Supporting Israel’s national EMS

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It was a great pleasure for Judy and me to attend the recent Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club Evening of Entertainment benefiting Canadian Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical services and blood bank.

The ambulance and EMS scooter that had been purchased with funds raised were on display at the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre. How exciting that an ambulance marked “Cote Saint-Luc” will be on duty in the Jewish State.

We were so pleased to participate in this extraordinary fundraising effort and play a small part in safeguarding the People of Israel. Having served in CSL EMS as well as at Urgences Santé ambulance service for so many years it was even more meaningful to take part in this important gesture in support of Israel.

Thank you to Syd Kronish, President of the CSL Men’s Club, to Michael Levine, National President of CMDA and to Sidney Benizri, Executive Director  of CMDA.

CSL Men’s Club gala raises funds for Canadian Magen David Adom

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The Côte St. Luc Men’s Club hosted an “Evening of Entertainment” last week at the city’s Aquatic and Community Centre to raise funds for Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel.

CMDA sends ambulances and medical supplies to Magen David Adom for use in Israel.

On hand were CMDA president Michael I. Levine, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Côte St. Luc council members, D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, Beth Tikvah Rabbi Emeritus Mordecai Zeitz and many others. Cantor Yossi Pomerantz, accompanied by Joseph Milo, sang; and humourist Al Kustanowitz performed.

The event also marked the donation of ambulances, medical emergency scooters and funds for medical equipment to Israel. One ambulance, displayed at the event, was donated by the Men’s Club; and by Simon and Fagey Rossdeutscher and Judith and Harry Rossdeutscher in memory of their families who perished in the Holocaust.

“Almost a year ago, I decided that as the Men’s Club is growing enormously, we should do something special for the State of Israel, where I’ve been many, many times,” said Men’s Club president Syd Kronish. “I went to see Sidney Benizri, executive director of CMDA, and for 40 minutes, he showed me what Magen David Adom accomplishes for Israel. I decided that’s for us.

“The Men’s Club took all of our smaller donations and we contributed the other half for the ambulance,” he explained. “Four of our members, including myself, each bought a medical scooter, which cost $32,000. They are already in Israel.”

The Rossdeutscher family has been involved with CMDA for more than 30 years and has donated at least several other ambulances over the years, including one dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Sidney Shoham of Beth Zion Synagogue.

Another ambulance was donated by Derek and Richard Stern and Families. Mayoral candidate Robert Libman was on hand for the event, representing the Stern family.

Benizri, who is also a Côte St. Luc councillor, was very appreciative.

“It was a pleasure working with the Executive Committee and the members of the Cote St. Luc Men’s Club for the past seven months and I am very grateful to them for undertaking this initiative, ‘Evening of Entertainment,’ to benefit Canadian Magen David Adom,’ Benizri said. “They are motivated and dedicated to the cause of helping Magen David Adom continue to offer lifesaving and humanitarian services to anyone in the State of Israel and abroad when called upon to do so.”

Benizri also thanked the Rossdeutscher family for the new ambulance, the Stern family for the other ambulance and other families for the medical scooters.

The scooters were presented to the people of Israel by Sheila and Nat Agensky in memory of Brian Agensky; by Marion and Lazarus Caplan; by Elaine and Syd Kronish; Steven, Etty, Samantha and David Kronish; and the Spector Family. As well, Harriet and Harry Fried made a major donation for medical equipment.

The balance of the gala evening’s proceeds “will be used to provide essential medical equipment for MDA Israel paramedics and first responders,” says a CMDA statement.

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What a great feeling to see the Cote Saint-Luc Men’s Club emblem on this ambulance destined for Israel. Judy and I were thrilled to be able to participate and contribute in a small but meaningful way.

 

Magen David Adom is innovative in their ability to outfit a scooter with emergency medical equipment to respond rapidly to urgent calls even with congested streets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. We can learn a lot from them.

Prestigious D’Arcy McGee citizenship medals presented

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It was my honour to attend this weeks ceremony by D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum at the CSL Aquatic and Community Center.

