Shabbat Bulletin‎ > ‎



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


The Lodzer 65th Anniversary GALA

featuring “The Caverners - Beatles Tribute”

on Sunday, May 27.

Shabbat Bulletin - May 5, 2018

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli

Henan Province, China

Jews have dwelled in Kaifeng for at least 5 times longer than in Toronto. Which is not to say it is a well-established or developed community nowadays.

According to the last census, only about 1,000 residents of Kaifeng have ties to Jewish ancestry, with about 400 of them identifying themselves as Jewish, and only 10% of those taking part in any sort of Jewish activities.

Kaifeng was the capital of Northern Song Dynasty (10-12th c. CE), and as such enjoyed its bustling cosmopolitan position on that branch of the Silk Road.

Some researchers even date the establishment of the Jewish community to the Tang dynasty period (7-10c.) or even earlier. The Synagogue, however, was established around 1163 by a small community of Jewish merchants, most likely from India or Persia.

Ming dynasty (14-17 c) emperors gave Kaifeng Jews surnames. There are eight in total (Ai, Gao, Gan, Jin, Li, Shi, Zhang, and Zhao), by which their descendants are identifiable to this day. Practically the entire Zhang clan, though, has converted to Islam in 1903.

Europeans had no idea about the community's existence until the famous Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci found out and tried to convert them to Christianity. There is a record of his brief correspondence with the "Master of the Synagogue". Ricci writes that he is a bearer of happy tidings; the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting relentlessly has already come! In a scolding response, the "Archsynagogus" wrote that Messiah would not come for another ten thousand years. (Yeah, I know; it sounds better in Chinese.)

In a bizarre follow-up, the Rabbi of Kaifeng, concerned about the lack of an apparent successor, offered Ricci his position, should he "join the Jewish faith and forfeit eating pork" (sic!). Ricci declined, and wrote later that the Jewish community of China were about "to become Saracens or heathens".

Instead, in the late 1700's there were as many as 4, perhaps 5 synagogues in Kaifeng. All of them suffered at different times of series of floods and fires.

In 1850's, the community dispersed altogether during the Taiping Rebellion but later came back (you can read more about those events in Robert Elegant's historical novel "Mandarin", presenting the point of view of a Shanghai Jewish family).

The last synagogue building is long gone, though you can see a model of it in the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. The kosher restaurant at Beijing Beit Chabad cleverly reproduced the building facade for its bar centerpiece.

With the rise of the Red China, all research on Judaism in Kaifeng came to a standstill till the thawing in mid-1980's.

The Jews in Kaifeng look exactly like the Jews of Canada, Iran, Yemen, North Africa, or Ethiopia - i.e. pretty much indistinguishable from their Gentle neighbours. Many remember some of their grandparents' customs - not eating chazer or shellfish, wearing kippah, saying blessings, lighting candles - and some have been emulating those customs since childhood.

While China has never really been antisemitic, the attitude towards religion is iffy, with only "officially registered religions" enjoying protection by the law (and - nope, Judaism is not one of these).

Four years ago, authorities initiated a crackdown on the Jews of Kaifeng, shutting down the Jewish school and demanding all mezuzot be removed from the doorposts. It appears to be a local initiative rather than a Beijing-directed move.

As of the moment, the formal position of the Judaism in Kaifeng is dubious, and the Jews try to keep a low profile (I enclose no pictures of the community members, at their request). We can only bring small groups of Jewish travelers to visit them at this time.

In fact, as the crackdown started, they implored Jewish rights' organizations not to raise much protest, fearing it may cause further ire of the powers-that-be. In an open letter, they emphasized their loyalty to the party and People's Republic of China, pride in being a part of the multi-national communist culture, and desire to live in peace with all peoples...

Writing to you from the banks of the Yellow River, I will use this opportunity to confirm that I, too, am proud to embrace the teachings of the People's Republic leaders towards equality, peace and prosperity for all people on earth. My loyalty to the words of wisdom bequeathed to us all by the Great Helmsman himself cannot be questioned.

Shabbat Shalom,


Your Life Moments


May 3  Fred Bloch

May 7    Anita Johnson

May 10  Pearl Rosen



April 30  Harry Snyder, husband of Betty Siegel-Snyder

May 1    Robert Sacks, father of Michael

May 2    Shae Golden, father of Bluma Nemirov

May 3    Edward Zimmerman, father of Barbara Zimmerman

May 5    Elka Pillersdorf, mother of Rachel Weisman    

May 5    Isaac Sosner, brother of Sarah Moshe    

May 8    Rafuel Nosak, father of Morry

May 9    Simon Abrahams, father of Jack

May 9    Shalom Herzog, husband of Dianne, father of

Tammy Brown & Shari Majerovic & brother of Sam

May 10  Judy Benguaich, friend of Pearl Rosen

May 10   Ithac Hascal, father of Marcel

May 10   Abraham Zeldin, father of Cathy Zeldin

A Thank You on my 80th Birthday - by JU

For years I have been celebrating my birthdays quietly, with a few presents from my family and a dinner out at my favourite or chosen restaurant. It has always been enjoyable. This year, perhaps because it was a big birthday, I decided that I wanted to celebrate in shul by having an aliyah and celebrating it with my shul and other friends as well as my family.

