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:



Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky

Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky and Wife to Visit

Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky and his wife Rosy will be visiting Congregation Agudas Israel this week. He will be leading Shabbat services Friday evening, which will include a shared supper, and Saturday morning.

Rabbi Claudio was born in Santiago, Chile in 1974. AfRabbi Claudio and Familyter finishing high school, he decided he wanted to dedicate his life to what he felt was his vocation – to serve the Jewish community as an educator and as a rabbi. He moved to Argentina where he studied at the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary of the Conservative Movement. During this time he also studied for a B.A. in Management for Non Profit Organizations and served several congregations as a rabbinical student.

In Argentina, Rabbi Claudio met Rosy and they married in August, 2001, before traveling to Israel for two years.

In Jerusalem, Rabbi Claudio finished his rabbinical studies at the Schechter Institute for Judaic Studies, the Israeli branch of the Jewish Theological Seminary, receiving his hasmacha (rabbinical ordination) in 2002. He also studied for a M.A. in Jewish Education and participated in the Seniors Educators Program of the Melton Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 2003 Rabbi Claudio and Rosy moved to Colombia where they worked together in the Jewish Community of Medellín and in the local Jewish day school. There was born Amiel, their seven years old daughter.

In 2005 they moved to Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city, where Rabbi Claudio has been the rabbi of the Asociación Israelita Montefiore, a 200 family-members Conservative synagogue. In 2008 Yoel, their now four-year-old sone was born.

In the Asociación Israelita Montefiore, Rabbi Claudio has created and implemented innovative programs, especially for children, teenagers and young families. He developed a renewal project oriented to raising synagogue membership and incorporating new members. He created a religious school for children from 3 to 13 years, a youth movement with a leadership training program, a young Shabbat service and programs for family education. Additionally, Rabbi Claudio incorporated new social activities in the synagogue, like Jewish-cinema evenings and conferences about different topics. He also developed an adult education program that included permanent study opportunities in Jewish subjects in the synagogue and also educational meetings in the synagogue’s member’s homes.

Rabbi Claudio has an important participation in the greater Jewish and non-Jewish community. He has been very active in Catholic-Jewish relationships and also is a permanent teacher in the Theology Department of Universidad Javeriana, a Jesuit university and one of Colombia’s most recognized university.

In his free time, Rabbi Claudio loves to be with his children and to read. He is a fan of computers and technology.

Minden Collection to Be Unveiled at Museum of Antiquities

The Museum of Antiquities presents The Arthur & Beatrice Minden Collection of Ancient Glass and Other Artifacts Collection unveiling on Thursday April 12.

There will be a presentation at Convocation Hall at 4:30, followed by the unveiling at 5:15 at the Museum of Antiquities. A reception will follow.

Please RSVP by April 5, 2012 to the Museum of Antiquities by calling 966-7818 or by emailing

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