The ceremony was set up three years ago by the engaging and charismatic Birnbaum to honour exceptional citizens for their outstanding contribution to society, in particular affecting those of us residing in the D’Arcy McGee riding, which includes Cote saint-Luc, Hampstead and Snowdon west.

This year’s winners were Baruch Cohen, Susan Wener and (posthumously) Jean Lapierre. Jean’s daughter graciously accepted the award. In addition, the Victor C. Goldbloom ‘Vivre Ensemble’ essay contest winner was Reisa Gilfix (Grade 10, Herzliah High School).

The ceremony also included a video presentation by Quebec Pemier Philippe Couillard.

An excellent jazz combo ensemble entertained the crowd from the Saint-Luc secondary school.

Baruch Cohen, left, is feted on his 90th birthday by well-wisher Frederick Krantz, founder and director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. (Photo CJN)

Baruch Cohen
Baruch Cohen recently celebrated his 97th birthday. During the second world war, Baruch survived pogroms, anti-Semitism, state-sponsored tyranny and forced labour camps in Romania. He escaped to Israel and later made a life here in Montreal with Sonia, his wife of 73 years. Upon retirement from his position as a financial officer, Baruch completed a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies. He subsequently devoted 30 years of volunteer service as Research Chair of the the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. He spearheaded the first holocaust commemoration in memory of Jews killed in Romania and Transnistria 23 years ago, an event that continues to be held annually.

Susan Wener (Photo: The Georgia Straight)

Susan Wener

For 30 years, Susan Wener has dedicated her life to helping others. She is a therapist for people struggling with life-threatening illness. She speaks across Canada at literary festivals, medical conferences, universities and libraries, touching on subjects such as the doctor-patient relationship, integrative cancer care, overcoming obstacles and other topics related to health and well-being. Following a near death experience at 18, Susan knew that her mission would be to work with the gravely ill. She hasn’t looked back since. Her moving memoir, “Resilience” and recent Tedx Talk have reached thousands, far beyond our community’s borders.

 

Jean Lapierre

Jean Lapierre was a former member of Parliament, minister and political analyst on English and French radio and television. He died tragically along with four members of his family in a plane crash into 2016. Lapierre made perhaps his greatest mark in a final career as political analyst. He did regular spots that topped the ratings on Radio 98.5, CJAD, CTV, TVA and other media outlets. His commentaries garnered huge audiences in English and in French, and inevitably elicited reactions from politicians, other journalists as well as regular watchers across the province, who reacted to his daily scoops and analyses and discussions around the water cooler and supper table. What happens in Quebec City and Ottawa can sometimes seem remote and isolated from our lives in CSL, Hampstead and western Montreal. Jean Lapierre made it less so. He deserves our recognition for enriching our lives and widening our horizons.

Congratulations to the winners and the family of Jean C. Lapierre for this well-deserved honour.

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Give the gift of life on May 9 at CSL ACC

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Cote Saint-Luc Blood Donor Clinic

May 9, 2017

CSL Aquatic and Community Centre

Parkhaven at Mackle

 

Creativity flows at Maimonides Art Hive

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The User Experience. Artistic creativity is good for the soul. Watch some Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre residents as they unleash their creative juices during an Art Hive workshop under the supervision of Art Therapist Sondra Goldman. A true delight for the eyes…and the heart.

Maimonides is an exceptional organization in Cote Saint-Luc since the 1960s. In 2015 it became part of the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal where I serve as Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations.

L’expérience des usagers. La création artistique est bonne pour l’âme. Voyez des résidentes du Centre gériatrique Maimonides Donald Berman en plein processus créatif lors d’un atelier de #ruchedart qui se tient à leur CHSLD sous la supervision de l’art thérapeute Sondra Goldman. Un délice pour les yeux… et le cœur. Visioner ici.

He repaired the world: the loss of a medical giant

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To those who knew Dr. Mark A. Wainberg, he was an unassuming and genteel character with a sweet yet dry sense of humour. On the one hand, he would hobnob with royalty and world-renowned business and political leaders. On the other hand, when he spoke with you on the streets of Cote Saint-Luc or in the halls of the Jewish General Hospital, he made you feel that you were just as important as those other machers (big shots). And to him, you were.

