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Our Simchat Torah Honourees

Bev Mendelson married Morton in July 1978 at Congregation Beth-El and so started her active participation in shul life. She became President from 2001-2003. 

At SZBE, she continues her involvement as a past President and was the Co-Chair of the Search Committee that recommended  hiring  Rabbi Barry Leff.

Bev received her BA at McGill University, her MA at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and her Ph.D at Concordia University.  She taught Psychology at Vanier College for 35 years as well as collaborating on research at Concordia University.  She retired in 2011.   She continues to give workshops at Hope and Cope for newly-diagnosed cancer patients.

  She and Morton are blessed to have three married children and five grandchildren.

Max Kasner is a graduate of Summit School and is currently employed at the JEM Workshop.  He is a proud member of the Shira Choir and the I Can Dream Theatre group.  He has been an active member of the SZBE Congregation for several years, and has enjoyed participating in the daily minyans.  “I am honoured to be reading the Haftorah on Simchat Torah this year!”

We are Marysia (35), William (39), Yael (5) and Daniel (2). We moved to Canada in 2018 to work at McGill University, where Will is a biology professor and Marysia is a systems analyst. We joined Shaare Zion the same year and were lucky enough to buy a house next door. Our children love Shaare Zion, and get upset whenever one of us goes to shul without bringing them. 

Simchat Torah 2022


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.

Sun, 2 April 2023 11 Nisan 5783