Great community theatre in the West End, Tuesday and Wednesday night

Leave a comment

One of Montreal’s best community-based theatrical producers will launch a two-day run of the Broadway sensation, Anything Goes.

Anisa Cameron was born to be in showbiz. Born in New York, but raised under the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, her grandmother was a Rockette, her father was the lead singer of the Folies Bergere at the Tiffany Theatre inside the Tropicana and her mother, a dancer, was a chorus girl who worked her way up to company manager. Cameron and her brother, a dancer, were more or less raised backstage at the Tiffany Theatre. Although their parents begged and pleaded, both chose to pursue a life in the arts.

Anisa Cameron

Cameron has been at the helm of the Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society (CSLDS) since its inception some seven years ago while simultaneously heading up the burgeoning drama program at Cote Saint-Luc’s Bialik High School. This year, she launched the JPPS drama program with the hit musical, The Little Mermaid.

Originally penned in 1934 with music and lyrics by American composer and songwriter Cole Porter, Anything Goes is a musical comedy that has been updated several times throughout the last century.

Through her many sold-out performances at the CSLDS including Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Catch Me if You Can, as well as exceptional Bialik Theatre musicals, some originals and others from Broadway, Cameron has proven her skills at entertaining audiences both young and old.

This week. Anything Goes should be no exception. You don’t have to know anyone in the cast to come and enjoy local theatre, with live music by Nick Burgess and his accomplished musicians. All this with free parking, cheap refreshments, great seats and tickets at just 15 bucks. Get your tickets now for this Tuesday or Wednesday night’s shows at ShowTix4U or by visiting the Bialik Theatre Facebook page.

Irwin Cotler Award presented to Madison Gold

Leave a comment

 

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is presenting the Irwin Cotler Award to a student at a Côte Saint-Luc school in grade 6 and grade 11 who has devoted themselves to the cause of social justice. “All the schools in Côte Saint-Luc will be asked to nominate one of their students from grade 6 and grade 11 to receive the Irwin Cotler Award,” said Acting Mayor Glenn J. Nashen. “It will be given the student who best exemplifies the act of improving the world and fighting for social justice. This has been the hallmark of Professor Cotler’s life and we think this award is a fitting tribute.”

For the last five decades, Irwin Cotler has devoted his intellect and advocacy skills to the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, first as an international human rights lawyer and later as a Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, where he made the pursuit of international justice a government priority. Côte Saint-Luc honoured him on its Human Rights Walkway in 2015.

 

Global News report

A Short Walk to Knowledge

Leave a comment

Guest contributor: Judy Hagshi

Judy_Hagshi_2009

 

 

 

In the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, Nya is a young Sudanese girl who must walk to the local pond to get water for her family twice a day – except that the local pond is actually two hours away. She makes the long two hour walk to the pond with empty jugs in the morning and then makes the two hour return trek with her heavy load arriving home in time for a sparse lunch. She repeats the whole four hour trip again in the afternoon just to be able to do her part to help sustain her family.

 

Thankfully, we do not live in Sudan and do not need to schlep water eight hours a day in order to sustain ourselves and our families. But, we do require other sustenance such as health and love and knowledge in order to succeed and flourish as a community and society. This can be exemplified by the short story titled A Short Walk to Knowledge by Judy Lynn Hagshi.

JPPS Bialik 2016

Judy is a young(ish) mother who walks her son Jeremy to school one morning. The school is JPPS and now that it has moved back into Cote Saint-Luc, the JPPS/Bialik campus is a mere ten minute walk from their home. Upon arrival, a celebration is going on: the school is welcoming a brand-new Sefer Torah which was written by hand over the past twelve months especially for the JPPS/Bialik synagogue. A meaningful and spiritual ceremony ensues ending with a school-wide hora and festive meal. Once the Mazal Tovs are given, Judy makes her way back home.

JPPS Torah Dedication 2016

JPPS Torah Dedication 2016

Later that afternoon, Judy makes the invigorating walk again to pick up young Jeremy from school. It’s a beautiful Spring day, her favourite time of the year, so she diverts her course and runs an errand at the local shmall. She arrives at the school and chats with some of the parents about the moving ceremony of the morning. She and Jeremy race back home.

