Arts and Culture

It’s More Than Just Sand: The Wilderness Focuses on the Power of the Desert in the Bible

Dec. 3, 2020 By SUSAN MINUK Stories of desolation, abandonment and contemplation of what lies beyond the known – all inspired by the outsized role deserts play in the Bible – make their world premiere this Sunday, Dec. 6 on Canada’s YES TV network. The Wilderness, a 10-part biblical docudrama series created and produced by … Continue reading “It’s More Than Just Sand: The Wilderness Focuses on the Power of the Desert in the Bible”

Erica Goodman

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Nov. 30, 2020 Erica Goodman (Jan. 19, 1948 – ) Harpist  By DAVID EISENSTADT When I think about the harp, the first person who comes to mind is Harpo Marx. Though he said he played the instrument “the wrong way,” according to imdb.com, he taught himself well enough that when he took proper lessons from … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

2020 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature Announced

Nov. 23, 2020 By RUTH SCHWEITZER The winners of the 2020 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature were announced at a recent live virtual ceremony presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts. The prize in each of the four award categories was $10,000. Sarah Leavitt won in the fiction category for her graphic novel … Continue reading “2020 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature Announced”

Ofra Harnoy

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Nov. 17, 2020 Ofra Harnoy – (Jan. 31, 1965 – ) Cellist By DAVID EISENSTADT Listening to Ofra Harnoy, the Israeli-Canadian cellist’s new album, On The Rock, brought back a memory. In the spring of 1998, I was working on a Temple Sinai Brotherhood fundraiser with Lew Rasminsky, Allan Kalin and Frank Berns. We were fortunate to … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

On The Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Nov. 10, 2020 Morris Eisenstadt (Nov. 6, 1926 – Nov. 21, 1991) – Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Flautist, Composer, Teacher By DAVID EISENSTADT Earlier this year, Toronto lawyer Michael Fraleigh’s generous acknowledgment of one of my columns inspired me to write about my woodwind player and composer uncle, Morris Eisenstadt. “Your tribute to Ben Steinberg (CJR, June … Continue reading “On The Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

A Jewish Tour of Northern Ontario

Nov. 10, 2020 By ROBERT WALKER Since I started learning about geography in elementary school, I’ve been mystified by Canada’s vastness and enormity. A country of nearly 10 million square kilometers – almost 500 times the size of Israel – Canada is almost incomprehensibly large. And it wasn’t just Canada’s size that intrigued me. It … Continue reading “A Jewish Tour of Northern Ontario”

French-language Quebec Novel Wins Top J.I. Segal Award

Nov. 9, 2020 By JANICE ARNOLD MONTREAL—A French-language historical novel by a well-known Quebec author that captures the political ferment during the Depression in Montreal’s working-class Mile End district is the winner of the top prize of the Jacob Isaac Segal Awards, sponsored by the Jewish Public Library (JPL). Le Mammouth by Pierre Samson, published … Continue reading “French-language Quebec Novel Wins Top J.I. Segal Award”

Toy Designer is Changing the World Through Empathy

Nov. 5, 2020 By SUSAN MINUK Ilana Ben-Ari, inventor of the Empathy Toy, has been making waves near and far by bringing the transformative power of child’s play to thousands of schools and offices in some 50 countries. Ben-Ari’s expanding collection of toys, workshops, and training programs places crucial emphasis on toys teaching what textbooks … Continue reading “Toy Designer is Changing the World Through Empathy”

Cardiologist Follows his Heart and Becomes Composer

By JANICE ARNOLD MONTREAL—Jaap Nico Hamburger’s mother gave him two invaluable pieces of advice.  When he was young, she told him that, yes, he played the piano very well, but he must have a reliable profession. Decades later, after Hamburger had achieved international recognition as a cardiac surgeon, she said he had worked hard enough … Continue reading “Cardiologist Follows his Heart and Becomes Composer”

Hamilton Jewish Book Fair, Holocaust Education Week Combine

Oct. 30, 2020 By STEVE ARNOLD Holocaust heroes and survivors. Mossad spies. Infamous Nazis. Wealthy Jews who once controlled Shanghai. These and other inviting subjects are set to be explored at Hamilton’s Jewish Book Fair and Holocaust Education Week. Usually separate events, the celebration of Jewish books and Shoah memorial has been combined into a … Continue reading “Hamilton Jewish Book Fair, Holocaust Education Week Combine”

