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October 2016

September 2016

Going door to door with Mayor Brownstein - well in advance of an election

Going door to door and meeting with my constituents of Côte Saint-Luc District 2 is not something I reserve for election campaigns. Via this blog, my annual District meetings and regular walkabouts in this area I remain in very close contact with the electorate. 

Being a city councillor makes you accountable to the public. Each day I respond to phone calls and countless e-mails. When I attend public events or  go to the shopping center, someone always has a request to make. Last week I took a family member to the hospital. A gentleman who just walked out of day surgery recognized me and asked if he could raise a municipal issue with me. Of course! I welcome these interventions.

This brings me to Mitchell Brownstein, our new mayor.  The next municipal election is in November 2017. Mitchell was acclaimed office last March. He is a full-time mayor, having virtually given up his law practice. Everyone agrees what a fabulous job he's doing.

Well Mitchell really wants to get out there and meet the people. That is why he has been going door to door for several months already. For each outing he is accompanied by members of his team, his devoted wife Elaine and the district councillor for the street he is visiting.

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Mitchell, Elaine and myself with Jack and Marilyn Miller.

Last week part I joined Mitchell and his delegation as we knocked on a few doors in District 2. Besides Mitchell's wife, Myra Dodick and Anouk Benzacar were with us. We were not handing out any election brochures. Everyone got a polite "hello," some business cards and an opportunity to ask us any questions on their mind. Some folks even wanted our opinion on Donald Trump. The reception we got was overwhelmingly positive. In some cases, we were asked to come inside. Resident Michael Litvack showed us his beautiful collection of artwork while Jack Miller shared some pretty funny jokes, somehow linking one of them to the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

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Mitchell, myself, Elaine, Myra, Anouk and constituent Fred Zweig.

In the next few weeks Mitchell will have criss-crossed the city with each member of council. Bravo to our devoted mayor, a true man of the people!


A proud day for all of us in the formal naming of 1 Sidney Shoham Place

The City of Côte Saint-Luc renamed a section of Hudson Avenue to Place Sidney Shoham Place at a beautiful ceremony on Sunday, September 25

Several hundred people  turned out on a nice sunny day. Rabbi Shoham passed away on September 21, 2015, at the age of 86. He retired 10 years earlier as the founding rabbi of Beth Zion Congregation after having served in that role for 50-plus years. Rabbi Shoham continued to remain very active in synagogue life and in fact, passed away only hours after attending the synagogue’s annual Cantorial Concert, of which he was most involved.

Shoham Street name

As the city councillor responsible for naming rights, I was approached last winter by Beth Zion president Earl Rosen about honouring Rabbi Shoham’s memory.  We do not often rename streets, but in this case the decision was a natural. Beth Zion is no longer located at 5740 Hudson Avenue, but rather 1 Place Sidney Shoham Place.  The Hebrew Day School is now at 5 and 9 Place Sidney Shoham Place.

ShohamPlace

When I went to district Councillor Allan J. Levine, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and the rest of council, the name change was agreed upon immediately.  I would like to thank our Director of Public Affairs Darryl Levine and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman for their work behind the scenes.

At the ceremony we heard words from Mayor Brownstein, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather, Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D’Arcy McGee David Birnbaum, Rabbi Boruch Perton, Earl Rosen and Linda Lieberman, Rabbi Shoham’s eldest daughter. She joined her sisters Donna and Mindy and mother Jewel in the unveiling of the civic address and street signs. You can watch the entire ceremony right here.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland the son of the late Rabbi Yechiel and Rebbetzen Ethel Shoham, Rabbi Shoham attended the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and then went to Mesivta Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, New York. While studying at the yeshiva, Rabbi Shoham attended Brooklyn College at night and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in psychology. Later, he attended graduate school at New York University, School of Psychology and continued his studies in Montreal at the Allen Memorial Hospital – McGill University where he furthered his degree in Pastoral Psychiatry. 

Rabbi Shoham arrived in Montreal in 1955 to visit his brother Gilbert, who was Rabbi of the Beit Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue on McKenzie. While here, he met with an enthusiastic group of individuals anxiously waiting to build a new community in the western suburb of Montreal. After discussions with the committee, he was quickly hired as the Rabbi of Beth Zion. Over the years, he had been active with nearly every Jewish organization in the city, notably Combined Jewish Appeal, B’nai Brith and State of Israel Bonds and the founder of the much needed Miriam Home. 

