About Town: Week of August 30
Friday, Aug. 31
HOLIDAY FOOD BASKETS
Pick-up of Rosh Hashanah food baskets for the needy begins today and continues through Sept. 7 (except Labour Day weekend) at the Montreal B’nai Brith Food Basket warehouse at 5800 Ferrier St. Volunteers are still needed to help pack the baskets and deliver them to four seniors residences and to those who are infirm or have no transportation of their own. 744-6457.
Shirley Gyles speaks on “Fugitive Slaves and Freed Blacks,” at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m. Joyce, 342-1234, ext. 7318.
Tuesday, Sept. 4
Bernie Praw, an English Montreal School Board commissioner, offers “Reflections on 40 Years of Education,” at a Beth Ora Seniors meeting at 1:30 p.m. 342-1234, ext. 7318.
A nine-session advanced beginners course in Yiddish starts at the Jewish Public Library, 7-9 p.m. Students are expected to be familiar with the Yiddish alphabet and have some knowledge of the language. An intermediate course begins Sept. 10. Classes are taught by Sheila Witt and Lorna Smith. Registration, 345-2627, ext. 3006.
Wednesday, Sept. 5
KING OF HISTORY
Author and historian Joe King speaks on “How a Jewish Pickpocket Became a Chinese General,” at the opening meeting of the Golda Meir Chapter of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, at Chevra Mishnayis Jacob Josef Synagogue in Chomedey at 1:15 p.m. (business meeting for members only at 12:15). Reservations, president Evie Applebee, 450-681-9342.
BOOK OF JONAH
Rabbi Michael Whitman commences a three-part weekly series on The Book of Jonah, which is read on Yom Kippur afternoon, 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Adath Israel. He discusses the book’s themes, which underlie the High Holidays. www.adath.ca.
Thursday, Sept. 6
JPL ANNUAL MEETING
The 98th annual general meeting of the Jewish Public Library will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Gelber Conference Centre. The program includes a performance by the Hélène Engel Trio called “Voyage in the Five JPL Languages,” featuring Jewish songs from around the world with a klezmer flavour. 345-2627, ext. 3017.
A website (www.jewishfarmers.ca) and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jewishfarmers) have been launched by former Jewish residents of Ste. Sophie and New Glasgow. The creators, Howard Gontovnick, Freddie Rudy, May Polsky and George Polsky, are posting news on the centennial celebration of the Jewish presence in the area that they’re planning for next summer. They’re collecting memories, photos and other artifacts that tell the community’s history in that region north of Montreal. They’ve also started publishing an electronic newsletter, Tsuzamin/Together, containing articles about a community settled by Jewish immigrants from Russia in the early 20th century.
Auberge Shalom, a centre for abused women and their children, is interviewing prospective male and female volunteers during the first week of September. Volunteers are screened and must undergo training that will begin in October. Call Nancy, 731-0833, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Segal Centre for Performing Arts Academy launched its Segal Goes to School program, which brings arts education to elementary and secondary school classrooms. Professional artists work with teachers in developing a program to suit the school. Bialik High School is the first to sign on and will be incorporating music into the existing Jewish history curriculum. This pilot project has been made possible by a Gen J grant from Federation CJA.
The Segal Academy is also expanding it’s Young Artists for Young Audiences (YAYA) program this season with new performing arts courses. This program offers teens the opportunity to discover musical theatre while promoting Yiddish heritage and intercultural dialogue. The troupe performs Holocaust-themed plays around the province in French, English and Yiddish.
This season, there’s also YAYA Kids for 8-to-12-year-olds, and even Baby YAYA for toddlers and their parents and/or grandparents. Call academy director Lee Haberkorn at 739-2301.
This summer, the Friendship Circle (FC) ran a pilot project called “The Giving Circle,” in which teens and young adults with special needs visited hospitals and seniors’ residences on a weekly basis to spread their cheer. “They did a phenomenal job,” said FC director of operations Dovid Russ. “Everyone they encountered brightened up as soon as we walked in their rooms.” These volunteers were recognized recently by Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler, who visited the FC’s Ernest Avrith Centre for the first time to present certificates of appreciation. Danya Wiseman and Menachem Amar spoke on behalf of their fellow volunteers about how much the program meant to them. Another, Ariel Mechaly, invited Cotler to take part in the FC’s annual fundraiser, the Walk 4 Friendship, on Oct. 28 at Hampstead Park.
MAD SCIENCE IN AFRICA
Mad Science, the Montreal-based company that brings science education to children in an entertaining way, has donated kits and course materials to an impoverished village in Ethiopia. The beneficiary is a two-room school in Shumargie, which was built last year with funds collected by a Montreal couple, Benjamin Sternthal and Julie Schneiderman. They’re the founders of Kulam (everybody in Hebrew), a nonprofit organization initiating humanitarian projects in Africa. Kulam received permission from Gondor educational officials to introduce Mad Science’s hands-on activities for children aged five to 12. These include building a model airplane and drag racing car.
The Jewish Public Library’s resident storyteller, Selina Smith,has won a spot on the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week cross-Canada tour next spring. She is among 30 authors, illustrators and storytellers chosen from across the country. Over 25,000 kids and adults participate in this annual program which holds activities in every province and territory to promote the importance of reading…
Evan Feldman, at 44, is not the youngest ever general chair of the Combined Jewish Appeal campaign. Thomas Hecht points out that he was 40 when he headed up the 1970 campaign. The Czechoslovak-born Hecht notes that he and his immediate predecessor and landsman, Jacob Lowy, were the first refugees from Nazi oppression to chair the CJA campaign…
Sonia Zylberberg has self-published her first book, The Orange on the SederPlate, a mystery novel.