Dear Friends,These are indeed extraordinary times. We are witnessing a massive reorganization of our daily lives. All of us are impacted by COVID-19 and it seems that we'll continue to be impacted for some time to come. A new normal is emerging. As it does, we have some adjusting to do.One of the most important preventative measures is social distancing — avoiding large crowds and...
many people in Israel and the United States have been focused on political
elections, I am still reflecting on the interfaith coalition that was forged
during the ten day study mission to Israel and Palestine, Sharing Perspectives/
Path of Abraham, which I co-led for the fourth time. As an introduction to our
program, Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton of Toronto, Imam Ibrahim
Rabbi Steve Wernick presented this benediction at a reception on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, hosted at Toronto City Hall.I would
like to take a moment to begin by being mindful of Vera’s testimony. She was 19
when she was liberated and tonight we mark 75 years since. Vera, may you and
the other survivors merit to live like Moses, our teacher, to 120. Or as
Israelis say today,...
Heshvan 5780 ~ October-November 2019
Although the month of Heshvan—between the High Holy Days
and Hanukkah—has no Jewish festivals, this past
period has been full of activity. While I’ve been in Morocco and Jerusalem,
Beth Tzedec began its usual busy calendar of programs, officially welcomed
Rabbis Wernick and Fryer Bodzin and hosted a unit of Israeli combat veterans
with Peace of...
When you live in a different city and
country from your family of birth, if you are lucky, you find friends who
become like family. Rabbi Manes Kogan, his wife Silvia, and their children Daniela,
Ilan and Abby were those people. For ten years we shared Rosh Hashanah meals
and Pesah seders, no reason Shabbat dinners, and long summer Shabbat
The Kogans were there for us...
summer heat of Israel was matched by the political rhetoric of a down and dirty
election campaign. The election this week will not turn on security (there is general
agreement by the leading parties) or economics (very little attention has been
paid to income inequality).
will be determined by personality (is Netanyahu
“in a league of his own”?), as well as...
B'Av in Israel is always memorable. History and contemporary life often
collide. Years ago, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, I was part of a
group that read Eikhah, the scroll of Lamentations, at his grave. During the
2005 summer of withdrawal from Gaza, the sense of internal Jewish conflict,
often a theme on 9 Av, was accentuated.
A number of years ago, when the Masorti...
The Amidah (literally “The Standing”) is the central prayer
of Jewish worship. It contains three main introductory sections. The first is known as Avot, or ancestors. It establishes our personal
relationship with God in history, traditionally through the lineage of the
patriarchs. The second section is known as Gevurot, or might. It
calls upon God as...
My words of welcome to begin the Yom Hazikaron ceremony of the
Consulate of the State of Israel tonight at Beth Tzedec.
הזכרון תשע״ט ~~ Yom Hazikaron 5779
behalf of our President, Sheldon Rotman, our Board of Directors, our spiritual
and educational team, all our staff and our members, welcome to Beth Tzedec. We
are honoured to again host this Yom Hazikaron...
The central ritual of Passover is the Hagaddah, the telling of our Master Story; how slaves became free
people and how a band of disparate tribes became a people. Myjewishlearning.com explains that there are three
essential elements of the seder’s
retelling of the Exodus: “the family, the individual, and the nation. As a home
event involving the full family as well as guests, the seder...
Panel Presentation for Neighbourhood Interfaith Group9 May 2018 ~ 24 Iyar 5778
delighted to speak on this panel with Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton and Imam Yosef
Badat, and thank the Neighbourhood Interfaith Group for organizing this
important event this year, continuing a process initiated over third years ago.
on 9 Av, I fast and join other Jews at...
#TorontoStrong Vigil at Mel Lastman Square
van was 20 feet in lengthand
the violence extended 2.1 kilometres,with
ten dead and sixteen wounded.And
around these, in a larger circleof
pain and time, multiple hospitals and many graveyards. But the oneburied
in her home town,enlarges
those mourning her deathat
the shores of a country far across the seaincludes
On this evening of memory, on behalf of the leadership of Beth Tzedec,
we welcome bereaved families and the entire Toronto community with the hope
that the memories of those who have fallen to secure and sustain the State of
Israel will be recalled with dignity and honour, respect and love.
Many members of our city have seen children
and other family members serve in the Israel...
This past week, I joined Rabbi Yael Splansky and Rabbi Chaim Strauchler at Shaarei Shomayim for a rabbinic conversation on the new anti-Semitism. This was the second in a series of public discussions (our first conversation was on Israel). CJN Editor Yoni Goldstein again did a great job moderating our discussion. There was an excellent and diverse turnout.We shared classic rabbinic texts...
Rabbi Frydman-Kohl and Norman Kahn are members of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) of the Rabbinical Assembly. Norman Kahn, as a lay leader, is a non-voting member, contributing ideas and comments about the various teshuvot (responsa) presented. The CJLS met November 14 and 15 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. During the meeting, the Committee approved three...