Chabad fills Trudeau Park for Simchat Beit HaShoeivah

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Chabad Cote Saint-Luc held its annual celebration of Simchat Beit HaShoeivah last night in Trudeau Park. Many hundreds, perhaps a thousand people or more were in attendance to hear internationally renowned chanteur Avraham David. There were games and food for the children, videos and lots of live performances.

Councillors Allan J. Levine, Sidney Benizri, Steven Erdelyi, Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Anthony Housefather, MP, at the Chabad CSL celebration in Trudeau Park

 

Rabbi David Cohen invited the Mayor and Council along with the Member of Parliament up on stage and thanked us all for our work in building an extraordinary community and in welcoming Chabad to put on their events.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein stressed that CSL is a unique and special community in which we strive to be tolerant, respectful and neighbourly, one to another. “People are moving here, not only from other areas of Montreal and Laval, but from France and other countries in order to live in peace and security and in order to be comfortable in living Jewish lives without fear.”

Anthony Housefather, an eloquent orator in several languages, said that Canada is known worldwide for its multicultural policies of encouraging and supporting cultural communities, such as ours in CSL.

Rabbi Cohen passed the mic to each councillor to bring greetings for a Happy New Year to which I added by good wishes in Yiddish and Hebrew.

Chag Sameach one and all. A gut yontif un a ziseh yor!

Quite the crowd in Trudeau Park for Simchat Beit Hashoueva celebrations

 

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Chabad Cote Saint-Luc a tenu sa célébration annuelle de Simchat Beit HaShoeivah hier soir dans le parc Trudeau. Plusieurs centaines, peut-être mille personnes ou plus étaient présents pour entendre chanteur international, Avraham David. Il y avait des jeux et de la nourriture pour les enfants, des vidéos et beaucoup de spectacles.

Les conseillers Allan J. Levine, Sidney Benizri, Steven Erdelyi, Glenn J. Nashen et Ruth Kovac, ainsi que le maire Mitchell Brownstein et Anthony Housefather, député était la pour les célébrations.

Le rabbin David Cohen a invité le maire et le conseil avec le député sur la scène et nous a remercié tous pour notre travail dans la communauté et en accueillant Chabad pour faire valoir leurs événements.

Le maire Mitchell Brownstein a souligné que CSL est une communauté unique et spéciale dans laquelle nous nous efforçons d’être tolérants, et respectueux, les uns aux autres. «Les gens se déplacent ici, non seulement dans d’autres régions de Montréal et de Laval, mais de la France et d’autres pays pour vivre en paix et en sécurité et pour être à l’aise dans la vie juive, sans peur».

Anthony Housefather, un orateur éloquent dans plusieurs langues, a déclaré que le Canada est connu dans le monde entier pour ses politiques multiculturelles visant à encourager et à soutenir les communautés culturelles, comme la nôtre à CSL.

Le rabbin Cohen a passé le micro à chaque conseiller pour faire une salutation pour une bonne et heureuse année à laquelle j’ai ajouté par ses vœux en yiddish et en hébreu.

Chag Sameach lecoulam!

 

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The time of renewal in Cote Saint-Luc

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sukkot20painting

This past week my family and I joined Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of City Council and MP Anthony Housefather in Rabbi Mendel and Mrs. Sarah Raskin’s Chabad Cote Saint-Luc Sukkah for a lovely dinner in celebration of the holiday of Sukkot.

Rabbi Raskin welcomed us and expressed his wish that we would be returned to Council on November 5, “to continue our important work for the community”.  He invited each of us to say a few words to the overflow crowd.

The Mayor spoke about happiness and enjoying every moment of life, referring to the harmony that exists in Cote Saint-Luc among all groups, be it linguistic, religious or any other.  He praised the work of the Rabbi and Mrs. Raskin and congratulated him on his 30+ years of building community in Cote Saint-Luc.

When my turn came I spoke about renewal. Next week we begin reading the Torah once again from the very beginning and so too I pledged my own personal renewal: my commitment to serving the residents of Cote Saint-Luc, looking out for their safety and security, ensuring we remain the safest place to live on the Island of Montreal.

