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


Resistance is futile.

We will be assimilated.

Shabbat Bulletin - December 23, 2017





June 24-July 8, 2018

The Jaffa clock tower dominates Clock Square, a landmark at the entrance to the Jaffa section of Tel Aviv.

Before there were wristwatches, and certainly before there were cellphones, centrally located clock towers, with their big bell, helped citizens keep track of time.

The Turkish Ottomans constructed more than 100 clock towers throughout the empire in honor of the 25th anniversary of the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1901. Six of them were built in what was then Palestine.  inContext

Jaffa's Flea Market offers literally everything, from second hand clothes, fabrics and shoes, to antiques many household goods and different styles of furniture and even just a 16th century door knob. The Flea Market in Jaffa is one of the more charming places just to walk around. The main day of activity is Friday, when all the shops take out their merchandise on to the street and it turns into a real market attraction. French sofas, wood carved tables and pillow covers from India, Judaica, old enamel kitchenware, antique clocks and what not. You could probably find anything here, which makes your exploration here much more exciting and varied than your ordinary market.

The prices aren't as low as you might expect and you must bargain with the shop owners in order to get a reasonable price especially tourists. Even just walking around and observing all the various merchandise is very interesting. inContext

Let yourself be blown away by the biggest annual Jewish music festival in the world in old Krakow, spend a Shabbat in the ancient Kabbalistic town of Tzfat, relax with a glass of wine in upper Galilee, admire the grottoes of Rosh ha-Nikra, float in the Dead Sea, feel alive in Jerusalem like never before - all that, in the company of our Rabbi and Cantor, enjoying their warm personalities; enhanced stories; inspiring presentations; entertaining programs; and much more.

<click for full details>

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli

Rotorua - North Island, New Zealand

Rotorua is one of the biggest cultural centres of the Māori people in the country.

Technically, Māori can be described as the "indigenous" population of NZ, though they only got here about 750 years ago, just a few centuries before Europeans did.

Curiously, the Māori have a special relationship with Jews and Jewish culture. Yep, Jews and Jewish culture, it wasn't a typo.

Historically, various missionaries in the early 19th c. were the ones to start the comparison of tribal practices, suggesting Māori were of Semitic origin, and descendants of the lost Israelite tribes.

This pseudo-scientific theory acquired quite a following. Most of the alleged similarities, however far-fetched and superficial, were enhanced by the general dislike its authors held for both peoples.

Anglican and evangelical priests pointed out such "common" practices and "striking similarities" as trading prowess, the custom of decapitating the opposing chief in battle "as David did to Goliath", burial practices, menstruation cycle-related taboos, and even cannibalism(!) based on the New Testament(!) verse of Jesus saying to the Jews: "he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me" etc.

In our days, it's hard to read those claptrap hypotheses straight-faced, yet thousands clung to that belief even as recently as 100 years ago. The conjecture apparently catered to the Western need to place Māori in a more familiar context. In the late 19th c., self-proclaimed anthropologists and dedicated phrenologists indulge in pointing out "profound facial similarities" between Jews and Māori - e.g. both feature big noses.

As my bubbe would say, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

This belligerent ignorance had a positive side effect; the Māori embraced the comparison, and maintain warm relationship with Jewish communities throughout New Zealand.

Can you tell on which side of the entrance the mezuza is?

If you'd like to learn more, here are a couple links to articles on Jews and Māori interacting:

