Fun, Discussion and Sweetness Planned for Tikun Shavuot

Come to CAI on Tuesday May 14 for the special activities planned for Tikun Shavuot. Sit in the “lounge” and listen to short (15-minute) TED-style presentations given by members of CAI on different topics in their expertise including Judaism, law, education and more.

The evening begins at 6:30 PM and will include wine, cheese and dairy snacks, a festive Shavuot dinner and a cheese cake competition!

The original TED talks are short presentations given by notables in their field on a wide-variety of topics. Presenters have included Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Bill Gates and a number of Nobel Prize Winners. While it costs several thousand dollars to attend these events (the one at CAI is free!), they are recorded and made available for viewing through the TED Website and YouTube.

As an example of a TED talk, below is the first one that was shared publically. This informative and funny talk was given by educator Sir Kenneth Robinson in 2006 and has been viewed more than 4.5 million times on YouTube.


Max Eisen

CAI Welcomes Max Eisen and Eli Rubenstein for Holocaust Memorial

The 2013 Holocaust Memorial Program will be featuring Eli Rubenstein, the National Director of the March of the Living Canada, and Max Eisen, a Holocaust Survivor. Both Rubenstein and Eisen will be speaking with groups of students on April 25th and 26th, while Eisen will be the keynote speaker at the Memorial on Sunday April 28 at 1:30 PM.

Max EisenMax Eisen was fifteen years old when he was sent to Auschwitz during the final year of the Second World War. While in the camp, his father, uncle and himself were forced into slave labor.  Those who could not work were told their lives were of no value and were then marched into the gas chambers.

Two months later Eisen’s father and uncle were selected for medical experiments.  In the span of three months the Nazi’s killed 450,000 Hungarian Jews, and among those killed were his brothers and sister.

Max said “I remember every single day”, “How does one survive this?  I cannot tell you how..but here I am.”  “We need to remember the past so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Eli Rubenstein is the religious leader of Congregation Habonim, a small liberal synagogue in Toronto founded by Holocaust survivors from Germany and other eastern European countries.  He has served the Congregation since 1988, and helped shepherd its growth from an 80 family Congregation to its current size of 300 families.

Eli RubensteinEli is also the National Director of the March of the Living, an annual educational program that gathers thousands of Jewish youth from around the world in Poland and Israel to mark two of the most significant dates in the modern Jewish calendar.  The program culminates with the March of the Living on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day and continues on in Israel, where the students take part in important commemorative and celebratory events, including Yom Haatsmaut (Israel’s Independence Day)

Eli is also the founder of the March of Remembrance and Hope, an educational initiative for college and university students of diverse faiths and ethnic backgrounds designed to teach about the grave consequences of hatred and prejudice through the study of the Holocaust in Poland and Germany.

The Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial Committee is very excited this year to have both  Eli Rubenstein and Max Eisen speak to over 2,000 students from the Saskatoon and Extended area.


Purim Party for Adults Was Big Success

Rabbi Claudio and Rosy

The annual Purim party for adults has become one of the anticipated events for Hillel students, thier friends, the community and friends of the community. This event is organized by Hillel and sponsored by CIJA and BBMEN.

It was an opportunity for non-Jewish Friends to peak into a great Jewish style celebration. With costumes, a spiel and good old dancing and eating- what was there not to like?!

This year’s theme was “Dancing through the decades” and started with some old-school games, followed by  a costume contest, then a Purim clip, and some Israeli folk dances, which was without  a doubt one of the highlights of the evening!

Thanks to all who helped and attended. You all made this event the success it was.


Purim Parties and Baking Bee At CAI

HamentashenPurim is quickly approaching and, as usual, much is planned to celebrate the holiday at Agudas Israel.

To kick things off, the Purim baking bee is being held on Sunday February 17 from 1 PM to 3 PM. Come make hamentashen cookies with Ari and Tamar!

The Purim service, fun Megilah reading and acting will be on Sunday February 24th at 1 PM, followed by a Purim treasure hunt with games for the family. Join us for a family fun activity and get your dose of hamentashen cookies.

The annual Adults Purim party is always a big and very fun party. This year looks to be no exception as we celebrate to the sounds from your youth (whenever that was) at Dance Through the Decades. The party will be held on March 9th at 8 PM and Ari and Tamar have said the dress code is whatever you might have worn (or wanted to wear if Mom had let you) in your favorite decade.

Tickets for the Adults Purim party are available through Ari and Tamar for $15, but will be $20 at the door.

