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12 Heaton Street, M3H 4Y6  (416) 636-6665


Lifting Spirits


Carolyn Braun:

60 yr. old, Portland - Maine, Female Conservative rabbi and 4’10” competitive weightlifter

...steps out from Temple Beth El on Shabbat morning to pump iron at the local Dyna Maxx - powerlifting gym, and then comes back for kiddush and hamotzi.

Braun welcomes all people who feel [like] outsiders:

“Everyone is Jewish until proven otherwise”

Shabbat Bulletin - July 15, 2017  UPDATED

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?


Synagoga Poznań - Pływalnia Miejska

As the crow flies, less than 200 km from Łódź.
I try not to visit Łódź more often than I have to, it tends to leave a dark, gloomy impression. It's not just the history (no lack of that in Poland), it's not the industrial profile of the city (haven't experienced anything of the kind in Manchester or Essen), it's the entire atmosphere, the kind of drab hopeless grey melancholy the very stones there seem to exude.

Instead, I am in Poznań now.
Smack in the middle of Ulica Żydowska, the Jewish Street. [The year is 1916.]

<click to read the full story>

Rehab Nazzal:

Choreographies of Resistance


McIntosh Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Rehab Nazzal. The show is based on Nazzal’s year-long research in the occupied West Bank and features an array of works that engage gallery-goers through sight, hearing and smell. In this multi-media exhibition, social commentary and critique intersect with expressive response to the severe realities in the conflict zone, and offers a space where critical inquiry as well as reflection may take place.


Nazzal is a Palestinian-born artist whose works have been widely shown throughout Canada and internationally. “As an artist whose life is shaped by the violence of Israel’s military occupation, it’s my responsibility to provide an alternative representative record of the daily struggles of the Palestinians. I am hoping this show will fill a void in contemporary art and address visually and sonically the Palestinians’ experiences of resisting colonial violence,” she said.

The exhibition, entitled Choreographies of Resistance, includes photographs, video, and sound works that focus on the Palestinian struggle against settler-colonialism in one of the world’s most volatile hotspots, Nazzal notes. It includes a video installation seen through the “eyes” of a gas-mask, and an installation in which photographic images are projected onto hundreds of handmade slingshots as it pays tribute to Palestinians who have lost their lives in the intifada.


“This will be an immersive journey for visitors, as these works will transmit Palestinian civilians’ experiences from the streets of the occupied West Bank to the gallery space of London, Ontario,” she said.

B'nai Brith Canada Slams Federal Funding for Anti-Israel Exhibit

“It is irresponsible that taxpayer dollars are being used to finance this anti-Israel exhibit,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“The false narrative of victimhood on display at this exhibit deliberately ignores Palestinian car rammings, suicide bombings, the recent knife intifada and lethal use of rocks targeting civilians due to a continual campaign of incitement. Rehab Nazzal’s public support for her terrorist brother is deplorable.”  inContext

You Reap What You Sow!

Woodbridge College High School in Vaughan - June 29, 2017


Is this too scary for the bulletin?

Only when it’s ignored.

Three teens charged…

Three teens, all 17, turned themselves in over the weekend…

The teens, who can’t be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, have been charged with mischief over $5,000.

...several anti-Semitic, anti-Black and Homophobic images and words were found spray painted on exterior walls of the school.

jews DiD 911

... “there is no hate charge, per se, but any evidence of a hate-motivation is presented to courts, and is part of the sentencing process.”

The accused will be appearing before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Monday, July 24, 2017.    moreInfo

Zero Tolerance - Ever Vigilant

We’re shifting gears into Hi Holy Day mode.

A moment of reflection, please...


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

Gone now are those little towns where the shoemaker was a poet,
the watchmaker a philosopher, the barber a troubadour.

Gone now are those little towns where the wind joined
biblical songs with Polish tunes and Slavic rue,
where old Jews in orchards in the shade of cherry trees
lamented for the holly walls of Jerusalem.

Gone now are those little towns, though the poetic mists,
the moons, winds, ponds, and stars above them
have recorded in the blood of centuries the tragic tales,
the histories of the two saddest nations on earth.



Your Life Moments


July 8  Simon Jackson

July 10 Sheldon Richmond

July 15  Franya Goldberg
July 17  Anna Holtzman
July 19  Jeff Shabes
July 19  Shirley Smoskowitz
July 20  Nisa Shedletzky


July 15  Charly & Judy Hazan

July 17  Cantor Morris & Sonia Goldlust
July 21  Eytan Broder & Penny Hung


July 10  Goldie Ruth Landis, mother of Lorraine
July 10  Jakov Lederman, father of Rachel Brass
July 13  Sarah Koplowitz, wife of Israel and mother of Shirley Smoskowitz
July 14  Dora Gardner, mother of Gerri Goldberg

July 15  Elka Richmond, mother of Sheldon
July 15  Esther Storm, mother of Harvey
July 18  Frida Nadler, mother of Sam
July 21  Pepi Mozes, wife of Marcel
July 21  Lola Zaidman, mother of Sally Berger and Leo

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep,

so a life well spent brings happy death.


Take your Soul to Work, by Erica Brown

On Deliberate Practice

Being good at whatever we want to do is among the deepest sources of fulfillment we will ever know.


The Talmud says every human being should be treated as if they were infinitely valuable. God is not white or black. God is not a Jew or a gentile.

Truth… Justice… Peace

Truth is not always identical to justice, and it is often incompatible with peace. Think of the daily white  lies and unspoken criticism which protect peace in the family or the workplace. The ideal society will reconcile all three principles. For the sake of peace one may yield some aspect of justice or, for the sake of justice one may override some aspect of peace. The key to a just and harmonious society lies in balance and limits. If an individual or group pursues one principle to the exclusion of the others, then there will be serious trouble. “Peace above all” leads to appeasement and the loss of peace. Justice, when pursued relentlessly, while sweeping aside compromise or the established interests of others, may well lead to conflict, tyranny , or worse. The wisdom of democracy is that it distributes power and puts limits on the pursuit of any of of these principles.