Kia ora from Kiwiland,

Rabbi Eli

Your Life Moments


Dec. 16  Minnie Peters

Dec. 20  Gloria Riesel

Dec. 22  Marilyn Richmond

Dec. 23  Michael Spigelman

Dec. 26  Sam Herzog

Dec. 29  Faye Kellerstein


Dec.16   Morris & Nicole Anidjar

Dec. 20  Reuben & Jenny Finkelshtain

Dec. 21  Dr. Brian Goldman & Tamara Broder

Dec. 24 Frank & Sylvia White


Dec. 17  Rivka Super, mother of Dora Usher

Dec. 18  Morris Weisman, husband of Esther

Dec. 19  George Biro, father of Peter Biro

Dec. 21  Nathan Kushner, father of Betty Siegel-Snyder

Dec. 23  Thelma Wolman, mother of Anita Johnson

Dec. 24  Yechiel Rutkowski, father of Ida Sidenberg

Dec. 27  Edith Cohen, mother of Dianne Herzog

Dec. 28  Louis Gula, father of Esther Steiman

Dec. 28  Marian Reisman, sister of Honey Hellreich


There is no cure for birth and death

save to enjoy the interval

Remember - Don’t Forget - Take Action

Synagogue General Fund

Ida Sidenberg

Phil Drash

Remember with your mouth, don’t forget with your heart,

take action as not to forget.

Nikki Haley’s 2 speeches at the

UN Security Council debate on Jerusalem

'Today, for acknowledging a basic truth about the capital city of Israel, we are accused of harming peace. The record will reflect that we reject that outrageous claim'

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of Resolution 2334. On that day, in this Council, in December 2016, the United States elected to abstain, allowing the measure to pass. Now it’s one year and a new administration later. Given the chance to vote again on Resolution 2334, I can say with complete confidence that the United States would vote “no.” We would exercise our veto power. The reasons why are very relevant to the cause of peace in the Middle East.

On the surface, Resolution 2334 described Israeli settlements as impediments to peace. Reasonable people can disagree about that, and in fact, over the years the United States has expressed criticism of Israeli settlement policies many times.

But in truth, it was Resolution 2334 itself that was an impediment to peace. This Security Council put the negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians further out of reach by injecting itself, yet again, in between the two parties to the conflict.

By misplacing the blame for the failure of peace efforts squarely on the Israeli settlements, the resolution gave a pass to Palestinian leaders who for many years rejected one peace proposal after another. It also gave them encouragement to avoid negotiations in the future. It refused to acknowledge the legacy of failed negotiations unrelated to settlements. And the Council passed judgment on issues that must be decided in direct negotiations between the parties. inContext




December 20


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


December 21

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room

There will be

no Hebrew

classes on

December 28


January 11.


Hebrew Classes

Conversational Hebrew classes are on-going at the shul on Thursdays from

7:00 - 8:00 pm.

If you, or someone you know is interested in joining this fun, interactive learning group please contact


קח עוד כוס קפה


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.


Hanukkah focuses on the issues of “assimilation, acculturation, and Jewish survival” in the context of the encounter with Hellenism.

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

R. Irving Greenberg


Celebrate every night of Chanukah

with song, hot latkes and

gifts for the children.



December 23

5 Tevet


Rabbi Eli



David Young

B’aal Koreh:
Harvey Bitterman



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman


9:30 AM

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!

This week’s

Kiddush Lunch

is co-sponsored by:

Frank & Sylvia White

on their 55th

wedding anniversary

Happy Anniversary,

the adventure continues...


Anita Johnson

for the yahrzeit

of her mother

Thelma Wolman

Torah Times

Triennial Year 2

Parashat: Vayyiggash
Genesis 44:18 - 47:27
1: 45:28-46:4 (p. 172)
2: 46:5-7
3: 46:8-11
4: 46:12-15
5: 46:16-18
6: 46:19-22
7: 46:23-27
maftir: 46:23-27


Ezekiel 37:15 - 37:28 (p. 178)

Candle Lighting:

4:26 p.m. – Friday


5:35 p.m. – Saturday

Shabbat Vayigash

Genesis 44:18-47:27

Vayigash begins with the confrontation between Judah and Joseph, whose identity is still unknown to his brothers. Judah pleads with Joseph to take him as a slave in place of Benjamin.

Joseph hears Judah and then dramatically reveals his identity to his brothers. He instructs them to bring Jacob to Egypt and to settle there in Goshen.


December 24

On the

13th Night of


Dinner 6 PM

Film following


Prepay at office

or call Sarah

to reserve


has passed!


Shul Kiddush



“We’re Cool with Yule!”


“I eat Chinese food on Christmas, go to the movie theater too, cause there just ain’t much else to do on Christmas...

