In 2009, Sari Uretsky Leung established The Aviv Dancers, a performance dance troupe, to appear at the Israel Pavillion during Edmonton’s Heritage Days. The troupe has grown over the years to become part of the Edmonton Folk Arts Council, performing at the annual Family Day and Canada Day concerts, along with numerous other shows throughout the year, such as Yom Ha’atzmaut and the Multi-faith celebration at City Hall. The Aviv Dancers have even travelled to other cities to perform. Moreover, in 2011, the troupe launched Festival Hatzafon, or Festival of the North, the only Israeli dance festival in the Province of Alberta. This annual showcase and celebration of Israeli dance encompasses performances by the Aviv adult troupe, the Mayim teenage troupe and Rikud Academy (the children’s dance school at Talmud Torah), as well as the troupe’s adult and recreational dance classes which take place at the Lecky School of Dance. Contact Sari Uretsky at (780) 952-5453 or email@example.com
Beit Horim is a non-profit society whose objective is to provide living accommodations and assistance in an atmosphere allowing for the observance of the Jewish faith and culture to Edmonton Seniors. This project was begun in 1995. The first president of the society was Peter Owen, but the project was begun by Shelley Alexander and Len Dolgoy, who first tried to institute a facility for Jewish seniors in the Edmonton General Hospital. To date they have collected considerable funds and openedtheir facility next to the Beth Shalom Synagogue on Jasper Avenue. This project was completed in the summer of 2015.
The Jewish Community of Edmonton was formally organized in 1906 when a meeting was held at the Boyaner Home. The first action taken by the committee was to hire Hyman Goldstick as rabbi. The growth of Edmonton Jewish Community continued with the opening of the orthodox Beth Israel Synagogue in the fall of 1912, at the corner of modern day 95th Street and 101st Avenue and was the first synagogue built in Edmonton. Prior to its construction, the Edmonton Jewish community had been holding religious services in a variety of locales, including private residences. In 1952, Beth Israel Synagogue moved to a new, larger site on 119th Street and 102nd Avenue. In 1984, plans were made to move the congregation even farther west to the corner of 170th Street and 69th Avenue. The new building at this site was completed in 1999. Members of the congregation have been active in almost every Jewish organization in Edmonton. The Synagogue also operates a women’s auxiliary for female members of the congregation called the Beth Israel Sisterhood, which fundraises for the synagogue. Notable Rabbis include Rabbi A. Pinsky (Rabbi at Beth Israel from 1912 – 1933) and Rabbi A. Postone (1940-1968). The current Rabbi is Daniel Friedman.
In 1928, a group of members of Beth Israel Synagogue, unhappy with the overcrowding of the synagogue during High Holiday services and with the blessing of the synagogue, began holding separate services in the Talmud Torah School building. In 1932, the congregation was incorporated as Beth Shalom Synagogue with Jacob Eisen as the congregation’s first rabbi. In 1950, after considerable discussion, sod-turning took place for a new synagogue building at 11916 Jasper Avenue. In 1951, services and activities began in the partially completed Beth Shalom building. Once the building was completed, it housed the synagogue along with a new Community Centre Association, a library, a theatre, and two full kitchens. With the founding of a Jewish Youth Centre and then a Jewish Community Centre in Edmonton, many of the activities that had taken place in the synagogue moved to the new facilities. In February 1980, an arson attack on the synagogue resulted in over $300,000 in interior damages. Beth Shalom Synagogue is a conservative synagogue and a member of the Association of Conservative Synagogues of America. They have a Women’s League chapter and run the only Judaica shop in the City. The current Rabbi is Rabbi Kliel Rose.
Beth Tzedek is a participative, Egalitarian, Conservative Congregation located in the Talmud Torah School at 6320 172 Street Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta T5T 6H1. Founded in 1996, they hold Shabbat services on Saturday mornings and have other holiday celebrations throughout the year.
(780) 486-0172 BethTzedek@shaw.ca
Established as Camp B’nai Brith in 1955, Camp BB Riback located at Pine Lake, in Central Alberta (near Red Deer), offers the only summer resident camping experience in Alberta for Jewish Children. Every summer, caring and enthusiastic counselors offer a wide variety of creative programs for over 300 kids in grades one to ten. Campers and staff come from all over Canada as well as some from the United States and overseas. Camp BB continues to offer new program ideas that blend Judaism with current trends and fads. Whether hiking in the mountains, riding horses, zip lining down the rope course or making beaded bracelets, each child can be assured that the fun will carry into the evening with energy filled programs. Traditional Jewish blessings are said for every meal and weekly Shabbat services unite the camp in prayer. To end Shabbat, the camp organizes a special Havdalah service. Older campers participate in regular discussions where Jewish issues are discussed in-depth. Campers leave camp with a stronger sense of what it means to be Jewish in the modern world.