Dr. Wainberg was at once a man of the people, a man of great faith, a real mentch. It was almost hard to fathom that this same man was responsible for saving the lives of millions of people. In the field of medical sciences he was the equivalent of a rock star.

His work changed the world for millions in Africa, for gays, for women. His activism moved multinationals, and countries. He was a force to be reckoned with.

 

Presentation of the 2016 D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal - David Birnbaum, Dr. Mark Wainberg, Glenn J. Nashen

Presentation of the 2016 D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medal – David Birnbaum, Dr. Mark Wainberg, Glenn J. Nashen

Dr. Wainberg was born in Park Extension and made Cote Saint-Luc his home for more than 30 years. He was head of AIDS research at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital and director of the McGill University Aids Centre. He served as president of the International AIDS Society and presided over worldwide symposiums.

As an extraordinary individual whose accomplishments encircle the globe, and as someone whom I had befriended for nearly 30 years, I was delighted to be the impetus in nominating Dr. Wainberg for a local award just last year – the D’Arcy McGee citizenship medals from the Quebec National Assembly, presented by MNA David Birnbaum.
“I am very grateful that my research career in the field of HIV/AIDS has helped countless people around the world to live improved lives despite being infected by a dreaded virus,” Dr. Wainberg said at the ceremony in his humble office, where I was honoured to be his sole invitee.
Also last year, I asked my fellow city councillors to award Dr. Wainberg with a special recognition for his humanitarian gesture in donating a Torah scroll in Jerusalem in memory of a young woman, Shira Banki, following her brutal slaying at the 2015 Tel Aviv Pride Parade.

Wainberg 2016 Torah donation

“Your work in the area of AIDS researcher is well-known around the world. Your donation of a restored Torah to the Ethiopian community of Jerusalem is a wonderful act. We are proud of you as a distinguished Côte Saint-Luc resident,” Acting Mayor Dida Berku said at the February 2016 presentation to Dr. Wainberg.

 

Wainberg Council Feb 2016

Cote Saint-Luc Council presents a special recognition award to Dr. Mark Wainberg (Feb. 8, 2016)

When I first ran for city council, I reached out to Dr. Wainberg who was then the president of the TBDJ Congregation on Bailey. His support of my campaign and his warm friendship were unequivocal. He asked for nothing in return, satisfied in helping to build his community, one leader at a time.

Having known Dr. Wainberg for so many years I can attest to his profound sense of healing the world. He was a compassionate and benevolent academic and community leader, well deserving of many honours including the Order of Canada, the National Order of Quebec and France’s Legion d’honneur.

Glenn J. Nashen and Dr. Mark Wainberg (Oct. 2009)

Dr. Wainberg’s contributions began here, at home, and spread around the globe. The biblical responsibility of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, was a calling Dr. Wainberg took to heart and to which he dedicated his life’s work.

His work will go on. His name will be remembered. May his memory be a blessing.

 

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Three cheers for CSL Public Safety teams

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The Public safety Team: Mayor and Council join the volunters from EMS and the Public Security Agents and Dispatchers for a festive gathering (Photo CSL Comms)

The Public safety Team: Mayor and Council join the volunteers from EMS and the Public Security Agents and Dispatchers for a festive gathering (Photo CSL Comms)

The Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services volunteers threw an impressive home-made dinner celebration for their volunteer corps along with the Public Security Agents and Emergency Dispatchers. The banquet hall at the Aquatic and Community Centre was the venue for a tasty buffet dinner, all of it cooked up by a volunteer team of amateur chefs that could have doubled for professional caterers.

The Public Safety Kitchen Crew: Mark Metivier (EMS Captain of Education), Robert Rousseau (Captain of Operations), Brandon Luden (Captain of Logistics), Christiane Poirier (Lieutenant of Education), Marvin Zwikler (Lieutenant of Operations), Eddy Afram (EMS member).