On Tuesday, September 27, Beth Zion will host Scholar in Residence Rabbi Benjamin Blech at the Rabbi Sidney Shoham Memorial Lecture and then, on Thursday, October 6, the newly renamed Rabbi Sidney Shoham Tribute Concert called “The Gift of Music” will take place.

“After the idea was conceived for this street renaming and address  change,  time seemed to take forever  to  arrive at this momentous occasion,” said Rosen. “We at Beth Zion have had many momentous events take place over the years.going from  the house to the auditorium,then the sanctuary, torah dedications, the 36th and  50th  anniversary celebrations, the cantorial concerts and on and on  to me.”

Our newest member of city council, Sidney Benizri, was wearing his other hat today as executive director of Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel. Thanks to the generosity of  Judith and Harry Rossdeutscher and Fagey and  Simon Rossdeutscher a brand new ambulance was dedicated in Rabbi Shoham’s memory. It was on display at the ceremony.     

I  was honoured to know Rabbi Shoham almost all of my life and  I am so proud to play a role in further ensuring his wonderful legacy in our city.


A fabulous 50th anniversary for our CSL Public Library

 

The Côte Saint-Luc Eleanor London Public Library is 50 years old and on September 18 we celebrated this remarkable silver anniversary with an entire day of events. As the city councillor responsible for Library and Culture, I could not be more proud of the job Director of Library Services Janine West and her team did to put this together.

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David Birnbaum, Mayor Brownstein et al dance up a storm.

When our 2016 Canada Day celebrations were rained out, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein suggested immediately that we make our Library celebration bigger than usually planned. So we concluded everything with a bang – an amazing concert performance by the band Vintage Wine and laser show. Oh yes, the weather was absolutely perfect. We created a makeshift outdoor concert bowl at the rear of our parking lot. The band was so well received that the moment they began to play people came out of the audience to dance. Special mention must go to Mayor Brownstein and wife Elaine, Councillor Allan J. Levine and wife Rhona and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and Councillor Ruth Kovac who really danced up a storm.

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Vintage Wine rocks the crowd.

While Eleanor London, our founding librarian could not attend due to health reasons, Miriam Lang addressed the audience. The wife of the late Mayor Bernard Lang, Miriam told us all how the creation of our library all began in the kitchen of her home with a small committee. She said some people questioned Mayor Lang’s decision to select the second floor of the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre as the initial location, but it turned out to be the perfect spot until our City Hall/Library Complex was constructed. We now have without a doubt the finest public library in Quebec and possibly Canada.

So how did we else did we celebrate?

We start things off, under the circus tent in the Children’s Library there was an extra special storytime, with birthday themed books, party hats for all, and a great birthday craft for the kids to take home. We then brought in kosher pizza for all, along with juice boxes and waters. This went over very well with those who lined up for a fun lunch.

Pizza
Everyone loved the pizza

 In our multi-purpose room we asked youngsters to create their very own birthday cards for the future library time capsule we will unveil so that future generations can read their birthday wishes for this very special place. Kids decorated and filled out a card and then had their pictures taken with our “happy birthday” sign. The activity involved the creation of the content for the time capsule. All those who participated will be invited to attend the time capsule burying ceremony, taking place at a later date.
Cupcakes

Our friends from RBC joined us to hand out the cupcakes.

Rather than a large birthday cake, we ordered 900 absolutely delicious cupcakes. We thank our sponsor, RBC Royal Bank at Kildare and Cavendish, for this amazing snack. I admit – I had more than one!

Outside behind the library, in Ashkelon Garden, we had face painting, a glitter tattoo artist, a balloon sculptor, chess, inflatables, WIMA musicians playing music of the 60s and a few inflatables.

A photo booth was setup in the lobby. Folks loved having their pictures taken with fun and wacky props and received a print as a memento.  There were also stations for button making, rainbow loom bracelets, a treasure hunt, an AWE Literacy Station and a game of Bingo. Prizes    included Pharmaprix gift cards, free passes to library events and one video club membership, and items sponsored by Bonder Books

There were some notable displays celebrating 50 years of Memories: A history of the library in photographs in the art gallery and near the Natural History Museum. We had a first look at the CSL Thursday Painting Group’s 50th Anniversary Gift, a large painting of different renderings of a room in the library. It is on the wall behind our reference desk. Also worth checking out is: 50 Years of Time on the cafe glass wall (large Time Magazine covers from 50 years);  Library Memorabilia In the Art Gallery Exhibit table; the Senior Men’s Club Art Show in the Community Art Space

We had a number of kiosks, including a Library Bag Giveaway (sponsored by Quartier Cavendish), and Adopt-a-Book Table.

