Shabbat Bulletin‎ > ‎


Click to register for the Cantorial Cabaret - tickets & sponsorship order form
May 25, 2019 / 20 Iyar, 5779                               Passover Omer: Day 35
Lodzer Shabbat Bulletin

Shabbat Shalom

Light Candles: 8:27 PM Friday
Shabbat Ends: 9:38 PM

Parshat Behar: Leviticus:
  1. 25:29 - 25:34  pg535
  2. 25:35 - 25:38
  3. 25:39 - 25:43
  4. 25:44 - 25:46
  5. 25:47 - 25:50
  6. 25:51 - 25:54
  7. 25:55 - 26:2
Maftir:  25:55 - 26:2 

Jeremiah 32:6 - 32:27  pg539


May 24  Freda Kon - 97 years strong!
May 25  Frank Steiman
May 26  Allen Sidenberg
May 29  George Berger
May 30  Sylvia White
May 31  Harvey Storm

May 29  Rafael & Tammy Remez

May 25  Elka Pillersdorf, mother of Rachel Weisman
May 25  Isaac Sosner, brother of Sarah Moshe
May 28  Rafuel Nosak, father of Morry
May 29  Simon Abrahams, father of Jack Abrahams
May 29  Shalom Herzog, husband of Dianne, father of Tammy Brown and Shari Majerovic and brother of Sam
May 30  Judy Benguaich, friend of Pearl Rosen
May 30  Abraham Zeldin, father of Cathy Zeldin
Lily and Syd Markowitz
in honour of Freda Kon’s 97th Birthday
and the upcoming wedding
of their son Bruce to Sally.

When celebrating simchas at our shul
please no concussion candies
we never know if there is a doctor in the house!
People Prayer Possibility

Walk with Israel 2019 North York

For Some…
It was cold; It was windy; It was too long a walk.
For Others…
It was a perfect day.

With thanks to Joel Spigelman for donating/printing the 6’ by 3’ Lodzer Congregation banner.

Memories of our survivors - Freda Kon - As told to Susan Yellin

As Holocaust Education Week ends, it’s important to remember that the Lodzer was built by survivors of the Shoah. Many are no longer with us. But here is the story of one of them, Freda Kon, who is alive and well and living in Toronto.

In 1944, Freda Kon made a promise: a vow she has steadfastly kept all these years.

At the time, Freda (Franka) Szpigiel was 22, surviving in the hell that was the Auschwitz concentration camp after first being rounded up with her family in Lodz and then sent to a number of other detention camps.

At Auschwitz an unknown woman approached her, showed the numbers on her arm to Freda and told her: “Maybe you are going to live through the war. Maybe. Our number indicates that we are going to the crematorium soon. But you, you should tell the world what happened here because otherwise nobody will know about it.”

Since that day, Freda has told her story a number of times, including as part of noted director Steven Spielberg’s Film and Video Archive of the Shoah.  But her account bears repeating because it speaks to the inner strength of many Jews during the Second World War who endured incessant beatings, slave labour, starvation and the loss of dozens of friends and family.

Freda tells of how she, her mother and sister managed to survive after German troops rolled into Lodz in 1940 when it was closed off as a ghetto for Jews. Even walking around the ghetto was difficult, like the time a German guard stopped her suddenly and forced her to wash toilets and floors in a nearby theatre, not knowing what would happen to her afterwards. 

Before they closed the ghetto, German troops rounded up Jewish men, including Freda’s father, and took them to a field where horses were running free. The soldiers put the men on the horses then whipped both man and animal. Many fell off and were trampled under horses’ hooves. But Freda’s father, Yechiel, had come from a small town and was used to riding horses. He survived -- this time.  

Starvation was constant. “One night we heard there was a bakery that was selling bread,” she says. “Everybody in the family stayed for two hours each in the middle of the night to be there when the bakery opened. When it did open, the owners and others pointed to the Jews, who were then pulled out of the line. A boy came to me and pointing at me he said in Polish: you are a Jew. I swore at him so he let me go and I got the bread.”

When the ghetto was created, people started organizing the area into a mini-city – with a hospital, stores and workplaces.

Freda got a job in a kitchen set up for professionals, like doctors and lawyers. It was there at the age of 17 that she met Lolek Kon, the love of her life and the man who would one day be her husband. 

Lolek eventually went to Freda’s father and told him that he wanted to marry his daughter, but her father told him war was not a good time to get married.

They left Lodz suddenly in 1944, when German soldiers packed the residents of the ghetto 80 people to a train car, gave them no food or water and sent them on to Auschwitz.

When they arrived, the men and women were separated.  Some were immediately led away to the camp’s notorious gas chambers, where about 1.1 million people died during the war. “Lolek’s mother put her arm around my shoulder and said: ‘Don’t cry. You will be with Lolek again.’  And that was the last word we heard her speak.”

Others were told they were going to get a shower and were told to strip, shaved and forced to sit naked on the floor for hours. Some, like Freda, her mother and her sister, were then told to get up and leave and were given clothes. 

Every day the only nourishment was a bowl of thin soup and a piece of bread no bigger than a fist, says Freda. Her family survived because her mother, Bluma, hid all the bread and allotted a certain amount to the three of them every day.  