When you’re a Jew.” /BWM

Rafi’s Annual

Kosher Chrismukkah

Chinese Food and a Movie

The Women's Balcony

On the day of Osher's bar mitzvah, the men look up adoringly at the women's balcony where their wives, daughters, sisters, cousins, and grandmothers are gathered. Then disaster strikes: the floor under the balcony gives way, leaving several people injured and one comatose. When Rabbi David arrives, the congregation gathers around him now that their elderly rabbi is distraught and confused in the wake of the accident. Taking advantage of his new-found authority, he insists that the men have not done enough to ensure their women's modesty, and that the balcony tragedy is a divine warning to that effect. This leads to a clash with Osher's grandmother Ettie, a pious woman who cannot accept the notion that God demands blind subjugation. Ettie and her friends raise money to restore the women's balcony, but Rabbi David decides to distribute those funds elsewhere. A feud breaks out, driving a wedge between husbands and wives — one that they can only repair by coming together in faith and harmony.


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.



December 30

12 Tevet


Shabbat Vayechi

Genesis 47:28-50:26

Vayechi records the last years and death of Jacob. After living in Egypt for seventeen years, Jacob calls his son Joseph and his grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to his bedside for a blessing.

He asks Joseph to bury him with Abraham and Isaac at the cave of Machpelah. Afterwards he calls all of his sons to his side and blesses each one. When Jacob dies, Joseph and his brothers bury him in Hebron.


January 1

Share your

New Years


with the


We’ll post


this week.



I’m heading into 2018 as a Dietary Vegan. Oy vey! /charles.g

Decide. Commit. Succeed!


January 8

Week 46

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, is leading the class

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

Wear sneakers and non-restrictive clothing.

Karate for Seniors

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

Safe, friendly,
keep fit exercise classes
Build strength and vitality
Learn Self-defense

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

Karate Kata 3 - Heian Sandan

Karate Kata 4 - Heian Yondan

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

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

Seniors - Tough as glass


January 14

Shul Kiddush


6:30 pm

(starts on time)

All Welcome

No Charge

Please inform Sarah that you’ll be coming.



As the Bard taught us,

the Schule must go on.

The Winter's Tale;

Sunday Nights with Rabbi Eli

Has the Biblical text remained unchanged through the ages?


January 18

8:00 PM

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Shul Kiddush


If you haven't attended before, please feel free to join us.  Having read the book is not a prerequisite to come out and enjoy this group, share thoughts and pick up ideas on books you'd like to read.

Book Chat

City of Women

By David R. Gillham

It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War - and Berlin has essentially become a city of women. In this page-turning novel, David Gillham explores what happens to ordinary people thrust into extraordinary times, and how the choices they make can be the difference between life and death.

City of Women by Gillham

It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War - and Berlin has essentially become a city of women.

Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. Her lover is a Jew.

But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets.

A high ranking SS officer and his family move down the hall and Sigrid finds herself pulled into their orbit. A young woman doing her duty-year is out of excuses before Sigrid can even ask her any questions. And then there's the blind man selling pencils on the corner, whose eyes Sigrid can feel following her from behind the darkness of his goggles.

Soon Sigrid is embroiled in a world she knew nothing about, and as her eyes open to the reality around her, the carefully constructed fortress of solitude she has built over the years begins to collapse. She must choose to act on what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two. inContext

March 8, Stranger in the Woods

by Finkel.

April 26, The Painter from Shanghai by Epstein.

June 7, The Break by Vermette.


April 18


3:30 - 6 PM


War Museum


Please book the bus through Sarah.

It’s a full day trip.

We will be attending as a group.

You’ll typically have only 1 hour to explore the site.

Details TBA.

Word has it that Jeff Shabes will be lighting a candle this year. (Jeff also has nice hair.)

Canadian Society for Yad Vashem


The National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony commemorates the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and pays tribute to the survivors who rebuilt their lives in Canada. Many survivors participate in the event. The program includes a personal account by a Holocaust survivor, as well as addresses by the leaders of major Canadian political parties.

