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Jewish Canada Eh? [clear filter]
Sunday, March 6

10:00am EST

In Their Own Words: Young Jewish Adults in Toronto
This presentation will highlight key findings from my interviews and focus groups with a sample of Toronto's young Jewish adult (YJA) community (25 to 35 years of age). I will focus on topics such as: how YJAs define Jewish identity, the relationship between YJAs and the Toronto Jewish community, dating and relationships and family. This presentation will explore the ways in which YJAs think about and express their Jewish identity in ways and forms that take place outside of traditional spaces (i.e. synagogues, community centres) and offer a starting point for a discussion about ways in which this demographic engages with their Jewishness.

avatar for Natalie Weiser

Natalie Weiser

Natalie Weiser is qualitative researcher and a PhD candidate in sociology at York University. Natalie's research areas include: sociology of religion, qualitative methodology, identity and social psychology. She researches the ways in which non-married young Jewish adults (25 to... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am EST

12:00pm EST

The Magic of Fiction: Why One Writer Chose to Write a Novel about Anti-Israelism on Campus
My recent book, Fields of Exile, is the first novel about anti-Israelism on campus, and the question I am most frequently asked about it is why I chose to write a novel on this difficult topic, rather than a non-fiction book. This is not surprising, given that Fields of Exile contains a considerable amount of intellectual content — so much so that both Phyllis Chesler and Thane Rosenbaum have called Fields of Exile a “novel of ideas.” In this talk, I will discuss some of the reasons why I elected to approach a complex contemporary issue through fiction rather than through nonfiction. In addition, I will reflect on how the activism and research that I did on the topic of anti-Israelism prior to writing this novel both helped my book and created some special challenges for it. I will also comment on the “usefulness” or “uselessness” of books, and whether or not fiction (or art in general) can — or should — play a role in trying to promote social change. Finally, I will relate some of these issues to my new novel, The Dead Man, which will be published in April 2016.

avatar for Nora Gold

Nora Gold

Dr. Nora Gold is a writer, activist, and the creator and editor of the prestigious online literary journal, Jewish Fiction .net. Gold’s novel Fields of Exile won the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was also the recipient of high praise, including from Cynthia Ozick, Phyllis... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm EST

1:00pm EST

Benjamin Brown: Architect
Solomon will speak about the significance of Toronto's first Jewish architect, Benjamin Brown and will illustrate how his career is a lens into Toronto's Jewish community during the 1920s and 30s. This talk is in conjunction with the OJA's major exhibition on view at Urban Space Gallery (401 Richmond Street West).

avatar for Dara Solomon

Dara Solomon

Executive Director, Ontario Jewish Archives + Neuberger Holocaust Centre
Since 2012, Dara Solomon has been the Director of the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre. At the OJA, she has organized exhibitions at all of the Jewish community campuses around the GTA, developed a new school partnership program, and grown access to the... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST

1:00pm EST

A Minority Within A Minority: Jews of Colour
How are you jewish? I am fine thanks. How are you, Jewish? - Manishtana

Jews of Colour encompasses Jews who do not fit the definition or stereotype of what a Jew looks like.  We are from Jamaica, Africa, China, India, Yemen, Israel and many other non European countries. Some of us have a long Jewish history or are new members of the family.
The presentation will explore what it is like to be a "minority within a minority" while navigating within the larger Jewish community and the challenges and misconceptions we often face.
Our goal is for the community to recognize, learn about and celebrate the diversity of our Jewish community. And above all, to remember that we are family.

avatar for Rivka Campbell

Rivka Campbell

Rivka, a Jew of Jamaican descent born and raised in Toronto, seeks to build community among Jews of Colour in Canada while opening dialogue among the mainstream Jewish community about the experience of Jews of Colour. She is the co-founder of the group Jews of Colour – Canada and... Read More →
avatar for Joel  Niederhoffer

Joel Niederhoffer

Joel Niederhoffer (34) is a Jew with roots in Jamaica and Canada. He grew up in the close knitted Jewish community of Victoria, British Columbia. He was active in Jewish community being involved in the Congregation Emmanuel and local U.S.Y. chapter. He attended Public school as well... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Samuels

Tyler Samuels

I am a fourth-year (senior) university student at the University of Toronto concluding a double-major degree in political science and history. Concurrently, I work with Hillel of Ontario as an Israel engagement intern operating around UofT campus Scarborough. I mostly peform independent... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST

