JPPS Michael Savelson Career and Hobbies Fair features CSL vCOP, artist and global telecommunications giant and the mayor


vCOP at JPPS Career Day (Can you guess which one’s mine?)

JPPS Home and School presented “The Michael Savelson Career and Hobbies Fair 2017” last week.  Michael was well known to many West-End residents and he left a legacy of devotion to the school which was exemplified by his yearly presentations on Career Day that were anticipated and received with great enthusiasm (especially his tradition of giving out Tootsie rolls!).  JPPS proudly named this annual event in his honour.

Michael Litvack creating one of his Montreal area oil paintings at Career Day to be auctioned doff by the school, May 2017

Parents, grandparents and friends of JPPS students filled the gymnasium to interact with the elementary school kids about careers and hobbies, answering questions and even leaving them with souvenirs.

Teaching the kids to be safe outside, and to join vCOP in about 30 years

Presenters included Cote Saint-Luc painter extraordinaire Michel Litvack and Hampstead businessman Justin Goldenblatt of an Israeli Uniden Cellular solutions provider. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein also met the students to discuss his first year in office.

I’ve participated in this event a couple times before speaking about the Jewish General Hospital, EMS and ambulance services, and about City Hall. This time around I was accompanied by CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol supervisor Mitchell Herf. We spoke about this amazing service and about the wonderful volunteer work being provided by the corps of 80 dedicated members.

The kids had a great time learning about staying safe crossing the street, seeing our Automated External Defibrillator shout out emergency instructions and in holding the safety devices we carry around in our vans.

Kudos to the co-chairs for this event, Beth Tannenbaum and Karen Worsoff.


A Short Walk to Knowledge

Leave a comment

Guest contributor: Judy Hagshi





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.”


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

JPPS opens its doors

Leave a comment

jpps open house

Lest we forget

Leave a comment

Recognizing our heroes.  Honouring their courage. Never forgetting their sacrifice.

This was the theme of last Thursday’s annual Remembrance Day commemoration in Hampstead.  I enjoy attending this event each year because of the large turnout of school children from the community and experiencing the moment and the memories together with them.

Longtime Hampstead Public Security officer Mike Fitzgerald was the master of ceremonies.  Once again, Fitzgerald demonstrated his unique skills at blasting out commands to the soldiers assembled there from the Royal Montreal Regiment.

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen (2nd from left) and Ruth Kovac (4th from right) join Hampstead Town Council, Police Commander Bissonnette, members of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Royal Montreal Regiment

With beautiful words of welcome to the children, Mayor William Steinberg, handed the program over to the students from Hampstead School, Solomon Schecter Academy, JPPS, Ecole de la Mosaique (on Guelph in CSL) and Ecole des Amies du Monde (on Mackle Road).  With great inspiration and enthusiasm, the kids recited poems and sang songs of remembrance.

Councillor Ruth Kovac and I were invited to deposit a wreath on behalf of the City of Cote Saint-Luc.

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac, accompanied by Hampstead Town Manager Richard Sun, representing the Royal Canadian Legion, deposit a wreath

The mood was solemn, the air crisp and silence prevailed at just the right moments, not an easy task for a couple hundred school kids.  It was a splendid opportunity to pass on the tradition of honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Kudos to the Town of Hampstead, Mayor Steinberg and Members of Council along with organizer Chandra Devenyi, Interim Supervising Manager, for a wonderful and dignified event.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Read more:

Mike Cohen’s recap of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Cote Saint-Luc

JPPS’ Rita Guindi, Winner of the Nachum Wilchesky Memorial

1 Comment

JPPS’ Rita Guindi, Winner of the Nachum Wilchesky Memorial Educational Leadership Award


Rita Guindi


Côte Saint-Luc resident and JPPS teacher extraordinaire Rita Guindi was selected as this year’s recipient of the Nachum Wilchesky Memorial Educational Leadership Award at last weeks JPPS-Bialik Annual General Meeting.

A French teacher at JPPS for more than 40 years, Madame Guindi received this prestigious award in the name of one of the school’s most revered leaders initiated in recognition of his 60 plus years devoted to the pursuit of excellence in Jewish education. As a testament to the fact that Mme Guindi has been active in the community as well, she also recently received from Federation CJA the General Campaign Special Achievement Award to add to the many already received, including the Médaille du Rayonnement de la Culture Française, awarded by the French government for enhancing the culture and teaching of the French language. Most notably, Mme Guindi co-authored the French grammar book Voulez-vous apprendre le français ?, and she was also on the Board of the Fondation de la tolérance and President of the Federation CJA’s Sépharade Campaign in addition to being a long-standing coordinator of JPPS’ French Department.

Adina Matas, Principal and Educational Director of JPPS, said, “Rita’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching makes learning in her classroom a unique experience. She always goes the extra mile for her students, colleagues, parents or any person in distress. She always has a way of connecting with students and is never judgmental.”

On a personal note I’m proud to say that I was among Rita’s first students 40 years ago at Jewish Peretz School on Wavell Road in Cote Saint-Luc, prior to the merger forming JPPS. As a student teacher, Rita was progressive in her teachings and interactions with her students and loved by all.  Learning French was far from an effort for Rita’s students, with music, drama and story’s forming a part of the fun learning environment.

I hope that my children will be lucky enough to benefit from Rita’s radiant and inspiring personality as their teacher, just as I did so many years ago.

I’m sure my classmates from long ago on Wavell join me in wishing Rita Guindi a hearty Mazal Tov, felicitations et Chapeau! (If you guys are reading this please click on comment and leave your own wishes for Rita).  Rita stands out as my favourite teacher!  I wish her many more years of success in her teachings at JPPS.