JPPS Invention Convention 2016

JPPS Invention Convention 2016

A few hours later, Judy makes the stimulating walk again with her daughter Nathalie. Bialik is hosting The Invention Convention for grade 7 students. Nathalie and her friend Eva have designed The Lemonizer, a gadget to cut an apple while simultaneously sprinkling it with lemon juice. The lunch room is full of inventions and inquiry and knowledge exchange.

JPPS School of Tomorrow

Judy’s husband Glenn and children Nicole and Jeremy also return to the school (Jeremy riding his bike this time) to check out The Invention Convention as well as JPPS’s Open House. Young parents thirsty for knowledge flock to “The School of Tomorrow”. JPPS has revamped the educational process through innovation and technology: gone is the teacher’s desk looming imposingly at the front of the room and is replaced with a cozy corner where teachers can spend one-on-one time with students. Each classroom also has standing and bicycle desks to keep children’s minds and bodies active. The school is abuzz with so much excitement and warmth that the Hebrew teachers break into song and dance as some parents come to check out the class.

 

JPPS Marnie Stein Principal 2016
As the day comes to an end and Judy returns home, she reflects on how much has occurred today: she has taken three short walks, each long on nachas and knowledge and menschlichkeit. What a fulfilling day!!!

Welcome back JPPS

Leave a comment

JPPS welcome

After an absence of nearly 10 years from Cote Saint-Luc the century old elementary school returned yesterday with Kindergarten to Grade 6 students moving into their new quarters on Kildare Road. The Jewish Peretz School set down roots in CSL with its new building on Wavell Road back in 1957. In 1971 that school merged with the Jewish Peoples School on Van Horne to form Jewish Peretz and Peoples Schools (JPPS). Bialik High School was established in 1972 on Wavell as well. 10 years ago the Wavell site was sold to the Yavne School and JPPS merged all elementary classes at Van Horne.

I attended Jewish Peretz School since Nursery (now called Pre-K) along with my three brothers. I also went to Bialik High School on Wavell and served as the founding President of the Bialik Graduates Society. My children attend JPPS-Bialik as well. So, as a graduate, parent and city councillor I am particularly pleased with the school’s return to Cote Saint-Luc, opening up an educational venue rich in history and reputation for local, young families to consider.

Head of School Maureen Baron and her team signaled this move last spring. The JPPS building on Van Horne was sold to Yaldei (early intervention treatment and specialized therapies for children with developmental needs) and now JPPS-Bialik is once housed within a single, unified campus.

Hats off to Maureen, JPPS Principal Marnie Stein, President Harley Eisman, Past President Jamie Ross, Move Committee chair Lee Wise, the parent leaders and the staff, past and present, as well as Bialik Principal Avi Satov for this tremendous project and for shaping the next generation of youngsters at JPPS.

I toured the newly renovated facilities located within the Bialik High School campus two weeks ago and could not help but feel the tremendous enthusiasm of Marnie and VP, Debra Michael. The new classrooms are bright and very modern. One entire wall in each room is a whiteboard (gone are the days of chalk and blackboards). The entire wall is free to be written upon, by teachers and by students. Smart boards will be installed as well.

Mademoiselle St. Martin at a new JPPS white board

Mademoiselle St. Martin at a new JPPS white board

The childrens’ desks are organized in pods, with the teacher’s desk able to be moved to any location in the room, complete with extra stools for students who need to sit with the teacher. Each class also has a stand-up desk and a bicycle-desk for those students needing to burn off a little steam or who are otherwise fidgety and could have been disruptive if not for these innovative ideas.

I suspect it won’t be too long before JPPS students will be assigned iPads for their work assignments as the Hilroy and #2 HB pencil take their place in history.

The Drop-Off on Day One were expertly coordinated by the school and CSL Public Safety Department, together with the Commander of Police Station 9 to ensure that the drop-off and pickup of students ran smoothly.

Public Security agents were out in full force ensuring safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. PS Director Jordy Reichson and Lieutenant Anthony Tsakon were in control along with agent Tony Labataglia masterfully waving traffic through the intersection and assisting students safely across the street. Visual markers were extremely clear and well-organized. JPPS personnel were also well positioned and helpful in moving things along together with Marnie, Maureen and a few parent volunteers.

