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About Town: Week of September 12


Thursday, Sept. 12



The third “night seder” shiur (Torah lesson event) takes place at Kollel Torah Mitzion (KTM), based at the Lieberman beit midrash at Hebrew Academy, 5700 Kellert Ave. At 8 p.m., there is a CEGEP and university student beit midrash with KTM staff delving into selected issues in contemporary Halachah and Jewish thought. At 8:15 p.m., Rav Amnon Herman leads a talk on tshuvah, and at 9:15 p.m., there are several parshiot to choose from for examination. Call 514-486-5718, or visit, www.ktmmtl.org.


Monday, Sept. 16



Federation CJA’s Fednext holds a telethon in support of Combined Jewish Appeal, 6-9 p.m. at 1 Cummings Square. Contact Elise Abecassis at 514-345-2645, ext. 2639, or email, eliseabecassis@federationcja.org.


Wednesday, Sept. 18



Dr. Frank Guttman’s 2007 book, The Devil from Saint-Hyacinthe: Senator Télesphore-Damien Bouchard, has been translated into French and is being launched today at 2 p.m. at that town’s Salon de la mairie. Guttman, an avocational student of Canadian history, is a retired professor of surgery at McGill University  and former chief of pediatric surgery at Montreal Children’s Hospital who decided to write the first biography ever of Télesphore-Damien Bouchard after he came across his name and recognized him as unique in the history of Quebec. Rare for the province of that day and ahead of his time, Bouchard was an advocate for progress as a member of the Legislative Assembly and then as mayor of Saint-Hyacinthe for 25 years, and and an influential cabinet minister from 1939 to 1944. He emerged as one of the most powerful leaders of the Liberal Party and was a leading anti-clerical who thought that the Catholic church had no business in politics, the social sphere or public education. Guttman, who has also long been active in Canadian Friends of Peace Now, won an Honorable  Mention for his book  in 2007 in literary awards sponsored by the Tolerance.ca. webzine.


...Et Cetera...



Halfway through The Amazing Race Canada’s inaugural season, married Montreal physicians Brett Burstein and Holly Agostino were still in the race in the CTV series, based on the reality series in the United States that has won numerous Emmies since its debut in 2001. The couple was one of nine teams vying for the top prize of $250,000, executive-class travel on Air Canada, and two Chevrolet Corvette Stingray automobiles. The teams use physical strength, brains, and ingenuity in the competition taking place in various Canadian cities, which will include their native Quebec.



A brand new cookbook, Women’s Philanthropy Mosaic, a Cookbook Celebrating Montreal’s Jewish Culinary Diversity, was recently released by the Women’s Philanthropy Division of Federation CJA and contains 110 recipes reflecting the very diversity that reflects Jewish culinary arts and palates all over the world, including, Iran, Egypt, Europe, North Africa, South America, and Israel. More than 200 cooks were involved in choosing recipes and testing them for the book, which is selling for $50 and whose proceeds are  earmarked for vulnerable women in the community. The project’s “top five chefs”  were Gail Adelson-Marcovitz, Etty Bienstock, Rhonda Leibner, Debby Newpol, and Heather Paperman. The cost of the initial 5,000 copy print run was underwritten by Mitzi Dobrin and Leesa Steinberg in tribute to their respective mothers, Helene Roth Steinberg and Gertrude Dover Steinberg. Copies are available at Linen Chest, Bibliophile, Jack & Jill, Joshua-DAVID, Caldwell Provisions Inc., Kidlinks Books & Toys, Le Colorbox, and Spa de Westmount. The book also has a Facebook page and there is a free App downloadable onto iPhones.



Researchers at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI) of the Jewish General Hospital JGH) report that the risk of venus thromboembolism (VTE), which includes blood clots deep in the leg vein (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism), is particularly high among the elderly and cancer patients. According to a study authored by LDI epidemiologist Dr. Vicky Tagalakis, the study, the first to use Quebec public health data for the years 2000 to 2009, found the number of new VTE cases consistent with previous studies – 1.2 new cases per 1,000 person-years, and are eight times more likely in those over the age of 80. VTE cases are triggered by cancer, recent surgery, and recent hospitalizations. The focus now is on VTE prevention, with the JGH making use of a its newly established Centre for Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation working towards that end. “We are conducting research to identify which cancer patients are more susceptible to VTE, as well as to better understand why the disease is more frequent in older than younger populations,” Tagalakis said. “In doing so, we will be better positioned to develop preventative strategies that target at-risk individuals.”



On Sept. 3 periodically from 6 a.m. 9 a.m., Global TV Morning News was due to go live at Cote St. Luc Kosher and Kosher Self Service to show how the Jewish community was cooking up a storm for the imminent High Holidays. The coverage was slated to include reporter Jessica Laventure interviewing owners Marianna Roth, Avi Brook, and their colleagues, with guests scheduled to drop by including Cote St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather and Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation’s Rabbi Reuben Poupko.



Chabad Lifeline, the non-sectarian organization for anyone affected by addiction, is offering a 12-step speakers meeting, open to the public, every Tuesday, noon-1 p.m. For more details contact Benyamin Bresinger at 514-738-7700.



Montrealer Hailey Laxer was one of only 20 students out of 3,200 applicants to receive a TD Bank Scholarship for Community Leadership. According to a report in the Jewish Tribune, Laxer, 19 and a graduate of Solomon Schechter Academy and United Talmud Torahs,  underwent a liver transplant almost four years ago but managed to continue as a high academic achiever and as someone proactive in raising awareness about organ transplants. She also set up a fund in her own name for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Laxer’s scholarship, awarded for her high achievement, sense of social responsibility, and leadership skills and which is valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, will allow her to attend school, have a guaranteed summer job at TD and continue in all her endeavours. This fall, she is due to work as a page in the House of Commons.



Earlier this summer – and for the third time in four years – Pulse, the in-house staff news magazine published by the Jewish General Hospital and edited by Megan Martin, was named best internal hospital publication by the Health Care Public Relations Association (HCPRA). “We are thrilled with the national recognition for what we produce,” said JGH director of communications and public affairs Glenn Nashen.



Chabad Lifeline, formerly known as Project Pride and a non-sectarian organization for those affected by addiction, is offering a free Group Dynamics workshop for family members who need support with the chaos that comes with the “family disease” of addiction, on Tuesdays, 1:30-3 p.m. For more details or to register, contact Karen Bresinger at 514-738-7700.

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