Federation CJA 360 - March 19, 2021

Our 360 this week includes a profile on human rights lawyer and Canada's global antisemitism envoy Irwin Cotler at 80 years old. Plus, the impact of the PJ Our Way Jewish book program on EMSB students; the discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in Israel; honouring the 100th birthday of well-known Canadian lecturer and long-time Federation CJA supporter Ben Sperer; a look at a Montreal historian preserving North African Jewish music; a Jewish guide to the 2021 Oscars; and a taste of haroset from around the world. Shabbat Shalom!

HELPLINE: If you, or anyone you know is struggling at this critical time, please call 514-734-1411 or email [email protected].

GESHER – THE BRIDGE: Have you been impacted by COVID-19? The goal of Gesher is to help families and individuals withstand this financial crisis, ensuring that the impact is temporary and that community members do not withdraw from participating in Jewish life. To initiate Gesher assistance, please click here to fill out a short online form.

Shabbat Candlelight
March 19 | 6:48 PM

Rabbi Sacks z''l had prepared a full year of Covenant & Conversation for 5781, based on his book Lessons in Leadership. Click here to read this week's essay: "The Sins of a Leader" (Vayikra 5781).

Most senior citizens can make their COVID-19 vaccination appointments now by calling 1-877-644-4545 or by visiting www.quebec.ca/covidvaccine. If you are unable to make an appointment on your own, or if you need transportation to the designated vaccination sites, we are here to help. Call the Community Helpline at 514-734-1411 (Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM | Friday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM). Click here to get your name on our volunteer list and be part of the light at the end of tunnel.

Donate now to Federation CJA's Community Recovery and Resilience Campaign
Our community is in crisis and the stakes could not be higher. To make your gift, click here – we need you!

Source: Federation CJA

Read more

At 80 years old, human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler is busier than ever
Serving as Canada's new antisemitism envoy is a pro bono gig for the former MP, who also defends dissidents via Zoom.

Source: Jewish Insider

Read more

Spread joy to our community's most vulnerable this Passover
Purchase Federation CJA's Passover cards and send your loved ones a beautiful, personalized e-card or print card. The funds raised will ensure a joyful holiday for everyone in our community. 

Source: Federation CJA

Read more

Marking a major milestone in Federation CJA's history, the Centennial Haggadah beautifully captures the diverse heritage of the Montreal Jewish community and celebrates our unity.
Order your copy today, and celebrate Passover as one unified community, with one Haggadah.

Source: Federation CJA

Read more

EMSB students participate in PJ Our Way Program, enjoying books with Jewish themes
PJ Our Way,  the next chapter of PJ Library for kids ages nine to 12, offers the gift of exceptional books with Jewish themes that they choose themselves—for free. Every month, kids can come to the PJ Our Way site to choose the book they want to receive.

Source: EMSB

Read more

Response to Montreal Gazette Article
CIJA, along with its principal stakeholder, Federation CJA, categorically rejects any suggestion that specific segments of the Jewish community serve as super-spreaders of the COVID-19 virus.

Sources: Federation CJA, CIJA

Read more

Dead Sea Scrolls fragments found in Israel's Cave of Horror
Israeli archaeologists racing against treasure hunters to search caves near the Dead Sea have discovered a trove of artifacts, including fragments of a biblical text, the like of which has not been seen for decades.

Source: National Post

Read more

Well-known Canadian lecturer and author Ben Sperer turns 100
As a longtime supporter of Federation CJA, Mr. Sperer has contributed for many years to the cultural backdrop of the Montreal Jewish community.

Source: Federation CJA
Image Source: McGill University

Read more

As Holocaust survivors dwindle, a proposal emerges for a day devoted to them
Jews who were murdered by the Nazis have two days of commemoration devoted to them. Now two Jewish leaders have proposed a third day of Holocaust remembrance—devoted to the Jews who survived.

Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Read more

This historian is preserving North African Jewish music from a bygone era
Chris Silver, a professor of Jewish History at McGill University, collects records from around the world for the first archive of North African Jewish music, currently housed in his apartment in Montreal.

Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Read more

A Jewish guide to the 2021 Oscars [article in French]
Sacha Baron Cohen nominated for two very different roles; Israeli and Palestinian short movies competing in the same category.

Source: Times of Israel

Read more

Haroset from around the world
Everything you need to know about this ubiquitous Passover spread.

Source: The Nosher

Read more

Source: Gouvernement du Québec

COVID-19 vaccination spots open at Université de Montréal, MIL campus

A new vaccination site is open with spots currently available at the Université de Montréal, MIL campus. The facility is located at 1375 Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux Avenue and is accessible from the Acadie métro station via a pedestrian bridge.

Pilot project

More good news is that the Regional Public Health Department is sponsoring a pilot project in northern Côte Saint-Luc and the Plamondon area of our territory. Parents of children in schools and daycares in those neighbourhoods are being vaccinated between March 22 and April 4 in one of the four specifically designated vaccination centres of the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

Currently, the British variant of the virus, which is much more contagious and is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization and death in vulnerable people, is spreading quickly in the Côte Saint-Luc and Plamondon neighbourhoods, where we are seeing 25% of all the new cases in the city.

For those eligible, all COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made by calling 514-644-4545 or by visiting www.quebec.ca/covidvaccine


Source: PJ Library

PJ Library is thrilled to announce that the PJ Library Family Haggadah is now available in French! Click here to download your free copy to help you tell the story of Passover during the seder. This year, the Haggadah can also be found in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian!


To see not only all Federation CJA events, but virtual events being run by our agencies and community partners, please visit our Community Calendar.

Matzah Mitzvah Volunteer Initiative
Federation CJA West Island
Time: Sunday, March 21 [only delivery times still available]

Chefs R Us Passover Workshop
PJ Library
Time: Sunday, March 21 | 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM [children ages 6 and under] | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM [children ages 7 and up]

A Story of Survival, Resilience and Inspiration
Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA
Time: Wednesday, March 24 | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Solstice – Musique à la Maison
Solstice & Cummings Centre
Time: Thursday, March 25 | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Meghan Herder Soprano – Musique à la Maison
Cummings Centre
Time: Thursday, April 8 | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM


Agence Ometz

Case Manager I, Immigration Services (Initiative France)

Federation CJA

Engagement and Outreach Specialist

Kehilla Montreal Residential Programs

Project Manager

Federation CJA 360 is a news aggregate, offering readers a variety of articles and opinion pieces on topics of concern to the Jewish community and presented in a concise, convenient platform. The opinions expressed by contributors shared in Federation CJA 360 do not necessarily reflect the policies or the positions of Federation CJA, its staff or its Board of Directors.

About Federation CJA
For over one hundred years, Federation CJA has been at the heart of the organized Jewish community in Montreal. In partnership with a vast network of agencies and organizations locally, nationally and internationally, Federation CJA builds and sustains this community by providing leadership and by supporting the delivery of services and programs to care for the vulnerable and those in need, to ensure a bright Jewish future, to represent communal interests and to positively affect issues in the wider society.

Back to top