Zingers from Pirke Avoth - Perek 1, Mishnah 18



The Three


Fast of Shiva


July 11

17 Tamuz



August 1

9 Av

Summer Sadness

Pain doesn’t wait for the “right” time of year.

“The purpose of a fast is both to pray for salvation, but also to get rid of distraction and privilege and think about what we can do better in the world,”

Fasting in the Bible is like a hunger strike. “It’s a way of a human being saying to God, ‘Please change this, or I refuse to eat. It’s a way of getting at injustice in the world.”

Fasting as a petition instead of penitence.

In the Roman siege of Jerusalem, which this fast remembers, the Jews were barricaded in the city, cut off from food and water, dying slowly, inevitably, in full view of their captors. They knew they couldn’t possibly survive, but they tried anyway. Each day alive was a victory.

Despite that our tradition dwells on suffering, Judaism is an uplifting, celebratory religion.

“The goal of Jewish life is celebrating and emphasizing life. But mourning and death are part of life, and three weeks out of the year — between this fast and the fast of Tisha B’av — are geared toward experiencing collective national loss and entering that emotional religious space.”  inContext

Fast of Shiva Asar BTammuz_w250.jpg

The 17th day of Tammuz is a day of mourning for Jewish people. It marks the anniversary of five calamities.


On this day in the year 1313 BCE, Moses broke the tablets of stone that were inscribed with the Ten Commandments and the idol of “the Golden Calf” was erected.

On this date in the year 423 BCE, the daily sacrificial offerings were discontinued in the run up to the destruction of the first temple.

In the year 69 BCE Jerusalem’s walls were breached, which resulted in the destruction of the second temple.

Finally, the Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll, possibly around 50 CE. This may have contributed to the Bar Kokhba revolt, the last war between the Romans and the Jews between 132 and 135 CE.


The 17th of Tammuz marks the start of the “Three Weeks” (Bein HaMetzarim), which is a period of mourning marking the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


July 12


7:30-8:30 pm

Shul Kiddush


All are



to the public

at no cost


Parsha of The Week

with Judy Hazan

Join this lively group every Wednesday night at 7:30 PM at The Lodzer where we study the week’s sedra together.

Classes are informal and no prior knowledge or preparation is required.

The purpose of the class is to learn the story of the parsha, determine its most important elements and tie its morals and lessons into our daily lives.

Judy Hazan 416-704-1693


July 15


21 Tamuz


David Young



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM

The Koplowitz Family for the yahrzeit of Sara Koplowitz



Kiddush Lunch

Harvey Storm for the yahrzeit of his mother Esther Storm

Torah Times

Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Pinchas

1: 25:10-12 ( pg.668)
2: 25:13-15
3: 25:16-26:4
4: 26:5-11
5: 26:12-22
6: 26:23-34
7: 26:35-51
maftir: 26:48-51
Haftorah: mattos

Jeremiah 1:1 - 2:3   (pg 710)

Candle Lighting:

8:39 p.m. – Friday


9:46 p.m. – Saturday


July 17

Week 20

Karate lessons

For Seniors

Join us

with open hands

and Kick back!

Mondays & Fridays


Kiddush Breakfast

(10 - 11 AM)ish

Dojo Lodzer

Upstairs Hall

Kiai - Sen!


Our very own Black belt, David Birken, will be leading the class

Karate for Seniors

$5.00 donation to the shul, per class waived for those that attend the morning minyan.

Wear sneakers and non-restrictive clothing.

Learn a Dynamic new skill for Fun and Focus - at YOUR own pace!

Morning Minyanaires - developing body, mind and spirit - we daven, fress, sometimes walk, and now… we kick butt.

Karate Kata 1 - Heian Shodan

Karate Kata 2 - Heian Nidan

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

“If you can’t do it slow, you can’t do it fast”

One thru ten: Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, Go,

Roku, Shichi, Hachi, Kyuu, Juu.


July 22

28 Tamuz


David Young



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM




July 24

1 Av

Rosh Chodesh

When the month of Av enters, one should decrease… in joy.

Better times are ahead.




Relief of The Spoils

of Jerusalem



July 28


for Advance ticket sales

2017 Pricing


High Holiday time is upon us once more. New this year,  Rabbi Eli Courante will be joined by our new Cantor, David Young and a full choir.






On Rosh Hashanah God judges individuals, but that judgment/fate is "sealed" on Yom Kippur and "sent out" on Hoshana Rabba (the seventh day of Sukkot).

Here’s hoping that your fate, that is sealed, is a good one.


Fast of

Tish'a B'Av


July 31



August 1

9 Av

We Lost our


Our Nation was


We Lost our



This day is the saddest day of the Jewish year…

On this day, we remember everything sad that has ever happened to our people.

5 National Tragedies befell the Jews on the 9th of Av

1312 BCE - The Spies

421 BCE - First Temple

70 BCE - Second Temple

132 CE - The City of Beitar

133 CE - Turnus Rufus

Many more tragedies happened on the 9th of Av including the Spanish Inquisition including the expulsion of the Jews (1492) and World War 1 (1914)


Judah has gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude. She dwelt among the nations, she found no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within her borders.


Tu B’Av

The 15th of Av


August 7

15 Av

Tu B’Av


May Tu B’Av truly usher in the achdus (to love a fellow Jew) for which we yearn to bring the geulah (redemption / deliverance) for us all.


Tu B’Av on the 15th of Av has become known, especially in modern Israel, as the holiday of love - when man and woman are together, in total harmony, with true complementary and mutual love and cooperation - somewhat replacing Valentine’s Day.
On Tu B’Av the Tribes of Israel were permitted to intermarry with each other. Second generation Jewish women would go dancing in the vineyards looking for their beshert and unmarried men would go to the fields to pick out a wife.

