINE ART & ANTIQUES CONDOMINIUMS FOR SALE PURCHASING FULL ESTATES & COLLECTIONS Open House, April 12, 2-4 p.m. Specializing Asian Art, Jades, Paintings, Antique Silver, Jewelry, 5845 Marc Chagall, Apt. in 103. Art Glass, Porcelain, Watches, Bronze, etc. Over 35 Years Experience. Cote St Luc LA MARQUISE a professional AbsolutelyFor stunning, 2 bedroom,and courteous consultation please call: 416.669.1716 2 bath. Luxury building, corner Looking to sell your home? unit. High ceilings, Indoor Parking. Looking to sell your home? Call Tina - 514-708-2599 ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE CSL, Upper Duplex 7 1/2 , lge. 3 bdrm/2 bath, den, eat-in kitchen liv. rm./ din rm., 2 balconies, garage heated, amenties, furn. or unfurn. Jul. 1st - 514-481-2004/514-488-0354 CONDOMINIUMS FOR SALE Open House, April 12, 2-4 p.m. 5845 Marc Chagall, Apt. 103. Cote St Luc LA MARQUISE Absolutely stunning, 2 bedroom, 2 bath. Luxury building, corner unit. High ceilings, Indoor Parking. Call Tina - 514-708-2599 ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE Advertise in Advertise in Sons and Fathers Daniel Goodwin Linda Leith Publishing Inc. for himself. The political crisis creates the tension in the plot. But it also serves as Goodwin’s narrative pretext for exploring the rich veins of political and philosophical reflections, social interactions, the possibilities of language and the ultimate human issues that lie just below the surface. Each of the three men “speaks” to the reader and shares his particular insights regarding situations and people. But Eli tells the majority of the tale. And the reader is the fortunate beneficiary of Eli’s narrative predominance because it is to Eli that the sheer beauty and poignancy of language mean the most. Eli’s father is a renowned poet who infuses in his son curiosity and reverence for the esthetics of words well used and thoughts meaningfully conveyed. To be sure, Michael has a sleek facility with words too. But as a journalist, his overarching concern is in the mastery of technique for the purpose of conveying meaning economically and efficiently, and of getting the message out within the unyielding confines of limited page space. Michael’s father is an academic for whom the use of language is the means for recording thought. It is clear that Michael has inherited his father’s utilitarian sense of language. Allan is a master orator whose embrace of language is through the music and drama of the spoken word. Allan’s father was one of Canada’s most successful and respected federal cabinet ministers. And the son undoubtedly learned a great deal about the spoken word from his father. But Allan’s ability to communicate, to persuade and inspire as a speaker is not the result of studied technique alone. It is the result of the substance of the man’s words combined with 30 Q&A M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Josef Zissels: ‘Ukrainian Jews are part of the country’s political nation’ JODIE SHUPAC [email protected] T he Kyiv-based vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and chair of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Josef Zissels, visited Ottawa March 3 and Toronto March 4 to share his perspectives on Ukrainian-Jewish relations in Ukraine and trends in the overall political climate. The CJN spoke with him about Ukrainian Jews’ involvement in the Maidan protest movement in Kyiv in 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown; anti-Semitism; and the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, a multinational group that promotes stronger ties between Ukrainians of Jewish, Christian and other heritages in Ukraine, Israel and the Diaspora. Were Ukrainian Jews generally opposed to Yanukovych before his overthrow? We didn’t do any surveys on this, but I feel the majority of Jews in Ukraine are normal, adequate people, so they couldn’t like what Yanukovych was doing… Some made money under Yanukovych, so they supported him. But we also saw businessmen who were against Yanukovych… If you asked Jews, ‘Are you for or against Yanukovych?’ it would be difficult to answer. But if you asked if they are for democracy, you would find they are reasonable people [who want democracy] and dignity. They see how Jews live in Europe and how they live in Russia, and of course, they choose [to be closer to Europe], even though there is much more anti-Semitism there than in Ukraine and Russia combined. To what extent were Ukrainian Jews involved in the Maidan movement? Every ethnic group living in Ukraine, including ethnic Ukrainians, can be divided into three categories: 1. People who belong to an authoritarian, Soviet past and actively defend it and don’t desire to live in a European Ukraine (they are anti-Maidan). 2. People who are indifferent – it doesn’t matter when and how to live. They have no obvious preference. 