Montreal’s Israel Day Rally takes place this morning. Click for full details and info on free transportation.
All about Côte Saint-Luc, public safety, language rights and local issues
April 16, 2013
Montreal’s Israel Day Rally takes place this morning. Click for full details and info on free transportation.
April 15, 2013
BY BEATA LEVINE, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE APRIL 10, 2013
MONTREAL — I have always believed, as Saint Francis of Assisi said, that “it is in giving of oneself that one receives.”
In fact, these are words that I live by.
At 66 years young, I can say I have lived a wonderful life of privilege. I have my health and have had a supportive husband, Joe, for 45 years. I have children, grandchildren, incredible friends and good fortune. Yet there is another dimension to my life that fulfils me in a different way. And that is my life as a volunteer.
Ever since I was 15 years old, volunteerism has been a part of my life. I began as a candy striper, or someone who volunteers for non-medical tasks, at St. Mary’s Hospital. Over the years, I have volunteered in a wide variety of organizations. Volunteer work has always been about self-fulfillment and helping the broader community. The two have always gone hand-in-hand and this stands true even today, as I find myself halfway across the world volunteering yearly, deep in the African savannah.
My volunteer life grew with leadership roles in the home-and-school association at my children’s school, and as an animator for seniors’ groups. I continue to work as a vCOP, or volunteer citizen on patrol, in the city of Côte Saint-Luc. And I have travelled abroad to Israel to work on an army base through the Sar-El program.
With numerous other volunteer positions under my belt, I realize that nothing has touched me in quite the same way as my past three years of volunteer experience in Africa.
There is something unique about the hands-on experiences I have had in Africa, connecting with its people, land and magical wildlife. I feel as though I am making a remarkable difference in the projects I work on — both in Africa and here in Montreal.
At the present time, I am advocating for Basecamp Maasai Brand, which empowers disadvantaged women’s groups. Among other things, I make connections with local fair-trade retailers here in Montreal who can sell their crafts. I have also coordinated a very exciting pen-pal project between Olesere School in Kenya and at Akiva School in Westmount. I will be going to Africa again later this year to embark upon a new project, the Victoria Falls Lion Conservation Volunteer Project, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I can hardly wait!
Volunteering has always been a great way to meet new friends from different parts of the world and diverse paths of life. Through email and social media, we stay in touch and share our concerns. Through the connections I have made with my fellow volunteers, I have learned that dedication and passion to a cause always makes a difference.
It has been a humbling experience working with the African Impact program for the past three years. I have grown to love so much more than my own small world. Volunteering has given me back so much in return. I have purpose in my life, a great deal of pride and a sense of self-fulfillment.
My only hope is that I can impress upon others how personally enriching it is to to look beyond oneself, and try through volunteering to make this world a better place.
Beata Levine, 66, of Côte St. Luc, has been doing volunteer work since she was 15 years old. She is currently involved with volunteer projects in Africa.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
In my opinion: Beate Levine is an extraordinary Cote Saint-Lucer who has given some of her time to a project very close to my heart, vCOP. She patrols our streets and parks regularly and now we know what she does with some of her other spare time.
I congratulate Bea for her sharing her incredible experiences with us and hope that she inspires many more to give of their time. What a tremendous difference Bea makes in the lives of people near and far. You can too.
January 24, 2013
14 Jordanians and 40 Israelis finish a groundbreaking three-year bachelor’s course in emergency medicine at an Israeli university.
June 14, 2012
House Adopts Unanimous Motion Proposed by Liberal MP Irwin Cotler for Moment of Silence in Memory of the 11 Murdered Athletes and Coaches at the 1972 Olympics in Munich
Canadian Parliament becomes first in world to call for moment of remembrance
OTTAWA – Liberal Justice and Human Rights critic Irwin Cotler made the following statement today on the House of Commons’ unanimous passage of his motion calling for a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics:
“This summer’s Olympic Games in London will mark the 40th anniversary of the worst terrorist atrocity in the history of the Games – the 1972 hostage murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich.
Civil society groups and political leaders around the world have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games. I am delighted that the Canadian Parliament is the first to unanimously support this call.
