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
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...
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,...
In Judaism, we know the power of the spoken
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
Life is for living. Don’t wait. Go out and
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
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...
We are not obligated to finish the work;
neither are we free to desist from it. (Pirkei
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
The gift of Torah, which we re-enact and
celebrate on Shavuot, is linked by custom to the scroll of Ruth.
Her story is associated with Shavuot for
The narrative is set at the
time of the spring harvest which took place in late May/early June.A major theme of the narrative
is ẖesed by and for Ruth.
Loving-kindness is understood as the essential value of Torah and a means...
Following the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, May 28, the Board of Governors met and elected the Executive Committee, comprised of the following individuals:S. Blake Teichman - PresidentDr. Sheldon Rotman - Chair of the Board of GovernorsTed Zittell - Vice-PresidentDebbie Rothstein - Vice-ChairPeter Weinstein - TreasurerAlan Sless - SecretaryDena Libman - ParnosCarolyn Kolers -...
New York City is an amazing place. Commuting from England, I
stayed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for many years. Aliza lived there
for 18. We actually lived around the corner from each other for over a decade
without ever knowing it!
Like many of you, we try to get
back to New York as often as possible. There’s an energy there that is difficult
to describe. It’s a pace, a...
For all the efforts of the great Jewish thinkers to develop
a systematic exposition of Jewish beliefs, Judaism is primarily defined by
narrative theology, the telling of a sacred story that gives meaning to our past
and momentum to our future. Each morning during prayers we retell a précis of
our sacred saga. And on Passover, we devote significant attention to the
In The White...
With the winter weather continuing, Purim just behind us and
Pesaẖ sneaking up, I hope you are keeping warm and looking forward to
the eventual arrival of spring. Another Incredible
Visit to IsraelLast year at this time, I wrote about our meaningful family
trip to Israel, my first visit there after 20 years. I was recently privileged
to return to Israel to participate in the selection of...
While Robert Frost encounters two equally trodden paths in
the forest and knowingly accepts that one day he’ll lie about choosing the one
less traveled, many of us, throughout our lives, repeatedly encounter unequal
paths and always choose the more obvious, and arguably easier, route.
How often, if ever, did we take
risks? How frequently did we not follow the direction set out by those...
Is Passover your favourite Jewish
holiday? If you’re in charge of the cooking,
the cleaning or making a seder, the answer is probably no; but if you’re a
child or teenager, you might say yes (by the way, if you are a child or
teenager reading this column, I’m very impressed!). I believe that Pesah
is our most child-focussed holiday. There’s lots of singing, many ways to...
A number of years ago, I hired a delightful woman, born and
raised in Ireland. She always wore a smile and her work ethic was positively
motivating. Though not Jewish, she remarked on how similar the Jewish people
were to the Irish in our attitudes towards family and the significance of life.
We traded stories about grandparents, family gatherings (there was always food
involved) and even...