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March 2016

Shalom Bloom's wildlife sculptures on display at CSL Library

An exhibit of wildlife sculptures from District 2 resident Shalom Bloom will be on display at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library’s Art Gallery from March 31 to May 29, 2016.

The vernissage is April 14, 2016 at 7 pm.

Bloom is considered one of Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptors. Many of his sculptures are on display at corporate headquarters worldwide as well as in White Tail Deer Park in Elliot Lake. His work has been commissioned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to create a sculpture for their headquarters in Montreal.

See this impressive video of his work


Just as fascinating as his art is his personal story. Bloom, who is today an active resident of Côte Saint-Luc, only started working on his sculptures at age 50, while creating a successful career building his own businesses. He was CEO of Arlington Sports, the South Africa Diamond Company, as well as a chain of restaurants. Starting in 1995, he devoted much of his time to pursue his art.

He stumbled across his talent by accident when his children were working with plasticine modeling clay and asked for his help.

“The minute I got my hands on the wax, it changed my life,” Bloom said. “All my inner thoughts, philosophies, and my yearnings and doubts came out in the wax. I became the master and wax became my tool.”

Bloom credits his wife for encouraging him in his new endeavour.

Bloom says there was one incident that convinced him to get into art more seriously.

Shalom Bloom wildlife scultures

"One day my secretary was standing at the door of my office with her 5-year old son,” Bloom said. “The young boy was standing there just staring at the life-size sculpture of a sleeping cub. Then he ran to the sculpture, gave it a hug and kiss, and shyly turned back. I realized that if I am able to evoke that kind of reaction from a child, then I should enter it seriously.”

For many years, Bloom worked in his studios as well as his garage at home. Often after dinner, the children on the street would sit near the driveway and watch as he worked. He would explain what he was doing and often allowed his young audience to add small pieces of wax to his sculptures so they could feel they contributed something.

“On many occasions, someone would be driving down my street, glance in my garage and stop the car so suddenly that one could hear the screeching of the brakes,” Bloom said. “They thought they saw a real life-size bull in the garage.”

Bloom, an opera lover, created most of his sculptures with the music of Puccini in the background.

“A businessman achieves success with his head and tongue, while an artist creates with his heart and hands, providing something that outlasts material wealth,” Bloom said. “Each human being is like a mine and you must constantly dig to find the vein of talent that is hidden. Once you find it, it can lead to endless beauty and interesting directions—changing your life forever.”

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. and is open from Mondayto Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The Library remains open on all statutory holidays from 12 pm to 5 pm. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or

Jesse Shuster Leibner's success at McGill leads to opportunity in Europe

Congratulations  to Jesse Shuster Leibner, a resident of Côte Saint-Luc`s District 2, who recently received  the Scarlet Key for leadership at McGill  University Jesse was also offered the Guy Drummond Fellowship as one of the top Political Science Honours students from the 2016 graduating class.  He intends to go to Paris for the  2016-17 academic year to pursue graduate studies at Europe's leading school in political science, Science Politiques, and then return to McGill to complete his Masters in Political Science. These activities are supported by the   Fellowship.  Before that, Jesse will be working this summer as the Economic and Trade Intern for the European Union in Ottawa.  

Jesse Shuster Leibner

During his time at McGill, Jesse   has worked to create meaningful and enduring change in the university community. His positive experience working as a Research Assistant lead him to spearhead the creation of a data base of all the research opportunities in the Faculty of Arts in order to facilitate student access to these positions. While working as vice-president, Academic, of the Political Science Students Association, he worked with students and faculty to develop the first departmental level Assessment and Re-Read Policy. This  benefits both students and faculty by removing ambiguity and clarifying rules and· grading procedures. Under Jesse's leadership, the McGill Journal of Political Studies has been transformed into a peer reviewed publication, making it the first undergraduate journal to receive this distinction. Jesse also co-founded Effective Altruists at McGill, which aims to eradicate global poverty by directing funding to the most effective charities.

This year's winners include a wide range of student leaders who are entrepreneurs, politicians, social activists and much more. However, what they all have in common is that in a University known for its active student life, their exceptional commitment makes them stand out among their peers.

