“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...
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
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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"...
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...
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 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
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...
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...