Join us for a very special presentation in one of two locations: Toronto (March 19) and Winnipeg (March 21)
Come to meet members of the WordSwap Team, an event sponsored by StandWithUsCanada in both Toronto and Winnipeg, Canada.
Jewish communities that existed for thousands of years in Arab countries were suddenly dismantled. The destruction of these communities is the subject of this documentary and evening devoted to archival footage and personal accounts of nearly a million Jews forced to leave their homes.
At an evening program hosted by City Shule on December 4, 2017, and co-sponsored by Kulanu Canada, representatives of Adat Israel of Guatemala City talked about their journey to Judaism, showed slides of their small community of recently Reform converted Jews, paid homage to Rabbi Elyse Goldstein who is their spiritual leader and rabbi of Toronto’s City Shule, and engulfed their audience in the love they expressed for Judaism.
Jeannette Orantes, whose husband Moshe Isaiah was the inspired founder of the community, and their daughter Rebecca, recounted the community’s history and shared personal accounts of their religious exploration and study of Judaism. The community had a chance encounter with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein when she was on a volunteer program in that country, about 6 years ago. Their relationship has enabled the community to experience more of Jewish life, to be connected with Kulanu, have rabbis and teachers visit, and to have their youth experience a summer at a Jewish camp in Ontario.
Kulanu Canada helped promote a community-wide Pesach Seder for the members of Adat Israel and their guests in 2016, and shares their story here to encourage more support to this small but mighty congregation.
On November 12, 2017, Kulanu Canada presented the film Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana. The movie is the creation of filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha, who was in attendance and captivated the nearly 100 people in the audience with both her informational film and her warm and animated personality. The event was co-sponsored with Na’amat Canada and we are appreciative of their partnership.
We learned that the Sefwi Wiawso is a small (and at the same time large) group of committed people that has long identified as Jewish. Gabrielle interviewed everyone from the tribe, from the children to the elders. It was fascinating to hear them pray and sing in Hebrew, and learn how they followed many Jewish traditions before knowing the label “Jewish”. The person about whom the film focused was their community leader, Alex Armah, a dedicated young man whohas very passionately worked to educate his community about Judaism and though this to hold his community together as Jews.
A special feature of the film was Gabrielle’s focus on trying to answer many questions about the Sefwis, about their history, about the possibility of their being one of the lost tribes of Israel, about their potential future and about their inclusion (or exclusion) in the wider Jewish global community.
The search for these answers was poignant and thought-provoking for all who claim to be Jewish.
As Gabrielle so introspectively points out, it is not enough to “be” Jewish, as so many of us in North America claim; it is important to “do” Jewish and carry out, as well as carry forward, the traditions which have existed for thousands of years. Upon whose shoulders will this responsibility lie?
Kulanu Canada is determined to help the Sefwi Wiawso to continue to exist on their Jewish terms. To that end, we have been selling their beautiful, colourful, hand made challah covers with funds going back to the community for their guest house.
Thank you to all who attended the evening and have helped us to continue to support this amazing community.
We look forward to seeing you at our next events. Please sign up for ongoing information about future programs and information about the communities we support.
Kulanu Canada & Na’amat Canada Toronto present a film and speaker special for a documentary called Doing Jewish: A Story From Ghana.
Who would expect to find Jews in Ghana? Certainly not filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha. But when she volunteered to work in Africa, and found herself alone as the Jewish New Year approached, she made a surprising connection with the Jewish Africans she met there. In remote Sefwi Wiawso, Zilkha encounters a group of practising, dedicated and devout Jews.
Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017 Location: Borochov Cultural Centre, 272 Codsell Ave., Toronto Time: doors open at 7:15 p.m., film starts at 7:30 p.m., Q&A with filmmaker to follow Admission: $12.00 (at the door)
For more information, contact Marilyn Herbert at email@example.com.
If you have used or unused tallitot to donate to the Jews of Ghana, please bring to the event; donations are not tax receiptable but will be very welcome. Kulanu Canada will send them to Ghana.
If you would like to support the community and purchase a handmade, unique challah cover, see the selection. Prices are $36 per cover or two for $60 CDN. Kulanu Canada is a registered Canadian charity and donations are tax receiptable.