CSL's Tali Hazan touts her salt therapy rooms for respiratory and skin conditions as well as IBD

Longtime Côte Saint-Luc resident Tali Hazan has been operating Elite Laser in Westmount for 15 years now. Originally based on Greene Avenue, she relocated across the street to Westmount Square towards the end of 2015

While the primary vocation of Elite Laser has been laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation, the introduction of two salt therapy rooms has brought in an entirely new clientele. Hazan was inspired to do because of her 13 year old daughter, who suffers from Crohn`s Disease (Infammatory Bowel Disease).

“It was my brother who recommended I bring my daughter to a salt therapy room,” Hazan said. “He assured me it would help boost her immune system. I looked around and nothing like that existed here. I spoke to my husband and he said that we would just have to go ahead and build our own. So, when we relocated to Westmount Square we embarked on this project. It took eight months, but we achieved our goal. This has done wonders for my daughter. She used to be on antibiotics every winter. That has not been necessary once this year. And now we have so many new clients who are experiencing the same benefits.”

Tali Hazan in one of her salt therapy rooms.

Hazan said it took eight months to properly renovate her new premises. “We had to redo the walls and the ceilings,” she said. “We put in a brand new ventilation system because we must thin the air out after each session.”

I sat with Hazan in the actual salt therapy room earlier this week. Her location is impossible to miss, right next door to the Westmount Square Radiology Clinic. Parking is provided free of charge indoors for a minimum of a two hour stay.

If you suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies, as well as skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, Hazan says that the salt therapy rooms have proven to be a miracle for some people. It has even caught the eye of some prominent physicians who have been making site visits in recent weeks.

There is one salt room for adults and another for children. What you see when you walk in are walls covered with salt just like in the salt mines on one side and special Himalayan salt bricks on the other. In addition to being surrounded by their healing properties, halo or salt therapy is introduced. The dust from pharmaceutical-grade salt is easily inhaled and travels to the deepest parts of your sinuses and lungs, which is how you receive your treatment.

“The benefits of salt therapy were discovered in the mid-1800s,” Hazan said. “People would actually go to the salt mines to spend the night next to mining equipment just to get relief from their respiratory ailments.”

See what Doctor Oz has to say about it.

Hazan, who is a vibrant and lovely mother of three, says clients who experienced a session in the salt room have reported a feeling of intense calm and a major reduction in the symptoms that had previously been bothering them.
Hazan credits her husband Roger Choucroun for supporting the endeavor and her dedicated staff

Hazan invites interested individuals to visit Elite Laser by appointment to view the rooms and experience its benefits. Appointments are also easily booked by calling 514-925 -3338 or booking online at  She is not closing the door to expansion, with the West Island being a distinct possibility.

Finally, here is an interesting report from NBC in Los Angeles.




Meet the candidates night for District 7 Council race set for March 29

At the March 14 Côte Saint-Luc council meeting, our  first under new Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, resident Bryan "Waffles" stepped to the microphone and suggested that we hold a meet the candidates meeting. While Mayor Brownstein was acclaimed to office, there are four people vying for his seat in District 7 - which borders my District 4.

B'nai Brith Canada (Quebec Region), which organized probably the best debate in the federal Mount Royal riding last summer, stepped up to the plate. In  a matter of days Executive Director Harvey Levine communicated with the mayor and members of council and scheduled the meetingt for Tuesday, March 29, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm in the  City Hall Harold Greenspon Auditorium (5801 Cavendish Blvd.).  I have run in three elections and we never had such a meeting. Hats off to Levine for taking such an initiative. This is a wonderful opportunity for voters in that district to get a better idea of whom to cast their vote in favor of.

District 7 candidates with Mayor Brownstein
Left to right: Kujavsky, Tordjman, Brownstein, Benizri and Pedvis.

The four candidates in contention for a council seat are, in alphabetical order: Sidney Benizri, Mitch Kujavsky, Lloyd Pedvis, and David Tordjman. The candidates will make opening and closing remarks and each will answer questions from the moderator on relevant issues of concern to the district residents.