As I often go to the morning minyan, I went to shul on Thursday, my birthday.  Being in shul with friends and receiving an aliyah gave the day a special flavour - one that I cannot specifically describe but that gave it a community significance. Similarly on this past Shabbat when we sponsored the kiddush, the service, the attendance and well-wishes of the usual congregants as well as friends we invited and shul friends who came to wish us well, was heartwarming.

So I would like to thank first Dora and Elisa, as prime movers, Arthur for the morning minyan, Rafi for his culinary skills and consideration, Cantor David for his Adon Olam Anniversary Waltz, Naomi for her very kind words, members and friends who attended, and all those who support the shul, for a very special birthday experience.

Thanks for the Memories

Give a Little Bit...

Man may give you the award,

but God gives you the reward.

Remember - Don’t Forget - Take Action

Synagogue General Fund

Nancy & Barry Corey

Isaac Ricer

Kiddush Fund

Helen Gould

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

take action as not to forget.

In celebration of it's 65th Anniversary

the LODZER CONGREGATION is proud to invite you


featuring a four course kosher dinner, and entertainment by Canada's best tribute to the Beatles, The Caverners Beatles Tribute.

Join in the celebration, have a great time and support a great cause!

May 27, 2018 at 5:30pm at The Lodzer Centre, 12 Heaton St, North York.

Tickets on sale now! Call (416) 636-6665 to purchase tickets.

Attendees will receive a 65th Anniversary Gala Book. To include your personal or business greetings, please call the above number.

We do get by with a little help from our friends.

Help us to get the word out by posting, sharing, commenting.


Shul Ongoing Programs


10 am

Karate for Seniors with black belt, David Birken

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

Postponed until further notice


7:30-8:30 pm

Parsha of The Week with Judy Hazan

Parsha of the Week is now studying the rest of Tanach.


7-8 pm

Conversational Hebrew Classes with Ayala.

Interactive conversational Hebrew learning group

Thursdays (monthly)

8 pm

Book Chat

Share thoughts and pick up ideas on books you'd like to read

Saturdays after

Kiddush Lunch

(returns May long wknd)

“A Code of Jewish Ethics” discussion group

with Jonathan Usher

Find out why it’s not a good idea to eat your neighbour.

Full  Details

can be found at the very end of the bulletin

before Shul Business

1.4 2.1 2.8




May 3

18 Iyar

Lag B’Omer

“War Games”

It is an old custom amongst Jewish children, to become war-like on the 'L'ag Beomer.'

They arm themselves from head to foot with wooden swords, pop-guns and bows and arrows.

They take food with them, and go off to wage war.

Sholom Aleichem


Lag B’Omer is a holiday that

elevates consideration of one another,

and cautions against what happens

when we don’t.


May 5


20 Iyar

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

Torah Times

Triennial Year 2

Parashat: Emor

Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23

1: 22:17-20 (pg. 517)

2: 22:21-25

3: 22:26-33

4: 23:1-3

5: 23:4-8

6: 23:9-14

7: 23:15-22

maf: 23:19-22


Ezekiel 44:15 - 44:31 (Pg. 538)

Candle Lighting:

8:06 p.m. – Friday


9:15 p.m. – Saturday


May 6

Shul Kiddush


1 - 3 pm

Meeting in support of

the Yezidi

All Welcome

No Charge

June10 July8 August5 Sep9 Oct7 Nov4 Dec2


We are grateful for all donations that have been sent for new families.  Thank you so much for your generosity!!

We have a special need for mens clothings S - M size and children's clothing especially for boys.  Sizes from 2 - 9 for all children would be very much appreciated. If you have something to donate, please contact our donations coordination committee  Azam Salehi and Susan Glickman




While we sleep peacefully in our beds,

the Yazidi people of Iraq and Syria are being driven from their homes, the men and boys crucified and killed, while the women and children are raped and enslaved.

Those who manage to escape have become refugees within Iraq, Syria, Jordan and abroad.

Ignore the plight of others

at your own peril.


May 12


27 Iyar


And I will make you mine forever.

I will make you mine

through righteousness and justice,

through loving-kindness,

mercy and faithfulness,

and you shall know the Lord.


May 27, 2018






Tickets $150


Call Sarah to purchase tickets for our 65th Gala,

and to place your

Tribute ad.

Remember a loved one.

Celebrate a simcha.

Honour family or friends.