Hebrew School Celebrates 100, Room Named for Avivi

What a wonderful event the Hebrew School 100/Shabbat Family Dinner turned out to be! From the scrapbooks of past students and memorabilia sent to us from former students and teachers, to the services lead by past and present students, to the video presentations and entertainment…the evening was truly a celebration of the past 100 years of dedicated teachers, students, administrators and parents.

One teacher, June Avivi, was honored for her 60 years of dedicated service to the children in our community, by renaming the Senior classroom the June Avivi Classroom. Congratulations, June!

As long as people continue to give us pictures and memories, we will continue to scrapbook them into the history of our school.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this evening a great event!!

World Wide Wrap

World Wide Wrap Sunday February 3

For the first time our community will be participating in the “World Wide Wrap” a worldwide activity were more than 100 synagogues and 8,000 people share the Tefilah (morning service) and put on Tefilin at the same time. We will be sharing greetings with a participating synagogue in North America. At the same time the children will be creating their own pair of Tefillin in an activity organized by Ari and Tamar. After the service we will share breakfast and a class on Tefillin.

Join us this Sunday, February 3 at 9:45 AM.

Henry Winkler to Headline 2013 Silver Spoon

Henry WinklerThe 2013 Silver Spoon Dinner will be held Monday May 6, with the multi-talented actor / director / producer / author Henry Winkler as the celebrity guest speaker. Winkler, best known for playing “The Fonz” on the television comedy “Happy Days”, will headline this annual event to be held at TCU Place.

Tickets for the Silver Spoon Dinner will be $175 and will are being sold via the Picatic Website.

The Silver Spoon Dinner continues to be Saskatoon’s Premiere Ladies’ Night Out – an evening of luxury and laughs. You will be pampered, wined & dined and entertained in elegant style while supporting Saskatoon Hadassah-WIZO and the Congregation Agudas Israel Jewish Community. We’ll feature additional fundraising opportunities to support Interval House and The Crisis Nursery.
You will meet this year’s Sterling Award Winner and you’ll again have the opportunity to win numerous fabulous prizes!

Past speakers at this event have included Caroline Rhea, Rick Mercer, Lucie Arnaz, Shirley Jones and many others. This is an event you don’t want to miss! For more information about this event, see the Silver Spoon Dinner Website.

Wallenberg to Be Remembered at Annual Event

Raoul_WallenbergPlease join us Friday, January 11 at 11:00 AM at Holy Cross High School as we remember Raoul Wallenberg and consider the challenge of his extraordinary example.

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat during the Holocaust. He offered life saving passes to Hungarian citizens that provided some protection during the worst of the Hungarian deportations.  His heroic effort is credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews.

In Saskatoon, we recognize Raul Wallenberg with the personal story of Elie Fenyes whose grandmother was the recipient  of Wallenberg’s life-saving protection.  Wallenberg is a profound model of the power of the individual.  His singular heroic efforts were remarkable and should be an inspiration today and for all of time.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Hebrew Alphabet Blocks

Hebrew School to Celebrate 100 Years

You will not want to miss the Hebrew School 100/Shabbat Family Dinner on January 18, 2013. Services will start at 6 PM and will be led by past and present students of the Hebrew School, as well as members of Sisterhood. There will be music!

Following the service, please join us for a traditional Shabbat dinner of brisket and more.

We will have photos of years past and entertainment by the Hebrew School. It is not too late to get Marsha Scharfstein some of your photos to include in the evening. Even better, if you have a story or two that you are willing to share send those along to her as well.

The cost of the dinner is $50/ family (up to and including high school students), $20 single Adult, $15 students and $8 Children (12 & under). Children under 3 free.

Facebook Icon

CAI Goes High Tech

For Congregation Agudas Israel, 2012 has been a year of change, most notably Rabbi Claudio and his family joining our community. But the year has also brought a lot of change for the congregation in terms of the use of technology.

While we launched our Facebook page in 2011 (127 “likes” as of this writing), this year brought this brand new Web site as well as our latest venture into social media with the launch of our Livestream Channel (you can also access it through the Web site’s Media section. This allows people to view live events even if they can’t actually attend in person. Rabbi Claudio launched this new endevor a few weeks ago and has been using it to broadcast the weekly Lunch and Learn sessions. If you sign up for a free Livestream account you can even use the text chat feature to ask questions or make comments about what is being broadcast. If you can’t join in at that time, all sessions are recorded for viewing later.

In coming months, CAI will also be launching a YouTube channel as well to share even more about our vibrant community with our own members and as well as the larger community.

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