It’s Reverse Mifgash time in Montreal!

It’s that time of year again!  Team BIEC is in the midst of preparing for our annual Reverse Mifgash, quite possibly one of the most exciting weeks of our endlessly busy year!  From bowling nights to guest speakers, volunteer projects to Birthright reunions, next week will be jam-packed with all kinds of events and activities to help show this group of Israelis how amazing the Montreal Jewish community is!

Last year's Reverse Mifgash participants, Sharon and Nati, reunite with Team BIEC in Tel Aviv this summer!

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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 amanda.noodelman@bjec.org 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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Pssst….it’s time to share your secret!

The following post was written by guest blogger Suzanne Moscovitch.  A past intern in the Outreach and Engagement department at CJA, Suzanne has been working on her project, Signed, Anonymous, since March 2011.  Here is the story behind the interactive art exhibit, which will take place this Sunday, September 25th at EM Café (5718, av du Parc, Montréal), from 6pm-9pm.

After completing my undergrad over a year ago, I was starving for a change. I had a vision of moving to a new city, meeting new friends and landing an awesome job- something that would allow me to get creative. Eventually, I made the move to Montreal, a city I’ve been in love with since I was old enough to appreciate its vibrant artistic culture. Within months of non-stop networking and exhausting my resources, I landed an internship working for outreach and engagement within the Jewish community. Question: What in the world did that even mean?! Better question: What in the world did I know about being Jewish?!

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Team BIEC’s Summer Wrap-Up

It is already three weeks into September and, I’m sorry to say, summer is officially behind us. Team BIEC had an incredible summer, and we would like to apologize for not keeping you more posted on all of our crazy adventures…and take this opportunity to catch you up.

Summer at BIEC usually means one thing, and one thing only….Birthright season!  This summer, however, we managed to not only send 360 young, Jewish Montrealers on free trips to Israel (and spend a little time in the Holy land ourselves), but we travelled around to Montreal-area camps, hanging out with staff and doing some great team building activities, as well.  Oh yeah…and we also put together a great fundraiser basketball tournament for the Trevor Williams Foundation, held an amazing Birthright Reunion, picked an awesome new batch of leaders for our Madrichim in Training program, and welcomed one returning and two new members to our team (Hi Yoni, Sam, and Sarah!).

Phew.

So now that you are probably back in school and looking for entertaining ways to make the time in your classes go by faster, here’s a brief look back on one of Team BIEC’s most successful summers!

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The Birthright Connection – by guest blogger Samantha Schneider

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new What the BIEC!  As you can see, we’ve made some huge changes to the blog, and expect more changes coming in the next week.  Also, stay tuned for upcoming posts about what we’ve been up to all summer, and all of the things to look forward to in this coming year.  For now, in honour of Birthright Registration, opening TODAY at 10am, please read another awesome post by one of Team BIEC’s favourite guest bloggers, Sam Schneider!

 For those of you who don’t know, Birthright registration for all winter trips opens today at 10am!  In honour of registration day, I would like to share with you a very interesting experience I had this past summer.

Sam and her Birthright bus in Jerusalem this past summer

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We’re rebuilding!

The BIEC blog is currently under construction.  Stay tuned for a new and improved what the BIEC coming soon!!!

BIEC’s Madrichim in Training Program – by guest blogger Samantha Schneider

Samantha Schneider was a participant in BIEC’s 2010-2011 Madrichim in Training (MIT) program and is an active volunteer with the Bronfman Israel Experience Centre. She just got back from leading her first Birthright trip to Israel!  If you are interested in applying for the MIT program please go to: http://biec.wufoo.com/forms/canada-israel-experience-madrich-application-2011/

Sam with other graduates of the MIT program (Sari Katz and Yoni Loeub) and Team BIEC professionals at the Mega Event in Israel this past May.

Hey guys!

I went on Birthright as a participant last May, 2010 and I had the most incredible experience! Little did I know that coming home and applying to participate in the Madrichim in Training (MIT) leadership program would change my life. I am a very studious person and I spend most of my time doing my schoolwork. On an honest note, I had never really had any associations with the Jewish community, or participated in any of the programs it offers. My parents have always been very insistent on my potential involvement within the community, and I saw this program as an ideal approach.

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Get in “Le Mood” for the most exciting new festival in Montreal

I know that it may not quite seem like it yet, but despite the weather outside, it is officially summer in Montreal!  And, according to yours truly, the best thing about summer in Montreal (or any season in Montreal, for that matter) are the festivals!  Just for Laughs, the Fringe Festival, Beerfest, and the Jazz Festival are just a few of the many weekends to look forward to this summer.  Whether you like live music, delicious food and drink, or stand-up comedy, this city really does have something for everyone.

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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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