The18th century rabbi and mystic Yisroel ben Eliezer,
lovingly known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, referred to the
Jewish people as a living Torah. He explained that a Torah
that is missing even just one letter is considered pasul,
invalid, and no longer fit to be used until it is corrected.
Similarly, if even one Jewish person feels like an outsider,
unwelcome and not part of our collective...
During the recent PanAm Games
here in Toronto, I attended my first-ever
swimming and track and field
competitions. Both were a lot of fun
and a great way to spend a morning,
and it also marked the first time I got
to cheer on Canadian athletes in
person. At each event, there was something
that I had never experienced
before. Prior to a race starting, when
the starter called the...
Since the beginning of my tenure at Beth Tzedec in
2009, without fail, I have visited Camp Ramah in Canada
every summer and the approximately 60 campers and
staff for whom Beth Tzedec is their shul. Beth Tzedec is
one of the camp’s founding synagogues and we maintain a
very strong relationship with the camp to this day. I must
admit, though, that I make the four and half hour...
It is a game we all played as children to teach the
parts of the body and to demonstrate movement. We
laugh and revel in the performance of the child who has
no limitations. The new parent cannot imagine anything
less than a “perfect” child, however unrealistic that may
be. As we age, we all face challenges that require
attention, be they visual, auditory, physical or otherwise;
In answer to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, Beth Tzedec Congregation has established the Syrian Refugee Program. This new fund will help us to provide food, shelter and support to a Syrian family being resettled in Toronto, and is offered as part of a larger Toronto, JIAS and international initiative. Donations can be made through the Synagogue office by calling 416-781-3511 or...
I want to devote this column almost exclusively to soliciting your comments on our proposed renovation plans for the Sanctuary so that I may receive your feedback. [In my September 2015 Bulletin article on page 5] are two renderings of what we are considering. As I reported in the Bulletin this past February, we propose raising the Sanctuary floor to the level of the foyer, thereby...
Mahzor Lev ShalemThis year, as Beth Tzedec mark's its 60th anniversary, we introduce Maẖzor Lev Shalem, a completely updated prayer book for the High Holy Days.After an extensive examination of a variety of new prayer books, and with the recommendation of our klei kodesh (clergy), our Ritual Committee and Board of Governors enthusiastically endorsed Maẖzor Lev Shalem (A Whole Heart) to...
This summer, I
witnessed the bringing together of long separated art and spirit to restore a whole heart,לב שלם (lev shalem). I thought of the different paths our personal
yearning for wholeness and healing may take: in the beauty of sea, sky and
snow; the solitude of meditation; the activity of family celebration; exquisite moments of song and
Just before the
Fast of Av,...
As part of a highlight event for Beth Tzedec Congregation's 60th Anniversary celebrations, Cantor Simon Spiro is compiling old photos and/or footage from member weddings, bar mitzvahs or other special events that took place at the synagogue. If you have items that could be included, please contact Cantor Spiro.
Strategic Planning Focus Groups are now being scheduled to be held during the summer beginning in the last week of June. Share your vision of Beth Tzedec's future.
We are looking for members interested in participating in a small-group structured conversation led by our facilitator, Christine Govern. Sessions will be held outside of Beth Tzedec and will last up to two...
The Voices of Tomorrow Children's Choir is for kids who like to sing and have fun. This musical group sings with Cantor Simon Spiro and the Beth Tzedec Singers at several holiday services and performs in concerts at Beth Tzedec and in the community. It's a wonderful experience for children—and their parents enjoy it, too!For information about joining the Voices of Tomorrow, please contact...
Beth Tzedec’s Mishpacha program: Toddlers, Tunes and Treats (for children ages 1 to 3 with a parent, grandparent or caregiver) is now open for registration for the Fall and Winter sessions. Classes will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., led by Tobie Seligman. Come play, sing and create arts & crafts around a different theme each week. To...
Some ideas to help make Shavuot a fun time in your home!Crafts, recipes and discussions can go a long way to helping make Shavuot more meaningful for the whole family.Help your family recognize that Shavuot is coming. We count the Omer—the days between Passover and Shavuot. Make a family Omer counting chart and count it together at dinner time. On Shavuot, it is customary to eat dairy...
I am not a fluent Hebrew speaker. Even with a career in Jewish education, a Master’s degree in Bible, a year spent living in Israel, eight other visits and thousands of hours in Hebrew class in elementary school, high school and university, I have not mastered the Hebrew language. Sure, I can get by with the Hebrew I do know. I can hold my own in a conversation with an Israeli, I can...
Riding the TTC, one cannot help but notice the plethora of advertisements for Continuing Education. In a recent subway ride, my entire car was plastered with banners boasting of a particular university’s 88 certificate programs and over 1,500 courses, seminars and workshops—all aimed at mature students.While the rest of the world is seemingly catching up, our tradition has...