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About Town: Week of Dec. 15


 Thursday, Dec. 15



The Jewish National Fund holds its annual Blue Box Collection Day, noon-7 p.m., Quartier Cavendish (formerly Cavendish Mall), in front of the IGA supermarket inside. For details, call 514-934-0313.



Lawyer-comedian Jessica Salomon moderates a JCC-Young Adult Division (YAD) evening on women and “Business Sense,” and the tools they need to protect their rights, 7-9 p.m., the Gelber Conference Centre, with lawyers Doree Levine, accountant Heidi Minkoff, and family therapist Ali Kirstein. Dessert reception follows. Call Elise Abecassis, 514-345-2645.


Friday, Dec. 16



Harry Blank, elected seven times as a Liberal MNA for Montréal-St.Louis riding, from 1960 to 1981, speaks about “Politics in the ’60s,” 10 a.m. at the Cummings Centre. Call 514-342-1234.


Saturday, Dec. 17



Host Leslie Lutsky chats with Jeff Schouela and Eman El-Hussein about their Dec. 21 stand-up show, “Kosher Jokes for the Hallaladays,” 8:30 a.m. on Jewish Digest, 102.3 FM.



Collective NOES presents a dance workshop called To Go Somewhere, 8 p.m. at the Segal Centre, as part of its collaboration with the Danse Danse series on their second choreographer-in-residence program just underway. Free admission. Call 514-739-2301.

Monday, Dec. 19



Grade 4 students from Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools and residents of Castel Royale apartments sing together at a 2:30 p.m. performance at the residence, led by Janie Respitz. 514-487-5664.


Tuesday, Dec. 20



A Gala Concert of the annual Jewish-Russian Folk Arts Festival (Festival of Light) starts at 7 p.m. at the YM-YWHA Ben Weider JCC. The two-day festival, which ends, Dec. 23, showcases the diverse heritage of Russian Jews through, exhibits, symposia, dancing, music, painting and folk arts. Call 514-573-7282 for details.




The days leading up to and including the first Chanukah candle on Dec. 20 (and later) already boast a number of holiday events. The ones The CJN has so far been notified about include:

• A Thursday, Dec. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Chanukah Party at Congregation Beth-El, with music, dancing, pizza, latkes, doughnuts. chocolate gelt, and more. Children are asked to bring a small photo for arts and crafts, which will be used to decorate the room of Rabbi Ronnie Cahana, who continues his recovery from a stroke. RSVP at 514-738-4766, or e-mail;

• On Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., The Chevra Kadisha B’nai Jacob synagogue is organizing a pre-Chanukah evening of “good food, fine wine, music, and great company,” for singles ages 45 and older, hosted by Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Iona, 514-482-3366;

• Also on Dec. 17, at 8 p.m., the Segal Centre and KlezKanada are staging a Chanukah Blowout at the centre, featuring the best of today’s Jewish music scene, among them Socalled (Josh Dolgin), the Shtreiml klezmer band, Fanfare Severni, and special guests clarinetist Christian David and Yiddish folksinger Abigail Rosenblatt. Call 514-739-7944.

• At 10 a.m. on the same Dec. 17, Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom is the site for a Kids First/Tweens first and Torah School Family Chanukah Experience, for families only. Melanie, 514-937-3575, ext. 210;

• On Sunday, Dec. 18, 1-4 p.m., Congregation Dorshei Emet celebrates Chanukah with a craft and art fair showcasing homegrown talent, while children and teens can make Chanukah cookies, crafts and enjoy hip hop dancing (not to mention latkes and doughnuts). A food donation to Mazon Canada is suggested. Paola Nuez, 514-595-4405.

• On Dec. 18, 9:30 a.m., popular troubadour Yaacov Sassi entertains at the Shaare Zedek Men’s Club’s annual Chanukah breakfast. Preceded by 8:45 a.m. services. Call 514-484-1122.

• Also on Dec. 18, 2-4 p.m. Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom’s “Temple West” holds a West Island Chanukah party at the Hampton Inn and Suites Conference Centre, 1900 Trans-Canada Highway, featuring Chanukah games, stories, crafts, adult learning and holiday treats. Contact Rabbi Julia Appel at 514-937-3575.

• On the day of the first candle, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Judy Feld Carr, considered the woman who saved the Jews of Syria, speaks at a Chanukah evening at Chabad of Westmount, 4444 St. Catherine St. W. RSVP at;

• Also on Dec. 20, Beth Ora Seniors hold a 12:30 p.m. Chanukah party at the synagogue, featuring the Cummings Centre Choir. Call 514-342-1234, ext. 7318;

• From 8-11 p.m. on Dec. 20, Temple Emanu-El Beth Sholom’s young adults’ group, Next Dor at the Temple, stages its first annual Chanukah party, at the Royal Phoenix Bar, 5788 St. Laurent Blvd. (corner Bernard), with DJ Elazar, music, live acts, and free food. Call 514-937-3575.

• On Wednesday, Dec. 21, 5-7 p.m., the Friendship Circle at 4585 Bourret St. hosts its Dreidels N’ Doughnuts Family Chanukah Party. Call 514-735-2255, or visit,


...Et Cetera...



Herzliah High School and the Canadian Zionist Federation, eastern region, held a recent ceremony to commemorate the Nov. 4, 1995 assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Participants included Israeli deputy consul general Alon Melchior, CZF eastern region president Arlazar Eliashiv, Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue’s Rabbi Shachar Orenstein, Herzliah educators, and Grade 10 students sharing their reflections on Rabin.



Montreal-born artist Aline Benamou is exhibiting her paintings, “fusing her Jewish Moroccan heritage with the paint palate,” at a Dec. 18, 10 p.m. exhibit in New York City, at the Asya Gelsberg Gallery, 537 West 23rd St. Visit,



Montreal writer Beverly Ackerman recently read from her award-winning story collection, The Meaning of Children (Exile Editions), in Quebec City and Ottawa. The book has made the Top 10 list of the CBC-Scotia Bank Giller Prize Readers’ Choice Contest, the ReLit Longlist, and won the David Adams Richards Prize.



Emunah Women Montreal reports that its recent Benefit Evening at Beth Zion Congregation was a rousing success, raising funds for the Neve Michael Children’s Hospital’s Teenage Girls Crisis Centre in Israel. Award recipients included Francie Yudcovitch and Rochelle Rein and the guests enjoyed Yisrael Campbell’s one-man show describing his transformation from Roman Catholic to Orthodox Jew.



Act To End Violence Against Women (formerly Jewish Women International of Canada)’s Penny Krowitz and Jill Lieberman are appealing for Chanukah season donations as gifts that “actually make a difference,” through its second online auction. Items being auctioned off include VIA Rail tickets, trips, Carole Tannenbaum Vintage Collection Jewellery, and much more. Visit,

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