The adoption of this motion is part of our responsibility to remember the victims of this terrorist assault 40 years ago – le devoir de mémoir (the duty of memory). I am pleased that all parties have worked together in common cause and hope the IOC will accede to our request.”
May 11, 2012
Historical, Jewish Community, Press Release Anthony Housefather, Bialik High School, English Montreal School Board, Holocaust, Human Rights Walkway, Irwin Cotler, Israel, Joel Lion, LaurenHill Academy, Lawrence Bergman, Marymount Academy, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Raoul Wallenberg, Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship Program, Swedish diplomat, Syd Wise, Westmount High School, Yad Vashem Leave a comment
The Consulate General of the State of Israel, in conjunction with the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, the Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship Program, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators, the City of Côte Saint-Luc, the English Montreal School Board and the Office of Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler,will announce plans to mark the centennial of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg. This will take place on Friday, May 11 at Bialik High School (6500 Kildare Road) in Côte Saint-Luc and include some distinguished speakers.
Raoul Wallenberg was the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. While serving as Swedish envoy in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, from July 1944, Wallenberg gave Jews Swedish travel documents and set up safe houses for them. He is also credited with dissuading German officers from massacring the 70,000 inhabitants of the city’s ghetto.
Ron Meisel, a Holocaust survivor who was among the Jews saved by Wallenberg, will be in attendance. His video testimonial will be shown on the big screen.
The Nazis, who occupied Hungary in early 1944, launched mass deportations of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps such as Auschwitz with the collaboration of local authorities. Wallenberg disappeared after being arrested in Hungary by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. The Russians have said he was executed on July 17, 1947, but unverified witness accounts and newly uncovered evidence suggest he may have lived beyond that date.
Israel Consul General for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, Joel Lion, will formally announce plans for a Raoul Wallenberg Legacy Competition Project. Students from Bialik will be joined in the audience by their counterparts from a number of other local schools, including Marymount Academy in N.D.G., LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent and Westmount High School.
Plans call for this to be an interactive project in which students from Montreal area high schools will seek to explain to their fellow peers in a three to four minute video how Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy and message is still relevant in their own lifetime. Students will have complete access to video files from different Holocaust-related websites.
Winners of the competition will receive a special certificate and be honoured at a breakfast hosted by the Consul General of Israel in December 2012 followed by a visit to the Montreal Holocaust Museum. All of the videos will be posted on the EMSB Vimeo site and made available to school teachers as resource teachers.
The legacy of Raoul Wallenberg will also be marked by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre during their Holocaust Education Series next fall. On May 23 (5:30 p.m.) the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation of Montreal will hold a commemoration at the Monument at Raoul Wallenberg Square (600 de Maisonneuve).
The EMSB will work with The Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship Program, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators, to solicit participation from English and French public and private schools in the Montreal area. Each year the The Riva and Thomas O. Hecht Scholarship Program, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators, sponsors teachers to attend a Summer Session of the International Seminar for Educators at Yad Vashem. Past winners represent a natural connection to bring the Wallenberg story into the classrooms.
Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, working with City Councillors Mike Cohen and Allan J. Levine, proposed a local launch of the Wallenberg commemoration in their city for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Côte Saint-Luc is the home to a large Jewish community per capita in the world. As well, Wallenberg was inducted to the city’s Human Rights Walkway at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park a number of years ago.
Speakers will include Consul General Lion, Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Housefather, Professor Irwin Cotler, Liberal MNA for D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, EMSB Commissioner Syd Wise, Thomas O. Hecht, Bialik Principal Ken Scott and students Allix Caron and Tori Perlman. Peter Rona from the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation will also be on hand.
April 26, 2012
Israel’s 64th birthday party was celebrated downtown amid a sea of blue and white waving flags. A crowd of 10,000 smiling faces made their way along Rene-Levesque Blvd. to Place du Canada for the lunchtime celebration. School children in uniform danced among the business crowd in suits. There were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of flags of Israel, Quebec and Canada being waved as far as one could see along the one kilometre parade route.
