Articles

Chicago: My Kind of Town
By: Randy Spiegel
Jan 16th 2015
Last month, Rav Baruch and I spent four glorious(read—FREEZING) days at the ReNEWed Jewish Leaders Conference. Seventy-three executive directors and rabbis representing nearly 250,000 Jews affiliated through our synagogues were invited to learn, share practice issues and problem-solve with academics and business leaders. In its fifth year, the program has presented professional Jewish...
Food, Words and Song
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jan 7th 2015
Cuisine, in addition to text and melody, is important in the survival of Judaism.Particularly during the winter, I enjoy comfort food, a good book and music to stir the soul. Each makes claims on my identity. In The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the late Gil Marks points to adaptation and transmission as essential to Jewish cuisine. In Jews and Words, Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Saltzberger make...
Just Added: Monday Morning Session of our Mishpacha Program
By: Beth Tzedec
Dec 24th 2014
Monday Morning Mishpacha ProgramDue to overwhelming demand, a Monday session of the popular Mishpacha: Toddlers, Tunes and Treats program for children ages 1 to 3 with a parent, grandparent or caregiver is now being offered, beginning Monday, January 12. Spaces are limited; register early to avoid disappointment. For more information, contact Jo Swartz at 416-781-3514 ext. 230.
The Vinyl Chorus
By: Beth Tzedec
Dec 22nd 2014
A chance for singers of all ages and musical backgrounds to join together and have fun singing with the ever-entertaining Cantor Simon Spiro. Broadway, Pop, Hebrew, Yiddish and more...If it's on vinyl, we'll be singing it! Regular rehearsals throughout the year will culminate in a 2015 performance with a professional band. Contact Marlene Laba at 416-781-3514 ext. 234.
Out of the Cold Volunteers
By: Beth Tzedec
Dec 22nd 2014
The 16th season of Out of the Cold resumes on Tuesday nights beginning January 6, 2015 and is run jointly with Beth Sholom Synagogue out of their premises. It provides a hot meal, clothing, entertainment and an art program for 175 of Toronto’s homeless and needy, and offers sleeping accommodations, a hot breakfast, bagged lunch and a subway token for the 55 overnight guests each week....
Building a Dynamic Institution
By: S. Blake Teichman
Nov 17th 2014
Thank you to so many of you who spoke to me over the High Holidays wishing me well and encouraging many of our initiatives. Beth Tzedec continues to be at the forefront of Conservative Judaism. On October 6, we hosted The Future of Jewish Life in the Diaspora with Chancellor Arnold Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary in dialogue with writer and film-maker David Bezmozgis and moderated...
History and Halakhah, Hanukkah and Hasidism
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Nov 17th 2014
Take the opportunity to study and reflect on what we—as Conservative Jews—uniquely do.A hallmark of Conservative Judaism has been a fidelity to Jewish law and observance combined with an awareness of the historic development of Judaism. In mid-19th century Europe, the forerunner of what came to be Conservative Judaism called itself Positive-Historical Judaism. “Positive” meant...
Leadership Now and for the Future
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Oct 30th 2014
There are eight qualities of leadership we find in the BibleThe recent election of Kathleen Wynne as Premier of Ontario and the race for Mayor of Toronto have focused attention on the nature and quality of leadership.Decisions by Prime Minister Harper, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu draw attention to different dimensions of leadership in times of national stability,...
Transformation
By: S. Blake Teichman
Oct 30th 2014
I want Beth Tzedec to transform the way our members experience their lives Jewishly.My connection to Beth Tzedec Congregation began with my maternal great-grandparents who were members of Goel Tzedec, one of our two predecessor synagogues. My parents joined Beth Tzedec in 1955 when they moved with their then two young sons into Cedarvale. I attended Beth Tzedec Day School (which would later...
Yom Kippur - Dancing Cheek to Cheek
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Sep 10th 2014
MEKOR CHAIM Yom Kippur – Dancing Cheek to Cheek If Rosh Hashanah is about awareness of God, a proclamation of divine sovereignty and transcendence, then Yom Kippur is about getting close to God.  The ritual is a “dance” to help establish the connection, reveal our personality and demonstrate by our behaviour that we want such a relationship to exist. Our tradition teaches that...
Rally for the People of Israel
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jul 14th 2014
Dear Friends,This has been a challenging summer for the Jewish community: the kidnapping and killing of "our boys", the revenge murder of a young Palestinian, the missiles from Gaza, the Israeli defensive response, the missiles from Gaza, the need for diplomatic and political advocacy, the missiles from Gaza. Many members of our congregation are in Israel; others have children, siblings,...
Words and Black-Jewish Relations
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jul 10th 2014
In Judaism, we know the power of the spoken word. We will shortly be recognizing the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer, the historic campaign to register as many African-American voters in Mississippi as possible. As was the case in many elements of the march for civil rights, Jews played a prominent role. As Cheryl Greenberg writes in Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish...
Making Memories
By:
Jul 10th 2014
Life is for living. Don’t wait. Go out and live it! As I write this, Aliza and I are still doing the switch from Pesaẖ dishes to ẖametz dishes, even though Pesaẖ ended more than just a day or two ago. True that it’s a big job and we lead busy lives, but that’s not the only reason it takes us so long. Our Pesaẖ involves more than dishes—we have Egyptian bobble head...
Blessings and Memories
By: Randy Spiegel
Jul 10th 2014
It’s time to take stock. The snow is gone, the broken trees are beginning to mend, my lawn is finally turning green and I’m getting ready to plant my garden. Maybe THIS year, we’ll have squash for Sukkot. Maybe. The cloud of winter is finally lifting and, with it, an emotional blanket that has covered blessings too numerous to count. It’s time to take stock: Amazing parents (I am...
Looking Back with Gratitude and Turning to the Future
By: Carolyn Kolers
Jul 10th 2014
We are not obligated to finish the work; neither are we free to desist from it. (Pirkei Avot) I can’t believe it was six years ago when I began my service to the Congregation on the Board, then as Chair of the Board of Governors for two years and as President for three. Throughout this time, I have been proud to work with my colleagues on the Board and its committees who shared similar...