At a VIP reception, we welcomed members of council, former Mayor Robert Libman, former councillors David Klinger, Isadore Goldberg and Joseph Panunto, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal and former Mayor Anthony Housefather and David Birnbaum.  We recognized Lisa Milner, a manager at our library who oversaw the operation during the four years we were a borough of the city of Montreal and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, now on maternity leave with twins who served as our chief librarian before being elevated to her current post.

"I am really very honoured to have had the privilege be part of this great library all of these years and I thought I might take this opportunity to talk about greatness and what is it that makes a public library great," Janine West said in her remarks. "First and foremost you have to have a clear vision. And here I have to thank Eleanor London our founding librarian for giving us her vision of a people’s library where the library is built for people first and foremost and not just for books.

"To be great a library needs the support from upper city management. The library has always been blessed with city managers who support the library but the library has a great champion in Tanya Ambramovitch, the previous library director and now our city manager. Tanya, whose passion and vision equalled if not surpassed Eleanor’s saw the library could be an important player in city building creating a healthy and vibrant city dedicated to improving the quality of life for all residents.. I thank Tanya for believing in me and trusting me to carry the library’s mission forward with this all important torch. In order to have a great library you need great staff, staff that understand the vision of the library and who are smart, creative, loyal and dedicated and will do what it takes to not only to deliver outstanding service but outstanding experiences to CSL  residents.My staff, I am lucky to have them at my side. To the ones present I want to tell you that you make my job so much easier. Your contributions to the library are sometimes unsung but never unappreciated. I am so grateful to have you as part of my team.

"To make a library great you need to have a great city council, a council who believes in the library. From past mayors and city councillors to our present mayor Mitchell Brownstein and current slate of city councillors, all have believed in and supported the mission of the library. We could not do what we do without their support. I thank them wholeheartedly. And finally there is the community. The library cannot be great if you don’t have the love and support of the community. In our library that support comes in the form of dedicated and committed library ambassadors, individuals that give not only of their time, but their ideas, their spirit and their love. Support from the community also comes in the form of our local businesses who support library initiatives through generous donations.  So in summation, all of you here today know that it is because of you that this library is great, why it still has the reputation it has today, why it is still referred to as the jewel of Côte Saint-Luc."

 

It was an absolutely fabulous day!


Jacob Attias Earns The Builders Award For Beth Chabad Complex Completion

(FROM THE FREE PRESS NEWS RELEASE CENTER) Ramco was established in 1977 under the Quebec Companies Act. The company's principal endeavors include the development, construction, acquisition of rea1 estate, property management and leasing. Over the past 39 years through its experienced staff and management excellence, Ramco has successfully developed, over 40 properties.

"At one point or another, Beth Chabad will have touched your life." This statement has been heard and said by many. Some actions speak volumes while the action taker seeks only the fruition of a dream. A place where one can celebrate, mourn, learn, grow, a place with a wider horizon, where one can stretch their limits. Whether a boy, a man, a girl, a woman, a human being within the Jewish community, Chabad is and will always be a welcome starting point.

An idea began to grow at 5534 Earle Road in 1986, and progressed until August of 2012. A place is needed in Côte St. Luc, to have celebrations, parties, gatherings, study groups/learning center, etc. A place where everyone will feel welcome and not crowded. A place that can welcome lots of people.

Mr. Jacob Attias had to be part of this exciting project. It is close to his heart, as this complex is part of making his dreams come true. To ensure its realization Mr. Jacob Attias undertook the responsibility as President of the Construction Committee as well as the President of the Finance Committee.

What drew Mr. Jacob Attias to this project was the inclusion of a Community Youth Center. It is featured on the first floor and spans an incredible 20,000 square feet. This space smartly incorporates entertainment and education in a very modern environment for today's and tomorrow's youth. Children of all ages, can share their time between pool tables at the youth lounge, work on computers with internet access in the computer room, eat or have a snack in the cafeteria as well as study in a beautiful and well equipped library.