CSL is a big Mishpacha, a family, where residents help one another through volunteerism to strengthen our community one family at a time.  No matter the language, nor one’s religious affiliation, we are a close community, highly respectful of one another.  This experience has made CSL a magnet for families emigrating from France, Russia, Argentina and other places where their religious beliefs and background could not be publicly displayed nor celebrated, as evidenced by the number of recent arrivals to Canada sharing a meal with us in the Sukkah.

After an elaborate five course meal for over 113 invited guests, the Rabbi lead us onto Cavendish Boulevard to dance in the street.

Sukkot is also called “The Time of Our Joy” (Zman Simchateinu) – a special joy pervades the festival. Celebrations and festivities fill the synagogues and streets with song, music, and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Earlier that day I was overwhelmed by the welcome that the Mayor and I, together with former MNA for D’Arcy McGee and Minister of Revenue, Lawrence Bergman, received at Congregation or Hahayim. And the very next day we were welcomed to Beth Chabad Hechal Menachem for their Sukkot services for both Sephardim and Ashkenazim, beautifully united in the same synagogue.

Thanks to Rabbi Mendel and Mrs. Sarah Raskin for bringing overwhelming joy and deep compassion to the people of Cote Saint-Luc and beyond.

  • For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G‑d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches – for the duration of the autumn Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home.

 

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen celebrating with Rabbi Mendel Raskin in Trudeau Park

La semaine dernière, ma famille et moi ont rejoint le maire Mitchell Brownstein, les membres du conseil municipal et le député Anthony Housefather chez le Rabbin Mendel et Mme Sarah Raskin de Chabad CSL dans leur Sukkah pour un dîner très agréable dans la célébration de la fête de Souccot.

Le Rabbin Raskin nous a accueillis et a exprimé son souhait que nous serions retournés au Conseil le 5 novembre, “pour suivez notre travail important pour la communauté”. Il a invité chacun de nous à dire quelques mots aux invités.

Le maire a parlé de bonheur et de jouir de tous les moments de la vie, en se référant à l’harmonie qui existe dans à Côte-Saint-Luc parmi tous les groupes, qu’il soit linguistique, religieux ou autre. Il a salué le travail du Rabbin et Mme Raskin à amener les jeunes familles et l’a félicité pour ses 30 ans de travaille important à CSL.

À mon tour, j’ai parlé de la renouvellement. La semaine prochaine, nous recommençons à lire la Torah une fois encore dès le début. Alors, j’ai promis mon propre renouvellement personnel: mon engagement à servir les résidents de Cote Saint-Luc, en respectant leur sécurité et leur sécurité, en nous assurant que nous restons l’endroit le plus sûr pour vivre sur l’île de Montréal.

CSL est une grande Mishpacha, une famille, où les résidents s’entraident par le biais du bénévolat afin de renforcer notre communauté, une famille à la fois. Peu importe la langue, ni l’appartenance religieuse, nous sommes une communauté solide, très respectueuse l’une de l’autre. Cette expérience a fait de CSL un atout pour les familles émigrant de la France, de la Russie, de l’Argentine et d’autres lieux où leurs croyances et antécédents religieux ne pouvaient pas être publiquement exposés ni célébrés, comme en témoigne le nombre d’arrivées récentes au Canada partageant un repas avec nous dans le Succah.

 

My family is a wonderful blend of Sephardi and Ashkenazi tradition

 

Plus tôt ce jour-là, j’ai été si heureux par l’accueil que le maire et moi-même, ainsi que l’ancien député d’Arcy McGee et le ministre du Revenu, Lawrence Bergman, ont été reçus lors de la Congrégation Or Hahayim. Et le lendemain, nous avons été accueillis à Beth Chabad Hechal Menachem pour leurs services Sukkot à la fois pour Sephardim et Ashkenazim, magnifiquement unis dans la même synagogue.

  • Depuis quarante ans, comme nos ancêtres ont traversé le désert du Sinaï, avant leur entrée dans la Terre sainte, miraculeuse “nuages de gloire” entouré et planait sur eux, les protégeant contre les dangers et inconvénients du désert. Depuis, nous nous souvenons la gentillesse de Dieu et de réaffirmer notre confiance dans sa providence par habitation dans une soukkah – une cabane de construction temporaire avec une couverture de toiture de branches – pour la durée de la fête de Souccot. Pendant sept jours et nuits, nous mangeons tous nos repas dans la Souccah – réciter une bénédiction spéciale – et par ailleurs le considérer comme notre maison.