Once assembled in the main square musical entertainment was loud and energetic. Greetings by Consul General Joel Lion, also loud and energetic. Special Montreal-personalized video greetings were also delivered by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who expressed deep appreciation to Canada for its unprecedented level of support and friendship. PM Stephen Harper also delivered greetings by video expressing the profound attachment of the Canadian and Israeli nations.
Cote Saint-Lucers were out in large numbers including Councillors Mike Cohen, Sam Goldbloom, Dida Berku and myself along with Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler and his Chief of Staff Howard Liebman. Other CSLers spotted among the crowds include CSL Public Security Agent Erwin Luden and his kids, CSUQ’s Sidney Benizri, former Bialik teacher Lanie Smajovits, Chabad CSL’s Rabbi Mendel Raskin and Beth Israel Beth Aaron’s Rabbi Reuben Poupko via video feed from the March of the Living in Poland and Israel.
The annual Yom Ha’atzmaut rally downtown is the brainchild of CSL businessman Amos Sochaczevski.
Montreal Gazette: ‘One big family’ on Israel’s Independence Day
Read more in Mike Cohen’s blog
May 11, 2011
Thousands of Montrealers flocked downtown yesterday to the annual rally and parade celebrating Israel’s day of independence. Buses from across the West Island and West End of the Island converged on Phillips Square where organizers estimated 12,000 began the short march to Place du Canada for singing, dancing and speeches saluting the State of Israel.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper continued in his unswerving support of Israel in sending a message stating, “Our government understands the realities of the Middle East and we will not falter in our continued support of Israel, Canada’s friend and ally, in defending the values that both nations share – freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
The sun shone bright on the lively crowd waving flags of Israel, Canada and Quebec. Young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and secular mingled during the hour-long festivity in the heart of downtown.
Pictured below are some of the thousands of happy supporters of Israel including Cote Saint-Lucers Shireen, Serge and Arielle Butman; Erwin, Brandon and Jordan Luden; Hampstead Councillor Jack Edery with sons Meir and Ben; and representing CSL, yours truly with daughters Nicole and Nathalie wrapped in the flag. Councillor Dida Berku was also in attendance with Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler.
April 30, 2011
La communauté juive va-t-elle tourner le dos aux libéraux ? | Martin Croteau | La Presse
August 30, 2010
Canada, Events, Jewish Community Axis of Evil, Dida Berku, Government of Canada, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Middle East, Ruth Kovac, Sam Goldbloom, Shaul Mofaz, Warfare and Conflict Leave a comment
Shaul Mofaz, Member of the Israeli Knesset, as well as Former Deputy Prime Minister, Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Minister of Defense and Minister of Transportation visited Cote Saint-Luc last week with a stop at the Beth Israel Beth Aaron congregation for a keynote speech.
The event was sponsored by ORT and hosted by its past president, Jacob Kincler. ORT is one of the largest non-governmental worldwide education organizations with representation in over 100 countries. ORT, more than 130 years old, meets educational needs of more than 300,000 students, with 40,000 teachers worldwide. ORT has over 3 million graduates, young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish.
City Councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Sam Goldbloom and Dida Berku were on hand to welcome Mr. Mofaz and representing the City of Cote Saint-Luc.
Neil Drabkin, Chief of Staff to Treasury Board President Stockwell Day gave an eloquent welcome on behalf of the Government of Canada. “The civil world must unite against Iran. Never again will we allow the destruction of our people,” Drabkin said to a loud ovation. “The support of Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada is unequivocal and unwavering,” he said. ”The Conservative government will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the State of Israel.”
Mofaz was greeted by an immediate standing ovation by the audience of 250.
“We are now facing one of the most challenging periods in the history of the Jewish People,” Mofaz began. “Israel is the only Jewish homeland for the Jewish People.”
Mofaz served for 36 years in the IDF and continued his career four years as Minister of Defense as well as Chief of the General Defense Staff. Also of note, he was born in Teheran.
“Iran is developing the military strength of Hizbola, Hamas, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, all of which are threatening Israel. Iran leads the Axis of Evil,” Mofaz said. “It will be a different world if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear capability and will deepen the terror attacks against the State of Israel,” he said.
“Israel must be strong militarily to deter all enemies,” Mofaz said, receiving loud approval from the audience.