The Public Safety Kitchen Crew: Mark Metivier (EMS Captain of Education), Robert Rousseau (Captain of Operations), Brandon Luden (Captain of Logistics), Christiane Poirier (Lieutenant of Education), Marvin Zwikler (Lieutenant of Operations), Eddy Afram (EMS member).

The Luden family stands out as unique among our Public Safety family. Erwin Luden and I go way back to the days of the CSL Emergency Measure Organization. While I volunteered all my free time (and then some) to cover first responder shifts on our Rescue-Medical-Fire vehicle, Erwin gave freely of his time patrolling the streets in a green pickup truck as part of our Auxiliary Security Patrol. Dressed in brown uniforms with yellow stripes we were well-known and appreciated by the residents back then.

Now, fast forward 36 years and Luden is still surveying the city but now as a professional Public Security Agent with the power to enforce municipal bylaws and to issue contraventions for infractions (write tickets!).

Meanwhile, his two sons, Brandon and Jordan, are active volunteers at CSL EMS. Brandon has been around for several years holding officer positions. I’m sure Jordan will follow suit in this noble cause.

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with the Luden Men: Proud Public Security Agent Irwin Luden and EMS sons Brandon and Jordan.

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with the Luden Men: Proud Public Security Agent Erwin Luden and EMS sons Brandon and Jordan.

And, not to be outdone by her brothers, Gillian Luden has been serving in the IDF for the past year. Hopefully she’ll be back one day and choose between joining CSL Public Security or EMS! Clearly, Bernice, the Luden mom, has done some very good work in raising these kids (with Erwin doing the enforcement I’m sure!).

 

EMS volunteer Shelson Goldberg will soon celebrate his 29th anniversary of service. Pictured here with longtime medic and friend Hershey.

EMS volunteer Sheldon Goldberg will soon celebrate his 29th anniversary of service. Pictured here with longtime medic and friend Hershey Shaffer.

 

Sheldon Goldberg is no ordinary volunteer. Despite a family business to run, children to watch over and leadership responsibilities at Montreal’s Hatzolah rescue squad, Sheldon has been donning his CSL EMS uniform every week for an incredible 29 years.  way to go Shloime! Biz a hundred und tzvantzik!

Seasoned EMS volunteer Yvan Martinbault with Cllr. Ruth Kovac

Seasoned EMS volunteer Yvan Martinbault with Cllr. Ruth Kovac

Yvan Martinbault is a bailiff by day and a long serving CSL EMS medic by night. I worked for over a year with Yvan covering EMS shifts about eight years ago. He is a polished, skilled and calm medic who is dedicated to his pastime and to our residents. In his free time, Yvan has served on the Canadian Ski Patrol (my alma mater, where I served for five years as Assistant Patrol leader in Laurentian Division at Mont Alta). For the past many years Yvan has served on the local patrols at La Reserve and Mont-Graceau in St. Donat. Bravo Yvan.

These are just a few profiles of an otherwise great group of man and woman, each with an equally interesting story. I congratulate them all.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom is responsible for EMS and Public Security along with Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom is responsible for EMS and Public Security along with Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein addressed the party-goers and said that we are all here as a large family, taking care of one another and supporting each other. “We cannot change the past, we cannot predict the future, but we can enjoy this moment, together, like one big family,” Brownstein said.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom currently handles the Public Safety dossier on council overseeing EMS, Public Security and Emergency Communications, a position I have held almost uninterrupted (save for a brief Montreal merger) since 1990. I continue to oversee volunteer Citizens on Patrol and Emergency Preparedness. Cllr. Ruth Kovac has been involved in this area as well throughout the years.

Sam and I work closely with the dynamic duo of  Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert. Jordy and Philippe oversee 150 volunteers and a professional staff of about 20.

At this time of year it is a good opportunity to say thank you to all of these fine folk for doing their part in keeping Cote Saint-Lucers safe and secure. They’re patrolling our streets, watching over our property, helping us when needed most and ensuring that we continue to live in the best city around. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year to each of you. Un gros merci!

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