My wife, Judy, was one of those volunteers and had this to say,”We are so fortunate that our children attend a school with such dedicated leaders.”

Grade3class_thumbsup

Grade 3 JPPS students celebrate their new home.

All in all it was the best drop off I’ve witnessed in CSL. I’m sure that every parent was pleased with the city’s involvement in making this a very secure scene.

JPPS-Bialik spokesperson Shelley Paris thanked the city for its cooperation. “The security team was out in force directing traffic and explaining parking rules to parents,” she said. “Everyone felt so welcome and taken care of!  Kudos to all!”

The city has put up banners on Cavendish Blvd. at at its underpasses to formally welcome JPPS to CSL.

District 2 Councillor Mike Cohen said,”Over the years I have worked very closely with the administration to make sure that parents abide by the existing parking regulations and not block driveways. Police Station 9 do patrol the area and they have been known to hand out tickets, so please before you park see if there is a sign warning you not to pull up there.”

Additional reporting by Mike Cohen

Jews on the verge of a ‘YidLife Crisis’

2 Comments

Jews on the verge of a ‘YidLife Crisis’ | The Times of Israel.

Two graduates from Cote Saint-Luc’s Bialik High School have produced an online comedy series, a la Seinfeld, all in Yiddish? Oy, can you imagine such narishkeit?

This is pure Cote Saint-Luc / Montreal Jewish genius! Drinking in the very best that Montreal’s multicultural Mile End has to offer, Chaimie and Leizer, best friends and debating adversaries, tackle life, love, and lactose intolerance in this foodie centric web series done entirely in their grandparents’ Yiddish.

Bravo to Eli and Jamie. A shainem dunk un zol zein gezunt. And I encourage you to film in beautiful Cote Saint-Luc, maybe at the CavenYiddish mall? And how about at the JGH?

Great idea. So funny. Very creative.

 

Bialik students to get iPads in the classroom

Leave a comment

Free Press June 11, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press June 11, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Marking Raoul Wallenberg Centennial

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.

Jewish day school systems scrap merger plan

Leave a comment

Jewish day school systems scrap merger plan.(Montreal Gazette, Nov, 11, 2011)

JPPS-Bialik, UTT-Herzliah schools to merge

1 Comment

JPPS-Bialik, UTT-Herzliah schools to merge

Historic JPPS school on Van Horne likely to be sold

By Joel Goldenberg

Jewish schools JPPS-Bialik and United Talmud Torah-Herzliah will be merging, leading to the creation of three campuses in the west end, a new high school in the West Island, and the probable selling of the historic Jewish Peoples and Peretz Schools on Van Horne.

The announcement was made to The Suburban at Federation CJA headquarters last Thursday by JPPS-Bialik president Arnold Cohen, UTT-Herzliah president Charles Leibovich and Federation CJA president Jack Hasen.

Leibovich said the project was the initiative of the presidents of the two schools, with the help of Federation CJA.

“We as schools will be independent schools, running it,” he added.

“There will be a new combined board created, which will run the entire four-campus school system, and built with the best people we have,” said Cohen.

“The schools came to us, and we helped provide the professional and educational expertise to test and develop the viability of this merger, and we will be providing help in the fundraising,” said Hasen.

They revealed that a new pre-K to Grade 6 elementary school will be located at what will be a newly renovated UTT/Herzliah site at St. Kevin in Snowdon, a Grade 7 and 8 middle school will be built over the Y’s parking lot nearby on Westbury Avenue, and the existing Bialik High School in Côte St. Luc will be the new high school for Grades 9 to 11, with a new fourth floor, second gym and planned athletic field.

The location of the planned high school for the West Island has yet to be determined.

“We have no high school in the West Island,” Leibovich pointed out. “We have a big Jewish population there and there are a lot of people who don’t want to make the trip into the city. Between us, we have over 200 kids from the West Island and that’s a good basis to start building a school there.”

The city campuses are expected to be completed in 2013 and the West island school has a 2014 completion date.

There will also be a tuition support program to improve access to all mainstream schools. A dollar figure for all of this has not yet been determined.