The theme of the 2018 National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony is “Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future: The Importance of Remembering the Holocaust”.

An informal reception will follow the Ceremony.


May 27, 2018






We need volunteers

to work on the

Lodzer’s 65th anniversary

Help us Sell Ad Space in the

Lodzer Synagogue

Sixty-fifth Anniversary

Tribute Book

To Volunteer, contact:




Jewish Ethics in Torah and Customs

the after Shabbat discussion group led by Jonathan Usher

Based on A Code of Jewish Ethics Vol.1 by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

Telushkin promoted a lively discussion with his suggestions that we should look at each of our acts as if it had great significance, and as if each act would tip the  balance between the world’s good and evil.

He suggests that we should consider our “good name” before doing a good or bad deed, and when helping a person, consider that if we don’t help, no one else will.

In regard to Telushkin’s thoughts that we must follow our own nature or our life’s mission, the group felt that often practical social or economic factors restrain us from being able to do this.

As usual, it was a stimulating examination of Jewish morality from personal and social perspectives.

The "Jewish Question" for the Twenty-first

Century: Can We Survive Our Success?

I am still reading Alan Dershowitz - "The vanishing American Jew" published in 1997.

The book is 350 pages long ( I haven’t yet finished it) so there’s lots of material - in my opinion, all interesting.

CORRECTION: He suggests that U.S. Jews might be vanishing because of assimilation, intermarriage, and a low birth rate.  (My original piece was incorrect, the third factor was a low birth rate.)

Just as Jews of the past changed the nature of Jewish life in order to adapt to external necessities and to survive the ravages of their external enemies, so, too, must today's Jews change the nature of Jewish life to adapt to new internal necessities and to survive the demographic challenges of intermarriage, assimilation, low birthrates, and the breakdown of neighborhoods and communities.

Thoughts from The Vanishing American Jew

“Jews have faced dangers in the past, but this time we may be unprepared to confront the newest threat to our survival as a people, because its principal cause is our own success as individuals.”

The Tsuris Theory of Jewish Survival: the Jews need external troubles to stay Jewish and not assimilate.

... is all too typical of how so many Jewish leaders throughout our history have reasoned about Jewish survival. Without tsuris--troubles--we will cease to be Jewish. We need to be persecuted, impoverished, discriminated against, hated, and victimized in order for us to retain our Jewishness. The "chosen people" must be denied choices if Judaism is to survive. If Jews are given freedom, opportunity, and choice, they will choose to assimilate and disappear.

“The demise of Jewish life as we have come to know it would be a tragedy not only for the Jewish people collectively, but also for most of us individually - and for the world at large.”

“We must become positively Jewish instead of merely reacting to our enemies.”

Jonathan Usher

Everything that may work must be tried.

Early on in my career, I concluded that we were living in possibly the most remarkable period of Jewish history ever—with Jews situated right in the middle of one of the greatest human civilizational transformations of all time. The vast majority of Jews were living in post-modern civilization—an extraordinarily dynamic and magnetic culture that was sending its messages through an unprecedented number of channels and communications media. American Jews were living in the most open and welcoming society ever—the United States of America. After living for two thousand years behind the shelter of ghetto walls, we were fully integrated now and playing in the major leagues of culture. Unless Judaism could speak persuasively in the presence of the other value systems, unless it could offer a richer life, Jews would assimilate. I wanted to work on making sense of Judaism and demonstrating and advocating for its capacity to enrich life in our society.

“ A good name gives a person greater importance in his limited lifetime. Acquiring words and values of Torah brings with it an eternity of goodness and bliss.”

Perek 2 Mishnah 7

What is my mission, what is my shlichut, which God has in mind for me? Unfortunately, there are no neon lights flashing the answer or messages directly from God that tell us what to do…each of us must figure the mission out for ourselves, and that task may take a lifetime./ig

The Still Small Voice - The Story of Jewish Ethics

William B. Silverman

(1913–2001), of Nashville’s The Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom

“outspoken support for civil rights

will NOT bring harm to the Jewish community”

On Intermarriage

At a Jewish Youth Council Institute held at Camp Le Foret, Colorado, dating between Jewish and non-Jewish youngsters was frowned upon as a step toward intermarriage.