10220 156 Street Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta T5P 2R1 Summer office Box: 242 Pine Lake, Alberta T0M 1S0 (587) 988-9771 or 1-800-267-CAMP (2267) firstname.lastname@example.org
Chabad Lubavitch is a worldwide outreach Chassidic organization dedicated to the strengthening of Jewish identity through outreach and public programming. The word Chabad is a composite of three Hebrew words, which translate to Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge. Lubavitch is a city in Russia. Until his death in 1994, Chabad Lubavitch was led by Rabbi Menachem Schneerson of Brooklyn, New York. In 1997, there were 2,000 Chabad Rabbis serving the whole of the Jewish Diaspora. Chabad Lubavitch of Alberta is based in Calgary with a chapter in Edmonton. The Edmonton chapter operates a Chabad house for study and worship, offers educational opportunities to interested Jews, raises funds, and publishes a newsletter. Since its founding in 1991, the Edmonton chapter of Chabad has been led by Rabbi Ari Drelich.
The EDJGE (Edmonton Jewish General Education) is an independent, non-profit institution, whose purpose is to provide an exceptional Jewish learning experience for Jewish men and women of all backgrounds and affiliations. They sponsor programs including Kosher Event Organizing, Weekly Classes, Father’s and Son’s Learning, Lunch and Learn, Weekly Shabbat Kiddush, Private Tutoring, Family Events, Kashruth Service and Shabbat Hosting.
The Hadassah-WIZO Organization of Canada was founded in Ottawa in 1917 as a Canadian Zionist Women’s organization by Lillian Frieman, the first National President. In 1921, the organization formed an alliance with the Women’s International Zionist Movement, founded the previous year in London, England, under the leadership of Rebecca Sieff. In 1926, Canadian Hadassah-WIZO became a sponsor of the Hanna Maisel Shoshat Agricultural School at Nahalal. In 1937, Recha Freier founded the Youth Aliyah movement to rescue Jewish Children from Europe during World War II, and Hadassah-WIZO became a supporter of Youth Aliyah projects. These have included the Hadassim School, Nehalim, Hofim (a school specifically designed to integrate new Ethiopian immigrants), the Moseenson School at Magdiel, Netanya Technological High School, and Ben Yakir Youth Village. Since 1953, Hadassah-WIZO has supported Assaf Harofe Hospital near Tel Aviv, and in 1990, it affiliated with Hadassah International to become the sole representative in Canada of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Over the years, additional projects have been added to the roster of institutions in Israel supported by Canadian Hadassah-WIZO, including day care centres, women’s shelters, schools, and other projects. In Edmonton, the organization known as the Daughters of Zion officially decided to change their name to Edmonton Hadassah-WIZO on March 8th, 1921. In 1947, Edmonton became a council city of federated chapters. The first council president was Becky Bloomfield. The various chapters over the years have included: Ami Chai, Ner Tamid, Ariel, Aviva, Golda Meir, Sybil Dlin, Shalom, Yahel, Yonah, Or Hatsafon, and Anna Frank. Throughout the years, the group has engaged in many fundraising activities including the annual Hadassah Bazaar or rummage sale, the annual Youth Aliyah fundraising dinner, Medical Services Tea, Games Day, and Mah Jongg tournaments. The money raised in Edmonton goes to Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) projects in Israel, including the Alberta Day Care Centre in Ramat Hasharon.
Jahsena was formed as a non-profit Society in 1997 by founding President Uri Rosenzweig. The organization’s first project was to publish a book about the history of the Jewish communities in Northern Alberta. The book, titled, “The First Century of Jewish Life in Edmonton and Northern Alberta: 1893 to 1993,” was published in 2001. After the publication, the materials collected during the book’s writing were set up by Archivist Debby Shoctor. Institutional membership in the Archives Society of Alberta followed. Two documentary films were subsequently produced by second president Dan Kauffman, entitled: “From Pedlars to Patriarchs: A Legacy Remembered,” (2004) and “Bittersweet Memories: The War Years,” (2007). The mandate of the organization is to protect and preserve the Jewish Heritage of Edmonton for generations to come. The Society belongs to the Association of Canadian Archivists, the Alberta Museums Association and the Association of Canadian Jewish Archives and Museums. It has won awards from the Edmonton Historical Board and the Archives Society of Alberta. 10220 156 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 2R1 (780) 489-2809 email@example.com
Jewish Services families experiencing divorce and remarriage, intermarriage and a variety of other family-related circumstances, including responsibility for aged parents, along with holocaust survivors and the second generation. JFS agencies receive funds through the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, United Way, client fees, governmental sources, grants, membership contributions, and endowments.