3. People who are sincerely trying to break away from their authoritarian, Soviet past and to live in a democratic, prosperous and decent Ukraine (the pro-Maidan). Among Jews, there are, to this day, Soviet Jews, the Jews of Ukraine and Ukrainian Jews. For the past 23 years, we have seen a process of transformation take place – the transformation of [some] from Soviet Jews to Jews of Ukraine to Ukrainian Jews. The latter were the ones on the Maidan: they spoke, helped and defended the Maidan (three died there and are among the “Heavenly Hundred” – Euromaidan protestors who were killed in the clashes). Now Ukrainian Jews are among the volunteers in civil society’s main activities. They help displaced persons; help the army and National Guard with money, medication, weapons; they fight as part of the armed forces. We don’t have statistics, but from general considerations, it’s clear that Jews are very active in various areas. That’s why they were disproportionately more present on Maidan and in parliament, business, science and civil society. Ukrainian Jews are part of the Ukrainian political nation, just like French Jews for nearly 200 years have been an integral part of the French political nation. How common was anti-Semitism under Yanukovych’s rule and now, under President Petro Poroshenko? During Yanukovych’s rule, the problem was not anti-Semitism, but total theft from the people and a government with no end to its corruption, the lowering of human dignity, a disregard of the nation’s interests. This brought out protest [among people], not anti-Semitism. In the last years of Yanukovych’s [rule], and now, there is very little anti-Semitism in Ukraine. How does Poroshenko treat Ukraine’s Jews? We don’t want the Ukrainian authorities, including the president, to especially single out our community from other ethnic minorities in Ukraine. Of course, there are our particular issues related to memory of the Holocaust, migration and others, but we see that the president relates positively to our community. He spoke at the annual commemoration of the Babi Yar tragedy, assured us there is no place for anti-Semitism in Ukraine, and attended the recent anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Where did the notion that the new Ukrainian government is anti-Semitic or fascistic originate? This began under former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, when the label of “fascist” was first used to identify the opposition. And the Yanukovych government last year did all it could to show that the opposition was fascist and nationalist. We understood these elaborations came from Russia. Ukraine had an interim government be- Josef Zissels At this year’s book fair in Jerusalem, UJE presented a new, Yiddish-Ukrainian dictionary and sponsored a famous Ukrainian writer, Irena Karpa, who talked about cultural and literary movements in the country today. My organization works closely with UJE. It has sponsored a number of our initiatives, including youth camps that advocate tolerance. My trip to Canada and the United States, where I met with Ukrainian and Jewish communities, their leaders and leaders of various ethnic Diaspora groups, was made possible through the support of UJE. fore the election that brought Poroshenko to power. That government had in it several members of the Svoboda party, which is radical, but was also in opposition to Yanukovych (although many believe the party was financed by Yanukovych, so when faced with the next presidential race, Ukrainians would pick him over Svoboda’s leader). Because the label of opposition equals fascist was already there, it was easier for Yanukovych, his followers and Putin to call the opposition fascist. Labels stick… although time is showing that the Ukrainian leadership is neither fascist nor anti-Semitic. What non-Jewish groups, if any, are friends or allies of the Jews in Ukraine? We co-operate with many organizations in civil society, and almost all of them are our compatriots. We see very positive attitudes from them toward Jews. Among the Kyiv Patriarchate [of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church], the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Protestants, there is great sympathy toward Jews, and co-operation, for example, with the Ukrainian Catholic University, which also works with UJE, and various human rights group. Has it been your sense that Ukrainian Jews or Jews outside Ukraine believed it was fascist or anti-Semitic? After the government changed, almost all the Jewish organizations in Ukraine supported the new government. In Ukraine, few believed this, but for Jews outside the country, they did more, because a stereotype exists. The Russian government is considered quite friendly to Jews. Would you say that’s true? And has that changed at all, in light of the recent conflict? I think the Russian government is friendly only to itself, and has used the Jewish question to its benefit. It wants to show the world that in Russia, there is a civilized approach to others. But if it becomes beneficial to its interests, if it suits its purpose, the government will make Jews an internal enemy. We’ve seen this done in history before. What sort of work does the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter do? UJE has sponsored many activities, including developing a shared historical