About Town: Week of January 10
Friday, Jan. 11
MUSIC FOR LIFE
Jewish General Hospital music therapist Bryan Highbloom speaks on “How Music is Part of Your Life From Birth to Death” at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors at 10 a.m. Joyce, 342-1234, ext. 7318.
The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors organizes its first cross-country skiing and showshoeing trip of the season, leaving at 8 a.m. Registration, Annette, 342-1234, ext. 7305.
Sunday, Jan. 13
A Mini Yiddish Film Festival is at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts from 2 p.m. The lineup includes the 1923 silent Austrian film East and West, followed by Without a Home (Poland, 1939) and The Light Ahead (United States, 1939). Part of the I Love Yiddish series, the festival is presented with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and the Jewish Public Library. Tickets, 739-7944.
Monday, Jan. 14
Girls in Grade 5 and up and their mothers are invited to discuss the book Uglies by Scott Westerfield at the Jewish Public Library at 7 p.m. The mother-daughter group is led by librarian Penny Fransblow. Registration, 345-2627, ext. 3028.
Jazz trumpeter Joe Sullivan and his quintet team up with guitarist Lorne Lofsky for an intimate concert in the studio of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Tickets, 739-7944.
The Vermont Public Television documentary Little Jerusalem: Burlington’s Jewish Community is shown at the Gelber Conference Centre at 7 p.m. by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, in association with the Jewish Public Library. Dorothy Dickie, senior producer of this film about the Jewish community that thrived in Burlington, Vt., from the 1880s to the 1940s, is on hand. 484-0969.
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom holds a forum for parents in interfaith families titled “One Religion, Two Religions, No Religion, Whose Religion?” at 7 p.m. The role of religion in child rearing is explored by Rabbi Lisa Grushcow and invited experts. Reservations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A series of handbooks aimed at “fighting the extraordinary rise of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feeling” is being published by the Montreal Jewish Publication Society (MJPS). Authored by veteran journalist and historian Joe King, they are: Mideast Deception (now available); The Gifts of Israel, a survey of the country’s scientific and technological prowess; and Makers of the Modern World, a tribute to the influence of Jewish greats. MJPS president Reginald Weiser also announced that Thomas Hecht and Evelyn Bloomfield Schachter are the new heads of the organization’s advisory council.
KIDS HELPING KIDS
Eleven-year-old Ilana Schacter, a Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools student, has founded Courage for Kidz. She and her peers intend to visit children in hospital or who are facing medical treatment to encourage them not to be afraid. They made their first trip to the Shriners’ Hospital, distributing specially made friendship bracelets. More information is at courageforkidz.org.
Other students from various schools and their parents held a successful toy drive for the less fortunate, through the Mada Community Centre. Over 300 people were invited to a party where the toys and games were distributed. Recipients included families that patronize Mada’s cafeteria, as well as clients of the Friendship Circle for kids with special needs at the Auberge Shalom shelter. Aviva Orenstein Kalin chaired the drive.
Infinitheatre will stage Kafka’s Ape, based on Franz Kafka’s short story A Report to an Academy, Jan. 29-Feb. 19 at Bain St. Michel. Directed by Guy Sprung and starring Howard Rosenstein, this adaptation is the allegorical story of a primate that becomes human, only to discover it is more animal than before. www.infinitheatre.com.
QUEBEC JEWS STUDIED
The Université de Montréal’s theology and religions department is offering a course called “Culture et expérience juives au Québec,” which looks at the community’s diversity and its experience in this province, particularly in the francophone milieu. The three-credit multidisciplinary course is given by Jean Duhaime and Alain Gignac.
Jeff Bicher, executive director of Hillel Montreal, has been appointed to Concordia University’s board of governors. Bicher, who graduated with a BA from Concordia in 2012, is also a volunteer with Federation CJA.
* * *
Retired teacher Chaia Libstug recently received the J.I. Segal Award for Jewish Education, named in honour of Yaacov Zipper, from the Jewish Public Library. She taught Hebrew and Yiddish to elementary school students for almost five decades – from 1952-53 in Hamilton, Ont., from 1953-70 at the Young Israel of Montreal, and from 1971-99 at Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools.
Awards committee chair Eric Caplan, Jewish studies chair at McGill University, said Libstug was not recognized only for her lengthy career. “We gave her the award for the quality of her work during those years. Chaia created many of her own curricular materials, excelled at organizing special educational events for her students… and took a leading role in organizing school-wide assemblies around the various Jewish holidays.
“She has a great passion for Hebrew and Yiddish culture and succeeded in conveying that excitement to her students who also grew to love Jewish culture.” Libstug continues teaching as a volunteer.
* * *
McGill University education professor Jacob Burack has co-authored two new books: The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Disability and Development and Cognitive Neuroscience, Development, and Psychopathology: Typical and Atypical Developmental Trajectories of Attention, both published by Oxford University Press.
* * *
Judith Shahar has published a poetry collection titled The Land I Love. Born in Moinesti, Romania, Shahar arrived in Israel in October 1948 aboard the ship Hatikva, after being detained in Cyprus by the British along with other young Romanian refugees. She lived in Israel before coming to Montreal. The poems express gratitude to the state for providing a haven, and pay tribute to the strength and courage of its people that have helped Israel survive against the odds.
Shahar worked as a bookkeeper and travel agent, but poetry has always been her passion. She has published three collections and an autobiography.