Tribute gifts offer a traditional way to acknowledge important milestones while supporting the Lodzer.

Don’t Wait!

Place Your

Personal Greetings

in the

Lodzer Centre Congregation

65th Gala Book

Personal ads:

Full page    $500

Half page    $250

Quarter page $125

Eighth page  $ 75

Business ads (inside):

Full page 8x10 $800

Half page 8x5  $400

Quarter pg 4x5 $200

A tax receipt will be

issued for the charitable portion.

If you’re worried…

Bring earplugs. I do.

And, enjoy the concert.

They’re a mekhaya!

THE CAVERNERS debuted in 1994 and have since been exciting audiences with their note for note perfect portrayal of The Beatles in concert.  With authentic instruments, costumes and stellar vocals this all Canadian cast recreates an incredible performance night after night leaving audiences screaming, stamping their feet and shouting for more.


Hors D'oeuvres
Mini Egg Rolls w Plum Sauce, Moroccan Cigars with Tachina, Mushroom Risotto Croquettes with Tomato Basil Sauce, Chicken Satay Teriyaki, Thai Spring Rolls, Asian Noodles

On Tables
Roasted red pepper hummus, black olive tapenade, spinach dip, relish plate, assorted rolls, flatbreads, focaccia

(Vegan option will be available)
Lemon Spinach Salmon
Arugula Salad
Chicken Roulade (boneless stuffed with vegetables in red wine jus)
Potato Anna
Green Bean Medley

Chocolate lava cake mini fruit tart, mini lemon tart


June 4

Lodzer AGM

10 AM

This is an excellent opportunity for you to bring your ideas, suggestions and opinions to an open forum to guide the Lodzer Centre Congregation in its future direction.

There’s no election this year.



June 7

8:00 PM

Book Chat

Shul Kiddush


Book Chat

The Break

by Katherena Vermette

The Break

by Katherena Vermette

“The Break” is hydro land that cuts a swath through Winnipeg’s North End neighbourhood; in the novel it serves as both the setting for a terrible crime and a symbol of the fractured lives of the characters, four generations of a Métis family…

...The Break offers clear insight into people struggling to secure a place in the world.


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.

Repentance, Part 4

When a great evil has been done.

Note: Consider the following in terms of  Post-Traumatic stress Disorder as well as civilian  murders and car accidents.

“A great evil can be defined as an act or series of acts the aim of which is to inflict serious and /or irrevocable damage. The ultimate example is murder, for which it is impossible to win full atonement, since securing the victim’s forgiveness, a prerequisite for complete repentance, is impossible. Still, even though one cannot win full atonement, one should do all within one’s power to repent.”

“Murder is often a sin that extends even beyond the victim’s life span.” ie Abel’s blood but also that of all his never-to-be-born descendants.

“One who has murdered and wishes to maximize his atonement , must, therefore, fill his life with a large stream of acts of kindness and, if possible, with acts that save lives.”

“Changing one’s first name…. he wants to start over as a new person”

“Atoning for an evil act committed by someone under your command.”

“In short, repentance always helps. Even if it doesn’t bring absolution.”

Question 1: Does this relate to Post-Traumatic stress disorder?

Question 2: If there are no humans who can forgive acts committed at war, do the PTSD soldiers need G-d’s forgiveness?

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

“During the High Holiday season, Jews undergo a kind of ‘spiritual checkup’. Prayer, fasting, and introspection are meant to be catalysts to aid one in evaluating the state one’s spiritual (and moral) health. This process is called teshuva, repentance.”

“Because the following exercises are painful, many people may try to find excuses to avoid doing it. … Start with the sentence, “What I regret having done in the last year is…”

Question: Should we regret actions or plans that just did not work? Did they hurt   someone? Perhaps they were our fault for miscalculating their difficulty etc.

“Another difficult act, but one that will help cleanse our soul. We should make peace with someone with whom we have had a falling-out, particularly if the person is a family member.”

Question: Can the peace be structured so that we never see these people again?

“Also there is something hypocritical about coming to synagogue on the High Holidays and beseeching God to look upon us favourably and treat us with mercy and forgiveness, if we are unwilling to act that way toward others.”

Question 1: Is G-d’s  justice based on  tit for tat?

Question 2:  What standard of justice do we require for ourselves?

“The Jewish tradition of a holiday devoted to seeking forgiveness and granting it is one I believe we should try to influence our non-Jewish neighbours to adopt …  perhaps a … National Apology Day.”

Question: What about an “Acting righteously and responsibly day” instead. - ie a day to turn our memorial and apology days into something more positive.  

“Jewish tradition encourages us to act with particular piety, kindness and generosity during the …ten Days of repentance, the period of time starting with Rosh Hashanah , and concluding with Yom Kippur.”

“Rabbi David Woznica speculates that the demands made of Jews during the {ten days} have less to do with impressing G-d than with teaching people how good they can be.”