From Auschwitz the three women were sent to Stuffhof and forced on a death march, unbeknownst to them that the war was coming to an end. 

They walked for eight days in ankle-deep snow, sleeping at night in barns where the horses, cows and pigs let them use their bodies to warm up the prisoners’ hands and feet. “Til today I remember those animals and I love them for it.”

At one point, Freda’s mother suddenly stopped and said she was not going another step, even while a soldier threatened to shoot them.  Oddly enough, when they refused to budge, the soldier left.

The next morning, they made their way to city hall and stayed in the area until they were liberated by the Russians.

One day, a Russian soldier came up to them and asked them who they were. “We’re Jews,” Freda said. “Impossible,” said the soldier. “All the Jews are dead.” Then he made her write down something in Yiddish and told them he was sending the note to his parents to prove to them amidst all the death, some Jews still remained alive. The soldier, of course, was Jewish.   

Freda, her mother and sister slowly travelled back to Lodz, honouring a pact they had all made before the war to go back to their hometown if they survived.

When they arrived, they discovered their home had been taken over by someone else who wasn’t about to let Freda and her family back in – a situation that befell many survivors.

The trio went to a registration centre where the Jews entered their names to let other surviving family members know they had made it through the war. Freda, who was hired on at the centre, would come home to her waiting mother every day with the sombre news that no one they knew had made it back. She said to her mother, “we have to forget it.” 

A week later, May 24, she had just come home from work when she heard someone banging on the door. “I ran to the door and I opened it and standing there was my fiancé,” she says, still smiling at the memory. “He came in and told us that my brother was alive, that his father was alive, but that my father perished. Lolek knew he had to come back that day because it was my birthday because if there was any day that I would be back, it would be then.”

The two married on October 6, 1945. They spent three more years in Poland, where they had their daughter Lily. Two years, later the family all went to Israel where they spent two more years, stopped in France to visit relatives and finally to Canada.

When in Toronto, word spread that Lodz survivors often congregated at Blady’s butcher shop on College Street, where Freda says a bowl of hot soup was ready for every newcomer.

It was here that the first seeds of the Lodzer Mutual Society were planted, a group that later bought the property on Heaton Street in North York where the Lodzer Centre Congregation still stands.

And it is at the shul where you will occasionally find Freda Kon, a vibrant 94 years old, still holding fast to her 72-year-old promise.


SUNDAY MAY 26 at 10:30 AM
Monday, May 27 @ 7:30 PM

From Broadway to the Met
An Evening of Opera, Operetta and Broadway Favourites

Hazzan Tibor Kovari
(Part of Jewish Music Week)

Beth Tikvah Synagogue
3080 Bayview Avenue

$36 in Advance / $40 at Door
Beth Tikvah presents an evening of music by Jewish composers including Gershwin, Alan and Marilyn Bergman (Yentl ), Kalman, Offenbach, Lerner and Loewe as well as Leonard Bernstein, marking 100 years since his birth . An outstanding cast of world class performers are showcased this evening: ... and Hazzan Tibor Kovari (lyric tenor). This program will tug at your heartstrings and bring a smile to your face. Whether you are a fan of Opera, Operetta, Broadway Musicals or all of the above, you are sure to find gems to delight your musical palette. This is an evening you don’t want to miss!
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Service
with Cantor David Young and his choir.

Saturday, June 1  (27 Iyar)
Saturday, June 8 - 5 Sivan

Omer Day 49

9:30am Shabbat Services
Bamidbar: Numbers 3:14 - 4:20  pg576
Hosea 2:1-22
Jews Accept Torah 
On this day, (1313 BCE,) Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mount Sinai at which the people declared, "All that G-d has spoken, we shall do and hear" (Exodus 24:7) committing themselves to observe the Torah's commandments ("do") and strive to comprehend them ("hear"), while pledging to "do" also before they "hear."
(Light Holiday Candles after 9:52 PM)

Sunday, June 9 - 6 Sivan

Shavuot 1st Day

9am Morning Minyan
Exodus 19:1 - 20:23
Numbers 28:26-31
Ezekiel 1:1-28; Ezekiel 3:12

On the 6th Sivan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), seven weeks after the Exodus, G-d revealed Himself on Mount Sinai. The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of all future generations of Jews, heard G-d declare the first two of the Ten Commandments and witnessed G-d's communication of the other eight through Moses. Following the revelation, Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from G-d.

Monday, June 10 - 7 Sivan

Shavuot 2nd Day

9am Morning Minyan
Deuteronomy 15:19 - 16:17
Numbers 28:26-31
Habakkuk 2:20 - 3:19

Yizkor services @ 10:30am

At Sinai, G-d rescinded the "decree" and "divide" (gezeirah) that had been in force since the 2nd day of creation separating the spiritual and the physical into two hermetic worlds; from this point on, "the higher realms could descend into the lower realms, and the lower could ascend to the higher." Thus was born the "mitzvah" -- a physical deed that, by virtue of the fact that it is commanded by G-d, brings G-dliness into the physical world.

