David, Gladys and Randy

CAI Says ‘Thank You’ and a Few ‘Goodbyes’

David, Gladys and RandyOn Friday June 22 CAI came together for the 13th Annual Jerry Rose Dinner. It was a chance to honor David and Randy Katzman for all they’ve done for CAI over the years. It was also a chance to say thank you and goodbye to Hazzan Neil Schwartz who is leaving us after many years of dedicated service, and a “bon voyage” to Ido, Ayelet and baby Ora who will be returning to Israel after bringing so much joy through their time as our schlichim.

That evening, Heather Fenyes had the following to say about all of these wonderful people.

Today is a full of thank yous.  I want to begin by wishing a mazel tov and Yashar Koach to David and Randy.  You both have taught me more about leadership thank you can ever imagine.  Randy, you showed me that a good leader leads with the heart.  You directed us through very  challenging times with steady strength and inspiring passion.  Noah tells me I can’t speak a sentence without the word  “love” in it, but you proved that a strong leader always acts with love.  David, you were my mentor.  When you first asked me to consider being president I thought you were hallucinating.  Through your example I found my own way – and for that, I can never tell you the depths of my thanks and appreciation.

Hazzan Neil SchwartzAnother thank you today goes to Chazzan Neil.  For the past five years, Neil has served the needs of our community with goodness and solid intention.  He worked to make his services meaningful and personal to all who attended.  When we first hired Chazzan Neil, he told David and I that above all, he hoped to be a mensch.  Now, as we say good-bye, I personally and on behalf of the board and members of Congregation Agudas Isreal thank you for being the mensch you are.  You have left a print on our community.  We hope that the next path you explore will be rich with opportunity and reward.

Ayelet and Ido are soon heading back to Israel to join our Saskatoon-Israeli contingent.  They have spent two years in our Congregation Agudas family, and have become a part of it.  They brought so much of themselves to the schlichut.

Ayelet, Ido and HeatherEverything they did came to us with their own distinct flavour, intense energy  and tremendous effort.   Our community is so much richer for having loved them.  Ayelet and Ido were recognized by the Jewish Agency as among the best schlichim in the world – and received a special award for this distinction.  So it’s truly official – they are spectacular.   Over the years, one of the things I have come to hate the most is saying good-bye to the schlichim, and since the birth of our baby, Ora, this task is three times more difficult!  We hope your return to Israel will be easy, and the warm memories of your Saskatoon family will linger for a lifetime.

Birkat Cohanim.


CAI Logo

Notice of Annual General Meeting on September 12, 2012

This is Notice that the Annual General Meeting of Congregation Agudas Israel will be held on
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 at the Jewish Community Centre, 715 McKinnon Avenue, Saskatoon, commencing at 7:30 p.m.

The Board of Trustees consists of the officers, chair persons of Standing Committees, President of Sisterhood and up to ten (10) members at large.

The slate of officers and members of the Board of Trustees is set out below. Additional nominations to any office or as a member of the Board of Trustees may be made in writing, by three (3) members of the Congregation. Such nomination shall bear the signature of the person or persons nominated consenting to the nomination. The nomination shall be delivered to the Chairperson of the Nomin- ating Committee (David Katzman) at least twelve (12) days prior to the Annual General Meeting.

Slate of Officers and Trustees 2012-2013


President: Marsha Scharfstein

Immediate Past President: Heather Fenyes

First Vice President: Harold Shiffman

Second Vice President:

Treasurer: Grant Scharfstein

Secretary: David Katzman

Standing Committee Chairs

Chevra Kadisha: Lesley-Ann Crone

Hebrew School Committee: Marsha Scharfstein

Financial Affairs Committee: Grant Scharfstein

House Committee: Steve Simpson

Synagogue Ritual Committee: Heather Fenyes


Sisterhood President

Members at Large

Jan Gitlin

Michael Gertler

Seth Shacter

Steven Goluboff

Lou Horlick

Ralph Katzman

Randy Katzman

Jose Andres

Perry Jacobson

Simone Horowitz

CAI Members Attend Pride 2012

CAI Hosts First Table at Saskatoon Pride

Volunteers at Pride 2012For the first time Congregation Agudas Israel had a table at the Saskatoon Pride Festival.  This years event, held on Saturday June 16, was reportedly the biggest in Saskatoon history.

Several members of the congregation volunteered to sit at our table where attendees could stop by and pick up a hand-out about CAI and items such as sunglasses, yo-yos, breath mints, and other goodies graciously sent to us by the Tel-Aviv organization Size Doesn’t Matter.

The timing for our appearance at this event was perfect as the Rabbinic Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law released its guidelines for same-sex weddings just weeks before. The vote by that committee was 13-0, with one member abstaining.

Thank you again to all volunteers as well members of the CAI community who stopped by to say “hello”.


David and Randy Katzman

13th Annual Gerry Rose Dinner to Recognize Katzmans

David and Randy KatzmanThe 13th Annual Gerry Rose Dinner will be held on Friday June 22 at Congregation Agudas Israel. The annual event recognizes an outstanding volunteer at Congregation Agudas Israel. Gerry Rose, the first recipient of the award and in whose name the tradition continues, exemplified volunteerism within and beyond the Jewish Community.

This year, Gerry’s wife Gladys will honor David and Randy Katzman for years of outstanding giving.  Both have been active in community and B’nai Brith life. Both have served as presidents, and both remain active and integral volunteers.

Gerry Rosegave endlessly of himself, his time and his skills.  It was through his persistence and management that Congregation Agudas Israel established a relationship with the Saskatoon Foundation.  Gerry created measures that assured our long-term financial stability.  His passion for this community continues to resonate in small and substantial ways.