According to material released by the schools, the rationale for the merger are perceptions that the current schools do not offer a broad-based curriculum and are not centres of excellence, and the reality of declining enrolment and changing demographics.

“This is about bringing together two excellent Jewish day schools and making them better,” Cohen said. “The concept is we are going to have a full merger, from pre-school to Grade 11. We’ll be coming together as a true Jewish community pluralistic school to build on our strengths.”

Cohen pointed out that while UTT-Herzliah has a more religious focus, including the reading of rabbinical text and Hebrew; JPPS/Bialik focuses more on Jewish cultural heritage and has the Yiddish language in its curriculum.

“By putting these schools together, you can put those [curriculums] together in a more interesting way and you can build on it with proper financial investment, streaming it and making it more diverse,” Cohen added. “For instance, if kids in our system who are learning Yiddish and Sholom Aleichem want a little more religion, they can have it and vice versa. With enough critical mass, you can make a big tent Jewish curriculum. We will also graduate students much more rich and fluent in French, who will be confident living in Montreal and working in French.

Our schools are also very complementary, ours has a large English section with a small French section and [UTT-Herzliah] has a large French section with a smaller English section.”

Leibovich said the complementary aspect of the school “gives us potential to add streams. There are people in the Jewish community who want a more traditional approach but don’t want the Hebrew and we’re going to be able to offer these opportunities…. The reality is, we have a lot in common. The parents at JPPS/Bialik are probably graduates of Herzliah, and vice versa, and the difference is we’re going to build a school that can respect the differences.

“The most important thing is we want to do this right,” he added. “This is doing something different for the Jewish community, how can we excel.”

“There is a commonality of vision for the new school,” said Cohen.

There will be an open meeting with the parents of UTT and Bialik tonight at 7 p.m., held at Bialik and at Herzliah on St. Kevin.

Some of the questions that need to be answered are:

1. Who is in charge of the transition. Is it Mr. Cohen, Mr. Leibovich, Mr. Hasen or someone else?

2. How do they plan to accomplish the integration of the different cultures and all the physical plant and personnel changes in only two years?

3. What happens to Bialik’s ongoing significant private grant that exists so long as Yiddish is taught?

4. Will streaming be continued for higher level achievement?

5. Who is in charge of selling the unessential real estate and where will those funds go?

6. Will JPPS merge with UTT (elementary level) next year when UTT’s two elementaries are merging anyway?

7. Will the new school be unionized or as a new entity attempt decertification of the existing union?

School changes coming to CSL

1 Comment

The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has announced that parents wishing to enrol their children in a new high school at the Giovanni Palatucci Facility (formerly Wagar) in Côte Saint-Luc will first be asked to fill out and submit an application form between February 7 and 18.

Plans call for the new school, with a focus on enrichment courses, heritage programs and sports concentration, to begin operating next August. For the first year enrolment will be limited to Secondary I students only. The EMSB Council of Commissioners must first adopt a new three year plan before the school can formally register students.

Application forms can be downloaded from the EMSB website (www.emsb.qc.ca). The Council of Commissioners will convene once the application period concludes to determine the viability of starting the school next year.

Meanwhile, the Jewish day school system is facing major changes as meetings take place this week to announce a proposed merger of the JPPS-Bialik schools, which have been housed in CSL since the 1960s (the JPPS “Peretz” branch on Wavell Road was sold to Yavne school about 3 years ago) with the UTT-Herzliah schools.  This surprise announcement would be the biggest overhaul of the Jewish day school system in decades (JPPS was the merger of two day schools in 1971) which could see school closures, new buildings in Snowdon and the West Island. 

News of death spread quickly over social media

Leave a comment

News of death spread quickly over social media

By CHARLIE FIDELMAN, The Gazette August 11, 2010

MONTREAL – Screams coming from the Attar family home shattered the calm at 6:40 p.m. Monday, shocking neighbours on Randall Ave. By the time paramedics arrived on the scene, 14-year-old stab victim Shirel Attar was dead.

By 8 p.m., at least one hour before police announced that they were investigating a suspicious death, the horrible news had travelled, largely via Internet social media sites.

“Kids today, it’s not the old days -you can’t keep anything from them. This was flying through the Internet, MSN, Facebook, Twitter,” said Myron Carls, 38, manager of summer day camp at JPPS-Bialik school.