August 24




Numerous Jewish synagogues were vandalised and desecrated.


Rampaging Arab mobs killed 67 Jewish residents and yeshiva students in the biblical holy city, where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are entombed and King David ruled. Three days later British soldiers evacuated the surviving remnant of the ancient Jewish community. Hebron was Judenrein. So it remained for 50 years, until 10 women and 35 children, led by Miriam Levinger and Sarah Nachshon, entered Beit Hadassah, the former medical clinic in the heart of the destroyed Jewish Quarter. Hebron, Mrs. Levinger proclaimed, “will no longer be Judenrein.

Judenfrei ("free of Jews") or Judenrein ("clean of Jews") was a Nazi term to designate an area "cleansed" of the Jewish presence.


September 7

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room


Hebrew Classes

Classes are starting up again after our summer break on September 7.

If you, or someone you know is interested please contact me...

If interested... contact



September 7

8:00 PM

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Shul Kiddush


The House of Wives-w200.jpg

Two women compete for the affections of their opium merchant husband in a tale of friendship, fortune and rivalry in colonial Hong Kong.

In 1862, a young Jew from Calcutta named Emanuel Belilios leaves his dutiful wife Semah and sets sail for Hong Kong to make his fortune in the opium trade.

There, he grows into a prosperous and respectable merchant, eventually falling in love with his Chinese business partner's daughter Pearl, a delicate beauty twenty years his junior.

As a wedding present, he builds for her the most magnificent mansion in Hong Kong.

Then Semah arrives unannounced from Calcutta to take her place as mistress of the house...and life will change irrevocably for all of them.

September 15



International Day of Democracy

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy - with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy - and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.


"The Israeli People Live!"


September 17


9 AM

Pre-Holy Days




Remember the days of yore, learn the lessons of the generations that have come before you.

September 17




Camp David Accords

Will there ever be another Arab leader willing to make peace with Israel?

Anwar Sadat


“Peace is much more precious than a piece of land... let there be no more wars.”


The Camp David Accords, establishing peace between Israel and Egypt, were signed by Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin on this date in 1978 with U.S. President Jimmy Carter serving as witness and facilitator. The Accords resulted in Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, which was restored to Egypt; recognition of Israel by Egypt, which became the first Arab state involved in earlier wars with Israel to do so; agreement by Israel to permit the establishment of a “self-governing authority” in the Palestinian territories and to withdraw from the occupied territories; the firm entry of Egypt into the pro-American bloc of Middle Eastern states (which came to include, most significantly, Jordan and Saudi Arabia); and a Nobel Peace Prize shared by Begin and Sadat — who would be assassinated for his peace-making in 1981.

Rosh Hashanah

Begins sunset of


September 20

6:45 PM

CL 6:59 PM


8:30 AM

CL 8:05 PM



September 22

8:30 AM


Ends 8:03 PM


Family Services

Bryna Wechsler

1st day Rosh Hashanah

Thursday, Sept.21

10 AM

2nd day Rosh Hashanah

Friday, Sept.22

10 AM



The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance.

This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

September 22



Until his death at age 84, Marcel performed 300 times a year and taught 4 hours a day at his pantomime school in Paris . He died on Yom Kippur, 2007.


It’s good to

Shut up Sometimes

Born to a Jewish family in Strasbourg , France in 1923, young Marcel Mangel discovered Charlie Chaplin at age five and became an avid fan. He entertained his friends with Chaplin imitations, and dreamed of starring in silent movies.

Marcel (Mangel) Marceau

When Marcel was 16, the Nazis marched into France, and the Jews of Strasbourg - near the German border - had to flee for their lives. Marcel changed his last name to Marceau to avoid being identified as Jewish, and joined the French resistance movement.

Masquerading as a boy scout, Marcel evacuated a Jewish orphanage in eastern France . He told the children he was taking them on a vacation in the Alps, and led them to safety in Switzerland . Marcel made the perilous journey three times, saving hundreds of Jewish orphans. He was able to avoid detection by entertaining the children with silent pantomime.


September 23

9:30 AM

Ends 8:01 PM


Shabbat was and is a glorious gift from the almighty, or at least from the Jewish people if you prefer.  Just consider the concept, especially in the ancient world.  Shabbat is about expressing joy!!  Joy at being able to carry out mitzvot, joy at being able to enjoy life and the greatest joy of all, that of being Jewish!  Shavua Tov.

September 28




Shimon Peres was the last of Israel's founding fathers.
Ariel Sharon, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, Moshe Dayan, Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir, Yigal Allon, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Yitzhak Rabin are all gone.
And now so is Shimon Peres.



September 28

8 Tishri, 2935

826 BCE


Temple Dedicated

The 14-day dedication festivities, celebrating the completion of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem built by King Solomon, commenced on the 8th of Tishrei of the year 2935 from creation (826 BCE). The First Temple served as the epicenter of Jewish national and spiritual life for 410 years, until its destruction by the Babylonians in 423 BCE.

(We’ve been around awhile!)


The Holy Temple is the Divine "home" and "place," as the "gate of Heaven" for man's service of G-d, and as the ultimate embodiment of G-d's desire to create life and mankind's endeavor to sanctify it.

Yom Kippur

Begins sunset of


September 29

Kol Nidre

6:30 PM

CL 6:42 PM


September 30

9 AM


11:15 AM

In Conversation

with Rabbi Eli

4 PM - 5:15 PM

Mincha & Neila

5:15 PM

Ends 7:49 PM


May the memories of those who have preceded us make us new and better people.
May we use the time and opportunity given us to live lives that are replete with acts of goodness and kindness.
And when we have fulfilled the measure of our days, when we have become but a memory, may we have lived the kind of lives that make us worthy not just of being remembered, but also of being inscribed in the book of those who live on after us, the book of the living.