This year, we will be saying good bye and Toda to Chazzan Neil Schawartz , Ayelet Shiryon and Ido Weissler.

Previous winners of the Gerry Rose award include:

2000 – Gerry and Gladys Rose

2001 – Linda Shaw

2001- Bert Gladstone

2003- June and Abe Avivi

2004- David Kaplan

2005- Sam and Petty Landa

2006- Walter, Lois & Susanne Gumprich

2007- Ron and Jan Gitlin

2008- Heather Fenyes

2009 – Steven Goluboff

2010- Marsha and Grant Scharfstein

2011- Ralph Katzman



Rabbi Kineret Shiryon and Ora

Congregation Welcomes Baby Ora Weissler

Ido, Ayelet and OraOn Friday April 27 our congregation came together to welcome the new daughter of our Shlichim, Ido Weissler and Ayelet Shiryon-Weissler. Baby Ora, meaning “light” was welcomed to our community through a beautiful simchat bat that evening. The service was conducted by Ayelet’s mother, Rabbi Kineret Shiryon. Ayelet’s father Baruch, accompanied on his guitar, including melodies that he composed.

The service was followed by a shared supper.

Ido, Ayelet and Ora will be here in Saskatoon until August and will then be returning to Israel, much to the pleasure of Ora’s new grandparents.

Welcome to community, Ora!

Elly Gotz

Saskatoon Remembers the Holocaust at CAI

Holocaust Memorial ServiceWe were honored to have Elly Gotz as our Key Note speaker this year at the 2012 Holocaust Memorial Service.

On Sunday, April 22 Agudas Israel received more than 500 visitors to experience the Holocaust  Memorial.  Many ventured downstairs to the exhibits that were created by our Shlichim Ido Weissler and Ayelet Shiryon-Weissler, and many volunteers.

The exhibits were  educational and very emotional.

With such a serious topic Elly used pictures  and  humor to share his very important story.  The audience was engaged throughout his presentation and honored him with a standing ovation.  Crowd at Holocaust Memorial Service

Elly is a retired electronics engineer, pilot and incredible businessman.  Before settling in Toronto, in 1964, Elly lived in Germany, Norway, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Elly was born in Kaunas, Lithuania.  In 1941, Lithuania was invaded by Germany.  Immediately all Jews were made prisoners in the ghetto.  After three years, all the surviving Jews were transported to Concentration Camps in Germany – the men to Dachau and the women to other camps.

Elly was liberated from Dachau by the American Army in April 1945.  Sixty- five years later, in 2010, Elly received an invitation from Germany to return to Dachau for a commemorative of the liberation of Dachau.

This was Elly’s story but as we had a chance to meet him and get to know him, we realized how very special he was.

Thank you Elly, for making our Community a better place to live .

Israel Indpendence Day Concert April 28

Join us in celebrating Israel’s Independence birthday with a concert by Israeli singer and songwriter Danny Robas.

The “All About Israel” fair will begin at 7:00 PM followed by the concert at 7:30. Tickets for CAI members are $5.00 and for non-members are $10.00.

The event is supported by The Seymour Buckwold Cultural Fund, The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs and the Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Elly Gotz

Holocaust Memorial Gathering April 22

Elly GotzCongregation Agudas Israel will be hosting the annual Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial gathering on Sunday April 22 at 1:30 PM. This years keynote speaker will be survivor Elly Gotz.

Gotz is a retired electronics engineer and businessman.  Before settling in Toronto, in 1964, Elly lived in Germany, Norway, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Elly was born in Kaunas, Lithuania.  In 1941, Lithuania was invaded by Germany.  Immediately all Jews were made prisoners in a ghetto.  After three years, all the surviving Jews were transported to Concentration Camps in Germany – the men to Dachau and the women to other camps.

Elly was liberated from Dachau by the American Army in April 1945.

Sixty-five years later, in 2010, Elly received an invitation from Germany to return to Dachau for a commemoration of the liberation of Dachau.

Elly’s talk will start with that moving experience of returning to Dachau and then a look back at the years he spent in Concentration Camps.

This event always draws a large number of attendees so come early to ensure a good seat.

Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky

CAI Hires Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky

Rabbi Claudio and FamilyDear friends!

I want to share some very exciting news with you.  Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky will become our Rabbi on August 1, 2012.  He and his wife Rosy were overwhelmed by the warmth and goodness of our small community.  Though they have never been anywhere else in Canada, they know they are moving to the best.

Thank you to all the members of Congregation Agudas Israel who joined in the decision process.  We met some very special people and have been rewarded by the process.

Thank you to the Board of Trustees and the search committee for their efforts, time and commitment.  This was a big job that was conducted with big hearts.

Rabbi Claudio will strengthen, inspire, enhance and grow our community.  Congregation Agudas Israel is already a  very special place where Jewish life on the prairies is vibrant and exciting.   I can’t even imagine the “great” that is yet to come.

I wish us all a yashar koach – may we, as a strong CAI family go only from strength to greater strength.

Heather Fenyes

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CAI On Facebook

CAI Facebook AvatarCongregation Agudas Israel launched its Facebook page last summer and word has been spreading about it and about our fabulous congregation. Come show your love for us and “Like” our page.

See announcements and connect with others in the congregation. Our Facebook page is also currently the best place to see pictures from our events.

If you want to just look around our page, there is not need to actually join Facebook, but if you already have an account, come over and “Like” us. And tell your friends!

To go to our page, click on one of the links above or go to:




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