Adapting from the poet John Lydgate, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln once famously remarked: “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Based on this quote, it is entirely possible that President Lincoln once worked for Ottawa’s Jewish community. [Read more…]
Usually this section would have an article. This time around, I’ve decided to do something different. Below, you will find a series of texts with guiding questions for personal exploration or for conversation with family or friends.
Take a look at these teachings from our tradition, find your personal meaning in them, and then let me know what you learned or discovered. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. [Read more…]
We called her Bubbie Ocean. She was a Bubbie and half of the year she stayed in Florida, by the ocean. It was a name she liked and it stuck. But she wasn’t just a great Bubbie. My mother, Beatrice, was a wonderful wife for 60 years to my father, Sam. They lived, they loved, they laughed, they ate out, travelled and entertained. And together they raised three terrific, handsome, brilliant and humble sons.
I believe that Bubbie Ocean would have loved Hillel Lodge. [Read more…]
As the Director of Development for the Jewish Federation and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, I like to think that it takes a lot to surprise me, and yet recently I received a call that was totally unexpected.
It was a long-time donor who began the conversation by explaining that although they had just made a pledge for the 2018 campaign, they hoped that I wouldn’t mind if they made significantly increased gifts for the next three annual campaigns! [Read more…]
The People of Godlbozhits
By Leyb Rashkin
Original published 1936 in Warsaw as
Di mentshn fun Godlbozhits
Translation by Jordan Finkin,
Syracuse University Press, 2017
Leyb Rashkin was born in Kazimierz Dolny, a town south of Warsaw, in 1903. He managed a bank and several hardware stores and started to write fiction in the 1930s. This is his only novel. He was killed in 1939 trying to escape east from the German invaders. [Read more…]
The new law in Poland that criminalizes references to incontrovertible facts about Poles being involved in the killing of Jews during the Holocaust suggests a reprehensible form of Holocaust denial. So wrote Rabbi Dow Marmur, Rabbi Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple and a Polish-born Holocaust survivor.
The evidence of polish complicity in the Nazis atrocities is well documented. In fact, one of the foremost scholars on the subject is Polish émigré Jan Grabowski of the University of Ottawa. His work is so renowned that were he to visit his native country, he might be put on trial for defaming the Polish state and the Polish people. [Read more…]
By the time this article goes to print, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be over. What we can take away from these Games?
In the days leading up to the Olympics, I learned about some of the athletes and their journeys to the games. How do you become a world-class winter sports athlete when you’re from a hot climate? [Read more…]
‘Yes,” my father used to say about some development in the news. “But, is it good for the Jews?”
So what to make of the #MeToo movement? In recent months, the phrase has become shorthand for a marked cultural shift that’s seen women emboldened to disclose their personal experiences with sexual misconduct, harassment and, in the very worst cases, outright violent assault.
In the Jewish world, it is playing out in a number of ways. A Facebook group called #GamAni – the Hebrew translation of #MeToo – now has upwards of 500 members. [Read more…]
(JTA) – The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States spiked in 2017, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.
There were 1,986 acts of anti-Semitism in the U.S. last year, according to an ADL audit released Tuesday. That is more than double the total from 2015, which was 942. It’s also a 57-per-cent increase over the 2016 total of 1,267. The audit said that the rise is due in part to an increase in people reporting incidents of anti-Semitism. [Read more…]
Bracha bags journey from Mitzvah Day to those in need
Christopher Johnson is on a ByWard Market street on a chilly, damp, February afternoon, approaching dozens of people. But he isn’t asking for anything – he’s offering.
“Would you like a bag?” Johnson asks young and old, some in wheelchairs and some clustered on the sidewalk in front of the Salvation Army Booth Centre.
More than 100 drawstring Bracha bags were assembled at the Soloway JCC during the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Mitzvah Day. They contained socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, juice boxes – and handwritten cards. All were eagerly accepted. [Read more…]