Shabbat Morning Service
Saturday, February 6 at the  MNJCC : 10:30 a.m.

Anchoring this lay-led service will be long-time members Lorne Blumer, Charlie Lior and Penny Winestock (music).
As always, there is a free children's program for the younger set, who are also welcome to join us in the chapel during the service.
We thank the Flagal/Henry families for sponsoring the kiddish after the service in memory of their beloved mother and wife, and cherished Shir Libeynu member, Sheila Henry. Shir Libeynu president, Jamie Flagal, will pay tribute to his mother at the service.
An adult education workshop with a guest lecturer will follow the kiddish, starting at 12:45 pm.  See below (Inclusive Practices).

March 2016 Services
at 10:30 a.m. at the MNJCC
March 5: Shabbat Morning Service: Rabbi Goldberg will be back to lead this service, with chazzanut by Paula Wolfson.

March 19: Contemplative Chanting Service: stay tuned for more details.

Our Adult Education Program
AdultInclusive Practices: No Shir Libeynite Left Behind
This is an informal series of Jewish learning workshops on various topics that our members say are important and relevant to them.  They usually take place after the kiddishes, in the chapel or classroom at the MNJCC, starting at 12:45 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m; occasionally they will take place at other times. You do not need expertise in any of these topics in order to participate. If you have enough expertise to lead a session or if you have specific questions, write to: (Jonathan Silin-Education Director)

Upcoming Adult Education Programs

Saturday, February 6, at the  MNJCC
12:45 - 2 p.m., after the kiddish, in Room 305
"Funny Pictures -- in Jewish," presented by Carol Zemel

Everyone knows about Jewish humour: it has a lengthy history and it ' s widespread, and exists in every language that Jews speak. There is even plenty of humour in Tanakh.  But Jews and visual humour? Funny pictures from a people often thought to be aniconic or against images generally?   

Professor Zemel will explore Jewish visual jokes, as they appear in graphic novels and comics (a genre in which Jewish artists led the way), as well as their presence in contemporary art. We will begin with a very early example, the medieval Birds' Head Haggadah (ca.1300), then consider some contemporary art, and, finally, think about the issue of humour in Holocaust imagery.
Carol Zemel
is Professor Emerita of Art History and Visual Culture at York University, Toronto. Her book Looking Jewish: Visual Culture and Modern Diaspora was published in  June, 2015, by University of Indiana Press . Current projects include a study of visual humour, and Art in Extremis, a study of images made by prisoners in ghettos and camps during the Holocaust. Professor Zemel is a member of Congregation Shir Libeynu.

Saturday, April 2, at the  MNJCC
12:45 - 2 p.m., after the kiddish, in Room 305
"Games on the Road to Holocaust: Canada and the Nazi Olympics," presented by Harold Troper

As the 2016 Olympic Games draw near, it is appropriate to recall the most infamous of all Olympic Games, the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, and the effort by the organized Canadian Jewish community to forestall Canadian participation in the Nazi Olympics. The Jewish campaign failed. Canada participated in what turned out to be a Nazi propaganda bonanza. In his talk, Harold Troper will discuss the legacy of the Nazi Olympic Games and Canada's role in Nazi Olympic saga.
Harold Troper is a professor at the University of Toronto and author or co-author of 10 books. He is perhaps best known for None Is Too Many, chosen by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important Canadian books of all times. Professor Troper's most recent book is More than Just Games: Canada and the Nazi Olympics, co-authored with Richard Menkis of the University of British Columbia.

All Welcome!


Our Summit meeting, the second part of an ongoing dialogue about our shul, took place on January 17, 2016.  Twenty people came out of the cold to warm up the room with ideas from many questionnaire respondents who have participated in this process.  Stay tuned for how the leadership of our shul will analyze and implement, in our effort to create our future.

Chants March2016
Sunday, February 21
We have now had two Chants ReEncounters gatherings -  informal chanting circles which supplement our contemplative chanting services -  and they were terrific.  So here comes number three!  It will be on Sunday, February 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.  Dorothy Rusoff will again be hosting.  To RSVP and for location details, please contact Dorothy at And for questions about Chants ReEncounters in general, get in touch with Lorne Blumer at


Arthur Clairman, father (Cara Clairman), father-in-law (Brad Gotkin) and grandfather of Jacob and Leah.  Mr. Clairman died on December 31, 2015, in Toronto.
We extend our condolences to the family and wish his beloved memory to be a blessing.

Click here for the memorial announcement for Arthur Clairman.  

Joan Carole Gordon, mother of George Saltzberg, and mother-in law of Timothy Swift.

Joan Carole Gordon, 83, of Winnipeg, beloved mother of George (Timothy Swift), Jack and Anna Saltzberg. Funeral was on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at Etz Chaim Congregation, 123 Matheson Avenue East with interment at Rosh Pina Cemetery in Winnipeg.
The community sends its condolences to George and Timothy.  May her memory be a blessing .


Aviva will be conducting a workshop in the latter part of February to instruct those interested in becoming leaders for shiva services. This is an excellent way of performing a most significant mitzvah and giving back to our community, as a representative of our shul, for those in need. Other than being able to read Hebrew, no previous experience is needed. Please contact Aviva at


Shema & Iqra': The Jewish-Muslim Text Project presents:

Blood, Milk, and Tears: Menstruating, Nursing, and Mourning in Islamic and Jewish Sources

Tuesday, January 26-March 8, 2016
Multi-Faith Centre, Multi-Purpose Room, 3rd floor, 569 Spadina Road

Text-study:7 - 8:30 p.m.
Arts collaboration 8:30-9:30 p.m.

This seven-week text-study course for Muslim and Jewish women will explore issues of gender and embodiment in Jewish and Islamic texts. The group will also form the basis of an arts collective featuring the art, music, and writings of participants. *
Students - free; co-curricular credit also available; Others - $15 per class  
* Taught by Shari Golberg, PhD, in collaboration with guest scholars, experts, and artists, including Dr. Nevin Reda, Dr. Sharon Unger, Rochelle Rubinstein, Farida Zaman, Aviva Chernick, Karen Shenfield and others TBD.
Capacity is Limited - Click here to  register

Shir Libeynu is pleased to be a promotional/community partner of this event.

Newsletter Editor:  Harriet Eisenkraft
Congregation Shir Libeynu
416-465-5488 | |
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Congregation Shir Libeynu
P.O. Box 73509
Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7
(416) 465-5488