narrative that engages scholars and experts to produce a truthful account of the Ukrainian-Jewish relationship over the centuries. Before last year’s presidential election, it was one of the sponsors of a major conference in Kyiv called “Ukraine: Thinking Together,” which brought together leading intellectuals to discuss the situation in Ukraine as a way of supporting the democratization process taking place there. UJE is a sponsor of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptysky Award, an honour bestowed annually on an individual in Ukraine, Israel or the Diaspora who has made an important contribution to Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. Approximately how many Jews live in Ukraine? Around 300,000. They typically live in large cities, with the majority living in the centre, southern and eastern regions of the country. What is their typical socio-economic status? They are middle class and work in all industries. What’s their typical religious affiliation? They’re mostly secular, but there are religious Jews. There are 70 synagogues working in Ukraine today. n THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Social Scene M 31 Einstein’s Jewish and Zionist awakening Backstory Allan Levine A lbert Einstein’s parents were assimilated German Jews who considered themselves “Israelites,” which was typical of westernized Jews in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Einstein, who was born in 1879, did not have a bar mitzvah, though as a young man he did show a keen interest in religion and for a time adhered to Jewish dietary rules. After spending more than two decades studying and working in Switzerland, where he developed his theory of general relativity, he returned to Berlin in 1914. He accepted a position as the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, where he would remain until he was forced to flee to the United States in 1933 following the Nazi’s rise to power. In Switzerland, as he later admitted in a 1921 interview, he was ambivalent about his Jewish heritage. “There was noth- ing in my life that would have stirred my Jewish feeling or stimulated it,” he said. Yet in Berlin during and after World War I , he was confronted with anti-Semitism. It was then that Einstein began to reflect more seriously on his Jewish identity and write about it. Tracking his Jewish and Zionist awakening online is now possible, owing to the recent digitization (and translation from German to English) of thousands of his letters and papers – a joint effort between the Hebrew University, which Einstein helped found in 1918 and where the Albert Einstein Archives are located; Princeton University, where he taught after he came to the United States; and the California Institute of Technology. In a newspaper article published at the end of 1919, Einstein denounced the widely held right-wing propaganda that Germany’s approximately 30,000 east European Jews were “black marketers, Bolsheviks [and] elements that are averse to work.” The agitation against these Jews that called for their expulsion, he asserted, “raises the suspicion that calm judgment is being dimmed by strong anti-Semitic instincts.” In another unpublished article he penned in the spring of 1920, he was more critical of German Jews like his parents, those who perceived themselves to be “German citizens” of the “Mosaic faith.” To Einstein there was “something comical, even tragicomical in this designation.” In a world in which “race” and nationalism were powerful concepts, he believed strongly that there was a “Jewish nationality” that defined Jews, no matter what their socio-economic status. And pretending otherwise was “useless and morally questionable,” in his view. Moreover, at the time it was a no-win situation since, as he put it, “anti-Semites have no intention of clearly distinguishing between eastern European and western European Jews as some western European Jews might wish.” Einstein was initially indifferent to Zionism and at one point scorned Zionists as a “small band of impractical people that strike one as medieval.” Yet like Theodor Herzl, who wrote in 1895 that “only anti-Semitism” had made him a Jew, Einstein, too, was drawn to the movement as a backlash against anti-Semitism and as a necessity for Jewish survival. “I am not a Jew in the sense that I would demand the preservation of the Jewish or any other nationality as an end in itself,” he explained in 1921. “I rather see Jewish nationality as a fact, and I believe every Jew must draw the consequences from this fact. I consider raising Jewish self-confidence necessary, also in the interest of a normal living together with non-Jews. This is the major motive of my joining the Zionist movement…The founding of a free Jewish community structure in Palestine will again put Jewish people in a position where they can unencumbered fully uphold their creative capabilities.” By then, he had concluded that European Jews needed access to higher education, and if that was not possible in Europe, then a university in Jerusalem was a necessity. And more significantly, that fostering Jewish