Categories
Guest Voices

Preserving Jewish Material Culture in Poland

David Kaufman’s photographic exhibit, The Posthumous Landscape: Jewish Sites of Memory in Poland Today, is part of Holocaust Education Week in Toronto. It opened on Oct. 29 at Beth Tzedec’s Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum and runs until Feb. 2, 2014. Kaufman is a  Toronto-based photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on architecture, urban landscape … Read More

Categories
Arts

Fifteen Reasons to Live

After reading Ray Robertson’s book, Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig thought that the complexity of  life might be better understood by organizing it into neat and accessible categories. Animated by this idea, he sought out real-life stories that were at once applicable to Robertson’s concept and transportable to the screen. … Read More

Categories
Arts

The Summit Recreates A Tragic Mountain Climbing Expedition

Mountaineers are under no illusions when they embark on a challenging expedition. Having weighed the risks, they know there is always a chance they may never return to their loved ones. These thoughts doubtlessly crossed the minds of 70 climbers from 15 countries who set out to reach the summit of K2, the world’s highest … Read More

Categories
Guest Voices

Birobidzhan: A Remnant of History

Israel is, technically, not the only official Jewish homeland in the world. Hidden away in the far east of Russian Siberia, 8,361 kilometres east of Moscow, and not that far from the Pacific Ocean, is the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) of Birobidzhan.  And it’s even bigger than the far more famous Jewish state: Birobidzhan has … Read More

Categories
Arts

American Universities and the Rise of Nazism in Germany

The rise of the Nazi party in Germany in 1933 led to an outpouring of protest in the United States. Community leaders, politicians, trade unionists, writers and intellectuals, among others, took to the podiums, streets, airwaves and op-ed pages to denounce Adolf Hitler’s blatantly antisemitic regime. Strangely enough, the presidents of America’s universities and colleges … Read More

Categories
Middle East

Is Israel Really a Western Nation?

Israel is widely regarded by friends and foes alike as a Western state, but is it really Western? On the face of it, Israel is quintessentially Western, a modern, developed, democratic nation dedicated to and bound by the rule of law. And like classic Western states, Israel has a post-industrial economy, a bourgeois way of … Read More

Categories
Arts

Israeli Balladeer David Broza Returning to Toronto

Israeli balladeer David Broza, who has been compared to Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen and whose signature songs range from Yihye Tov to Belibi, will perform at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. Returning to Toronto after a six-year absence, he will be followed by the Yemen Blues band after … Read More

Categories
Arts

Seven Minutes In Heaven

Omri Givon’s Seven Minutes in Heaven works on two diametrically opposed levels, the real and the hallucinatory. To be presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Society on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Avenue), this psychological drama from Israel blends terrorism, trauma and romance. A year after … Read More

Categories
Travel

My Autumn in Canada

I can’t say I like autumn. Autumn, for me, marks the end of summer, my favorite season. I’m a warm-weather person who worships the sun, which, I realize, is not good for you if you expose yourself to its potentially harmful rays once too often. Yet, during the all too short Canadian summer, I’m in … Read More

Categories
Travel

Montreal: A Place of Memory

I returned to Montreal last month after an absence of more than a year. Montreal, for me, is not just a destination but a place of memory. I was raised in Montreal and spent my formative years there. But after leaving in 1969 to study at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African … Read More