Rabbi Mendel Raskin (3rd from right) and sons welcomes the MP, Mayor and Councillor

Rabbi Mendel Raskin (3rd from right) and sons welcomes the MP, Mayor and Councillor

It hardly took 30 years for Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin to make an indelible mark on the City of Cote Saint-Luc. Since first laying ground in an upper duplex on Earle Road back in 1986 a lot has changed for the Raskins, for Chabad CSL and for the city and its residents.

The Raskins are no ordinary CSL couple, but then again, who is? Having grown up as a Yiddish-speaking Ashkenaz in, of all places, Morocco, Cote Saint-Luc was as good a posting as any for the adventurous young rabbi and his New Yorker bride, Sarah.

Fast forward three decades. Hoo ha, has our city changed. From a few mainstream large synagogues and a single Jewish elementary and high school the city has morphed into a rich and vibrant community housing many centres of religion, culture and education, weaving together Ashkenazis and Sephardim, and recent arrivals from France, Argentina and other communities around the world.

The Raskins can be mighty proud of their contributions in infusing Judaism for the masses by organizing festivals, parades, concerts, holiday and weekly services, summer and winter camps, excursions, festive meals, education seminars, guest speakers and more.

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, MP Anthony Housefather and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein all smiles at the Chabad 30th anniversary gala evening

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, MP Anthony Housefather and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein all smiles at the Chabad 30th anniversary gala evening

Meanwhile, their wonderful and enthusiastic children have carried on in the “family business” by reaching out not only here at home but elsewhere within the Chabad movement, including Montego Bay, Jamaica!

My wife Judy and I are fortunate to have been invited to many of the Raskins events throughout the years and to have gotten to know them and appreciate their subtle and inspiring ways. We were equally overjoyed to help celebrate the 30th anniversary celebrations last week at the opulent and classy edifice known as the Hechel Menachem CSL Chabad Synagogue on Kildare Road.

L-R: Jacob Kincler, Cllr. Dida Berku, Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, MP Anthony Housefather, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Elaine Yagod. All four elected officials served as mayor of Cote Saint-Luc in the past 12 months.

L-R: Jacob Kincler, Cllr. Dida Berku, Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen, MP Anthony Housefather, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Elaine Yagod. All four elected officials served as mayor of Cote Saint-Luc in the past 12 months.

Together with our good friends and colleagues Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and the First Lady of CSL Elaine Yagod, Cllr. Dida Berku and the affable Jacob Kincler, rookie Cllr. (and old workmate) Sidney Benizri and his wife Sandra Papagouras, district Cllr. and lifelong buddy Mike Cohen and omnipresent Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather we all congratulated the Raskin family and their key supporters on a job well done and continued success.

Our city and community and the world are strengthened by the Raskins unending and universal efforts in spreading kindness and good deeds to all. May Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin and their family continue to go from Strength to Strength.

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