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About Town: Week of August 22


Friday, Aug. 23



Estelle Ross recounts “Stories of the Good Old Days,” at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m. Joyce, 514-342-1234, ext. 7318.


Sunday, Aug. 25



The annual Montreal Jewish Music Festival opens at Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent Blvd., 8:30 p.m. with a klezmer concert by Sergiu Popa and Ichka. The festival, which continues until Aug. 29, at Sala Rossa and Upstairs Jazz Bar, 1254 Mackay St., features local and international artists performing a variety of Jewish-inspired music. For the schedule, visit montrealjewishmusicfest.com.


Tuesday, Aug. 27



Beth Ora Seniors holds an anniversary party with entertainment by Greg Innis at the synagogue, 1:30 p.m. 514-342-1234, ext. 7318.


Wednesday, Aug. 28



Prospective volunteers are invited to an open house at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Current volunteers range in age from 12 to 100 and give their time to a wide range of activities. Lynn Gordon, 514-342-1234, ext. 7240.


Thursday, Aug. 29



Israeli jazz pianist Shai Maestro and his trio begin a series of concerts in Quebec at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City and, on Aug. 30, at Rimouski’s Théatre Telus-Desjardins, before coming to Montreal for a performance at Upstairs Jazz Bar, 1254 Mackay St., on Aug. 31. The aptly named Maestro has been playing piano since age five and toured and recorded with jazz great Avishai Cohen before striking out on his own.


...Et Cetera...



The Jewish General Hospital received a $525,000 donation through a campaign conducted by the Oberfeld family for research  into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and to support patients and their relatives. The family contributed the lead gift of $100,000. The money will benefit three main areas: research into the root causes of Alzheimer’s by neuroscientist Andréa LeBlanc; the new Mary Katz Claman Alzheimer Risk Assessment Clinic, headed by neurologist Hyman Schipper, and the Anna & Louis Goldfarb JGH/McGill Memory Clinic, led by Howard Chertkow, which is the largest of its kind in Canada in the diagnosis and treatment of memory problems.

Dena Oberfeld’s struggle with Alzheimer’s inspired her husband, Ted, and their children, Felice and Harley, to organize the campaign, launched in the spring of 2012. They hope to also raise awareness of the disease, including the fact its symptoms can begin before old age, in the 40s and 50s.



The Israeli film Big Bad Wolves by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado won the Cheval Noir Award for best film at the Fantasia International Film Festival this month. The jury enthused: “With elements of horror, crime thriller, revenge drama, and wicked black comedy, Big Bad Wolves takes genre-bending to bold new levels.” The co-directors also went home with the prize for best screenplay. The film, which was making its Canadian premiere, follows the lives of three men on a collision course: the vengeful father of a murdered girl, a vigilante police detective operating outside the law, and the main suspect in the series of killings, a religious studies teacher who was arrested and released due to a police error.



On Aug. 15, the YM-YWHA and Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital (JRH) held their first-ever joint golf tournament, at the Hillsdale Country Club. Billed as a “super-collaboration,” the two institutions say they share a goal of improving people’s health. The idea to join forces started with a casual conversation between immediate past Y president Peter Lewis and JRH president Michael Feil, which led to their realizing the similarities of their tournaments and missions, and that they could put on a better event together. For 12 and 18 years, respectively, the JRH and Y ran separate tournaments.



Phyllis Pinchuk, who co-authored, with Baruch Tegegne, the memoir Baruch’s Odyssey: An Ethiopian Jew’s Struggle to Save his People, reports that the late Tegegne’s sacrifices in rescuing Ethiopian Jews and bringing them to Israel have been recognized in that country. A new community centre in Rehovot is dedicated to his memory and has a monument to his courage at its entrance. Tegegne, who lived in Montreal for many years, died in December 2010. Tegegne’s daughter, Yaffa, who lives in Montreal, got engaged at the centre this summer.



The annual Lila Sigal Hockey Marathon benefiting the Jewish General Hospital’s McGill Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation Program takes places Sept. 7 at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena in Côte St. Luc. It’s co-chaired by Farrel Miller and David Sigal, whose mother Lila passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2004. Each of the six teams will play two first-round games, plus a minimum of one playoff game. To sponsor a player, visit www.jghfoundation.org and follow the links.



Kulam, a Montreal-based Jewish humanitarian organization founded by Benjamin Sternthal and Julie Schneiderman, and Mad Science are teaming up to build a new school in northern Ethiopia. The campus will consist of a two-room schoolhouse powered by a solar panel, a well and latrines. Kulam previously built a school in the village of Shumargie. Mad Science, also Montreal-based, developed and donated two courses with kits for the students, which recently arrived. One introduces aerodynamics by having the children build a model plane, and the other, introducing friction and energy, involves students assembling a model drag racer. info@kulam.ca.

Charles Bronfman will be honoured at the 42nd annual meeting of the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal (JCF) Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Gelber Conference Centre. Bronfman, who is retired from a 50-year career with the Seagram Co. Ltd., chairs Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Inc. and is founding member and co-chair of Birthright Israel. He will discuss his latest book, The Art of Doing Good. Tribute will be paid to Bronfman, 82, for inspiring generations of philanthropists with what he calls his “passion for action.”

“This is an incredible opportunity to honour a man who, on so many levels and in so many places around the world, has touched the lives of so many, young adults in particular,” said outgoing JCF president Joel Segal. He will be succeeded that evening by Brenda Gewurz… Singer Leonard Cohen turned out for the opening of Israeli cultural week in Croatia’s Istria Peninsula, joining the Israeli ambassador for Shabbat after his concert.

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