Is inter-dating harmful or dangerous?

If a Jewish boy or girl refuses to date someone of another faith, does this create ill will toward Jews?

If we are all God's children, why object to mixed dating?

Jewish humor and Jewish identity

The Genius of the Jewish Joke - Arthur Berger

The Converts Dilemma

A young Jewish girl, Heather Katz, falls in love with a guy named Bill Smith, a shaygits (non Jewish male). But Heather won't marry Bill unless he converts to Judaism.

So Bill decides to do so. He goes to a rabbi, receives instruction in the Jewish faith, and becomes a Jew.

After a while, Heather decides she doesn't love Bill anymore, and calls the marriage off.

“What should I do?” Bill asks Heather's father. “Heather isn't going to marry me!”

“Why not do what many Jewish boys do nowadays -- marry a shiksa!”

There is an element of identity reinforcement in Jewish humor:

Many Jewish jokes allude to Jewish customs, dietary prescriptions, history, cultural practices, and identity. In doing so, they serve the purpose of helping “define” judaism and reinforce Jewish identity -- even though they may use Jewish comic types and customs as the sources of their humor.

As American Jews become more and more assimilated and lose hold of Jewish customs, culture, and their Jewish identities, one can only wonder whether Jewish humor will change and more or less disappear -- along with the Jews. In America, the intermarriage rate between Jews and non-Jews is now, (2005,) around 50%, and many of the children of these marriages are not raised as Jews. At that rate, the Jews will become a much smaller minority in America than they are now; there will be a small group of Orthodox Jews and remnants of Conservative and Reform Jews.

The rabbi's Son and the Shiksa

A rabbi’s son comes home one day and announces that he is going to marry a shiksa (a gentile girl) and that, in addition, he is going to convert to Christianity and become an Episcopalian.

The rabbi goes into his study and prays to God. “Dear God,” he prays. “My son is going to abandon Judaism, become a Christian, and marry a gentile girl. Where did I go wrong?”

God hears the rabbi’s prayer and answers him. “You think you're having trouble with your son. Look at my son!”

Telushkin on assimilation

There has been a tendency to define Judaism by that which distinguishes us from our neighbors, and I think there was a fear that if we emphasized values that were universal, it could lead to assimilation. This may have been a somewhat legitimate fear, because in the aftermath of emancipation, many Jews did assimilate. But Hillel had a more confident attitude: He believed that Judaism had an ethical message to teach, and that needn’t lead to Jews being swallowed up.

But isn’t ritual observance more demanding? Shouldn’t ethical behavior come naturally, in a way?

On the contrary. It is harder to be an ethical person, because the demands of ethics are relentless and never-ending. “Love your neighbor like yourself” is a very difficult demand to carry out. Ethics has a way of being relentless in its demands. Nobody would actually say, God forbid, that you only have to keep Jewish rituals and not the ethical laws. But in the popular mind, religiosity is defined by ritual observance.  inContext

The secular world needs our help to develop healthy limits./ig

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.

Want to contact the Rabbi?
Rabbi Eli is eager and very happy to speak to our congregants on a one-on-one basis about personal or shul issues. Please e-mail him at with your phone number and he will call you 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

Syd Markovitz

Rabbi Eli Courante

Cantor David Young

B’aal Koreh:

Harvey Bitterman


Arnie Yudell

Rafi Remez

Shabbat Handout:

Judy Hazan


Charles Greene

Office Manager:

Sarah Senior


Who we are - Contact Info


Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

High Holy Days 2017

Rabbi’s Corner

Shabbat Bulletin

For submissions/feedback:

Help us get the word out:

Share the bulletin!

Lodzer Office

Sarah: 416-636-6665

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm


9am to 1pm

Israel21c, 1995 - Coming soon:

chicken meat without slaughter

An Israeli foundation is first in the world to research mass production of cultured chicken breast, a real meat product starting from a single cell of a real bird.