Family Services

Bryna Wechsler

Kol Nidre

Friday, Sept.29

6:30 PM

Yom Kippur

Saturday, Sept.30

10 AM


Fasting for Yom Kippur

is pretty much the only time

I wish I was eating

Matzah on Passover

Have you treated your friends royally this past year?

If you haven’t given them a call this past year, why?  Calls to renew acquaintances or just to say hello do not take long.

Question: Should we be editing our ‘friends list’ in the same way we edit our homes of clutter?

Next up: What have you done, (or not done,) to improve your own situation or that of the greater community around you?  How much more could you do?


Begins sunset of


October 4

CL 6:33 PM



October 5

9 AM

CL 7:40 PM



October 6

9 AM

Ends 7:11 PM

CL 6:06 PM



Sukkot is a time to commemorate dwelling in temporary structures as guests of the Lord.



October 7

9:30 AM

Ends 7:36 PM


“… but Rabbi, even if I can read some of the prayers I still don’t understand what I’m saying… To tell you the truth I’d rather take a quiet reflective walk in the park this year than spend all that time in synagogue saying a bunch of words that don‘t really mean so much to me anyway…”

Prayer is meant to be a powerful, relevant and meaningful experience.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind this year that should help to make the services as personally uplifting as possible.


October 11

9 AM




4-Havatat Aravot.jpg

Havatat Aravot:

On the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Rabba, we beat a bundle of willow branches (actually one is enough) on the floor. To prepare the ground for the rain to penetrate.


Tashlich (תשליך) is a ritual that many Jews observe between Rosh HaShanah and HaShanah Rabah. "Tashlich" means "casting off" in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water.

Don’t feed the birds

in Toronto Parks!
Here are suggestions for breads which may be most appropriate for specific sins or misbehaviours.

For ordinary sins: White Bread
For complex sins: Multigrain
For twisted sins: Pretzels
For sins of indecision: Waffles
For sins committed in haste: Matzoh

(The list goes on, and on…)

Shemini Atzeret

Begins sunset of


October 11

CL 6:21 PM



October 12

9 AM

Eighth Day of Assembly


10:10 AM


Falling just after Sukkot, (the 8th day,) Shemini Atzeret is the holiday on which Jews start praying for rain.

“On the eighth day you should hold a solemn gathering; you shall not work at your occupation.”

Living the Holidays - The Jewish Way

When the seven days of Sukkot end, the Bible decrees yet another holiday, the Eighth Day of Assembly.  The Rabbis interpreted this as an encore.  After the High Holy Days, after the intense seven days of Sukkot and pilgrimage, the Jewish people [or, we should say, more accurately, "God's people"] are about to leave, to scatter and return to their homes.  God grows nostalgic, as it were, and pensive.  The people of Israel will not come together again in such numbers until Passover six months hence. God will soon miss the sounds of music and pleasure and the unity of the people.  The Torah decreed, therefore, an eighth day of assembly, a final feast/holy day.  On this day Jews leave the sukkah to resume enjoying the comfort of solid, well built, well insulated homes.  The lulav and etrog are put aside; this day, Shemini Atzeret, is a reprise of the celebration of Sukkot but without any of the rituals.  The message is that all the rituals and symbolic language are important but ultimately they remain just symbols"

Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Simchat Torah

Begins sunset of


October 12

6:30 PM

CL 7:28 PM


October 13

9 AM

Ends 7:24 PM

Simchat Torah_w200.jpg

Simchat Torah is the holiday that celebrates the conclusion of the yearly cycle of reading the Torah, after which we begin anew reading the Five Books of Moses, starting from the first chapter of Genesis.



November 2-9




I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love even when I cannot feel it.

I believe in God even when he is silent.

Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Elie Wiesel


We Remember... all year long.

We Will Never Forget

November 2





The Balfour Declaration, written as a letter on November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to British Jewish leader Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, pledged British support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The declaration is one of the iconic documents in, and represents one of the great moments of, Zionist history.

“His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Arthur Balfour



Begins sunset of


December 12

Ends nightfall of


December 20



Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies.


The proper response, as Hanukkah teaches, is not to curse the darkness but to light a candle.

R. Irving Greenberg



December 27



Julian Tuwim

We Polish Jews:

The Troubled Holocaust Legacy

of Julian Tuwim, 1894–1953

Poet Julian Tuwim was among the first and most powerful literary voices of the Holocaust experience.

Born in Lodz, Tuwim was a leading Polish-Jewish poet during the 1920–30s. In 1944, Tuwim wrote an anguished lament and manifesto of murdered Jewry, ‘We Polish Jews,’ as a refugee in New York.

Tough luck!

“For antisemites, I am a Jew and my poetry is Jewish.
For Jewish nationalists, I am a traitor and renegade.”  /JT


Julian Tuwim in conversation with

Sheldon Richmond on why they

returned to Lodz after the Shoah.

Fast of Tevet 10

Asara B'Tevet

Begins sunrise of


December 28

10 Tevet

Ends nightfall of


December 28


The Tenth of Tevet marks Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem 2,500 years ago.


The siege of Yerushalayim began on the 10th of Tevet, so began the whole chain of calamities which finally ended with the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash.

In the State of Israel, Kaddish is recited on this day for people whose date or place of death is unknown. Consequently, many rabbis have designated it as a day of remembrance for the Holocaust.





We need volunteers

to work on the

Lodzer’s 65th anniversary

Coming Spring 2018

To Volunteer, contact:

Jeff Shabes

The Lodzer Congregation had first formed in 1953 as a mutual benefit society for survivors from Lodz Poland who made it to Canada, in 1981 it formed itself into a Conservative synagogue. When Rabbi Kaufman joined the Lodzer in 2002, women had been permitted aliyot but were not counted in a minyan. A three-month trial was put in place permitting women to be counted: this period came and went without any undue comment. The bylaws of the synagogue were amended to reflect the new reality.

