Articles

A Message from the President
By: S. Blake Teichman
Feb 22nd 2016
For the past decade, we have enjoyed the cantorial and creative music of our Senior Cantor, Cantor Simon Spiro. In August 2016, at the conclusion of his contract, Cantor Simon will be completing his tenure at our synagogue.During his time at Beth Tzedec, Cantor Simon has provided unique musical direction and has become a friend to many in our community. We all join in wishing Cantor...
We Welcome Your Thoughts
By: Beth Tzedec
Feb 18th 2016
We are always interested in hearing from our members and community—thoughts, ideas, impressions or concerns—and invite you to contact our leadership, clergy or senior staff at any time. Please see below for email information.Sheldon Rotman, President — 416-781-3514 ext. 260Debbie Rothstein, Chair Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl — 416-781-3514 ext. 228Cantor Sidney Ezer — 416-781-3514...
A Message from the President of Beth Tzedec Congregation
By: S. Blake Teichman
Jan 28th 2016
I am pleased to announce that Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl has agreed to defer his retirement by two years to July 2019. Over the past 22+ years, Rabbi Frydman-Kohl has provided tremendous leadership to our congregational family. As our spiritual leader, he has celebrated with us in times of joy and has provided guidance in times of sorrow. Under Rav Baruch’s leadership, Beth Tzedec continues to...
A Conversation on Weddings
By: Beth Tzedec
Jan 25th 2016
The recent policy change for weddings outside of Beth Tzedec has generated discussion about how our rabbis and cantors balance preserving traditional norms while attempting to meet people where they are. In place of a derashah (sermon), Rabbis Frydman-Kohl and Cutler will be joined by Yacov Fruchter, Director of Community Building and Spiritual Engagement to discuss the context,...
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...