Après un diner extraordinaire, le Rabbin nous a inviter à danser sur sur le boulevard Cavendish.

Souccot est appelé aussi “Le temps de notre joie” (Zman simchateinu) – une joie particulière imprègne le festival. Célébrations et fêtes de remplir les synagogues et les rues avec des chants, de musique et de danse jusqu’aux petites heures du matin.

Merci à Rabbi Mendel et Mme Sarah Raskin pour apporter la joie immense et une profonde compassion pour le peuple de Côte Saint-Luc.

Chabad rocks the park

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Remedy and solution for guaranteed happiness.  That was the theme of last night’s rockin’ Grand Simchat Beth Hashoeva celebration in Cote Saint-Luc’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park on Mackle Road.

Several hundred men, women and children took part in this family affair that has been ongoing for 28 years locally, but for more than 3,000 years in an unbroken chain in the tradition of dancing during sukkot.

This event was fun filled for the entire family. Food and snacks were in abundance with Mega Burger, Sprinklz, Pizza Pita, cotton candy, and popcorn.

Of special note, the program featured the world renowned Israeli superstar Shimon Sibony.

The Chabad organizers including Rabbi Mendel Raskin stated, “The Rebbe promises us that today we can draw simcha and healing by participating in this extraordinary joyous event… This was an act of unity as Jews from all walks of life burst forth in song and dance!”

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen celebrating with Rabbi Mendel Raskin in Trudeau Park

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen celebrating with Rabbi Mendel Raskin in Trudeau Park

The entire CSL City Council was invited on stage to welcome the crowd. Mayor Anthony Housefather wished all a happy holiday in several languages underscoring the city’s plurality, and openness to residents of all backgrounds, regardless of language or religion.

“Everyone is welcome in Cote saint-Luc and to wear whatever they wish to wear,” the Mayor said in proclaiming our city’s opposition to the PQ government’s proposed Charter of Quebec values.

“I will never fire a city employee for wearing a kippah, turban or hijab,” Mayor Housefather said to much applause.

Photo of the week: Sukkah Cyclers

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Photo of the week: Three-wheeling Sukkah in Hampstead

Photo of the week: Three-wheeling Sukkah in Hampstead

These dedicated Sukkah Cyclers were peddling their way through Hampstead this morning as I was shuttling my kids to school.  Camera always at the ready, I asked them to smile for a photo.  They responded, “Do you want to come inside and shake the Lulav?”

Well these Chabadnicks get full marks for creativity and ingenuity.

Fedoras off to Rabbi Itchy Treitel and Rabbi Moshe New of the Montreal Torah Centre in Hampstead for this innovative and green mode of Sukkah on wheels.

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A time for joy and celebration of our real values

Sermon by Rabbi Lionel Moses on the eve of Yom Kippur: Mme. Marois, read my lips!

A time of joy and celebration of our real values

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Last night I joined Mayor Anthony Housefather and all eight members of City Council at the home of Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin of Chabad Cote Saint-Luc. We sat in their Sukkah and enjoyed a lovely dinner in celebration of the holiday of Sukkot.

The Raskins established themselves in Cote Saint-Luc to build the Jewish Community within the Chabad movement.  It was their dream and vision to eventually build the Hechal Menachem Community Centre and Synagogue. The long held dream was shared by many in the community and after 25 years of planning and praying the centre finally opened two years ago.

Rabbi Raskin was elated, for the first time, to have the entire City Council in his Sukkah, along with many guests.  Consul General of Israel Joel Lion was also in attendance.

Mayor Housefather spoke passionately about Cote Saint-Luc’s total opposition to the proposed Charter of Quebec Values. “This city was built upon the values of respecting the Quebec Charter of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the Mayor said. “We value the right of people to express themselves as they freely choose, to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours. Never will we subscribe to a divisive and discriminatory policy that would restrict the rights of our staff to wear a turban, hijab or kippah.”