“We have to achieve peace with our neighbours without jeopardizing our security. Israel can create a Two-State solution with the Palestinians,” he said. “But right now, there are two competing faction within their ranks,” Mofaz said, referring to Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Mofaz then took questions from the audience and went on to express that, “This is the time for sanctions against Iran. Military efforts are a very last initiative. Pressure needs to be placed on the Iranian regime – not the Iranian people, most of whom view the regime as an obstacle to their democratic lives.”
Mofaz appropriately ended with a prayer for peace: ”Oseh Shalom Bimromav,” which translated to, “He who makes peace in His heights may He make peace upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.”
Read an interesting article in Atlantic magazine about Iran’s threat to Israel.
July 21, 2010
Large gatherings of Jewish groups are quite the norm in Cote Saint-Luc, particularly around holidays. However, this group of Ultra-Orthodox Jews from the Naturai Karta or Satmar sects is indeed a rare sighting.
These non-believers in the existence of the State Of Israel until tha arrival of The Messiah took up placards in front of 5757 Cavendish last week and are said to be returning in the coming days. The building houses the Jewish National Fund and the protesters are against the purchase of tracts of land for the greening of Israel by the JNF.
Their signs reads ”Judaism rejects the State of Israel” and “Israel oppresses Jews and Non-Jews alike”. Coming from a group of Jews who embrace the PLO, Iran’s Ahmajinadab and other sworn enemies of Israel and the Jewish People their actions are disgraceful.
Ignore anti-Israel protesters: Housefather, The Suburban
May 30, 2010
Canada, Events, Jewish Community, Resolution / Bylaw Dida Berku, Intergenerational / Aquatic Centre, Israel, Peter Kent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ruth Kovac Leave a comment
Even though we could not make it to the March to Jerusalem and Israeli Street Festival in Cote Saint-Luc this weekend we were excited to attend the Toronto UJA Walk with Israel and to see and hear the special guest of honour, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
The Prime Minister spoke with passion and energized the crowd of thousands on standing proud with the only democracy in the middle east, the State of Israel. The crowd went wild as he thanked Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for its unswerving support for Israel. And Netanyahu told the crowd to be clear and focused on why we support Israel and stand against its enemies. “Israel supports freedom and celebrates life while its enemies try to wipe out freedom and celebrates death,” he said. He went on to show that the Jewish People are inextricably linked to the Land of Israel, to Jerusalem as its eternal capital. “Israel will never, ever give up its power to defend itself,” the Prime Minister said to wild applaud.
We were honoured, as representatives of the City of Cote Saint-Luc, with one of the highest percentages of Jewish residents anywhere, to be seated alongside the Israeli Ambassador, Minister of the Diaspora, MPs, MPPs and Toronto City Councillors.
We also had the opportunity to chat with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Peter Kent. We discussed Cote Saint-Luc and federal government issues and Councillor Ruth Kovac, responsible for the new Intergenerational and Aquatic Centre, invited Mr. Kent to come to the opening ceremonies. “Be sure to bring a bathing suit,” I added to his chuckled surprise.
The March with Israel began as thousands upon thousands poured out of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds onto the streets of Toronto’s beautiful Lakeshore district. It was a beautiful day in celebration of a beautiful relationship between two incredible countries.
January 28, 2009
January 20, 2009
Council members launch fund in support of twin city in Ashkelon
Federation CJA Ashkelon CSL Fund
Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of the city council presented personal cheques to Susan Szalpeter (centre) of Federation CJA on Monday, January 19, 2009 at city hall.
The fund is in support of the people of Ashkelon, Israel, which is a twin city of Côte Saint-Luc. The personal contributions from the nine council members totalled more than $1,100. No public city funds were used.
The mayor encouraged residents of Côte Saint-Luc to donate to the fund. Residents can send cheques directly to Federation CJA made to the order of “Federation CJA Ashkelon-CSL Fund.”
Ashkelon is a sea-side city of 109,000 residents. As early as July 2006, rockets were fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip which landed in Ashkelon. Seven residents of Ashkelon were injured on March 1, 2008. There was also property damage. Today, longer-range Hamas rockets are able to reliably hit the city.
November 1, 1996