Rabbinic authorities consulted by the Modern Agriculture Foundation believe cultured chicken will be inherently kosher. A Muslim participant in the recent International Symposium on Cultured Meat said that if it meets kosher standards it would also be acceptable according to halal standards.

“There is even a chance we could make kosher cultured pork meat.”

“...the ecological and ethical considerations would make cultured meat irresistible. Cultured meat is one of the most important revolutions in the history of food and in the history of humankind itself.” inContext

Fast Forward - 2017

China makes massive investment

in Israeli lab meat technology

$300 million deal sees Chinese partner with Israeli high-tech companies battling global warming

“It is a colossal market opportunity,” said Bruce Friedrich, head of the The Good Food Institute (GFI), which supports and lobbies on behalf of meat alternative interests. “This could put [lab-made] meat onto the radar of Chinese officials who have the capacity to steer billions of dollars into this technology.”

The move is expected to garner applause from environmentalists as a step toward reducing greenhouse gases.

Livestock produces methane gas, which produces 21 times as much climate warming as carbon dioxide, which — also harmful — is released when large tracts of forest are cleared for pasture. Globally, livestock raising is responsible for 14.5 percent  of all greenhouse gas pollution. inContext

I’ll pass!


Vegan craze grips the land of milk and honey

Do you picture the typical Israeli vegan as a young Tel Aviv hipster wearing an “I Don’t Eat My Friends” tank top? Perhaps many vegans do fit that image, but a growing number of kosher- keeping, Shabbat-observing Israelis – even some with black velvet kippot – are part of the reason that Israel reportedly has the highest number of vegans per capita in the world, fast closing in on 5 percent of the overall population.

RABBI ASA Keisar is often referred to as the Israeli – or religious – Gary Yourofsky. A scribe by profession, Keisar is a lifelong vegetarian and recently veganized his home in Petah Tikva once he became aware of the many animal-welfare issues in slaughterhouses, chicken coops and dairy farms.

For Keisar, these violations aren’t just objectionable on a humanitarian level, but on a Jewish level. With the backing of classical sources, he reasons that if the Torah prohibits causing animals to suffer, modern methods of preparing animals for the dinner plate clearly violate Jewish law. His personal mission is to get this message across to the religious, and particularly the haredi, public.

There is the talmudic maxim that wine and meat are essential to a joyous holiday meal (Keisar clarifies that this refers specifically to meat from Temple sacrifices and is no longer relevant), and there is little support for a purely plant based diet from rabbinic scholars who decide cases of Jewish law.

“A few decades ago, vegetarianism was very uncommon in Israel, and especially among religious people,” says Keisar, a married father of four. “I was raised in a religious vegetarian home and today I’m raising a generation of religious vegans. I’m very optimistic about getting my message across. I see that people listen, and many are making the change.”

Prof. Richard Schwartz, (president emeritus of Jewish Veg,) cites studies showing that animal-based agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gases than do all the cars and other means of transportation worldwide combined; and that animal-based diets contribute to many chronic and fatal diseases. Producing more and more livestock for a meat-consuming world is wasteful and unsustainable, he argues.

“A meat- and dairy-centered diet requires about 17 times as much land, 14 times as much water and more than 10 times as much energy as a completely plant-based diet,” Schwartz has written.

“More than half of the water consumed in the United States is used to raise livestock, primarily to irrigate land growing livestock feed. While a typical meat-eater’s diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water daily, a vegetarian’s diet only uses 300 gallons. In California, the production of just one edible pound of beef uses many hundreds of gallons of water, while only 23 gallons are needed to produce a pound of tomatoes.”

In Israel, statistics show that even with a growing number of vegetarians, annual per capita meat consumption (99.2 kilos) is still higher than in most other countries.

“A shift toward vegan diets would help revitalize Judaism by showing the relevance of Judaism’s eternal values to today’s critical issues,” says Schwartz.

“We have wonderful groups [in Israel] doing great work and we have great potential. The future of the world depends on us getting veganism onto the public agenda even more than it is today.”  inContext

Nu? What about the health benefits of going vegan?

Carry on, regardless.