The world lost one of the most important witnesses. I lost a friend and mentor and the Holocaust survivors lost a leader with the death of Elie Wiesel.
Since meeting Elie in 1960, he was my guiding star, especially while creating the Toronto Holocaust Centre, and he was always available when asked for advice.
We will never forget his message, when 3,000 Canadian Holocaust survivors and their children gathered in Ottawa to light six torches in memory of the victims on Parliament Hill in 1985.
Being Jewish is not expensive
I am tired of Jews complaining about the cost of keeping up with the Jewish “Jones” (“What it’s like to be Jewish and middle class,” June 23).
Expensive summer camps can be replaced by less expensive summer activities and Jewish schools give free or reduced tuition to the needy, as do synagogues. Most middle-class Jews do not need their expensive houses, their expensive eating out habits, their summer cottages and expensive sports equipment for their children. It is a question of priorities.
Attending daily minyan or Shabbat services at a local shul costs nothing. Not eating milk and meat together costs nothing. Lighting Friday night candles costs nothing. Going to lectures and study groups costs nothing.
Living a Jewish life and passing on Jewish ethics and customs to your children is a question of priorities, not economics.
The end of an era
The article “Bathurst Manor Plaza to close forever on July 31” (June 23) brought back a host of memories.
I particularly remember the checkout line at Sunnybrook Food Market, which on any given day would include Yiddish poets and writers, whose collective talent and insight would have matched any similar gathering anywhere in the world.
One member of the group was S. Mitzmakher (Mintz), whose wife Paula ran the Canada Post counter at Shoppers Drug Mart. When she saw a likely customer, she would secretively pull out a mysterious package from under the counter and whisper, “Psst – wanna buy a book of Yiddish essays?”
Setting the record straight
The article “Medical students start project to improve care at camps,” (June 23) needs further clarification. The Ontario Camps Association’s (OCA) accredited camp members do have healthcare protocols and professionals working at camp. These professionals and non-professional staff provide medical assistance on a daily basis to campers and staff with mild to very intricate needs. Not only do healthcare staff deal with hygiene and rashes, they are also experts and have protocols in place for emergencies and daily care of campers with serious medical issues.
While we support and are working with the Summer Camp Health Initiative (SCHI) and their work of gathering information, OCA would like to clarify and confirm for parents that OCA accredited camp members do have a very robust healthcare system in their camps.
The OCA was formed in 1932 and incorporated in 1963. Today, there are over 450 member camps with close to 400,000 campers attending those camps across Ontario. To become an accredited camp, owners and operators are educated and go through a two-year process learning about the 650 health and safety standards that camps must adhere to. This training and education includes healthcare.
The Health Care Committee (HCC), comprised of many healthcare professionals, was established in 1981. To ensure the camps are knowledgeable and are kept current on health issues, the committee implements healthcare workshops and an annual conference. As well, the committee provides on-going health and wellness updates. The HCC looks forward to working with these new partners to improve healthcare provision at OCA accredited camps.
Heather Heagle, Ontario Camps Association executive director;
Bev Unger, Health Care Committee chair