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About Town: Week of January 22


Friday, Jan. 25



Indo-Canadian artist Cheryl Braganza discusses her work with Sherry Steinberg at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m. Joyce, 514-342-1234, ext. 7318.


Saturday, Jan. 26



Jewish African-American singer Joshua Nelson, known as “The Prince of Kosher Gospel,” will perform at Congregation Dorshei Emet’s Shabbat Shira concert at 8 p.m. Accompanying himself on the keyboard, Nelson will sing gospel renditions of the Jewish liturgy and traditional songbook, backed by a trio of singers, acoustic bass and percussion. He’s a favourite of Oprah Winfrey and has collaborated on an album with Aretha Franklin and the Klezmatics. Tickets, 514-486-9400.



New York writer Laura Silver talks about her research on the history of the knish on the Jewish Digest , Radio Centre-Ville 102.3 FM, 8:30 a.m.


Sunday, Jan. 27



Maurice Podbrey, the Centaur Theatre’s founding artistic director, discusses the new play he’s producing at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts at 11 a.m. Waiting for the Barbarians, based on a novel by South African Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, is being presented until Feb. 17 by a young theatre troupe in Cape Town, which Podbrey founded.

He’ll be joined by Monica Popescu, a McGill University associate professor specializing in post-colonial literature. Their discussion of South African history and politics continues in greater depth at McGill University Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the arts building, room 160, in partnership with the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas. Barbarians centres on the dilemma faced by a loyal civil servant in a remote locale when little-understood “enemies” across the border threaten. Tickets, 514-739-7944.


Tuesday, Jan. 29



Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom offers “How to Talk to  Your Kids About…” death, God, money and other tough concepts from a Jewish perspective, 7-9 p.m. Reservations, Rosie@templemontreal.ca.


Wednesday, Jan.30



The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors launches its winter “talkumentary” series with a film about a woman’s fight to keep Yiddish alive in America, at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ CinemaSpace, 7 p.m. Tickets, 514-342-1234, ext. 7201.


...Et Cetera...



Federation CJA is again this year offering $1,000 grants to encourage families to send their children for the first time to Jewish overnight camps. Last year, the federation’s Gen J program subsidized camp for more than 700 children under the “One Happy Camper” initiative, chaired by Martin Schwartz. The eligible camps are B’nai Brith, Kinneret-Biluim, Massad and the Y Country Camp. Schwartz believes camping strengthens Jewish identity and, therefore, should be made as affordable as possible. For more information, visit onehappycamper.org or call Veronica Klein, 514-345-2645, ext. 3068.


The smallest baby ever to be born and survive in Quebec went home this month from the Jewish General Hospital. Amélie Renard entered the world on Sept. 12, 14 weeks months premature, weighing only 375 grams. After her stay in an incubator at the JGH’s renowned neonatal intensive care unit, she tipped the scales at 2,065 grams, and her parents, Caroline Lefebvre and Arnaud Renard, could take her home at last.



Mount Sinai Hospital received an exemplary 99.7 per cent rating from Accreditation Canada, one of the best showings among hospitals in the province. Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that assesses the quality of health-care institutions’ practices and services. Mount Sinai executive director Michel Amar said the rating is the highest in the hospital’s history, which “attests to the high quality and safety of the services provided to our patients. It also reflects the ongoing efforts made by all hospital staff and volunteers to maintain top-of-the-line standards and to remain a centre for excellence in respiratory care and a leading reference in palliative care in Quebec.”



Chabad of Westmount is organizing a Jewish learning retreat in the Laurentians at Mont Gabriel Hotel and Resort, Feb. 8-10. Guest speaker is author and counsellor Manis Friedman. Kosher cuisine included. Registration at www.chabadwestmount.com.



The Jewish Public Library is offering 12-session intermediate and advanced Yiddish language classes taught, respectively, by Sheila Witt (beginning Jan. 29) and Lorna Smith (beginning Jan. 28). Registration, 514-345-2627, ext. 3006.

The Creative Social Centre Choir, which meets at the Chevra synagogue, Thursdays, 1-3 p.m., has openings for male and female singers. The groups also offers drawing classes with Susan Mott Monday afternoons and painting classes with Miriam Cohen Wednesdays mornings or afternoons. 514-488-0907.

Chabad Lifeline runs 12-step support groups on a non-sectarian basis to people suffering from various addictions. Drop by its centre at 4615 Côte Ste. Catherine Rd. to learn more.

Among the groups is one for family members dealing with an addicted relative, Tuesdays from 1:30-3 p.m., free of charge, and a women’s co-dependency workshop Wednesdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., for a voluntary contribution. Registration, Karen Bresinger, 514-738-7700.



The Canadian arm of the Israeli company Elad, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, has sold the Montreal Olympic Village for a reported $176.5 million. Built for the 1976 Olympics, the complex has 980 apartments, as well as commercial space. Elad Group Canada Inc. still retains Cité Nature, a 1,150-unit project under development next to the Olympic Village.

Joseph Bitton is the new national president of Canadian Magen David Adom, succeeding Joseph Amzallag. The multilingual Bitton, a retired educator, held positions with the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal and the Quebec education ministry. He  previously served as national president from 2002 to 2004... James Archibald, director of translation studies at McGill University’s school of continuing education, has been tasked with translating the City of Montreal’s Charter of Rights and Responsibilities into Hebrew. Adopted in 2006, the charter is currently available in French, English, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic… Judith Shahar’s new poetry collection The Land I Love  is available at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors’ gift shop.

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