26 07, 2018

Message from Israel

By | 2018-07-26T09:17:14+00:00 July 26th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

It has been a full week in Jerusalem. You may have noticed Israel in the news lately, whether for its heroic role in helping 400 members of the White Helmets and their families escape Syria, or the renewed violence on the border with Gaza. In the middle of these international affairs, there have been three domestic issues front and centre in Israeli news. In the span of 24 hours, Israel passed a controversial nation-state bill; denied surrogacy rights to gay men ; and called a Conservative Rabbi in for questioning for having officiated a wedding. I’d be glad to discuss any of these in detail, but suffice it [...]

11 07, 2018

Message from Jerusalem 2018

By | 2018-07-11T10:29:34+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

At the end of my first week in Jerusalem, my mind is full of images and experiences that I want to share with you. First: The Hartman Institute. Founded by Rabbi David Hartman, who made Aliyah from Montreal, the institute is a place with many dreams. Jewish pluralism: Israel-Diaspora relations; ethics and politics; all these are areas of engagement. On any given day, in addition to our cohort of rabbis spanning the denominational spectrum, there are also Muslim and Christian leaders, Israeli army officers, high school students, synagogue lay leaders, you name it... The rabbinic learning this summer has focused on the concept of “derekh eretz,” often [...]

24 05, 2018

Dale’s Story

By | 2018-05-24T13:33:07+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Good afternoon everyone. Thank you, Rabbi Grushcow and Rabbi Greenspan, for all your hard work and dedication in making Temple the successful community it is. Thank you, Albert and Chantalle, for always being there for me. I would like to say that many things led to my conversion. My love for Albert and 2) I believe I do have Jewish roots, and I have always been drawn to Judaism. I have often compared my life to a series of bus route changes.  One of my bus routes was that of Judaism. Before living with my life partner, I started to research a lot about Judaism.  By the [...]

24 05, 2018

“My Journey to Judaism”, Helen’s story

By | 2018-05-24T12:42:01+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

As far as I can remember in my adult life, I have been attracted to Judaism. At the age of 34, I sat down with my father and told him that I believed he was born Jewish. He was speechless. I had just uncovered a family secret.  Psycho-genealogy might explain this subconscious awareness I had, an awareness that was passed on from my ancestors. I felt Jewish in my kishkes. What follows are snapshots of various experiences I have had along my journey to Judaism and since my conversion. On Shabbat When I worked in the oncology clinic at the Jewish General Hospital, (and yes, I had specifically [...]

20 03, 2018


By | 2018-04-04T09:01:56+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Categories: News|Comments Off on INTERFAITH EXPERIENCES FOR WHICH I HAVE BEEN GRATEFUL

Sermon by Dr. Catherine Jarvis Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom Friday, March 16, 2018 Thank you to Rabbi Grushcow and Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom family for this invitation to share a few words with your congregation tonight.  I feel welcome and at home in your synagogue.  In fact my history in Montreal is woven/knit in interesting ways to this very synagogue.  I hope you we see that as I speak to you tonight. Chieko Okazaki a past member of the general presidency of the Relief Society (Women’s organization) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke about patterns of interconnectedness.  She said, “We may not know what contribution [...]

24 07, 2017

Letter from Jerusalem

By | 2017-07-24T07:34:41+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over a week ago, two Israeli Druze soldiers were shot and killed by terrorists on the Temple Mount. This past Friday, along with a small group of colleagues from the Hartman Institute where we are studying, I made the trip up to Hurfeish, near the Lebanon border. We went to give condolences to the family of one of those soldiers. Kamil Shannan (z"l - of blessed memory) came from a prominent Druze family. His father was a Member of Knesset (the Israeli parliament), and the Druze community as a whole stands out for its service in the Israeli military and police force. Although they are not Jewish, [...]

1 03, 2017

Kenya Day Three

By | 2017-05-01T09:17:50+00:00 March 1st, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chickens. The Israeli embassy gave chickens to St. Mary's School for Girls in Nakuru, Kenya today. It's part of an approach called Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which the school's top educator learned in Israel. The essence of ESD is for children to invest in school life in an empowered way, working to create a sustainable community. As part of this, they help produce the food which is used for school meals... hence the chickens! But even here in Kenya, challenging and inspiring, I am following the news from North America. I am heartsick at the news of the continued bomb threats against Jewish Community Centres, and now [...]

28 02, 2017

Kenya Day Two

By | 2017-05-01T09:17:57+00:00 February 28th, 2017|Categories: News|1 Comment

What are we doing here? Members of our group plan to take turns blogging, so I won't be sharing every detail of our trip every day. That being said, each day is so full of experiences, questions, and reflections that I want to share with you. So today, let's explore how a nice Jewish girl finds herself in Kenya in the first place. When I was asked to be involved with this trip, I couldn't say no. Let me admit up front that I love to travel, and I have always wanted to go to Africa. But it's not just the location of this trip which drew me [...]

27 02, 2017

Kenya Day One

By | 2017-03-01T10:51:57+00:00 February 27th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

We landed in Nairobi last night after over a day of travel. Our delegation has twelve members, all young Montreal Jewish leaders, plus a diplomat from the Israeli foreign service. Including me, there are five Temple members on our trip. Today was a remarkable start. We began the morning at the Gatoto school ( - check it out!). The school has 1082 kids between the ages of 4 and 13... and a staff of just 40, with fewer than 30 teachers. Class sizes range between 50 and 70 students. The school started out in a one-room church in the adjacent slum (which we drove through to reach the [...]

20 02, 2017

Christian’s story

By | 2017-05-01T09:18:14+00:00 February 20th, 2017|Categories: Conversion|0 Comments

My Journey to Judaism It is hard to pin-point the spark that initiated my fondness for Judaism, its people, its history and its culture. Born into a French-Canadian Catholic family of Irish descent, I certainly did not have anything resembling Jewish in my environment. I had an abnormal interest in the Old Testament: this according to three of my teachers in grammar school, and I was the one with the embarrassing questions about certain rules, practices and even divinities that simply did not make sense to me. I kept asking why we went to church on Sunday, since the last day of the week was Saturday! And I [...]

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