Apart from housing these amazing designated areas, the Community Youth Center is also home to a year round nursery and daycare. In the summer, the Community Youth Center provides one of the most popular camp in Côte St. Luc! Staffed with qualified monitors from Montreal and the United States, this camp welcomes all youth from across the Island of Montreal, Laval and the South Shore. No youth is left out. This is where friendships begin and grow, this is where opportunities to give back to the community are encouraged, this is community spirit reinforcing every youth's positive needs.

Included on the second floor of Beth Chabad Hechal Menachem Complex is an elaborate and beautiful Hall, that can accommodate close to 600 people. Adjoining the Hall, on the second floor, is a well thought out Sanctuary. This is important as there are very few halls, and synagogues, in Montreal that can comfortably accommodate this capacity. Furthermore, It will be equipped with state-of-the-art audio equipment and screens to hold community wide Jewish educational conferences, community lectures, symposiums and seminars throughout the year. This will be the place to hold holiday celebrations, weddings, brit milot, bar/bat mitzvahs in addition to many other occasions which can all be held in one elaborate and sophisticated setting.

Beth Chabad Hechal Menachem is located in Cote St. Luc, at the corner of Kildare road and Marc Chagall avenue. The completion of this complex has earned Mr. Jacob Attias and Mrs. Therese Attias the Builders Award.

For more information, please visit http://www.ramcodev.com/

Contact Info:
Name: Mr Jacob Attias
Organization: RAMCO DEVELOPMENT Inc.

Release ID: 132522

 


Our CSL Public Library set to celebrate 50 successful years in business

The City of Côte Saint-Luc will be celebrating the 50-year anniversary of our  public library all day on Sunday, September 18 culminating with an outdoor concert and laser show behind the library. We have our fingers crossed for good weather, but all of these activities will proceed rain or shine.

Bookshelves
People still love coming to the library for good books.

“There is a slew of free events for the whole family,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “There will be a special birthday-themed story time for kids, face-painting, library bingo with prizes, cake and much more. Don’t miss the concert by Vintage Wine highlighting hits from the 1960s and the laser show.”

The concert starts at 5:30pm. The laser show – originally scheduled for Canada Day – takes place at 7:30pm. For the full schedule of events, visit csllibrary.org.

Float
We actually had library floats in parades.

Library Director Janine West and her staff have planned a wonderful day for all. We will be celebrating this anniversary throughout the year, so visit the library website and subscribe to our  e-newsletter and Facebook page to stay informed.

The city council established a citizens committee in December 1964 to look into establishing a public library. The city hired Eleanor London and the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library opened its doors on September 7, 1966. Its 4,322 square feet was originally located on the second floor of the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. It moved to its current 23,000 square feet of space in 1986.

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That is Eleanor London with staff when our present library was under construction. Just to the left of her is a younger Janine West.

I feel very fortunate to be the city councillor responsible for Library and Culture, particularly at this time. Given the fact I am 53 and have lived in the community most of my life, I have many fond memories of this establishment.

It all began, of course, on the second floor of the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. That was where our original library was located. It was not a very large venue, but we did not know from anything else and the community was well served.

The move to our present-day facility was nothing less than extraordinary. Almost immediately we became recognized as having one of the finest public libraries in the province.  Over the years we evolved beyond a place to simply take out books. Students in the community come here to study in groups. There are computers to use, videos and DVDs to borrow

I recently spoke to Eleanor London, who said that due to health problems she will not be able to join us on September 18. She is a legend in our circles. Janine's immediate predecessor was Tanya Abramovitch, now our city manager on maternity leave. During part of the years we were a borough under the auspices of the city of Montreal, Lisa Milner oversaw the department.

“Having been part of this great library, this jewel of Côte Saint-Luc, for almost 35 of these 50 years, it is fair to say I have seen some substantive changes,” Janine said. “However, one thing has remained constant: our commitment to Eleanor London’s vision of the ‘people’s library’, a welcoming and personable community space where its staff go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.”

For more information about these events and programs, visit csllibrary.org or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.


Saying good-bye to two gentlemen: Solly Levine and Seymour Kleinberg

Two men who made very significant contributions to Côte Saint-Luc passed away this week.