2:00pm EST

Keeping the Faith: City Hall Behind Closed Doors
This is a light and informative talk about what it is was like as an observant Jewish City Councillor before during and after the tumultuous Ford years. Councillor Pasternak will share stories about what happens when an observant elected official navigates the secular world of municipal politics. What happens when Toronto's former Mayor Ford attends a Menorah lighting on his first day in office and then dances the Horah to much horror? What happens when Toronto Councillors and Mayor Ford attend an Eruv educational session and it ends up being a feature story in Now magazine? What surprises Councillor's got when they went on a Shiva visit for the first time? And what the real fight was when the anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid tried to hijack the political agenda of Pride Toronto? Councillor Pasternak will also share the inside story of how as a school board Trustee he was responsible for navigating the political minefield when setting up Canada's only black-focussed school. Hear the background stories of power politics and the Jewish community in an amusing and informative format.  

avatar for James  Pasternak

James Pasternak

Councillor James Pasternak was elected to City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Councillor Pasternak sits on Mayor John Tory's Executive Committee as the current chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee for the City of Toronto. James is also a member of the... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm EST

2:00pm EST

Playing Hitler's Games: The 1936 Nazi Olympics and the Canadian Jewish Community
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the infamous 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, an priority event not only for Hitler and Germany but also for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the organized Canadian Jewish community which, in the wake of the Nuremberg Laws, campaigned against Canadian participation in the Games. The campaign failed. Canada participated in what turned out to be a propaganda bonanza for Nazi Germany. Troper will discuss the legacy of the Nazi Olympic Games and the part played by Canada and Canadian Jewish community in the Nazi Olympic saga.

avatar for Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper is a professor at the University of Toronto. He is perhaps best known as co-author of None Is Too Many. His most recent book is More than Just Games: Canada and the Nazi Olympics, written in partnership with Richard Menkis of the University of British Columbia. Hesh’s... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm EST

3:00pm EST

Israeli Chutzpah in Toronto
A panel discussion (in ENGLISH) addressing the unique experience of growing up Israeli in Toronto and how it affected the panelist's connections to the Jewish community here. As well, the panelists explain how the Israeli chutzpah got them to where they are today, and how it has helped them advance their careers and lives!

avatar for Ronen Geisler

Ronen Geisler

Ronen Geisler is a Jewish stand-up comedian based in Toronto, Ontario. He has appeared at a variety of comedy clubs in Toronto, Beijing, Montreal, Ottawa, and New York City. He also hosts the popular Learn English Funcast Podcast. Where he teaches English learners around the world... Read More →
avatar for Gonen Hollander

Gonen Hollander

Senior Associate, Amplify Capital
Gonen is an MBA candidate at Rotman School of Management and founder and director of Bar Lectures. Born and raised in Israel, Gonen, the oldest of four brothers, grew up in the coastal area of Israel. In 2006, after the second Lebanon War, Gonen joined the Navy, as his father and... Read More →
avatar for Rafi Yablonsky

Rafi Yablonsky

Born in Israel, raised in Thornhill, living in Toronto. I grew up in the Jewish day school system attending Associated and CHAR. While attending York University I encountered my first experience of an anti-Israel demonstration. I then founded Hasbara at York, which still exists today... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm EST

4:00pm EST

Creating Conscious Community
Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira of the Warsaw Ghetto put together a guide for how to create a community of commitment. This is a template for shuls to start thinking about how they create synagogue cultures. We will study sections from his text to discuss the "ingredients" for a successful community.

Texts will be presented in Hebrew and English.  

avatar for Elyse Goldstein

Elyse Goldstein

Rabbi, The City Shul, Toronto
Elyse Goldstein is the founding Rabbi of City Shul in Toronto. Before that she served as Director of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning which she founded in 1991. In May 2008 she received her Doctor of Divinity, honoris causis, from Hebrew Union College and in 2018... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm EST

4:00pm EST

Not By Bread Alone - כי לא על הלחם לבדו
Between rushing toward the Future and clinging to the Past lies the moment we live in, the ever-demanding Present. Experience has taught Jews a great deal about how to behave in the here and now. Certainly most, if not all, of this wisdom can be found in the books on the shelves of our beit midrash. But this talk will focus on some themes that have made repeated appearances over the decades as the Jewish community evolved and expanded from Union Station up to Thornhill, and back downtown again...from the perspective of a seat at one of the city's longest-lived family eateries.

avatar for Philip Ladovsky

Philip Ladovsky

Philip Ladovsky is a Toronto restaurateur with a lifelong interest in Jewish study. Along with his sister, Ruth, he is the third generation proprietor of a family business that has been serving soups, salads and lots of bagels to hungry Torontonians for over a century of continuous... Read More →

Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm EST