All for one and one for all

Jews of Zakynthos


At this holy place stood the Shalom Synagogue. Here, at the time of the earthquake in 1953, old Torah scrolls, bought before the community was established, were burned.

Two marble memorial monuments now stand erect for the saviors of the Jews of Zakynthos. The plaque commemorates the gratitude of the Jews of Zakynthos to Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos.

The beautiful island of Zakynthos, ( "Fiore di Levante" - Flower of the East,) is the only place in Europe which saved its entire Jewish population from annihilation during the Nazi occupation.

For five centuries Zakynthos had been home to a small Jewish community who blended seamlessly with the rest of the island's population. In October 1943 German forces arrived with orders to round up the Jews and submit them to the same fate as millions of others of their religion.

But the mayor and Bishop Chrysostomos had other plans. The bishop declared he would follow the example of Archbishop Demaskinos of Athens, who had publicly stated: "I spoke to the Lord and made up my mind to save as many Jewish souls as possible." Mayor Karrer warned the Jewish community that danger was imminent and all 275 were given refuge in villagers' homes throughout the island.

During the Nazi occupation of Greece, the mayor of the island of Zakynthos was ordered to make a list with the names of all Jews on the island. The list handed over to the Nazis contained two names: the mayor's and the island's Bishop. All Zakynthos Jews survived the Holocaust. inContext

In August 1953, the island was struck by a severe earthquake and the entire Jewish quarter, including its two synagogues, were destroyed.

LEORA’s Story - A great, great heart-warming story!!!!

Pirkei Avos

The world endures on three things - justice, truth and peace...

Pirke Avoth Perek 4 Mishnah 15


Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and from Visions of the Fathers by Rabbi A. Twerski. . Some sentences of the commentary have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 15. The Questions are my own.


R. El’azar b. Shammua said: Let the honour of your student be as dear to you as your own, and the honour of your fellow be like the reverence due your teacher; and [your] reverence for your teacher, like the reverence for Heaven.


Ethics from Sinai


“Every human being is created in the Divine image; hence there is something inherently precious and sacred, a basic worth in everyone. … There is an obligation to honour and respect a person even where a specific relationship already exists that might seem to indicate otherwise or make you forget. If you are an instructor, obviously your student needs you more than you need him. We might easily assume then, that there respect and honour should go one way only: from him to you. It is not so, says our Sage. The instructor must also honour his students. Teachers also learn from their students. … young Torah scholars [can] stimulate and sharpen an elder one’s mind…. Thus students deserve respect.


“An older person may also readily be given respect and admiration in view of his age. But for a contemporary , an equal, it may be difficult to show honour and esteem. … You learn from them as well. And in any event, they are children of our Creator. Unequivocally, they too deserve your respect.


Question 1: Do we show enough respect to people we know and our friends?

Question 2: Do we know our friends and neighbours well enough to know why they should have our respectful for what they have done or what they believe?


“Of every person is a man envious, except his son and his student. … Rather than feel envy when they excel, he can only be filled with pride. In a way, their success speaks well for him and redounds to his credit. … Therefore, ‘let the honour of your pupil be as dear to you as your own.’


Question: Are we not jealous of the person we have helped and who has achieved financially or otherwise more than we have been able to achieve - even though we might be happy for them?



“Show a friendly face to your fellows and you will generally find yourself looking at friendly faces in turn.”


Question: Is this not obvious?


“ If you wish to bring out the best in your students, do not damage their self-confidence by running roughshod over their self-esteem; do not overpower them with a sense of your brilliance as compared to their ignorance, so that they must adulate you, while you do not deign to notice them. Respect their budding opinions and abilities; honour their emerging capabilities; and thus you will crate and maintain the proper atmosphere for growth and learning.


Question: Is this sound advice?


“As an expression of sincerity, as a noteworthy indication of your character, the esteem in which students and colleagues hold you is significant.”


“The rabbi, the teacher, is in effect continuing with the Almighty’s own work. Thanks to our devoted instructors, the Torah is ‘given’ away to the next generation, as it was given to our people at Sinai. Sharing in the Almighty’s very own sacred task, the teacher deserves to share somewhat in His glory.”


Question: Should we think about our jobs and our lives as “continuing G-d’s work”?


“The awe and reverence that we feel when we become aware of the reality of the Creator, the power and intelligence behind the world’s existence - let us regard with this veneration the scholars who study and teach His word.”


When related to G-d, the word “fear” should be interpreted as “reverence and awe.”


“… our parents, and our teachers of Torah share a common, continuing role: they grant us life, growth and development, physically and spiritually, so that we can realize our potentialities and fulfill our destiny toward life in the Hereafter.  Therefore we owe them reverence, veneration  all our life. Similarly, there should be reverence, respect and affection for our rabbi, not a fear that would keep us from the synagogue or his classes and meetings. With our reverence, we should seek to be close to our father in Heaven and to our teachers and rabbis. We should find gratification in the company of a good Torah educator and spiritual leader….


“Let the ‘fear’ of your teacher… be of the same kind as your ‘fear’ of Heaven: in both instances let it bring you to devotion and faith.”


“Let your respect for your rabbi be in proportion to his reverence for Heaven. For if he is truly pious and sincere in his calling, he merits your respect and veneration. If, unfortunately, his own religious development and integrity is not too great, he has no great claim to your veneration. In fact, he is probably in the wrong career.


Question: Do you agree, and if so, should our respect for our teachers and parents be also qualified, dependent on their characters?


“… he had the knowledge ingrained in his character that every human being requires our respect at all times. To parade your supposed superiority as you take delight in another’s fall from dignity, is to prove yourself unworthy of esteem.”


