A few days after our November 25 issue went to press on November 15, I received word that Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka was announcing his plan to step down as spiritual leader of Congregation Machzikei Hadas to become rabbi emeritus by Rosh Hashanah in 2015.
Despite the fact that his picture was on that November 25 front page illustrating an article about the current state of Ottawa’s synagogues, I knew this breaking news meant Rabbi Bulka would be back on the front page again this issue. Such is the stature Rabbi Bulka has earned in a career that has become truly legendary.
Before I moved to Ottawa to work at the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, I worked extensively with the Canadian Jewish News and became well aware of Rabbi Bulka and the impact he has had on the national stage as a Jewish community leader – and as one of the best known and most respected rabbis in the country. His long tenure with Machzikei Hadas is unprecedented in Ottawa and has very few precedents anywhere.
And I soon found out that Rabbi Bulka’s stature extends far beyond the Jewish community. His dedication to so many worthy causes, his radio show and newspaper columns, his idea to establish Kindness Week, and so much more, have made him one of the best known and most respected fi gures in Ottawa – and far beyond.
In 2007, I was talking with Terry Eagan, a non-Jewish friend of mine who lives in the Boston area. When I told Terry I was about to move to Ottawa to work at the Bulletin, he surprised me by saying, “You’ll get to meet my friend Rabbi Bulka.”
How would Terry even know a rabbi in a city hundreds of miles and an international border away? Terry is a cancer survivor and lost his wife, Mary, to leukemia in 1992. Since then, he has been dedicated to raising the necessary funds and then building healing gardens for patients at cancer centres in the United States and Canada.
And Rabbi Bulka has dedicated so much time and energy to many health-relatedefforts, including chairing the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Courage Campaign. I now know I shouldn’t have been surprised that Terry would have known the rabbi and had so much fond affection for him. (By the way, there is now a Mary Eagan Healing Garden on the grounds of the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in Ottawa.)
THANK YOU CINDY
With this issue, the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin bids a fond farewell to Cindy Feingold and her Made with Love food column, which has appeared in our pages for the past 11 years.
Back in February, Cindy let me know she planned to stop writing the column at the end of 2013 because she and her husband, Roger, are hoping to spend much of the next few years travelling.
While not being much of a cook myself, I’ve always enjoyed reading Made with Love and seeing how creative one can be in the kitchen. And it’s always been fascinating to see how Cindy has tied stories and anecdotes from her life to the recipes she’s presented.
Bon Voyage and safe travels, Cindy and Roger!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
It’s now been a couple of weeks since the newly redesigned print edition and our all-new online edition at www. ottawajewishbulletin.com were revealed. I’m pleased to say the initial reaction has been great.
We want the Bulletin, both in print and online, to be a forum for constructive discussion about the issues of concern to our community. So, join the conversation and let your voice be heard. We welcome your comments, letters, guest columns, articles and photos. You can submit them online via the website or by email to email@example.com.
While there is sometimes not enough space in the print edition to publish all that we’d like to, the format of our new website allows us to publish web extras.
So, check the site regularly for breaking news and bonus articles not in the print edition.