 “The event will be co-moderated by myself” stated Levine, “and Steve Slimovitch, who is a criminal lawyer, President of the Lord Reading Law Society and board member of B'nai Brith Canada, League for Human Rights. Mr. Slimovitch is a former resident of Côte Saint-Luc and his parents still reside there.”

Mayor Brownstein will open the event. There will be closing remarks from Côte Saint-Luc resident Gerry Weinstein, who is Past President, B'nai Brith Canada and President of Residence B'nai Brith House and the soon to be built Chateau B'nai Brith -- both in Côte Saint-Luc.

Levine also stated “as an important part of the fabric of Côte Saint-Luc, B'nai Brith are happy to host this event. Our mission is to bring Canadian Jewry of all ages and backgrounds together by promoting human rights throughout the world, advocating for the security of the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide and providing local services through volunteer activities, cultivation of leadership and charitable work focusing on seniors and the less fortunate.”

New ownership at Nosherz Bakery-Deli-Catering as pro chef steps in

There is a new chef in town.

Jimmy Constantopoulos purchased Nosherz Bakery-Deli-Catering on Westminster Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc from Robert  J. Vineberg last fall and customers can already see the culinary talents of the  new owner.

Nosherz, originally known as Solly ,has all of the food you can count on from bakery: breads, bagels, rolls, cheese bagels,  prepared sandwiches, knishes, latkes, chopped liver, doughnuts. There is also chicken schnitzel, burgers, salads and some pretty impressive grilled vegetables.

Jimmy Constantopoulos

“The food industry has always been a part of me to which, I have a great passion for,” says Jimmy. “I am a restaurateur by trade.  I have owned and operated four of my own restaurants, from fine dining to family style  to deli and even reception halls. Nosherz is a smaller scale operation from what I am accustomed to and the less hours of operations compared to the restaurant business. This allows me to spend more time with my family.”

Jimmy says that in addition to all of what Nosherz offers, he wants to introduce some of his Mediterranean influences.  “I would like to expand the catering and prepared meals,” he said, no doubt good news for folks who would like some healthy options to pick up after work and warmup for the family.

As for Robert, he is now in the puzzle business.

Nosherz is located at 5800 Westminster Avenue North. For more information call 514-484-0445, fax 514-489-8955 or email

Mitchell Brownstein is the new mayor of CSL

I was at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on the afternoon of March 11 to formally congratulate my long-time friend Mitchell Brownstein on being acclaimed as our new mayor.
Mayor Brownstein, who has served as a Côte Saint Luc councillor since 1990, was the only candidate to have submitted nomination papers before the close of the nomination period.  
Celebrating Mayor Brownstein's acclamation.
"I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support from my colleagues and the residents of Côte Saint Luc over the last many months,” Mayor Brownstein said. “I am honoured to be returning to work on Monday as Mayor of Côte Saint Luc."
Brownstein will be sworn into office on Monday, March 14 at 8 pm as the first order of business at the Côte Saint-Luc council meeting at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd.). 
I go way back with Mitchell. But I recall clearly the days leading up to his entry into the political world. He started to attend council meetings. At the time I was covering city politics for the local community press and  I asked then District 7 Councillor Eric Helfield if he was planning to run in the next election. He told me that his plan was to retire, to which I responded, "Would you consider endorsing Mitchell Brownstein as your successor?"
Helfield asked to meet with Mitchell, whom he had started to see at city council meetings, and in no time at all deemed him his logical successor. Mitchell was a great fit for council from day one. While I watched the work at City Hall as a journalist and then as a communications consultant, I finally caught the political bug myself and in 2005 ran for council. In fact I followed Mitchell's recipe, approaching  former Councillor Harold Greenspon to ask if he'd back me to succeed him in District 4. He did and I won my first election with over 92 percent of the vote. I was acclaimed the last two times. It is hard to believe that municipal elections will surface again in November 2017.
I wish Mitchell and his first lady, Elaine Yagod, all the very best. He is a most worthy successor to Anthony Housefather, now doing an outstanding job as our Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal.
We still do have a by-election on our hands. Four people have declared their candidacy to become the next councillor for District 4:  Sidney Benizri, Mitchell Kujavksy, Lloyd Pedvis and David Tordjman. Voters head to the polls on Sunday, April 10. Good luck to each of them!
See this report from Breakfast Television the morning of the acclamation. And this one from Global TV after Mitchell was acclaimed.
Mitchell Brownstein élu par acclamation à la mairie de Côte Saint-Luc
Mitchell Brownstein devient maire de Côte Saint-Luc le vendredi 11 mars 2016.
M. Brownstein, conseiller municipal depuis 1990, fut l’unique candidat à déposer des documents de mise en candidature pour le poste de maire.
« Je suis très reconnaissant de l’appui que j’ai reçu, au cours des derniers mois, de la part de mes collègues et des résidants de Côte Saint-Luc, affirme M. Brownstein.  Je suis honoré de retourner travailler lundi en tant que maire. »
M. Brownstein prêtera serment le lundi 14 mars à 20 h et siégera immédiatement à la séance du conseil qui aura lieu à l’hôtel de ville (5801 boul. Cavendish); il fera sa première déclaration publique à ce moment-là. M. Brownstein sera disponible pour des entrevues avant la cérémonie d’investiture.

