Blog Archives

Finding light in dark places: reflections on the March of the Living

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”  ~Anne Frank 

It has been over a week since I returned from a whirlwind trip through Poland and Israel, otherwise known as the March of the Living.  Almost immediately upon my return I sat down to write this blog post, but found it simply too difficult.  Anything I could possibly write, any stories I could recount, seemed to simply fail in comparison to the experience I had on the trip, my first time in Poland.  Now a week later, after sharing stories with family and friends, I realize there is one piece of the trip that stands out in my mind; not a specific anecdote or a site we visited, but an incredible life lesson I learned while traveling through Poland with 217 other Jews from Montreal.

March of the Living Montreal in Poland – photo courtesy of PBL Photography

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Vote for Enigma on Canada’s Got Talent!

What do Mel Weinstein, Julie Goldenberg, Tracey Shwartz and Ariela Levi all have in common? Aside from being talented dancers in theMontrealbased dance production Enigma, they are all Taglit Birthright Israel alumni!!!

In just over 48 hours, Enigma will take center stage onCanada’s Got Talent. The four girls along with their group members Florence Brais and Jade Hassoune first auditioned for the show inMontrealearlier in the year, but their story began in 2008. Enigma was born as a unique and inspirational dance outlet, whose mission was to bring awareness to and raise funds for Vision of Hope, a fund created to honor the late Ian Samberg who sadly lost his battle to cancer in 2007.

Since then the group has managed to raise over $140,000 for the cause through two sold out shows, and has caught the attention of local and national press. This time around, the group won’t be looking for dollars, but rather your vote. On April 22nd as of 8pm you have five ways to show your support for them: by phone, online, facebook, text and twitter.

For more information on voting please visitCanada’s Got Talent’s website here.

From everyone here at team BIEC we wish them the best of luck on Sunday, you can count on our votes!

Mel & Tracey at the Bedouin Tents, Israel 2011

Montreal’s Jewish community comes together to support Israel’s newest singing sensation

After Holland’s original reality talent show, “The Voice of Holland,” took off in America last year, many countries have followed suit, including Ukraine, Poland, Mexico, Germany, France, and the UK, each launching their own versions of “The Voice,” now one of the most popular television talent shows.  The latest country to create a new singing sensation is none other than Israel, who announced the winner of their edition of “The Voice” this past Saturday night. Not only were Israeli audiences waiting in suspense to find out the winner…so was Montreal’s Jewish community.

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Meet Sara Goldberg: Team BIEC welcomes a new member!

Hi! My name is Sara Goldberg and I am very excited to be the newest member of Team BIEC, as alumni and outreach coordinator! I went on Birthright Israel in May 2011 and had an amazing, life changing experience. The combination of meeting new people along with the beauty of the country and the amazing activities made this trip unforgettable. My madrichim, Sam and Jeremy, played a huge role making this experience memorable, always going above and beyond in planning activities and our itinerary. Since I had been there before, I went into the trip not expecting it to change me, or my outlook on Israel, however, this trip made me see Israel in a whole new light.

Sara (on the far left) and friends from her Birthright Israel trip in Jerusalem this past summer

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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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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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