“I was completely devastated,” said Carls, who got a text message about the killing from a friend who had probably heard about it on Facebook.

Elie Ohayon, 17, one of the counsellors at the day camp, said he heard about it on Facebook, about an hour after it happened. “I heard a girl got stabbed,” he said.

By 9 p.m., the information spread as far as a summer camp up in the Laurentians, and back again to Montreal as camp teens called their parents with the Facebook news.

Many had the right information -later confirmed by the Montreal police -that the main suspect in the death was the victim’s older brother, Maor Attar.

Twitter users sent messages saying that they lived near the Attar house, or went to the same school or that their cousin was in the same class, while others reported rumours.

“It’s disgusting how someone can do that to a 14 year old girl,” said one.

“Apparently a Bialik High School student died in the CSL area … ridiculous! either suicide or murder by her brother are the rumours now …!” tweeted another.

More messages came after police arrested Attar at 11 p.m.: “It’s crazzzzy. the police found her bro though and are questioning him.”

People have been giving instantaneous accounts of breaking news on Twitter and Facebook for a while now, spreading information on events before the media -or even the authorities – report them, Concordia University professor Lisa Lynch said via email.

“In a case as local as this, Twitter can’t be expected to control the spread of information that might be damaging to a criminal investigation,” Lynch said.

But I think it’s still unclear what the rules are for the media” when it comes to identities of victims whose names are circulating widely on the Internet.

Web messages break down into several types, Lynch said, from eyewitness accounts that are live-tweeted as they happen -such as soldier Tearah Moore sending tweets and pictures from a hospital bed after a shooting rampage last November left 13 dead and 30 wounded at the Fort Hood, Tex., military base -to reaction and re-tweets to events that may or may not have happened, as in the case of the “death” of Willie Nelson or Bill Cosby.

“And finally, you have social media exchanges that actually create events, such as what happened over the past weekend with the Air Canada wheelchair fiasco,” Lynch said.

An explosion of Twitter outrage forced the airline to fix Tanner Bawn’s wheelchair, which broke as he flew to New York for a charity event and sightseeing trip.

Closer to home, news of the death of beloved Montreal singer Lhasa de Sela in January from breast cancer was leaked on Facebook three days before confirmation in a news release.

By yesterday evening, the RIP Shirel Attar page on Facebook had 49 members.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/News+death+spread+quickly+over+social+media/3383784/story.html#ixzz0wJ53hrcQ

Counsellors will be at school following Shirel Attar murder

Leave a comment

Counsellors will be at school following Shirel Attar murder

By MAX HARROLD, The Gazette August 11, 2010

MONTREAL – School officials in tight-knit Côte St. Luc say they’ll be ready to offer support to grieving teens who knew Shirel Attar.

The 14-year-old girl was killed Monday, and her brother, 18, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the case.

Classes at JPPS-Bialik school -which Shirel attended through grade school and until the 2008-09 school year, as a Grade 7 student -don’t resume until Aug. 27. But school officials met yesterday to plan how best to respond, explained Elizabeth Kennell, the school’s director of advancement.

Kennell said although many of Shirel’s friends might already know about what happened because of social networking and texting, the environment at the school, which has 1,100 students, could be quite challenging.

“We would not avoid dealing with this,” Kennell said. “It’s critical to address it right away. Her friends will probably be devastated and many of them will be affected. We’ll have counsellors for them.

“It’s important that we learn about what happened,” she added, “so that we can allay their fears.”

There was no comment from Hebrew Academy, where Shirel’s brother was a student until he graduated last year, or from a staff member at Marymount Academy, where Shirel was most recently a student, in the

2009-10 academic year. Senior managers of both schools were said to be away on vacation.

Hanna, a 15-year-old counsellor for a day camp taking place at Bialik, said yesterday she did not know Shirel, but that the killing will likely be tough to take for many in the area’s Jewish community.

“It’s a big shock,” said Hanna, who spoke on condition her last name not be published. “I was just thinking last night how protective parents are and that we’re always saying, ‘We want our freedom.’ When my father heard about this, he said, ‘You see, this is why we are so protective.’ ”

Fellow counsellor Elie Ohayon, 17, said he heard about the stabbing “within an hour” on Facebook.