Mayor Housefather, or Anthony as he prefers to be called, was widely applauded by all for his outstanding leadership and vision which has benefited not only residents in Hampstead (in his first years in municipal politics) and in Cote Saint-Luc, but throughout our provincial and federal ridings and indeed across Quebec.

It was my turn to speak and I reiterated my firm belief that Cote Saint-Luc is a big family, where residents help one another and that no matter their language or their religious affiliation, we are a close community, highly respectful of one another. We draw strength from our diversity and this makes us a stronger community. I used my own family’s experience of blending my wife’s heritage of Moroccan, Yemenite and Israeli ancestry with mine, from Romania, Russia, Austria and the U.S. Similar to so many other families in Cote Saint-Luc, we are all enriched by our collective history.

One councillor quipped that we should create a CSL Charter of Values that would be one of respect, tolerance and welcome our differences.

Several made mention that in past years Rabbi Raskin offered a prayer for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive by Hamas for over five years. This year, we celebrated his freedom, noting that he was in Montreal just days ago to share his story.  Talk about a time of joy and celebration!

The evening ended, as it always has, with dancing across two lanes of Cavendish Blvd. What a beautiful juxtaposition from a despicable Charter to the public celebration, one in which Consul General Lion described as a holiday that is to be shared with the whole world, one in which a Torah scroll representing each country on earth is paraded around.

Sarah Raskin thanked the council saying,”People do not realize that working for the public is a thankless job and takes hours of personal time in order to make things work. Our councillors are constantly thinking of how to enrich the quality of our lives.”

Thanks to Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin for bringing overwhelming joy and deep compassion to the people of Cote Saint-Luc and beyond.

 

Photo of the Week #21: Sukkot in CSL

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If you’re not familiar with the Jewish festival of Sukkot you may have looked curiously upon the many huts, or Sukkahs, protruding oddly from the side and back lots and balconies of homes throughout Cote Saint-Luc over the last week or so.  Of course, there’s nothing odd in a tradition that has lasted for two millennia (although only the last five decades in Cote Saint-Luc!).

In this shot, Mackle Road resident Maya holds up the Lulav and Etrog in front of her Sukkah. Maya and her family will eat several meals in their Sukkah and invite guests and neighbours to join in the tradition that has transcended the ages.

For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G‑d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches – for the duration of the autumn Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home.

Sukkot is also called “The Time of Our Joy” (Zman Simchateinu) – a special joy pervades the festival. Celebrations and festivities fill the synagogues and streets with song, music, and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

It is customary at this special time of the New Year to wish one another a Chag Sameach (in Hebrew), a Gut Yontif  (in Yiddish). May we all (and I mean everyone) be inscribed for a year of happiness, good health, prosperity and peace.

 

More: Celebrating the “Time of Our Joy” in Cote Saint-Luc

A time of joy and celebration

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Last night I joined Mayor Anthony Housefather and Members of City Council in Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin’s Chabad Cote Saint-Luc Sukkah for a lovely dinner in celebration of the holiday of Sukkot.

This marks 25 years since the Raskins established themselves in Cote Saint-Luc to build the Jewish Community within the Chabad movement.  This holiday also marks the arrival of the Hechal Menachem Community Centre and Synagogue, the long held dream of the Raskins and many in the community.

I was pleased and honoured to finally enter the new synagogue on Rosh Hashana to personally congratulate Rabbi Raskin on fulfilling this dream.

The Mayor thanked the Rabbi and his wife for their extraordinary work over the past two-and-a-half decades in shaping the future of Cote Saint-Luc and doing their part to rejuvenate the city.

I reiterated my firm belief that Cote Saint-Luc is a big family, where residents help one another and that no matter the language, nor one’s religious affiliation, we are a close community, highly respectful of one another.

I also asked the Rabbi to offer a prayer and a l’Chaim noting the imminent release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

A special guest appearance was made by newly installed Consul General of Israel Joel Lyon and his wife.  The Consul General spoke beutifully about the holiday, about his warm welcome into the community and the impending freedom of Gilad Shalit.

The evening ended, as it always has with dancing across two lanes of Cavendish Blvd.

Thanks to Rabbi Mendel and Sarah Raskin for bringing overwhelming joy and deep compassion to the people of Cote Saint-Luc and beyond.

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