Jonathan's Mysteries of the Mind jump starts Brain Awareness Week

On March 3,  as a prelude to Brain Awareness Week, Jonathan's Mysteries of the Mind Show was recently brought in to entertain the residents of Saint Patrick Square (SPSquare). Located at 6767 Côte St. Luc Road, SPSquare is designed for  autonomous individuals, ages 55 plus.

Jonathan and an enthusiastic resident. (Photos by Jeffrey May)

During his 60 minute show, Jonathan Levey demonstrated the power of the mind, reading the thoughts and images “locked” in the minds of his audience, determining with high accuracy if people were telling a lie or a truth, perceiving personal objects held between his hands while his eyes were shut tight by bandages and a steel blindfold. Volunteers also had opportunities to test their own sensitivity on stage during several “experiments.” 


Wearing a stainless steel blindfold, Jonathan demonstrates his mind-boggling abilities.  With the help of an enthused volunteer, he determines the type of objects  being held out… in this case, a wooden cane

This was Jonathan’s second visit to this wonderful residence and he was delighted to find these residents just as warm and responsive as the first time. 

If you know of a private, business or non-profit organization that might benefit from Jonathan's Mysteries of the Mind Show, you can reach Jonathan directly at:  514-944-5525  and you can view additional photos and videos on his website at:  and  on Facebook at:

See this slideshow.

 Jonathan was recently on CJAD's The Exchange with Dave Kaufman. Fast forward to the 1:30 mark and listen.






The P.F. Chang's experience enhanced by excellent customer service

When P.F. Chang’s opened in Canada, initially in Toronto and then three years ago near Decarie next to the former Blue Bonnets Raceway and soon after at Carrefour Laval, there was a significant Côte Saint-Luc connection via Michael Aronovici who grew up in our neighbourhood and attended Wagar High School.  As president of Interaction Restaurants group, he was the driving force behind bringing this famous brand to our country.

I have been a P.F. Chang`s fan for a long time. Whenever our family travelled to the United States where a franchise existed, we`d make sure to dine there. We have been regulars in Montreal and thank Michael for bringing this treasure to our city. Last summer ownership changed hands when Groupe Sportscene purchased the two Montreal locations.

Sportscene, the operators of the Cage Aux Sports (now known as La Cage, Brasserie Sportive,) has already utilized its golden marketing touch combined with the fortunate timing of some well received menu changes to bring back the crowds. Our most recent dining experience at the Rue des Jockeys Decarie Boulevard locale was enhanced by our server, 22 year old Côte Saint-Luc resident Natalie Solomon.

Emile Haykal and Natalie Solomon.

Natalie  started working at P.F. Chang's in May of 2013, just in time for its opening. “I love working here,” she says. “The restaurant industry is great to get into as a student, as the hours are flexible and the job itself is fun! Working at P.F. Chang's is fantastic. We've got a great team with similar goals and I truly feel like I am part of a family at the restaurant. I'm also constantly learning new things about the culinary arts and the service industry.”