Question: Is this why we find someone falling or otherwise running into trouble to be amusing?


“Furthermore, if we seek to maintain our own ‘superior’ prestige by declaring others unworthy of our respect, we ensure enmity and divisiveness. Our Torah, on the other hand, places great stress on the need for harmonious, peaceful relations.”


“if there is no peace among human beings, every other blessing and good will soon be valueless and gone.”


Question: Does this explain why areas where there are wars are often areas where great immoralities, like killings, rapes, etc are also common?


The word heaven or shamayim is made up of two words, esh (fire) and mayim (water) - two substances that cannot exist together.  And yet heaven is made up of these two substances.


“If fire and water can cooperate to maintain the  heavens, surely the stormy temperament and combustible personality of the most volatile of men can be controlled and disciplined to work toward a heaven on earth. Indeed toward this goal and dream we entreat His aid in our daily prayers: He who makes peace in His supernal realms, may He provide peace for us and for all the people of Israel; and say Amen.”


Question: We discussed this in a slightly different context last week - as to whether we can agree to disagree - as water and fire cannot exist together but still make up the heavens together. Can the same analogy be used to indicate that although people disagree they can work together effectively?


Visions of the Fathers


With our modern day institutions of learning it may be impossible to have as intimate a relationship with our teachers as was possible in the past.


“If we look about our homes, we will see many disposable items. ‘Use and discard’ has become the practical motto in modern life. Regrettably, this attitude may have carried over to what were once upon a time very stable and durable relationships.” ‘let us not allow ourselves to be influenced by our environment. The teacher/student/parent/child/ sibling and friend relationships are for too important to fall victim to the detachment which is so prevalent in modern life.


“I had a teacher of Talmud who would listen to a student’s argument and say, ‘You are 100% right. Now I am going to show you where you were wrong.‘ This is not self -contradictory. The student’s reasoning may be correct, but his is overlooking something which invalidates his argument.


Question 1: Are these good examples of how we should behave or good examples of how we should structure our lives and current relationships?


Question 2: Are the various comments about Khadr or who owns Judea and Samaria that are in newspapers, good examples of good arguments that overlook relevant facts?


About the above statement : “Let the reverence for your teacher [be] like the reverence for heaven” : “While it may indeed be true that all mitzvos may have equal value, and that indeed, the honour of your student should be as dear to you as your reverence for God, this is too great a gap to be bridged. We must take things in gradation, even spiritual development. We will do very well if we try to emulate the tzaddikim nearer to our

time, but if we reach too far, we may not be able to accomplish anything. Beginning with comparing anything to our relationship to God may be a quantum leap, beyond our capacity to absorb. It is only after we have taken several smaller steps that we can then approach something as great as our relationship to God.”


Question: Is it more effective  to  try to improve oneself by emulating someone rather than by obeying God’s commandments?


“… if a teacher humiliates a child in front of the class, he may inflict lifelong damage to the child’s personality and learning ability, for which there may be no teshuvah. This holds true for all teachers, but is of special importance for an instructor who teaches Torah, because the teacher’s attitude toward the student may affect the student’s attitude toward Torah and God.”


Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai - “ A person may refrain from doing something improper because he is afraid that someone might see him, [-] but the fear that God sees him may not be enough of a deterrent…. If I am so concerned about being seen by other people, how much more should I be concerned about being seen by God?”


Question: Is this our reality?

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg


It’s got fabulous nightlife, great places to eat, an insane street culture, and it’s been voted the hippest neighborhood in the world after Williamsburg in New York. After years of neglect, Florentin in Tel Aviv is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting and eclectic neighborhoods anywhere.

The unique character of Florentin lies in its roots. The neighborhood was founded in the 1930s and named after David Florentin, a Greek Jew who purchased the land in 1924 for the Salonika-Palestine Investment Company.

It was originally planned as a simple and pretty neighborhood for working-class immigrants from Greece and Turkey, especially from Salonika. But as the years went on, the immigrants gradually abandoned Florentin, and like much of the rest of southern Tel Aviv, it became increasingly neglected and impoverished.

It was only in the late 1990s, when an eponymous Israeli TV drama brought attention to this rundown neighborhood, that it began gradually to revive. Students and artists were attracted to the cheap rents, large loft-style apartments and were ready to ignore the grittiness and dirt.

As they moved in, turning dingy apartments into trendy live-work spaces, so did new cafes, nightclubs, music venues and shops.

One of the most significant signs of Florentin’s revival is that a new elementary school has opened, currently serving about 150 pupils in first and second grade, and is designed for 600.

“It’s the first school we have needed in Florentin for decades,” says Zamir. “ In the last five to seven years the population has grown older. It used to be people in their 20s; now people are still living here in their 30s. They are having families and they are staying. The hipster neighborhood is settling down.”  inContext

Germanization of Polish Gentiles

Two masters cannot exist side by side, and that is why all members of the Polish intelligentsia must be killed.  Adolf Hitler

Poles with Aryan features were allowed to remain in Poland. Some Aryan- looking children were kidnapped and taken to Germany to be raised as German.  Some Polish men were drafted into the German army, others were deported to the Reich for slave labor.  Monuments to Polish history and culture were destroyed.  Valuable collections of art and science were transported out of the country. Museums and libraries were demolished.  Polish press and theaters were closed.  Polish cities and streets were renamed with German names.  Universities and secondary schools were closed. Education after the 4th grade was forbidden as Poles would need little education as slave laborers.  Use of the Polish language in public and private life was forbidden.

Whack Jobs - crazy or extremely eccentric

Cemetery plots for sale to members in good standing (three years minimum).

If you are a member (3 years or more) and want to buy a plot, the cost per plot is $2500.

If you know anyone wanting a plot - the person can pay three years' membership dues and then be entitled to buy a plot.

This is an opportunity to purchase before prices increase.