Book Review: Borders and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan) By Mira Sucharov

Oct. 29, 2020 By DUSTIN ATLAS Mira Sucharov’s Borders and Belonging is an intimate memoir of formation, something of a Portrait of a Political Scientist as a Young Woman. A contemporary work, its trajectory is non-linear: hopping from year to year, we see intimate flashes of feelings, events, and relationships; there is no sense at … Continue reading “Book Review: Borders and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan) By Mira Sucharov”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Oct. 28, 2020 Colin Linden (April 16, 1960 – ) Roots & Blues singer/songwriter, record producer, acoustic and slide guitarist By DAVID EISENSTADT My cousin Eric Rosenbaum, a long-time folk music mover and shaker with years of event volunteer service in Calgary and Edmonton, reminded me of a somewhat unsung Canadian musician, Colin Linden, who … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Celebrate 2020 Winners in Online Ceremony Oct. 25

Oct. 22, 2020 The Canadian Jewish Literary Awards is honouring nine outstanding books for 2020. Now in its sixth year, the Awards recognize and reward the finest Canadian writing on Jewish themes and subjects. “Even during this year of isolation, choosing only nine Award winners from the depth and breadth and quality of the submissions … Continue reading “Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Celebrate 2020 Winners in Online Ceremony Oct. 25”

First Volume of Leonard Cohen Bio Sheds Light on Enigmatic Troubadour

Oct. 22, 2020 By RUTH SCHWEITZER Leonard Cohen rarely gave candid interviews and he also managed to avoid media scrutiny. He was a man of mystery cloaked in bohemianism. Generations of fans of the brilliant Montreal-born poet, novelist and singer-songwriter have been touched by his interesting mind and his penetrating song lyrics for decades. They’ve … Continue reading “First Volume of Leonard Cohen Bio Sheds Light on Enigmatic Troubadour”

New Jewish TV Show to ‘Cut its Own Path’

Oct. 21, 2020 By SHLOMO SCHWARTZBERG Move over, Jimmy Kimmel. There’s a new talk show host in town and not only is he Jewish, so is the show. Canadian Jewish TV (CJTV) debuted on Oct. 1, and its host, the poet leden Wall, promises an exciting and provocative line-up of guests on the half-hour program, … Continue reading “New Jewish TV Show to ‘Cut its Own Path’”

YidLife Crisis to Lighten That Other Crisis

Oct. 20, 2020 By JANICE ARNOLD MONTREAL – Jewish community institutions are hoping a little comedy will lift pandemic-weary spirits and bring the socially distanced together, at least virtually. The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is presenting A Call to Montreal, an original video show created by and starring the irreverent YidLife Crisis duo of … Continue reading “YidLife Crisis to Lighten That Other Crisis”

Simcha Jacobovici’s Newest Project Probes African Slave Trade

October 16, 2020 – By BARBARA SILVERSTEIN Three-and-a-half years ago, Canadian Jewish documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici set out to uncover the history of one of the world’s forgotten tragedies: The trafficking, enslavement and mass murder of African slaves. The result is Jacobovici’s new six-part docuseries, Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which … Continue reading “Simcha Jacobovici’s Newest Project Probes African Slave Trade”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Oct. 15, 2020 Howard Shore (Oct. 18, 1946 – ) Composer, Orchestrator, Conductor/Bandleader, Music Producer, Film Score Writer By DAVID EISENSTADT “Charismatic with a charming smile” is how neighbour Mark Mager described his Forest Hill Collegiate high school friend, Howard Shore. My earliest memory of Shore was on Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live (SNL), where, … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Q&A: Prof. Gil Troy on Being Natan Sharansky’s Co-Author

Oct. 13, 2020 By JANICE ARNOLD The newly published Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People by Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy (PublicAffairs, 480 pages) offers an intimate portrait of the man who spent nine years as a political prisoner in the Soviet Union for his activism on behalf of Jewish emigration and who, after … Continue reading “Q&A: Prof. Gil Troy on Being Natan Sharansky’s Co-Author”

Azrieli Music Prizes Concert to be Live Streamed for Free

Oct. 8, 2020 By JANICE ARNOLD MONTREAL— The biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) concert – the world premiere of the most recent winning compositions of orchestral Jewish music and Canadian art music – goes virtual this year due to the pandemic. The concert is scheduled to be live streamed from the Salle Bourgie of the … Continue reading “Azrieli Music Prizes Concert to be Live Streamed for Free”