Continue attending Jewish Edmonton events to build a strong community

This past week we held multiple events, from Yom HaZikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut, and a Genesis networking night. At each one, we welcomed newcomers to Edmonton, and at each one, I inevitably heard from community members who appreciate the opportunity to be among fellow Jewish community members, in what felt like a safe space—both physically and emotionally.  

I hope I will see many of you at our 28th annual Edmonton Jewish Film Festival (EJFF), including the opening night on Tuesday. Our diverse committee has curated a roster of truly enjoyable films from around the world, showcasing the best in the Jewish and Israeli film industry. We have a few lighthearted films this year, but all pack meaningful messages that are universal and timeless. Please make every effort to attend, enjoy the online offerings, and bring friends. The fiddler sing-along is a wonderful intergenerational opportunity as well. You can see the EJFF program now.  

Today is the International Day against homophobia, transphobia and bi-phobia. Along with our Pride committee, we want to ensure that we create safe and welcoming spaces in our community, promoting inclusion and respect for all members of the ‘queer’ community (I place this in quotes, as I recently had a discussion with a member of our pride committee who explained the use of the word to a senior community member who was concerned they were being asked to say something derogatory and offensive!) 

Our Pride committee is planning to begin regular meet ups in safe Jewish spaces, and is soon to announce a speaker event that will be open to the general community as part of Pride Month this June. Stay tuned and watch The Bridge for these announcements.  

Many people asking how they can share support and appreciation towards the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) have approached me. You can email either or EPS.  

This Shabbat I will think about our partners and friends in northern Israel, who in recent days have been experiencing intensified rocket fire from Hezbollah in Lebanon. I also pray for the safe return of hostages, 223 days in, despite grim news about many of their fate. Four bodies, including that of Amit Buskila z”l who was abducted at the Nova Festival, have been retrieved from Rafah according to reports.