“But if we ask people  -including ourselves- to act this way for just ten days, many will make an effort. In the process, we will not only do much good, but we will also learn that we can be much better people than we thought possible. And such a realization can bring about an improvement in our behaviour that will last well beyond the ten days.”

A final thought

“I suggest that we also focus on the good things we do, and the good things we can do, Hence the following - title “ For the Mitzvah We Performed - is suggested reading for the Yom Kippur service, which can be read in a round by a congregation or recited and studied individually.” (note by JU: It is a list of 40 items so I am not copying it here.)

Question: Do we think in this way, or do we concentrate on our own existences into the next year and preparations for the break-fast  and the related activities.

Life is too short - Apologize

“Chaos is where things are so complex you can't handle it, and order is where things are so rigid that it's too restrictive. In between that there's a place, a place that's meaningful. Where you're partly stabilized and partly curious and you’re operating in a manner that increases your scope of knowledge, yet at the same time your stabilizing and renewing you, your family, society, nature, now, next week, next month, and next year.”


Religion is instead about proper behaviour. It’s what Plato called ‘the Good’. A genuine religious acolyte isn’t trying to formulate accurate ideas about the objective nature of the world (although he may be trying to do that too).  He is striving, instead, to be a ‘good person”. It may be the case that to him “good” means nothing but “obedient’ - even blindly obedient. Hence the classic liberal Western enlightenment objection to religious belief: obedience is not enough. But it’s at least a start (and we have forgotten this): You cannot aim yourself at anything if you are completely undisciplined and untutored.You will not know what to target, and you won’t fly straight, even if you somehow get your aim right. And then you will conclude, “There is nothing to aim for”. And then you will be lost.

It is therefore necessary and desirable for religions to have a dogmatic element. What is a value system that does not provide a stable structure? What good is a value system that does not point the away to a higher order? And what good can you possibly be if you cannot or do not internalize that structure, or accept that order - not as a final destination, necessarily, but at least as a starting point? Without that, you’re nothing but an adult two-year old, without the charm or the potential. That is not to say (to say it again) that obedience is sufficient. But a person capable of obedience - let’s say, instead, a properly disciplined person - is at least a well-forged tool. At least that (and that is not nothing). Of course there must be vision, beyond discipline; beyond dogma. A tool still needs a purpose.

Acolyte - a person assisting the celebrant in a religious service or procession.

Lead by Example -- Let me Go

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.

“One would think that if wisdom is put as one’s highest priority, then it will constantly grow and endure. Putting fear of sin first sounds like placing piety ahead of study and knowledge so that the outcome will be second-class wisdom. No, says R. Hanina. Torah knowledge is intended to inculcate fear (ie reverence of God). If that virtue is solidly anchored in the person, then he will treasure and preserve the wisdom of Torah. If the person heaps up knowledge but does not give fear of God any priority or adequate weight, then his wisdom will be evaluated as much less important. Ultimately, it will be downgraded, neglected and forgotten.”

“Torah wisdom is a matter of life-and-death importance to people whose good deeds exceed their wisdom. If they study Torah but their knowledge outweighs their good deeds, they will not grasp the true value and importance of Torah wisdom. This means that the wisdom is unlikely to endure.”   

Perek 3 Mishna 9

Note by JU - Notice that Jordan Peterson and Rabbi Hanina, each in their own way, agree on the importance of dogma and traditional learning as important containers for moral actions and true knowledge.

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein used to say (maybe she still does) that ritual is like the bowl that is necessary to contain the good food.

Window dressing by any other name.



Participants will be notified by

e-mail of scheduling changes.


Karate lessons

For Seniors

Join us

with open hands

and Kick back!

10 AM

Dojo Lodzer

Upstairs Hall

Shul donations


Kiai - Sen!


Our very own Black belt, David Birken, is leading the class

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



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.

Parsha of the Week is now studying the rest of Tanach.

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

No knowledge or Hebrew required.

Judy Hazan 416-704-1693


7-8 pm


Upstairs foyer


Hebrew Classes

with Ayala

Conversational Hebrew classes are ongoing. If you, or someone you know is interested in joining this fun, interactive learning group please contact



8 PM


Kiddush Room

Book Chat

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.

If interested contact:

June 7, The Break by Vermette.



Kiddush lunch

A Code of Jewish Ethics

Jewish thinkers don’t talk all that much about love. All too often they leave that to Christian theologians. But in this excellent volume, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin puts the commandment to love at the center of Jewish theology and experience. This is a book that will change the way you think about–and practice–Judaism.”

Ari L. Goldman

Saturdays after Kiddush Lunch discussion group with Jonathan Usher.

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

Telushkin covers topics such as love and kindness, hospitality, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, charity, relations between Jews and non-Jews, compassion for animals, tolerance, self-defense, and end-of-life issues.

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