A year ago, I embarked on a project into the as-of-yet
unexplored possible. In Toronto, could four rabbis—
Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist—sit together and discuss substantive issues of modern
Jewish life in a public forum? The result was Young
Rabbis Speak. What started as a one-time, exploratory
event looking at a range of topics turned into a...
My late aunt Rosea”h used to say, “when they say
news, they don’t mean good news.” And when
watching the newscasts from the alphabet soup of
networks, it’s easy to see that bad news always, shall we
say, ‘trumps’ good news. In reporting the top BT News items, I am proud to
say there is lots of good news to report. Do not adjust
your dial—CELEBRATE! High Holy Day...
Nn a January 29 eblast to the Congregation, I was
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
Thirty years ago, our son lost his cherished
nounours in the pedestrian mall in central Jerusalem. He
was inconsolable. A friend, coming to visit us for
Passover, brought a similar teddy bear from the same
manufacturer. But there was no special attachment to the
new bear, who remained without a little boy to love it. If
I had been Franz Kafka, the story might have had a
NEW—In advance of of the Out of the Cold Art Circle Exhibition and Sale, several paintings will be on display at Beth Tzedec on Shabbat, March 19 and Sunday, March 20.Beth Sholom and Beth Tzedec's Out of the Cold program hosts over 150 guests every week during the winter season. It offers a hot dinner, overnight shelter, breakfast, a bagged lunch and clothing donations.Guests also have the...
March 11, 2016—There is a lot happening at Beth Tzedec and below is a review of initiatives that relate to medium and long term planning. As always, please feel free to share your comments and questions by email to me at email@example.com. Strategic Plan – Over the past two years, the Strategic Planning Committee, co-chaired by Larry Wallach and Carolyn Kolers,...
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...
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...
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,...
“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...