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About Town: Week of June 28

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Friday, June 29

 

JEWS OF SOUTH AFRICA

Ben Linden speaks on “The Jews of South Africa” at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m. Joyce, 342-1234, ext. 7318.

 

Tuesday, July 3

 

RETURN TO ZION

Cantor Shmuel Levin continues his six-part illustrated lecture series at Congregation Adath Israel on the rebirth of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel at 7 p.m. The topic of the second instalment is “The Arabs Wake Up, 1918-30”.

 

...Et Cetera...

 

OFF THE PRESSES

Quebec historian Denis Vaugeois’ book on the early Jewish experience in Quebec, which won a Canadian Jewish Book Award this month, is now available in English. The First Jews in North America: The Extraordinary Story of the Hart Family 1760-1860, translated by Käthe Roth, is published by Baraka Books. Among the illustrations is an 1804 campaign letter signed by Ezekiel Hart to electors in Three Rivers. The preface is written by former Liberal justice minister Herbert Marx. Vaugeois is a one-time Parti Québécois cultural affairs minister…

Clarence Epstein, best known for his tireless efforts to restitute the art Max Stern was forced by the Nazis to sell off, has just published a history of the same period on quite a different topic. The director of special projects and cultural affairs at Concordia University is the author of Montreal, City of Spires: Church Architecture During the British Colonial Period 1760-1860, part of the Urban Heritage Collection of the Presses de l’Université du Québec. While the book focuses on the Christian houses of worship that flourished in that era, doubling as “power bases”, Epstein does not ignore the Jewish presence. The first non-Catholic house of worship built in Montreal was the Shearith Israel Synagogue in 1778, today’s Spanish and Portuguese. The first Protestant church was built in 1792. The synagogue’s reconstruction of 1835 was the first Egyptian-Revival style edifice in the city, Epstein writes...

David Bensoussan’s Il etait une fois le Maroc is now in its second edition (Les Editions du Lys). These reminiscences of the Moroccan Jewish past have been augmented and illustrated. Bensoussan is also the author of the 2012 novel L’énigme de roi Salomon.

 

BIKEL AT SEGAL

The legendary Theodore Bikel brings his solo musical play Sholom Aleichem: Laughter through Tears to the Segal Centre July 8-22. Bikel is going ahead with the show despite the death last month of his wife, Tamara Brooks, an acclaimed pianist and conductor who arranged the music. Accompanied by accordionist Merima Kljuco and Josh Dolgin on piano, Bikel, performing in English and Yiddish, brings to life the characters created by the beloved author. Tickets, 739-7944.

 

SUMMER READING

The Jewish Public Library’s Norman Berman Children’s Library is offering a summer reading program for preschoolers through to Grade 6 students. The aim is to keep the kids reading during the holidays in order not to lose, and possibly to gain, proficiency. They may read as many books as they want on any topic, and incentives are offered. 345-2627.

 

ISRAEL STUDIES

July 31 is the deadline for applications for research funding from Concordia University’s new Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. Graduate students and full-time faculty can propose ideas on any facet of the study of Israel for fellowships ranging from $7,000 to $24,000. azrieliinstitute@concordia.ca.

 

SUMMER ACTIVITIES

Na’amat Canada Montreal has organized a July 11 day trip to the  National Gallery in Ottawa to see the exhibition Van Gogh Up Close. The bus will leave from the Cavendish Mall at 8:30 a.m., with a stop at the Fairview Shopping Centre at 9 a.m. Reservations, 484-0252.

Mahjong, a choir and jewelry, sculpture and other art classes are offered at the Creative Social Centre at Congregation Chevra Kadisha. Registration, 488-0907.

 

HERZL CLINIC TURNS 100

The Goldman Herzl Family Practice Centre, a Canadian pioneer in public health care, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. More than 700 doctors, nurses and others associated over the years with Herzl attended a recent clinical day at the Jewish General Hospital on the state of family medicine. Other public events are planned for the centennial, and a documentary film is being made by Perpetuum Productions entitled 100 Years of Herzl: From Dockside to Bedside that will premiere this fall, which traces its humble beginnings through to the wide range of medical and social services it provides today, and the reputation for innovation and compassion that it has earned.

 

FOR ABUSED WOMEN

An evening of scotch tasting and jazz featuring Dawn Tyler Watson raised more than $100,000 for Auberge Shalom, a kosher shelter for women in abusive relationships and their children. The benefit was held by the Friends of Auberge Shalom at the chalet on Beaver Lake on Mount Royal. The money will go toward the renovation and furnishing of the larger house that was purchased last year with government support. Later this year, it will replace the current one that has been in use since the Auberge was founded 23 years ago. Co-chaired by Vivian Billick and  Amy Kornik, the evening highlighted that the new shelter, at a confidential West End location, will have a homey atmosphere, be close to community services and public transportation, and have the latest security features, as well as more space. aubergeshalom.org.

 

CHIEF RABBI VISITS

Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar visited Hebrew Academy and Beth Rivkah Academy for girls during his recent Montreal visit. He assured the Hebrew Academy students that they are “all diamonds” – rare and precious – and loved by HaShem. At Beth Rivkah, and its post-secondary Chaya Mushka Seminary, he was so pleased with the students that he said he was confident that “the future of [the Jewish nation] is secure, and drawing closer to” the final redemption.

 

BUSINESS IN ISRAEL

Forty participants attended a half-day seminar entitled “Make Israel Your Next Business Destination” hosted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, in preparation for a trade mission to Israel in September, to be led by Mayor Gérald Tremblay. They learned about opportunities and heard from local entrepreneurs with interests in Israel, including Stéphane Ouaknine, president of Inerjys, Eric Boyko, president of Stingray Digital, and Martin Lieberman, director of Lamour. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is working with the board in organizing the trade trip… Paul Desmarais Jr., chair and co-CEO of Power Corporation, recently visited Jerusalem for the first time, under the aegis of the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada. His family has a strong connection to the city: his father sponsored the renovation of the Damascus Gate many years ago.

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