Solly Levine was a fixture on the local hockey and baseball scene for decades and I had quite a history with him. Seymour Kleinnerg was the ultimate gentleman and so much revered by the CSL Men`s Club that they twice recognized him as Man of the Year.

Solly passed away at the age of 97. Virtually from the moment I got involved in the amateur sports scene he was presence. Now Solly was not really an athlete, yet he was a true manager of people. So when he stood behind the bench of the Côte Saint-Luc Cougars with his co-coach Kenny Saxe, everyone respected his decisions. He knew just how to send out the right line combinations, which players to select at the start of each season and how to deal with the parents.

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Solly Levine, Mike Ribeiro and Jack Dunn in 2005.

It was in management, though, where Solly found his true calling. In hockey, he ended up becoming the general manager of the Westluc Saints Midget AA team while in baseball he did the same for the Côte Saint-Luc Avengers. Eventually, Brian McKeown saw Solly’s true potential. McKeown was the owner of the Lac St. Louis Midget AAA Lions, which developed many NHL stars. He brought on Solly as his general manager and for a considerable period of time the man known to friends as “Dinky” became a living legend.

A few months ago I bumped into former NHL star Martin Lapointe, now the head of player development for the Canadiens. He played for the Westluc Saints and the Lac St. Louis Lions. “How is Solly doing?” he asked.


Solly loved seeing his name in the paper. He’d often call me and say, “Hey Michael, give me a little write up next week would you?”


I vividly remember the first Cummings Centre Sports Celebrity Breakfast I helped organize in 2005. Former Hab Mike Ribeiro was our guest. Solly and his friend Jack Dunn were in our VIP room. The moment Ribeiro saw Solly, he raced across the room to greet him.


Seymour Kleinberg

Seymour grew up in Outremont, was educated in the public school system and enjoyed an outstanding career in football as a defensive linebacker. After senior matriculation he entered the men’s clothing manufacturing sector with his father and uncle. He soon moved into retail in rural Quebec, which made him fluently bilingual, after which he returned to Montreal as a manufacturer of ladies wear until his retirement. He married Renee in 1953 and was blessed with three children - Ellen, Sharon, and Carl. Seymour is the proud grandfather to Ryan and Benji.

Kleinberg
I got to congratulate Seymour in 2009 when he was named Man of the Year.

Always community-oriented, Seymour was active in the Young Israel of Chomedey Congregation and Combined Jewish Appeal and the Mount Sinai Hospital Sadly, his wife passed away in 1988. He shared his time with Rhoda Baskin, a former executive-secretary in Neurology at the Jewish General Hospital, herself a widow and now, retired. They became inseparable companions these past 17 years, enjoying club activities as well as each other’s children and grandchildren.

 
Seymour was just about one of the friendliest men you can ever meet. I always enjoy his company and was proud to have him as a constituent on Sir Walter Scott Avenue.


Our sympathies go out to both families.

 


Link to moving obituary of former CSL resident John Herman Franken

Anthony Davis recently wrote this excellent obituary about the late  John Herman Franken, a long-time Côte Saint-Luc resident and member of the Canadian Legion Brigadier Kisch Branch #97. He was a familiar site at our commemorations of VE and Remembrance Days and regulary spoke to students at schools.

"To me he was always uncle Johnny, a close family friend ever since I can remember," recalled Councillor Ruth Kovac. "His late wife Sonja probably one of the sweetest human beings. My mom and he died about a week or so apartL two survivors with a great outlook on life.  Johnny was a mensch. He had a wonderful sense of humour and as I child loved his few slight of hand tricks. He was unique man."

Click here to read about John Herman Franken

 

 

 


Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich already winning people over at TBDJ

Six years ago my family and I became members of Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem on Baily Road. For me, it broke a lifetime association with Beth Zion Congregation on Hudson Avenue (soon to be renamed Sidney Shoham Place).

Why did I switch? The  main reason was their spiritual leader, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz. I had always been a great admirer. Even though he was not our rabbi, we felt very close to him. His sermons always gave me a lift. We made the move and never looked back. I immediately got involved as the editor of their Bulletin and as an advisor on publicity matters. It did not take long to feel the warmth and energy of the entire synagogue. More recently,  I began to work exceedingly close with their fabulous president Judah Aspler and executive director Joyce Reinblatt.