Please consider sponsoring a kiddush, or contributing to the building, programming, or any specific interest fund.


If anyone has tickets for any event that they would like to donate to the shul please let the office know. It is a simple way to raise money for our synagogue so please donate spare tickets and bid generously.

Tree of Life or

Seat Plaques
Remember family and friends by purchasing a leaf on our tree of life or a sanctuary seat plaque.

Lodzer Sisterhood Cookbooks
Great Gifts – just $20 each

Siddur Dedications

As you know, we now use the new-new siddur. For the low-low price of $18 per book these may be dedicated to your loved ones, yourself, family members and as gifts, or simply to support the shul.

Daily Minyan

Sunday – Friday: 9:00 am

Run by Arthur Zins - includes Breakfast following.

Come Daven, Fress & Schmooze,

then join in on a walk.

Saturdays: Shabbat Service

Birkot ha-Shachar 9:12 AM

 - (Led by Frank Steiman)
Yishtabach 9:30 AM

includes Kiddush Luncheon

Chesed Committee

Please call the shul office if you need support or if you know of one of our members who may need support. It remains confidential.


Making a difference

to our shul
As everyone knows, with our shul’s new rabbi and new direction, we are making changes to our services and
programming, and becoming more of a community. The Board discusses procedures and suggested innovations on a monthly basis.
If you have any suggestions please give them, in writing to Sarah, and,if you wish to speak at our monthly Monday night
Board meeting about your ideas, concerns, or interests, again, please let Sarah know.
It is your shul.

We want and need your input.

Making a Difference

for Yourself
Rabbi Eli is eager and very happy to speak to our congregants on a one-on-one basis about personal or shul issues. As he has no official office hours, please call Sarah to make an appointment.
Rabbi Eli will return your call as soon as possible.


Jeff Shabes, President

Harvey Storm, 1st VP

Judy Hazen, 2nd VP

Morry Nosak, Treasurer

Marilyn Richmond, Secretary

Board Members

Frank Steiman

Henry Epstein

Joe Ber

Leon Pasternak (Honourary)

Rafi Remez

Roz Greene

Sid Markovitz

Rabbi Eli Courante

Cantor David Young

B’aal Koreh:

Harvey Bitterman


Arnie Yudell

Rafi Remez

Shabbat Handout:

Judy Hazen


Charles Greene

Office Manager:

Sarah Senior


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Lodzer Office

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Office Hours

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Conscripted Slaves-01.jpeg

I am sending you this as my sister who, documented my dad's story while in the  Hungarian Jewish Laborers Camp, was in contact with Dr. Robert Rozett who is the Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries in Israel, and one of the foremost authorities of the Holocaust. When we documented my dad's story, we were not certain how much of the story was accurate.  It had been a long time since he was a prisoner, and sometimes people's stories may be affected by their horrible experiences . Maybe that is why some people never talk or want to remember the Holocaust . This is where Dr Robert Rozett comes into play. He wrote a book called Conscripted Slaves - Hungarian Jewish Forced Laborers on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. The book was written much later than my dad's accounts. Dr Rozett outlines in detail the brutality  that the Jews encountered while slaves in the camps. The Hungarian soldiers at these camps, may have been more brutal than the Germans.  I know that Roz Greene had read my dad's story as given to her, but the book collaborates exactly what my dad had said. More so, the fact that Dr Robert Rozett's father was in the same unit with my father during these trying times. Yes my dad's recollections are accurate and are a historic account of the time. Both my sister and Dr Robert Rozett have since been in contact with each other and have formed a bond,  and I hope one day soon to meet with him. If you remember, I had made a speech over a year ago where I stated that every morning I went into my garden to inspect my ladies, well if you look at the cover of the book, you will see that every morning the Hungarian soldiers would inspect the men and if anyone they did not like, they shot them on the spot. Both my dad's story and the book go much deeper into the everyday experiences of these Jewish men and you actually experience their suffering. Isi Davis

You have to be ruthless - Grow Tomatoes NOT Foliage!

Conscripted Slaves:

Hungarian Jewish Forced Laborers on the Eastern Front during World War II
By Robert Rozett


From the spring of 1942 until the summer of 1944, some 45,000 Jewish men were forced to accompany Hungarian troops to the battle zone of the Former Soviet Union. The Hungarian authorities considered these men unworthy of bearing weapons, yet they demanded they take part fully in the "blood sacrifice" that was the war against Stalin and his forces. Some 80% of the Jewish forced laborers never returned home. They fell prey to battle, starvation, disease, and grinding labor aggravated immensely by brutality and even outright murder at the hands of the Hungarian soldiers responsible for them; and with supreme irony, not a few who thought they had escaped this hell by surrendering to the Soviets succumbed to the wretched conditions of captivity.

This study of the Hungarian Jewish Labor Service men on the Eastern Front constitutes a unique and invaluable chapter in the mosaic of Holocaust history. It builds on the earlier and seminal publications by the dean of Hungarian Holocaust research Professor Randolph Braham and the groundbreaking Hungarian scholar, the late Elek Karsai. In this unique monograph. Dr: Robert Rozett focuses on the laborers themselves, presenting the panoply of their experiences at eye-level.

The laborers' personal accounts speak powerfully to every Jewish family that lived under Hungarian rule during the Holocaust years, because it is their own personal story. But it is not one to be kept in the family alone, since it is profoundly relevant to all people. It epitomizes gratuitous cruelty punctuated by rare flickers of kindness; it evokes scenes of men closely guarding embers of human dignity amidst a raging sea of humiliation, pain, and death; and it highlights the unrestrained cruelty of one group of human beings toward another that shared their language and culture, but were scions of a different religious group and thus, ultimately, shared a very different fate.

