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Monday, August 31, 2015

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Week of December 5


Thursday, Dec. 5



Arts journalist Shelley Pomerance reviews The Translator, by Nina Schuyler at the Jewish Public Library at 2 p.m. It’s the story of a literary translator who had a command of seven languages until an accident left her speaking only one: Japanese. Tickets, 514-345-6416.


Friday, Dec. 6



Canadian Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights joins with the Jewish Renewal congregation B’nai Or in a music-filled Kabbalat Shabbat honouring the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at the YM-YWHA’s Kellert Hall at 7 p.m. friendsrhrmtl@gmail.com.


Saturday, Dec. 7


Congregation Dorshei Emet opens its Blue Emet Arts Festival on the theme “Exposures: Links to and through Photography” with a screening at 8 p.m. of Tamar Tal’s award-winning documentary Life in Stills, which follows the struggle of the wife and grandson of famed Tel Aviv photographer Rudi Weissenstein to save the archive of his work. Montrealer Ian Sternthal, who is working on the digitization of this priceless chronicle of Israel’s history, introduces the film. Works from the collection are being exhibited in the synagogue gallery.

The festival continues Dec. 8 with writer Elaine Kalman Naves speaking about her new work Portrait of a Scandal, concerning pioneering Montreal photographer William Notman, at 11 a.m. After a light brunch, photographers and shul members Robi Cohen, Archie Fineberg and Howie Klarer discuss their work. Tickets, 514-486-9400.


Monday, Dec. 9



Csanad Szegedi, who was a leader of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party until he discovered his Jewish ancestry, speaks at Chabad of Westmount at 7 p.m. The former Jobbik vice-president was notorious for his incendiary remarks about Jews until he learned that his maternal grandmother was Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor. With the help of a Chabad rabbi in Budapest, Szegedi returned to Judaism and is now described as “a full-fledged member of the Jewish community.” As a member of the European Parliament, he has been speaking out against fascism and anti-Semitism, Chabad says. This is his first time in North America. Reservations, 514-937-4772.



Andreas Schwab talks about the assimilationist path his German Jewish ancestors took, at a Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal meeting, 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Public Library. www.jgs-montreal.org.


Tuesday, Dec. 10



Aerobics and yoga instructor Ruth Dranov launches her book Come Fly With Me at the Creative Social Centre at the Chevra Synagogue, 1 p.m. 514-488-0907.

This seniors’ centre offers drawing and jewelry making classes, among others, and has a choir whose members do not have to audition.

...Et Cetera...


Jewish and Muslim students at Riverdale High School in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough have formed an alliance, with the help of Imam Muhammad Nasir Qadri and Rabbi David Lazar, who spoke to the students about their respective religions’ message of peace and tolerance. Their lunchtime gatherings, aimed at breaking down cultural barriers, are open to all students at this ethnically diverse school under the Lester B. Pearson School Board.



The Segal Centre production Lies My Father Told Me, with music and lyrics by Elan Kunin, is playing in New York City. The musical is being presented by the Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater at the Baruch Center for the Performing Arts for a 3-1/2-week run until Dec. 15. A hit at the Segal in 2011, the play is based on the Ted Allan story about a boy growing up in the Jewish immigrant district of Montreal in the 1920s and is directed by Bryna Wasserman, the Segal’s former artistic director… Wasserman is featured in Abigail Hirsch’s documentary Yiddish: A Tale of Survival, now out on DVD.


The 14th printing of A Treasure for My Daughter: A Handbook for the Jewish Home is out and available from Canadian Hadassah-WIZO. The organization has been producing this cookbook and reference on Jewish holidays since 1950. The recipes remain largely untouched, but the blessings chapter includes a wider variety of prayers and a section on Simchat Habat and bat mitzvah has been added. The binding allows the 288-page book to lie flat. Proceeds benefit children, women and health care in Israel and Canada. 514-933-8461.


Cinéma du Parc is presenting the movies of the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, each December weekend until the 22nd. Among the offerings are Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, A Serious Man and The Big Lebowski. www.cinemaduparc.dom.

Mount Royal MP Irwin Colter was awarded the Kurt and Edith Rothschild by the Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation in recognition of his outstanding leadership and commitment to the advancement of humanity at a gala dinner at Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Congregation Nov. 21…

Montreal choreographer Sasha Kleinplatz is in residency until Dec. 14 at the studio of the Ben J. Riepe Kompanie in Düsseldorf, Germany, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. A 2002 graduate of the Concordia University contemporary dance program, she’s the creator of Chorus II, a work on masculinity, vulnerability, togetherness, inspired by the rocking movement of Jewish prayer… Donald Winkler won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Cole Foundation Prize for Translation for The Major Verbs (Véhicule Press), a translation of the epic poem Les Verbes majeurs by Pierre Nepveu. Winkler earlier earned a Governor General’s Award for that translation… American Anne Applebaum won the 2013 Cundhill Prize in Historical Literature at McGill University for Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956. The $75,000 prize is the largest international prize for a work on history… Artist Miriam Cohen is exhibiting works from her recent series Earth, Rocks, Water at the Gryphon d’Or Tea Room, 5968 Monkland Ave., until Jan. 3. Vernissage is Dec. 10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m…

Physician Mark Clarfield was back in his hometown recently and spoke at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. A pioneer in geriatrics at the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University, he moved to Israel in 1992. He is now director of Ben-Gurion University’s (BGU) Medical School for International Health, head of geriatrics at Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Hospital, and holds the Sidonie Hecht Chair at BGU, in memory of donor Thomas Hecht’s mother.

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