The famous lettuce chicken wraps.

Natalie is presently in her third year at the John Molson School of Business. She attended JPPS, Bialik and Dawson College previously. After she graduates next fall she hopes to work in the fields of marketing and advertising. Besides her role as a server, she gained some great hands on experience as the resident social media guru for P.F. Chang’s. “I started working on the P.F. Chang's Quebec Facebook and Instagram pages in November for the duration of a three month contract,” she says. “We saw some great results online, gaining over 200 new followers on Instagram and 600 new likes on Facebook. Through Facebook, we were also able to reach over 3,000 users weekly.”

Next week Natalie will get to meet Philip Chiang, the founder of P.F. Chang’s (he dropped the letter “i” upon launching the restaurant) when he visits Montreal for the first time in three years. Here is the interview I did with him at that time.

Going to P.F. Chang’s for dinner is more than a meal – it is an experience. The Decarie facility is beautifully designed, with two floors and tall ceilings. There is a seasonal terrace. This is a restaurant where they do not rush you. Customers can enjoy every morsel of food. As for ordering, it is a perfect place to share dishes, which enables you to budget accordingly. We went for dinner with another couple and spent three and a half hours there. This is also a great choice for family gatherings and special occasions.  You can arrange for takeout as well.

PF LObsterroll
The amazing lobster avocado sushi.

When Groupe Sportscene CEO Jean Bedard took over P.F. Chang’s, the first thing he did was drop “China Bistro” from the name and refer to the place as P.F. Chang’s. Officials travelled to the restaurant chain’s US headquarters in Arizona in order to be schooled on how to implement the new menu. While the staple favorites remain, such as chicken lettuce wraps, Mongolian beef, crispy honey chicken and shrimp, shrimp lo mein, crab wonton and more, the newest draw are the sushi rolls. We particularly love the lobster and dynamite scallop sushi rolls. And there is no better way to cap the night off by sharing the Great Wall of Chocolate cake at the table or the chocolate raspberry dessert wontons.

Both operating partners in Montreal, Emile Haykal at Decarie and Elie Sucar in Laval, were kept on by Groupe Sportscene  - a good move considering their familiarity with the brand.  Haykal and Sucar know their business well when it comes to customer service.

You can log on to to see the menu.  For reservations call  Decarie at 514-731-2020 at Decarie and Laval at (450) 687-8000.  


JPPS officially arrives in Côte Saint-Luc

We have welcomed a new elementary school to Côte Saint-Luc and District 2 this week.

Jewish People`s and Peretz School (JPPS) officially moved to the Bialik High School campus on Kildare Road on Monday, February 29 and presto a new Kindergarten to Grade 11 facility was born.

Head of School Maureen Baron and her team signalled this move last spring. The JPPS building on Van Horne has been sold to Yaldei (early intervention treatment and specialized therapies for children with developmental needs) and now JPPS-Bialik is one big happy family.

Hats off to Maureen, her staff, our Public Safety Department and Police Station 9 for ensuring that the drop-off and pickup of students ran smoothly.

My colleague, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, had a firsthand view of the situation. He is also the dad of three JPPS- Bialik students. “Public Safety was out in full force ensuring safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” he reports. “ he visual markers were extremely clear and well organized. JPPS personnel were also well positioned and helpful in moving things along.  

Grade 3 JPPS students celebrate their new home.

All in all it was the best drop off I've witnessed in CSL. I'm sure that every parent was pleased with the city's involvement in making this a very secure scene.”

JPPS-Bialik spokesperson Shelley Paris thanked the city for its cooperation. “The security team was out in force directing traffic and explaining parking rules to parents,” she said. “Everyone felt so welcome and taken care of!  Kudos to all!”

The city has put up visible signs to formally welcome JPPS to CSL.

Over the years I have worked very closely with the administration to make sure that parents abided by the existing parking regulations and not block driveways. Police Station 9 do patrol the area and they have been known to hand out tickets, so please before you park see if there is a sign warning you not to pull up there.

By the way this is actually a homecoming for JPPS. They had a Côte Saint-Luc campus on Wavell Road for many years.

See Glenn J. Nashen's blog.