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 ( 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. 

Mrs. Smiley’s class visits City Hall

Leave a comment


Mrs. Ellen Smiley and Councillor Glenn J. Nashen with JPPS Grade 5 students and participating moms

Mrs. Smiley’s Grade 5 class from Jewish Peretz and Peoples Schools visited Cote Saint-Luc City Hall as part of this year’s studies on municipal government and city services.

I was doubly pleased to officially welcome the class to City Hall and to introduce them to the civic system in CSL in my capacity as the City Councillor for District 6, responsible for Public Safety, and also as Nicole’s dad, one of the Grade 5 students.  

I began with a history of our city dating back to the 1600s and showed archival photos from the 1800s and early 1900s.  We fast-forwarded to 2010 and discussed all the modern services that we offer to our residents highlighting those of special interest to kids, such as sports facilities, parks and playgrounds, the library and of course, emergency services.

City Manager and Chief Librarian Tanya Abramovitch spoke about all the moms and dads and other people who work in all the city services.  She then gave the class a tour of the Children’s Library, touted as one of the best in all of Quebec.  Many kids from the class had never seen this library before and were excited by the interactive toys and the huge selection of books, movies, music and the kid-friendly decor.

The class learned all about public safety with Director Jordy Reichson.  Jordy spoke about CSL’s unique all-volunteer EMS first responder service.  Check out their lipdub just below this post for a cool musical intro to EMS.  He discussed all the services you can reach when you call 911, but only if it’s a real emergency!

Bebe Newman, Public Works manager of Administration and Customer Services gave a presentation on all the aspects of her department that work behind the scenes, and out in plain view to keep the city functioning well in terms of facilities, grounds, roads, lights and so much more.

Alvin Fishman from Parks and Recreation gave a talk about sports teams, the new Aquatic and Community Centre slated to open next year, the arena and CSL’s Fun Card.


The class also had a rare visit to the Mayor’s private office where they took pictures looking quite mayoral.  They sat at the Council table, speaking into the microphones, holding the gavel and snapping shots in front of the flags.

This was an exciting opportunity for JPPS grade 5 to learn, up close and personal, how local government functions and how services are provided.

On the way back to school we got to see some of the snow clearing crews actively engaged in battling the snowbanks!


Thanks to Regine Banon, CSL Communications Manager, for setting up the visit.  I wish all of Mrs. Smiley’s students good luck as they continue in their learning about cities and I invite them to join CSL’s newest innovation for kids, the Junior Council, which will be launched in 2011.  Thanks for visiting, boys and girls of Grade 5!

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:

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:

JPPS and the JEM Workshop: Making Purim Count Just a Little More

Leave a comment

JPPS and the JEM Workshop: Making Purim Count Just a Little More

Montreal, January 26, 2010 —The mutual giving of food and drink in baskets called mishloach manot is a time-honoured Purim tradition. Celebrating Purim is simply incomplete without nashing on a hamentashen, or two, or three. But imagine having the power to satisfy someone’s sweet tooth while simultaneously supporting the vital work that the JEM Workshop does in the community. The year 2010 will mark the fourth consecutive year that JPPS and the JEM Workshop will have collaborated on a project that not only yields tangible proceeds that directly support both organizations, but perhaps more importantly, also sensitizes our young generation to intellectually handicapped members of our community.

“This initiative is an incredible win-win situation for everyone involved. Little wonder why it’s been so successful in previous years,” explained project coordinator Dr. Judy Hagshi. “With the fundraising side being so productive, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the cooperation that takes place between the students and the workers. To me, that’s the most wonderful part of the program.”

For the past 55 years, the JEM workshop (Formerly the JVS Jewish Workshop) has been a special resource for the Montreal Jewish community. Currently employing 84 intellectually handicapped adults living with a wide range of challenges, they provide their employees with the opportunity to earn a fair wage and to gain the genuine sense of accomplishment associated with a hard day’s work. The fully appointed kosher and peanut-free Purim basket, selling for just ten dollars and containing hamentashen, a chocolate bar, a bottle of grape juice, a Purim mask, and a grager (noisemaker), is but one of the many items that are assembled at the workshop. JPPS Grade 4 classes will be visiting the workshop throughout the week of January 25 to make the baskets.

To purchase one for yourself, inquire at your synagogue or school office. Baskets are also available through the workshop directly by calling 514-735-4217.

To watch the CTV News report click here and then on the CTV News video player.

Article in JPPS newsletter

City welcomes new early childhood learning centre

Leave a comment

From left: Councillors Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen, Mitchell Brownstein, CPE Director Randy Zuckor, Mayor Anthony Housefather, Steven Erdelyi, Mike Cohen, Sam Goldbloom and Allan J. Levine

Cote Saint-Luc City Council was on hand for the grand opening of the newly constructed JPPS Childrens Centre (Centre de petite enfance, CPE) at the northern end of Westminster Avenue.  The event was attended by community leaders, teachers, staff, parents, architects and Jack Vincelli, the builder of the new premises. 

The Childrens Centre was located for many years at JPPS on Wavell and Rand.  JPPS was built there in the late 50s during the early building boom in Cote Saint-Luc.  This site was formerly the Jewish Peretz School until the merger with Jewish Peoples School on Van Horne in the mid 70s.  The elementary school ran out of both sites until JPPS sold the Wavell building to Ecole Yavne five years ago.  The Childrens Centre remained in the basement until last spring.

The new facilities are modern, bright and colourful – a wonderful learning environment.  Congratulations to Randy Zuckor and her incredible staff of dedicated, motivated and inspiring educators.

Cote Saint-Luc’s Super Man and Bialik Alumnus


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.”

Older Entries