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Sukkot 5784/2023

Shaare Zion Beth-El & Shaare Zedek enjoying Sukkot traditions together!



Sukkot (one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim), is an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Sukkot are hut-like structures that the Jews lived in during the 40 years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.

How is Sukkot celebrated?

Sukkot is celebrated by building a sukkah, in which we eat for eight days (seven days in Israel), and some even sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday. The sukkah is decorated and the first two days are holy days in which most forms of work are forbidden. The rabbis dictated that arbat ha’minim (four species) should be held together and waved during the holiday. These are based on four plants mentioned in the Bible, and the rabbinic version includes the following: etrog (fruit of the citron tree), lulav (palm frond), hadas (leaves from the myrtle tree), and aravah (leaves from the willow tree). 

The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshanah Rabah. On that day in the synagogue Jews circle the room seven times while the arbat ha’minim are held and special prayers are recited.

Simchat Torah 2023

Simchat Torah Honorees 5784

Chatan Torah
Marvin Libman

Born in Montreal, on March 21, 1945, son of Ida & Nathan Libman (of blessed memory),

Marvin grew up in Snowdon and moved to Cote St. Luc in 1955 and attended Monkland High School. He continued his education at Sir George Williams College and eventually got his certificate in “Factory and Garment Engineering” from F.I.T (Fashion Institute of Technology).

Marvin and Elayne Thau have been married since December 1980. His daughters Marla and Shelley live in Toronto. He has five grandchildren, his oldest grandson Zack Goldford recently got married to Dahlia Klein at Shaare Zion Beth- El where they are now members.

Marvin participated in many sports including football, hockey, water and alpine skiing and, his latest passion, golf.

Marvin’s father was his role model and he continued his father’s allegiance to the community, in particular to Camp B’nai Brith, as well as a host of other community organizations.

His newest community love has become the “Shul”. As Marvin said to Lew Backler many years ago, “You asked me to co-chair the Shul’s golf tournament”. But you didn’t tell me, “my involvement was for life.”


Kallat Beresheet
Hester Witenoff

Hester Witenoff is a dedicated member of the Shaare Zion Beth-El community. The synagogue has played an important role in her life, marking significant moments such as, the marriage of her daughter, Amy, to Jason Bresler in 2000. It has also been a sacred place to say Kaddish and gather in community to honour her late father, Sam Lieberman, her mother-in-law, Pearl Witenoff and most recently her mother, Eva Lieberman.

Hester's days have always been dedicated to serving and supporting others. She spent her career working as a medical secretary, helping people navigate through the health care system and lending a sympathetic ear to the needs of patients. Hester volunteers at the Montreal Children's Hospital. And perhaps most closely to her heart, she is the loving wife to Simon, Mom to Amy, Noah and Mollie and Bubbie to Kyle, William, Lizzie and Max.

Hester is always the first to respond on the family thread with a note of encouragement when someone sends a photo or an update. Hester loves joining friends and family for meals, whether at home or at a favourite restaurant. She is very active on FaceTime with her grandchildren She enjoys a good crossword puzzle and most of all, now that they are both retired, she and Simon spend a lot of quality time in each other's company.



Chatan Maftir
Mark Rabinovitch

Mark joined SZBE around 6 years ago when he moved to Cote St Luc from DDO, where he was a member of Beth Tikvah.

Mark participates in the daily Minyan, which became very important to him after the passing of his wife and father. Reciting Kaddish twice a day was difficult but rewarding. SZBE is a special place offering learning and prayer opportunities in a supportive environment. Mark has become devoted to SZBE and has been a Board and committee member for about a year.

Mark has two wonderful children and four amazing grandchildren. Naomi (Eric Choueke) and their daughters, Alexia and Jordyn. Richard (Ali Lydynia) and their children, Joseph and Sydney. Mark’s mother, 92 years young, is a very special mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. He also has two brothers (Toronto and Vancouver).

Now retired, Mark was fortunate in his career. He was President of Cabtel Corp (1993-2006) and VP of Daveco Agencies (2008-2020).

Mark also has a home in Vermont where he served on the Board and as President of the Homeowners association. He also served on the Board for his Condo Association in CSL where he resides with his partner, Mona Rizk.

Mark enjoys volunteering, skiing, biking and golfing.

Mon, 17 June 2024 11 Sivan 5784