Dear Congregants & Friends,

I am thrilled to announce that on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7 p.m. the Lodzer Congregation will be hosting a Cantorial Cabaret Concert featuring our choir, Cantor Tibor Kovari from Beth Tikvah and his choir,  accompanied by a pianist, cellist and violinist and special guest appearance, my son Jakie.
It will be a memorable musical evening of liturgical, secular and operatic pieces.
Looking forward to seeing you and sharing in this wonderful evening.

Cantor David Young

Cantor David Young began his musical career at the age of 9 performing as a child soloist with Cantor Nathan T. Adler and the Shaarei Shomayim choir. 
Under the mentorship of Cantor Harold Klein, Cantor Young became the youngest conductor in Canada when appointed musical director of the choir at the tender age of 16.
Cantor Young has served in the past as Cantor for the Shaar Shalom, Beth Torah and Borochov congregations, and has studied voice under the guidance of Robert Leowen and David Dunbar.

Hazzan Tibor Kovari, Hazzan and Music Director at Beth Tikvah synagogue since 2003, studied at the Theological Seminary of Hungary in Budapest. He has performed in Israel, Europe and North America and is Past President of the Toronto Council of Hazzanim.

To purchase tickets 
Contact Lodzer Office Manager, Sarah Senior

18 - 18 Youth Promo
$18 for youth under 18
It will be the Chai-light of your June!


Cantor David Young talks about the upcoming Cantorial Cabaret.
Please share the following video link to social media and with friends via e-mail:

Please help us advertise this event.
Hand out the postcards to friends & share on social media


Monday, June 17 at 7 PM

Sisterhood Monday Nights
With Rabbi Eli

Sisterhood Monday nights are back!
May 20, June 17, July 22 - three nights dedicated to discussions of medical topics viewed through the prism of Judaism.
Organ donation, elective surgery, assisted suicide, abortions, stem cell research, surrogate motherhood, human cloning, and more
Thursdays (see schedule)
7:30 PM

Lodzer Kiddush Room

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 20 - The Other Woman
by Daniel Silva
August 25 - 31
City of Łódź
Official commemoration of the
75th Anniversary of Liquidation of the Litzmannstadt - Ghetto.

Main Commemorations
29 August 2019
11am - Jewish Cemetery, 40 Bracka St.
12am - March of Remembrance from the Jewish Cemetery to the Radegast Station.
12:30pm - Museum of the Independence Traditions in Łódź, Radegast Station.
8pm - Survivors Park, 83 Wojska Polskiego St.
We Long for a Home… Jazz concert inspired by music 1945-1949 by artists who survived the Łódź ghetto.

Please join us for this milestone event...

Syd Markowitz / Freda Kon (survivor)
Lodzer on tap

Morning Minyan

Sunday – Friday: 9:00 am
Run by Arthur Zins
- includes Breakfast following.
Come Daven, Fress & Schmooze


Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 8:30 PM
Please join this lively group,
led by Judy Hazan


Fridays 9:30 am
With warm-ups for joints and boxing drills. Free.
Led by David Birken.

David also leads the Karate up at Bernard Betel on Tuesdays at 2 PM.

Shabbat Services

Birkot ha-Shachar 9:12 am
Yishtabach 9:30 AM
Led by Cantor Young
includes Kiddush Luncheon
1953 - 2019
12 Heaton Street, M3H 4Y6  (416) 636-6665

We welcome you to join us for weekly Shabbat Services
and special musical Shabbat Services for Rosh Chodesh
with Cantor David Young and his choir.
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh dates for 5779:
June_1_2019  (27 Iyar)
June_29_2019  (26 Sivan)

Yiskor services will be held on:
Monday_June_10_2019 -- Shavuot  (7 Sivan)

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?
Walk with Israel 2019 North York
Photo Credit: Susan G  (thanks)
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.

Making a difference to our shul
The Board along with Rabbi Eli are setting a new direction for our shul. "We are making changes to shul services and programming, and becoming more of a community." The Board discusses procedures and suggested innovations on a monthly basis. "We're not alone in this and would greatly appreciate your help."
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."

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.

Team Lodzer

Office Manager
Sarah Senior: 416-636-6665

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday:
9am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm
Friday: 9am to 1pm

Rabbi Eli Courante
Cantor David Young
Ba’al Koreh Harvey Bitterman
Gabbai Arnold Yudell
Gabbai Sheni Rafi Remez

Board of Directors
Jeff Shabes, President
Harvey Storm, 1st VP
Judy Hazan, 2nd VP
Morry Nosak, Treasurer
Marilyn Richmond, Secretary
Josef Ber
Roz Greene
Syd Markowitz
Rafi Remez

Honourary Board Members
Eli Batsre (refuah shleimah)
Leon Pasternak
Frank Steiman (Welcome back, Frank!)

The Lodzer Sisterhood
Please Contact:

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.

Editor: Charles Greene
Bulletin Oversight: Judy Hazan
For submissions/feedback:

Help us get the word out: Share the bulletin!
Click to subscribe to this weekly Lodzer Shabbat Bulletin
Copyright © 2019 LODZER CENTRE CONGREGATION, All rights reserved.
Charles Greene,
21 May 2019, 09:17