Category Archives: Family

Ring in the new year with some delicious new recipes

It’s that time of year again; the time when you eat so much food that you ask to be rolled out of the dining room, the time you go home after dinner and put on your favourite sweat/stretchy pants, the time you sit around a larger than life table with your family and loved ones. You guessed it – Rosh Hashanah!

In the last year, I’ve really taken to the kitchen. Cooking Shabbat meals for friends and family, daily dinners, and weekly Sunday brunches! So far, the general consensus is that I can, in fact, cook, and no one has gone home sick! In familiarizing myself with the kitchen, I wanted to share with you some of my personal High Holiday speciality meals. The following are some staple recipes at our holiday dinner table, brisket and apple cake! Appetizers can be anything your heart desires, ranging from gefilte fish, chopped liver, a nice salad and even matzo ball soup! All of which we make from scratch – yes, even the gefilte fish. So if you want or need a recipe for any of the above mentioned appetizers, hit me up with an email at and I’ll send them your way!

So, keep reading to see how surprisingly easy it can be to make the most delectable holiday meal for your family!

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Growing up confused – by guest blogger Samantha Star

Samantha is part of the MIT (madrichim in training) program at the Bronfman Israel Experience Centre, and will be leading her first Birthright trip this summer.  She is an active volunteer in the Jewish community and has helped to organize countless events, including the upcoming I Heart Fashion fashion show fundraiser, benefitting Save a Child’s Heart and En Famille.

Recently, I had the privilege of entering several dozen Birthright applications into the registration database. After doing what felt like a million (or maybe it was only 50), I realized that a lot of these applications had similarities: Hebrew schooling, summer camps, involvement with synagogues, etc. I sat there wondering what my application must have looked like three years earlier, when I applied to be a participant on Birthright, and what it would look like today.

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An urban family Shabbat 180

I love Shabbat.  Anyone who has ever seen me sit through a Shabbat meal can tell you that my eyes almost always well up with tears (of happiness, of course) when seated around a table amongst my family or friends.  Whether I’m celebrating Shabbat at camp with 300 other people, sitting around my aunt’s beautiful Shabbat table with my cousins, or eating off paper plates on the floor of my apartment, there is almost nothing I love more than taking an entire evening to celebrate the end of the work week with good food, good wine, and good company.

Shabbat at camp...the dining hall filled with lots of people and lots of singing!

Up until I moved to Montreal, Shabbat was a holiday celebrated only when visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins in Toronto, or while I was up at camp.  Once I moved out on my own, however, I began to feel the importance of celebrating Shabbat with the people around me, in order to start building my own traditions in a new city that I now call my home.

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Celebrating the great women in our lives!


For those of you who don’t know, today is a very special day.  Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and so, in light of this great occasion, I want to celebrate by giving a shout out to the most amazing woman in my life; mommy dearest, Rita Reuveni. 

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Lost in time…

Gilad Shalit has been a prisoner in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip for the past 1713 days and counting; today is his 242nd Shabbat away from home. 1713 days away from friends, family and home without any contact from anyone besides his captors. For 1713 days the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit him, and his exact location is unknown. His only crime is that of being an Israeli defending his country and his people.

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Discovering my own Jewish identity – by guest blogger Jordan Biberkraut

Thank you to our guest blogger - Jordan Biberkraut!

Over the course of my life, I’ve gone to Jewish elementary and high schools, went to a Jewish sleep-away camp, had a Bar Mitzvah, and have been involved in many different aspects of the Jewish community. After leaving my “Jewish circle” and embarking onto bigger stages in my life, like CEGEP and university, I’m left to question how I see myself as a Jew and what role I now play in the Jewish community.  Over the past few months, I have reconnected with some of my Jewish roots through the Madrichim in Training (MIT) program at the Birthright Israel Experience Center (BIEC). This program has allowed me to develop a new appreciation for what makes me Jewish. It has given me new meaning to my actions and has helped me focus on how I interact with different people, and how engaged I am in providing a source for people to discover their own Jewish identity.

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4 Kids in the Family


Growing up four kids in the Heitner household was quite the experience and man do I have some stories.  I’m currently 25 years old I have two brothers, a 26 year old and a 22 year old.  The fourth addition was my little princess, a sister who is now 18. (Yes I know she’s not little anymore, but she will always be in my eyes)! Being one of the middle children growing up really has its pros and cons.

The Heitner Kids, from left to right; Justin (26), Lindsay (18), Jer (25), and Sean (22)

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