For the vast majority of Hungarian Jews, their family history includes the story of their fathers, sons, brothers and husbands who were drafted into the Labor Service to perform forced labor during the Holocaust. A large percentage of Jewish Labor Service draftees (some 45,000 out of about 100,000) were sent with the Hungarian Second Army to the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, primarily from spring 1942 until the summer 1944. Subjected to grinding brutality on the front, the Jewish forced laborers’ suffering was often increased exponentially by the treatment they received at the hands of the Hungarian officers and soldiers who controlled their lives. Some 80% of the Jewish forced laborers never returned home, falling prey to battle, disease, Soviet captivity and outright murder at the hands of Hungarian soldiers.

The thrust of this book is the attempt to tell the story of the men of the Labor Service from eye level, although it also sets out the establishment of the Labor Service System, the attitudes of those who set it up and ran it toward the Jewish forced laborers, and their behavior toward them. But mostly, it seeks to convey what the laborers themselves were undergoing and as much as possible, what they were thinking and how they were responding.

The main documentary basis for this monograph is personal accounts – testimonies and memoirs, and a few diaries and letters, of those who endured. These personal accounts were supplemented by a unique set of documents from the war itself that is held by Yad Vashem. The Hungarian Military’s card index of casualties among the forced laborers on the Eastern Front, with varying degrees of detail about those who fell, was an integral instrument for corroborating information gleaned from personal accounts and for adding details and statistics.

Bound up in the saga of the Hungarian Jewish forced laborers on the Eastern Front are nearly unimaginable, gratuitous hatred and cruelty, interspaced with occasional humanity and even heroism. The laborers were made to work very hard in generally exacting conditions and frequently with the cruel harassment of the Hungarian officers and soldiers in charge of them. Even work like cutting trees could be made to be terrible when the men had to run many kilometers with the freshly cut wood on their shoulders, run back, and do it all over again several times in a given day, all the while being subjected to curses and blows. Some jobs were simply dangerous, such as burying the dead on the forward lines without any kind of protection while bullets from both sides of the lines flew past the forced laborers. Other jobs were outright murderous, like clearing minefields without previous training and wielding only sticks to dig out mines that were discovered. The underlying idea was that the men would reveal mines by stepping on them, with the obvious consequences to life and limb.

As cruel as their treatment was in general, there were exceptions. A few Hungarian soldiers and officials did their best to help the forced laborers, treating them like human beings and trying to better the conditions of their service. Among them several have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

The forced laborers were direct and indirect witnesses to the destruction of the Jews in the areas in which they were stationed. Yet despite this and their own suffering, they did not usually see themselves as part of the unfolding Holocaust. Still they were not simply passive participants in events. At times they tried to help local Jews they encountered, especially early in their service, by giving them food. They sometimes banded together to help each other within their companies as a whole, or in smaller support groups. A few sought to escape to the local partisans, but unfamiliarity with the terrain and language, as well as the expected punishment for failure, deterred most from following this path. When Soviet forces drew near, many intentionally became prisoners of war, hoping their trials and tribulations would soon end. The Soviets, however, regarded them as Hungarian soldiers and as result they entered the Soviet prisoner of war system. Tragically only about a quarter of those who became prisoners survived.

The Labor Service System was not set up to be an instrument of torture and murder. It was meant to be a framework for those who were considered unworthy of bearing arms to serve the Hungarian nation in time of war. By the time Hungary became fully involved in World War II, however, Jews had been defined as unworthy of being regular soldiers. In the crucible of the war, with rampant antisemitism in Hungarian society as a whole, and particularly in the military, forced labor for Jews on the Eastern Front became lethal for the great majority.

Unlike the industrialized, dehumanized, anonymous murder we associate with the extermination camps that has become the paradigm for the Holocaust, the story of the Hungarian Jewish forced laborers on the Eastern Front is a tale of intimates. The men of the Labor Service sometimes knew one another before the war, and the great majority, in the crucible of the war, spent intensive weeks, months and even years together in the same company. In other words, the victims were not merely abstract constructs to the perpetrators – the “other” - but real people. This intimacy raises many issues regarding the nature of the Shoah, the responsibility of the perpetrators and their society, how one can be an intimate and an “other” at the same time, and why we must strive to create societies in which there are no “others.”

Slavery: Forced or involuntary servitude

Conscription is Slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called… If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!

Robert Anson Heinlein

Coerced service isn't any less slavery
when a government official is the one imposing the bonds

Thanks Isi, (as always…)

We Remember...

Auschwitz II - Birkenau


Gestapo Court

Room where summary sessions of Gestapo court were held. The most frequent sentence was the death penalty by shooting at the "Death Wall".



Men who had been sentenced to be shot at the "Death Wall" were ordered to strip in this small washroom. Sometimes the death penalty was also executed here.
They were marched to the wall in groups of three and executed with one shot to the neck at close range.

If some of my pictures horrify you I am glad, for to be horrified means it bothers you as it should./DJ


Death Wall

Located in the yard between block 10 and block 11 is the "Death Wall". The condemned were led to the wall for execution by SS men who shot several thousand people. The wall was dismantled in 1944, while the camp was still in existence. This did not mean the end of executions, however. Prisoners were also subjected to other forms of punishment in the yard, including flogging and "the post."

The “post” was an especially painful punishment. The victim’s hands were tied behind his back and he was hung from a post so that his feet could not touch the ground. The punishment was usually inflicted for several hours, an hour at a time. The prisoner lost consciousness because of the intense pain. The punishment usually caused the rupture of the tendons in the shoulder, leaving the victim unable to move his arms. This put him at risk of being sent to the gas chamber as unfit for work.

To the left is block 10 where medical experiments were done on sterilization of Jewish women. The windows of block 10 are covered with black-painted wooden boards to prevent anyone from seeing what was happening inside, and the women could not see the activity at the wall. The boards are angled out a few inches to let in a little light through the crack at the top.


Photo and story Credits: Dennis Jarvis