Jewish Heritage Month –

Posted By on May 3, 2019

About Jewish Heritage MonthOn Feb. 23, 2012, the Ontariolegislature unanimously declared May as Jewish Heritage Month and on March 28,2018 the House of Commons passed a bill that designated May as Canadian JewishHeritage Month. Jewish Heritage Month is commemorated through various eventsthat acknowledge the many remarkable achievements and contributions made bymembers of the Jewish community. It also pays tribute to Ontario and Canadasrich Jewish culture, heritage and history. Below are events occurringthroughout the City of Vaughan during Jewish Heritage Month. May 1 to 7 Vaughan City Hall, AtriumJews: A Canadian Story in PicturesThe City of Vaughan, incollaboration with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, celebrates JewishHeritage Month with the launch of a pictographic display entitled Jews: A Canadian Story in Pictures. Thedisplay commemorates the history of Jewish life in Canada and includes earliestknown images of Jewish settlers. The exhibit also chronicles contributions madeby the Jewish community in the evolution of Canada as a country. The exhibitwill be on display in the main atrium at Vaughan City Hall from May 1 to 7.May 1 to31 Vaughan City Hall, second floorTheodor Herzl memorabilia

TheodorHerzl was born in Hungary in 1860 and died in Austria in 1904. Only the lasteight of the 44 years of his life were dedicated to the cause of the Jewishpeople. However, his dream, his vision, his effort and his sacrifice was theState of Israel. Herzl was thefounder of the politicalform of Zionism, a movement to establish a Jewish homeland. David Matlow is theowner of the worlds largest private collection of Herzl memorabilia and is theproducer of My Herzl, a 52-minute documentary by Israeli film maker EliTal-El. A partner at Goodmans LLP in Toronto, Matlow is reported to have the largest private collection anywhere ofHerzl memorabilia. It consists of postcards, autographs, household items thatinclude the Herzl-bearded likeness, jackknives, lamps, Chanukah menorahs,pieces of art and even bobblehead dolls. Showings of some of his items havebeen held in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Matlow hopes that when seen in exhibitions, theHerzl items and their stories will teach North American Jews, young and old,about the Jewish state and its history.

Jewishceremonial art, also known as Judaica, refers to an array of objectsused by Jews for ritual purposes. Enhancing a mitzvah by adorning it with especially beautifulobjects is considered a praiseworthy way of honouring God's commandments andJudaism has a long tradition of commissioning ritual objects from craftspeopleand artists. A group of local Vaughan artists and crafters will beexhibiting and selling Judaica works and items as part of the celebrationsduring Jewish Heritage Month in Vaughan. Items on display will includephotograph works, Hebrew calligraphy, pottery, jewelry and paintings.

Communityvolunteer acknowledgement

Many Jewish Canadianscelebrate Israels independence on Yom Haatzmaut, which in 2019 begins atsunset on May 8 and continues to nightfall on May 9. It commemorates when DavidBen-Gurion, Israels first prime minister, publicly read Israels Declarationof Independence on May 14, 1948. The concept of a modern state of Israel datesto the ideas of Theodor Herzl, a Jewish man born on May 2, 1860, in Pest, nowpart of Budapest, Hungary. He campaigned for a Jewish state in the Middle Eastand was instrumental in setting up the Zionist Organization and organizing theFirst Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland in August 1897. Herzl diedon July 3, 1904. Following the atrocities committed against Jewish peopleand culture in Europe leading up to and during the Second World War, there werefurther calls for a Jewish state to be created.

The Consulate General ofIsrael and leaders of Vaughans Jewish community will lead the flag-raisingceremony at noon on Tuesday, May 7 at Vaughan City Hall. During the ceremony,there will be singing of the Canadian and Israeli national anthems.

During 2017, Canadas 150th anniversary, an inspired teamof Jewish Canadians set out to celebrate the country and the many contributionsof its Jewish citizens. The Canadian Jewish Experience (CJE) team created apanel exhibition entitled The Canadian Jewish Experience: ACelebration ofCanada that travelled from coast to coast, alongsidemany outreach activities and a website that further promotes ongoing discoveryand research.

The panel exhibit became a book and was published by Tovaand Jim Lynch to complement the display and was prepared by the CJE exhibitionteam, Tova and Jim Lynch, Victor Rabinovitch and Sandra Morton Weizman. Thebook is a record of the exhibition display and activities associated with itsjourney. Activities took place in all regions of Canada, at all levels ofgovernment from Parliament Hill to many city halls, including the City ofVaughan in 2018 which have been documented in the book with full-colourpictures of the event and presentations.

This years event will include the Netivot HaTorah DaySchool Choir from the co-educational orthodox elementary Bialik Hebrew DaySchool located in Thornhill. They organize a choir of students from Grade 1 to 5who energetically and musically share Jewish culture throughout the communityof Vaughan.

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Jewish Heritage Month -

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