1. Shelley Engel says

    Re: Ottawa synagogues tackle existential challenges (November 25)

    Mark Twain once said, “Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” So too has the death of the synagogue. [One person’s] assessment that “nobody comes” to shul programs is greatly exaggerated. I am pleased to report that things are not as bleak as the article suggests.

    At Machzikei Hadas we are, in fact, having very healthy attendance at the many programs the shul hosts. Though we have had declining membership over the years, which is common to many shuls, we still have a dedicated, strong nucleus of members who participate actively in shul programming.

    We most recently hosted a Shabbat scholar-in-residence, Prof. Natan Aviezer, who spoke about reconciling modern science and religion and we had a very enthusiastic turnout. A while back, the shul hosted a Shabbaton with Steve Savitsky, president of the Orthodox Union and that too was very well attended. We had the major Herzl exhibit with a movie night screening of It is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl and it was a great success.

    Rabbi Michael Hattin from the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem gave a wonderful lecture that drew many. The shul hosted three movie nights with films from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that were very well received and more recently hosted a Simchat Torah dinner that brought in about 200 people.

    We have had a Sunday breakfast with Consul Eitan Weiss of the Israeli Embassy and on December 1 the shul put on a beautiful family Chanukah party with supper, music and a live parrot show for kids. There was a great turnout!

    Based on this past record of events being so well received by so many, I look forward with optimism to more excellent, well attended programs at Machzikei Hadas. We are alive, well and kicking!

    Shelley Engel

  2. Dhalia Gutemberg says

    Dear SIrs,

    I will be for working in Ottawa at the Lorde Elgin Hotel – 100 Ekgub Street Ottawa, Ontario.
    It is a meeting of the Health Canada. I am pharmacist and I will be alone!
    What is the nearest synagogue from the hotel, becuase I would like to go on Rosh Hashana.
    Many thanks,

    Dhalia Gutemberg
    email: dhalia@terra.com.br

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