Myron Carls, the day camp’s manager, heard about it from a friend who texted him. Carls said many Jews in the neighbourhood will have a personal reaction even if they didn’t know the Attar family.

“It affects you like you lost one of your own,” said the 38-year-old father of three children under the age of 10. “Everybody in the community will unite to help out the family in some way if they can.”

Carls said he knows there will be questions about the incident from kids in his day camp, who are between the ages of 5 and 13.

“Something like this, they don’t know how to relate. They think in terms of movies or video games. We have to figure out what to say. Until we do, we’ll keep the kids focused on other things.”

At Confederation Park, about two blocks from the Attar home, news about the killing shocked Carrie Burns, 37, who was in the playground with her 16-month-old daughter Lauryn.

“I’m very surprised,” she said about the location of the killing, in her neighbourhood and on a street with large homes and SUVs.

“It really makes you think,” said Burns, who also has a 17-year-old daughter. “I trust her and her friends, but you never know who she might end up meeting.”

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Counsellors+will+school/3383781/story.html#ixzz0wJ3dxqEQ

Cote Saint-Luc’s Super Man and Bialik Alumnus

2 Comments

Glenn Nashen: Cote Saint-Luc’s Super Man and Bialik Alumnus

JPPS-Bialik Newsletter – September 2009

by David Smajovitz, JPPS-Bialik Communications Officer

If you reside in “the Luc” (Cote Saint-Luc), chances are that the September Bialik alumnus of the month and longtime city councillor (first elected in 1990), Glenn Nashen ’79, does not represent a foreign name. Come to think of it, due to his lifetime of involvement in the Montreal Jewish community and a myriad of other volunteering ventures, Glenn Nashen is likely a recognizable name regardless of where you live. When he is not attending meetings pertaining to Agence Ometz, (where he serves on the board of directors), volunteering his time to Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Medical Services (2009 marks his 30th year), or VCOP (Cote Saint-Luc’s own volunteer security service that he founded), he is proud to be the director of Public Affairs and Communications for the Jewish General Hospital. Mr. Nashen credits his own personal mission of practicing tikkun olam to his days at JPS and Bialik

“I wanted to help people who could not help themselves. That really is the spirit of tikkun olam. I didn’t learn that from anywhere other than my parents and from Bialik.” Mr. Nashen also deems that part of the foundation for his lifetime of leadership and public service was laid during the intense efforts to release Jewish political dissident Anatoly Sharansky and others from Russian prisons during the Refusnik movement time period. JPPS-Bialik as an organization was in the forefront of those efforts, as was our September honouree.

“Bialik was a magnificent stepping stone for me to get smarter and smarter. It created a real sense of leadership.” Throughout his time in the school, Glenn held the school newspaper editorship, as well being responsible for creating the first Bialik graduates society after a request from the late, great Nachum Wilchesky Z”L.

It is quite apparent that Glenn Nashen is both a Bialik and a Cote Saint-Luc success story, but this veteran legislator and public relations expert impeccably carries out both responsibilities despite that fact that he did not attend law school, nor does he have a formal degree in communications. In actuality, Mr. Nashen graduated McGill University with a degree in Industrial Relations. He explained to me that, while he had always recognized that his true calling and passion was public service, his life’s journey, thus far, could not have been foreseen way back in high school. To that end, Mr. Nashen advises that young people ought to “stick their toes in many different areas, even if the waters may seem a bit cold.”

As a current JPPS parent who credits his own parents for the sacrifices they bore to be able send him to JPPS and Bialik, Mr. Nashen closed by saying, “They could not have made a better decision for me than what they chose, and I could not have made a better decision than to send my children here. My hope is that it (JPPS-Bialik) will do the same for my children as it did for me. The people are different, but the neshama (soul) is still there.”

Hampstead’s Fleet turn restrictions, An exchange of letters

2 Comments

Below is an unsigned letter received from a Hampstead resident.  My response follows.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Subject: New Traffic signals on Fleet Rd.

