Shabbat Morning Service

Saturday, March 5, at the  MNJCC : 10:30 a.m.
Rabbi Goldberg will lead this service, with Paula Wolfson providing chazzanut.

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 will serve a very light Shabbat kiddish snack in Room 318, starting at noon.
All Welcome!
Other Upcoming Services at 10:30 a.m. at the  MNJCC

Contemplative Chanting Service
Saturday, March 19
As always, we'll chant, settle into some quiet, chant and sing some more.  We all do so as voluntary castaways on the "island in time" known as Shabbat.  New to chanting?  Only vaguely familiar with quiet?  No problem!  Please join us.
Led by Lorne Blumer, with the participation of music volunteers.
Please note that Torah will not be read at the service, however there will be opportunity to recite the Mourner's Kaddish.  Light refreshments will follow.  Child care will not be available.

Shabbat Morning Service
Saturday, April 2, at 10:30 a.m., MNJCC
Led by Rabbi Goldberg with chazzanut by Paula Wolfson.

Please see below for a very special adult education session after the service, led by Professor Harold Troper. 

Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, April 15, MNJCC

Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat Hagadol, on this Friday night, in preparation for Pesach.  Tune in for more information and its start time.

Leading a Shiva Service: A Mitzvah

Aviva will be conducting a workshop in the latter part of March 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 rabbi@shirlibeynu.ca.

For a calendar of our services, sessions and events, you can always go to:

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)  adulteducation@shirlibeynu.ca

Upcoming Adult Education Program

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!

Eden Eden Nameri: Our Resident Storyteller

Sunday, April 3, 2016 @ Noon
A beautiful maiden with a secret. A foolish, fickle king. When their fairy-tale marriage flounders, the fate of an entire people is threatened. This story of intrigue, deceit, danger and desire is NSFHS (Not Suitable For Hebrew School).
This 50-minute rendition of the Book of Esther includes traditional and original midrash, but, as in the Hebrew version of the story, God is never mentioned. Usually told on Purim as a broad tale with silly characters, this version is for grownups; it highlights the very personal struggled Esther faces in the dazzling court of Persia. 

Long-time member Eden Nameri studied storytelling in New York with the late Diane Wolkstein. She has been telling tales at Shir Libeynu services and celebrations for many years, and is delighted to be one of a number of local storytellers featured in Storytelling at the Gladstone, which is part of the  Toronto Storytelling Festival Eden's performance kicks off an all-day event - come to hear all about Esther, and stay for other stories that may capture your fancy.

The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom
1214 Queen Street West,

Tickets will be sold at the door for $20 and provide admission to all performances at the event.

Shir Libeynites and Syrian Refugees to Canada: An Opportunity to Get Involved

We applaud the efforts and successes of several of our members (Roberta Benson/Miriam Kaufman and family; David Townsend; Ariela Weisfeld) who are participating in groups that are sponsoring Syrian refugees during the crisis.  Read all about their projects here, in their own words, and find out how you can help them.  (Please write directly to them, and not to us, about the initiatives):
Roberta Benson/Miriam Kaufman and Families 4 Families  
We are a group of 34 Toronto households that includes several SL members (Nathan, Miriam and Jacob Kaufman; Roberta Benson). F4F is sponsoring Syrian refugees through Lifeline Syria and Metropolitan Community Church. Fundraising is complete, but if SL members have household goods or furniture that are new or gently used that they want to donate, contact Miriam Kaufman at miriam.kaufman@sickkids.ca and put "Syrian Newcomer" in the title. 
David Townsend and Team Uli
We are a web of eight friends who've come together as "Team Uli" to sponsor a Syrian claiming refugee status on the grounds of persecution as a sexual minority. My heart swells with love of our country for the open-heartedness with which our neighbours and fellow citizens are rising to the challenge of one of the great humanitarian crises of our present moment. We're not doing enough, we can never do enough, but this is our imperfect and partial effort of Tikkun Olam. In answering this call, we are, of course, simultaneously engaging in the healing of our own souls as well.

We won't have a name or a face until our application is approved by the Federal government and we are matched with an individual, who will probably arrive in Canada  in the summer. Then will come the deep rewards and deep challenges of helping a new resident settle in a new country.

(Please note that since we posted this team's appeal last December, the full financial amount needed has been raised.  Stay tuned for more news and other ways to help this team.)
Ariela Weisfeld and United Neighbours
Dear Shir Libeynu Community:  I am part of a community group that started with a few neighbours here in the St. Clair West area, called United Neighbours, which has come together to privately sponsor a Syrian refugee family.

It will be our responsibility to meet the family at the airport and help them in any and every way possible to successfully begin anew in Toronto after being forced to flee their home in war-torn Syria.

For one year, we will be legally obligated to support this family financially, find housing, help adults find work, enrol any school-age children in schools and connect the family members to dental and health care, as well as helping them transition to life as permanent residents of Canada.

In order to do this, we need to raise $50,000.   If you would like to help my group and me realize this goal, please consider donating however much or little you can afford (every bit helps!). Donations will be processed through St. Matthew's United Church, as they are providing us with their charitable status in order to allow us the opportunity to offer tax receipts (for donations of $20 or higher).

Please make your cheques payable to St. Matthew's but be sure to note "United Neighbours" in the memo field of the cheque.  Cheques can be mailed to St. Matthew's church at 729 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto  M5C 1B2. You can also donate online in a very secure site; www.canadahelps.org/dn/25110
. Later on, you will have the opportunity to contribute time and skills or/and donate furniture.

(I tems listed in this section have been included at the request of Shir Libeynu participants and/or are considered to potentially be of interest to our congregation. Listed items are not necessarily endorsed by Congregation Shir Libeynu or its  members. Listings appear at the discretion of the newsletter editor.)
LGBTQ Jewish Community Needs-Assessment Study: Call for Participants
Do you identify as LGBTQ? And Jewish? The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC) and Kulanu Toronto are conducting an online survey to hear from a broad cross-section of the community. The survey will be live online until March 31, 2016: http://www.mnjcc.org/lgbtqstudy.

Your feedback will help shape programs and policies within both the sponsoring organizations (MNJCC and Kulanu Toronto) and the broader Toronto Jewish community. The sponsoring organizations will share core findings and recommendations, reported anonymously, with a network of Jewish organizations in the city to have the broadest impact possible.
Andi Yumansky is the lead researcher, and will provide summary reports of all anonymously-reported data to the sponsoring organizations and to Professor Randal Schnoor, of York University, who is advising on the research.
For more information about the study or to participate, please contact Andi Yumansky: andiy@mnjcc.org or 416-924-6211 x 344 or click here.

Adult Education Series - Centre for Jewish Studies - University of Toronto

The Centre for Jewish Studies (CJS) at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto,offers a series of presentations on cultural, religious, historical and political subjects throughout the year.  They are usually free and open to the public, taking place at the downtown campus.  On Monday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m, Peter Machinist (Harvard) will lecture on "The Hebrew Bible as a Near Eastern Book: The Challenge of Cultural Comparison." All welcome!

For more info and a calendar of upcoming presentations:   http://cjs.utoronto.ca/events/calendar

Newsletter Editor:  Harriet Eisenkraft
Congregation Shir Libeynu
416-465-5488 | shirlibeynu@yahoo.ca | http://www.shirlibeynu.ca
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Congregation Shir Libeynu
P.O. Box 73509
Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7
(416) 465-5488