In 1901, the Jewish national Fund (Keren Kayemeth L’Israel) was established to purchase and develop the land of Israel on behalf of the Jewish people to prepare for their return to their homeland. There has been a JNF presence in Edmonton since 1930 when Charlotte Wershof became secretary and chairman and began raising funds. Since 1954, the primary fundraising event for the Alberta office of the Jewish National Fund has been its annual Negev dinner. Each year, the JNF holds black-tie dinners in Calgary and Edmonton and selects a prominent member of the community as the dinner’s honoree. The JNF also raises money through the selling of tribute cards and the collecting of change in blue boxes. All funds raised are then turned over to the JNF office and sent to Israel. Much of the money sent to Israel is used to plant trees and irrigate land.
Jewish Senior Citizens Centre
The Golden Age Club was organized under the auspices of the National Council of Jewish Women. Mrs. Rae Miller founded the Edmonton section, which originally met at the Beth Shalom Synagogue. Operating funds came from membership fees, annual donations by the NCJW Economy Shop and the annual Angel’s Ball. By 1970, the group ceased being an exclusively NCJW project and became the Jewish Senior’s Drop-in Centre, under the presidency of Hy Baltzan. At that time, the group purchased an apartment building located at 10052 – 117th Street. It used the basement for meetings, and rented out the apartments on top for revenue. Jewish Family Services became involved, eventually sponsoring programs for new immigrants. For a time, the Centre was also a beneficiary of Edmonton United Jewish Appeal. In 1992, a grant was obtained from the Provincial Community Facilities Enhancement Fund, and that, together with private funding, allowed the demolition of the old building and the construction of a new one on the same site. The newly-named Jewish Drop-in Centre, under the presidency of Alice Abells, opened its doors on May 16, 1993. The Centre provides programming for seniors including adult education, holiday and birthday celebrations, excursions, bridge, Mah Jongg and Bingo, and Mameloshen (Yiddish) Club. The Centre provides support, recreation, adult education, programs for Russian and Yiddish speakers, lunches and more!
Edmonton Menorah Academy, a private religious Jewish school, opened its doors in 1993. It was first located in West Edmonton Mall, but later moved to a decommissioned public school building at 10735 –144th Street. The first principal of the school was Rabbi Shmuel Herman. A fully accredited Alberta Education Private School, Menorah offers education for students from pre-school through grade 12. Hebrew language and prayer are emphasized, and after grade 3, classes are segregated. Kosher lunches are served at the school daily. The school is funded by private tuition.
The oldest Hebrew Day School in Canada, Talmud Torah offers an integrated program of Judaic and Secular studies in a Hebrew-English bilingual setting focused on excellence in learning and achievement. Talmud Torah provides challenging opportunities for each child to learn and grow as an individual in a safe, respectful environment. An emphasis is placed on Jewish culture and religion, as well as responsible citizenship. A cooperative partnership between staff, students and parents is valued and necessary in achieving high levels of student success. Talmud Torah School provides Hebrew-English bilingual programming for students from kindergarten to grade nine in a Jewish learning environment. Parents, organized through the Talmud Torah Society/ School Council, are very actively involved in the life and fabric of the school. On November 25, 1997 Talmud Torah began full instruction in its new facility in the West End of Edmonton (south Callingwood). Parents and staff continue to work together in ongoing Program development to ensure the combined program of Hebrew and English meets the needs of the students and parents. This community of learners will continue to review its Mission/Vision statement as an important part of the process in achieving excellence. In 1975, the Talmud Torah Society formed a partnership with Edmonton Public Schools. At this time the Province of Alberta Department of Education was exploring means by which private schools could become associated with existing public school boards. In September, 1975, an understanding was reached between the president of Talmud Torah Board of Directors and the superintendent of the Edmonton Public School Board, whereby the public board would fund Talmud Torah’s secular component. This arrangement continues to the present time.
6320 172nd Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5T 6H1 (780) 487-9290
Temple Beth Ora was founded in 1979 as a reform synagogue, and in 1980 it was incorporated and Beit Sefer classes began. The congregation initially met at the home of Alexis and Shawn Gold and then moved into the Jewish Community Centre as the congregation grew. Services were held in the Colonial Lounge and the gymnasium at the JCC. The congregation was initially led by student Rabbis until 1988, when the first ordained resident Rabbi, Joseph L. Melamed, was hired. In 2003, the congregation was led by Rabbi Lindsey bat Joseph and had 85 family member units. Later came Rabbi Carmit Harari, and then Rabbi Moch. The synagogue had a home at the former JCC in Rio Terrace, but now rents space from the Chevra Kadisha in the Chesed Shel Emes.