Dear Mr. Nashen,

Your blog entry: “Hampstead’s left turn restrictions destroy gains to traffic flow and threaten relations – February 24, 2009” is arrogant, selfish self- serving: it is only for the propose of improving the life of your residents (Cote-St-Luc) at the expense of the neighboring municipalities.

Your comments emphasize only one purpose “improvements to traffic flow followed years of complaints from Côte Saint-Luc’s motorists”, while completely disregarding the noise, increase in traffic and the pollution generated every morning from the overflow of traffic passing through Hampstead’s residential side-streets mainly by motorists from your city that are trying to avoid the Fleet Road’s traffic jam.

For years, the city of Côte Saint-Luc has blocked plans to extend Cavendish North to allow all motorist (not just from your municipality but from all neighboring municipalities) a much needed new access to the highways, while your city justified it’s action as the need to protect your residents from a potential increase in traffic, noise and pollution. Therefore, I find it amazing that you chose to criticize the Hampstead Mayor for trying to do the same for its residents.

Your city’s past actions resulted in no real solution for access to the highways and made Fleet Road, with its limited capacity, the only path to go north, resulting in long delays, increase noise, growing pollution, and worse of all, a danger path to our children that are trying to cross it to access Hampstead’s main park.

So next time before you consider threatening “the warm, family-like relations that have flourished since the end of the Lang-Adessky Cold War Years.” You should question your own willingness to keep this “family-like” relationship in consideration not only for Fleet Road’s traffic situation, but also your city self-indulgence to start charging Hampstead an amount close to $400,000 over 4 years just to allow Hampstead residences to continue their access Côte Saint-Luc’s liberty, while allowing others like, Montreal-West residences to continue their access for free.

I like to take this opportunity to thank Hampstead’s Mayor and the city Councillors for taking a stand in this very important issue.
Sincerely,

LK,

Hampstead Residence


My response:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear LK:

I will break with my policy of ignoring anonymous letters (why won’t you identify yourself anyway?) and offer you the following thoughts:

My job as an elected official, I am proud to admit, is indeed to try to improve the lives of our residents. Your opinion that this is at the expense of others is rather inaccurate.

The extension of Cavendish has been viewed positively by the CSL Council for the past 11 years (since 1998). I much prefer to proactively shape the future, to our mutual benefit, than to dwell in the past, which serves no constructive purpose. Incidentally, The Town of Hampstead has gone on record as favouring the Cavendish extension as well, for it would ease access to the West Island for Hampstead residents and would likely divert lots of traffic off of Fleet. This remains a beneficial option to your town which, you should realize, will add significant traffic to CSL roads.

You should also realize that there is a significant number of Hampstead residents inconvenienced each and every morning as they try to return home from daily trips to Bialik High School, Hebrew Academy, the CLSC, Cavendish Mall, CSL Library, health clinics and so on. They too are complaining of the new Fleet turn restrictions that prevent them from returning directly home.

Speaking of the library, it was your Town Council that freely entered into arrangements with the City of Cote Saint-Luc. The more Hampstead residents that choose to make use of the library, the lower the per capita cost. If you have any issues with the agreement between our municipalities I suggest you address your own Council.

By the way, I have not criticized your Mayor or Councillors. I have enjoyed warm, cordial and friendly relationships with members of Hampstead Council for many, many years (I have pictures to prove it!) and hope this will continue for many more.

That is not to say that we cannot have disagreements and in this case I believe that your Council has done a disservice to motorists in both of our communities. If you doubt this assertion, I invite you to observe the backlog of cars on Fleet, from Netherwood Crescent (Western end) backing up to Cavendish Blvd. In this traffic jam you will likely see your own neighbours and other fellow Hampstead residents who do not share your opinion in thanking Hampstead for “taking a stand”.

I once again take this opportunity to express my profound disapproval of Hampstead’s new traffic plan on Fleet, a position no doubt shared by several hundred motorists (or more) from Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead. Cote Saint-Luc motorists do not seek to disturb the tranquility of residents of Netherwood and its side streets any more than Hampstead residents do on Kellert, Kildare and Heywood.

We are neighbours, friends and family and our actions and words should better reflect this spirit.

Sincerely,

Glenn J. Nashen
Cote Saint-Luc

Click for more from Councillor Mike Cohen