Articles

Doing for Ourselves
By: Yacov Fruchter
Jan 17th 2016
“Don’t do for others what they can do for themselves”—this is the iron rule of community organizing. What do you think about this statement? Some believe that embracing this statement is at the core of a successful engagement strategy that is focused on empowering active participants. What does a thriving Beth Tzedec look like to you? Most of us would likely answer...
Closing the Jewish Education Gap
By: Daniel Silverman
Jan 17th 2016
In my three and a half years so far at Beth Tzedec, I have been fortunate to participate in a number of professional development gatherings with other synagogue educators, both locally and from across North America. Regardless of the purpose of our gathering, be it improving teacher supervision, exploring new ideas in experiential education, or learning how to be better recruiters and...
Feeling at Home in Israel
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jan 17th 2016
After graduating high school, i spent a year studying at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, situated just outside of Tel-Aviv. Gap years were not yet de rigeur, and it took a little bit of convincing before my parents sanctioned the trip. Cost was of course a concern, as was academic recognition by a Canadian university upon my return. Ultimately, the school accepted...
Where Tomorrow Begins Today
By: Randy Spiegel
Jan 17th 2016
They say that all good stories start with "Once upon a time”, so here is my short story for today: Once upon a time two downtown synagogues, part of a budding Jewish community bursting with potential, decided it was time to come together and grow up—moving north. It was time to expand their vision and create a future filled with promise and potential as an integral part of the fabric...
Look What You Missed
By: S. Blake Teichman
Jan 17th 2016
I have devoted most of my bulletin columns as President of Beth Tzedec to delivering messages of which the dominant theme has been transformation. I have described the selection of Hariri Pontarini as the architects of our building renovation, the forthcoming changes in the shul building and personnel, our re-affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and our array of...
Jewish Challenges
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jan 17th 2016
As Jews and Canadians, we face many challenges. We are called to broaden access to Jewish education, creatively continue our tradition, attend to our elderly, support Israel, and defend democratic and free societies. In addition, we must care for poor Jews and provide humanitarian assistance to those who are outside the borders of our community. Having grown up in poverty, I am...
From the President: Jewish Leadership of Prayer Services
By: S. Blake Teichman
Dec 10th 2015
The information contained in last week’s edition of The Week Ahead e-newsletter regarding the Choir has led to some questions about the process leading up to that announcement, and I’d like to share some additional background with the Congregation.  The Rabbi meets regularly with Synagogue leadership to discuss a wide range of issues affecting Beth Tzedec. Some issues are mundane...
Words of Gratitude from Thanaa and Amyn
By: Yacov Fruchter
Dec 10th 2015
I was asked to share with the Beth Tzedec community these words of gratitude from Thanaa and Amyn, the sister and brother-in-law of the Syrian family we are sponsoring.We would really like to thank the entire Beth Tzedec Congregation along with JIAS for their heart-felt, overwhelming support in the reunification of our family, and giving hope and a better future for those less fortunate who have...
From Disputation to Dialogue - Conflict to Co-Operation
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Dec 3rd 2015
25 November 2015 ~ 14 Kislev 5776 “This is the day that the Eternal has made.” What a privilege and blessing for our two communities to witness Canadian Rabbis and Bishops sharing wine and sitting together for dinner. This would have been unimaginable 100 years ago, when Albert Einstein presented his famous General Theory of Relativity. Just as his theory and equation changed...
Urgent Request for Winter Outerwear
By: Beth Tzedec
Nov 26th 2015
With the cold weather upon us, the Beth Tzedec/Beth Sholom Out of the Cold program has an urgent need for men and women's winter boots and down-filled, ski-type jackets. Donations of other adult-sized winter clothing—hats, gloves, warm sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirts and pants, new socks and underwear— are also always appreciated. Clothing donations should be bagged, labelled "Out of the Cold"...
Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Update
By: Yacov Fruchter
Nov 15th 2015
There are those who are calling us naïve; that we are ignoring the facts and putting our community in jeopardy. Some have asked whether we have a moral responsibility to care for the impoverished within our own city and country before we help strangers halfway across the world. A few have shared with me that something just doesn’t sit right with them about helping Muslim...
Lessons Learned
By: Daniel Silverman
Nov 15th 2015
After the Blue Jays’ loss to Kansas City, I had many flashbacks to my childhood. The Blue Jays’ World Series wins in 1992 and 1993 are some of the happiest moments of my youth. After all, as a seven and eight year old, there’s nothing better than seeing your team win a championship. The key moments are further imprinted in my brain thanks to repeated viewings of the commemorative...
Who Can Recount the Balance of Israel
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Nov 15th 2015
Who can recount the mighty acts of Israel?Who can count them? Indeed, in every age, a hero shall arise The people’s rescuer. Hear! In those days and in our time, A Maccabee saves and redeems. And in our days, all of Israel Shall stand united and be rescued. Every winter of my childhood, my family went to visit Israeli friends who lived nearby. We would sit around their living...
Shul Shopping—Toronto's "Best Buy"
By: Randy Spiegel
Nov 15th 2015
We have now completed the stretch run to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the annual period of self and communal reflection. In this town, the excitement and buzz may have focussed a little more on the Blue Jays playoff run and less on our own personal run towards a meaningful and fulfilling High Holy Day and Sukkot experience. Increasingly, or so it seems, many who are renewing or joining a...
Back to the Future
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Nov 15th 2015
What can a synagogue community be? The film Back to the Future was set in 1955 and imagined events of 2015. As Beth Tzedec celebrates its 60th anniversary as a congregation (our roots actually go back to the 1890s with our founding kehillot of Beth Midrash Hagadol and Goel Tzedec), it is appropriate to reflect on what our Synagogue has been in the past, where we are today and what we...