pride was essential. “We Jews need a revival of the feeling of community in order to preserve or rather regain a dignified existence,” he wrote to a friend in November 1929. “I see in Zionism the only effort which leads us closer to this goal.”n Historian Allan Levine’s most recent book is Toronto: Biography of a City. Ask Ella Manage expectations in your own mind first Ella Burakowski [email protected] Dear Ella, I’ve been dating Mike for a few months. We get along famously and are growing closer all the time. Mike seems to have a disturbingly disproportionate number of female friends. He doesn’t hide them from me, but it nevertheless raises a red flag for me. I don’t want to be that jealous girlfriend, but I guess I am. I would prefer to be the only woman in his life. I don’t feel comfortable asking him to give up all his female friends yet. I’m afraid he will see a side of me that he won’t like. How should I approach this? Too Many Women Dear Too Many Women Jealousy is a powerful emotion and can make you miserable. It’s perceiving a normal circumstance as a potentially damaging one. It can ruin a relationship that would otherwise be fine. The bigger picture is one of trust, respect and love, the three basic must-haves for a successful union to flourish. Examine your relationship with Mike. Think long and hard about each of these traits. Do they exist? Other than having many female friends who existed before you walked into his life, has Mike given you any reason to mistrust him? If the answer to that is no, then you have to turn the mirror to yourself. Why are you jealous when there is no reason to be? Jealousy can stem from a past experience – for example, if someone has cheated on you. Or it could be because you feel inadequate or insecure. If that’s the case, you need to be mindful of your feelings and find a way to control them. You say Mike and you are growing closer. You also mentioned that he doesn’t hide his friendships from you. Work with that. Rather than putting restrictions on his friendships, maybe get to know some of these women a little better. He would probably be open to your meeting people who are important in his life. Try to be open minded about his life prior to your becoming part of it. If you force him to give up people who are important to him, he may end up resenting you. Two lives coming together to form one bond takes work. It is not always easy or automatic, but if you keep the lines of communication open at all times, the rest will work itself out. Dear Ella, After a few years of dating, I met Sonia. We have much in common, and both of us are divorced with kids. We share the same family values, are very involved with our children and enjoy having fun both alone and with our kids. However, I’m afraid of the financial commitment that may be expected of me down the road. I work very hard and am still raising my own family. I have extra financial obligations because of the divorce, and the thought of having to support children who are not my own is far from appealing. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to approach the subject and get it out of the way. Sonia has made no financial demands on me, but I know it’s just around the corner. What’s Mine is Mine Dear What’s Mine is Mine It’s nice that you’ve made a connection with someone who makes you happy, but I’m not clear on why you feel the financial burden of Sonia’s children will fall on your shoulders. Sonia has raised her children without your help till now. She must have some kind of income and chances are she receives child support from her ex as well. Right now you are simply in the “getting to know you” phase of your relationship. Putting up road blocks is not a great way to start. First, see if there is something developing between you. As you are both parents, you must be able to respect each other’s choices when it comes to the children. You will both do what’s best for the kids first. Chances of finding a soul mate with no history are slim. You have to grow and learn about each other and decide what you can and can’t accept. Relax and enjoy each other’s company for now. If you’re meant to be together, you’ll work out those financial details in time. n Ella’s advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional. 32 M THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS april 9, 2015 Excellence in Portfolio Management: There is wealth in our approach. Portfolio management expertise and excellence, depth, professionalism and consistency – this is what has defined our business approach for 30 years. It is central to how we manage portfolios, control risk, identify opportunities and build relationships. At the Bruce Kent Group, we customize each client portfolio so that it is specifically tailored to meet your needs and expectations. Our personal approach, combined with our outstanding portfolio management, is why the Bruce Kent Group is the largest discretionary portfolio management group at RBC Dominion Securities across Canada, with over $2 billion in assets under management. 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