When Rabbi Steinmetz announced a year ago that he was taking a dream job at a synagogue in New York City, my heart sunk. How could TBDJ function without him?  We bid a tearful good-bye to him last fall. Wasting little time, Aspler and his team sprung into action. They consulted every single member on what type of individual they wanted to see as Rabbi Steinmetz's successor. Then they went the extra mile, bringing three final candidates to town on successive weekends.

RabbiJudahJoyce
Rabbi Freundlich, Judah Aspler and Joyce Reinblatt.

Well, it has only been two weeks since Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich and his family arrived at TBDJ. I have met with him several times and I will already go out on a limb and say that the executive made a brilliant hire. He appears to be a perfect fit. Unquestionably, his dynamic personality and wonderful sense of humour will win everyone over. Last Monday I invited him to meet with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our city council. The banter was superb. 

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Rabbi Freundlich and Judah Aspler with Mayor Brownstein and council.

I asked Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather to pay the rabbi a visit and explain to him how Canadian government works. He did and reported on  a great first meeting. D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum will be next to stop by.  Most recently, I asked the dean of local community journalists, Janice Arnold from the Canadian Jewish News,  to interview him. She, along with Stuart Nulman, noted Montreal Times columnist and blogger, joined the rabbi at a nice lunch organized by  Aspler and Reinblatt.  It was like sitting around the table with lifelong friends.

WithAH
Anthony Housefather and the rabbi.

Rabbi Freundlich, affectionately known as “Rabbi Y,” his wife Rifki and their seven children arrived here via Atlanta. Since 2007 he had served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob. In addition, he became Head of School at Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael High School in 2014.


“Having had the opportunity to engage with Rabbi Freundlich in the lead-up to his debut, there is no doubt that our incredible synagogue and community is now on its way to growing even stronger,” said Aspler. “With the Rabbi’s leadership and enthusiasm, the days, weeks, and years ahead will be filled with learning, spiritual growth, a connection to tefila, friendliness, chesed, and a lot of excitement along the way.”


Rabbi Freundlich was one of three final candidates brought to TBDJ to spend a weekend with members. “Each of our guest Rabbis commented to me on how impressed they were by what they saw in terms of member involvement, care and passion for the shul,” said Mr. Aspler. “From participation in davening and classes to efforts made to personally say hello and chat. I will add that the level of feedback received prior to and during the search was tremendous. Our candidates were impressed, and I think we all were as well. We demonstrated who we are, and who we will be.”


Rabbi Freundlich received his semicha (rabbinic ordination) in 2005 from Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College, where he also earned a Masters of Talmudic Law. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland. He and his wife are parents to seven children: Racheli (16), Binyamin (14), Ephraim (12), Shlomo (11), Rena (8), Shai (6), and Shayna (3).


More than 300 people attended a Shabbat dinner on August 19 to formally welcome the Rabbi and his family to TBDJ. “As my wife and I went from table to table to introduce ourselves it really felt like our wedding,” he said. “There was so much positive energy in the room.”


Last summer the Rabbi circulated his private email to the membership, inviting anyone to reach out. He was pleasantly surprised by the avalanche of messages he received. “I wish to express my gratitude and excitement to be part of this community,” he said. “This is such a wonderful opportunity.”


While in New York City over the summer, Rabbi Freundlich paid a visit to his predecessor Rabbi Steinmetz. “We had a wonderful discussion,” he said. “Rabbi Steinmetz has been a tremendous help and resource to me already. I am grateful for that.”


In his former post, Rabbi Freundlich also served as a member of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, responsible for promoting personal and religious growth through family meetings, personal development classes and social programming, with special attention given to marital counseling and parenting consultations. In this role he also directed the Maor Eliyahu program, an advanced nightly Talmud study group, and held outreach responsibilities for university students and preschool parents. Amongst other accomplishments and publications, he developed and produced a “Strengthen Your Marriage” Workshop which was presented numerous times across the United States, and developed a “3 Minute Parenting Through the Parsha” online video series, featured by several national organizations such as The Orthodox Union and Aish Hatorah (videos can be seen at http://tbdj.org/RYF1).


Aspler has expressed his gratitude to Search Committee Chairs Morty Yalovsky and Ami Drazin, who worked tirelessly in order to ensure that the search was thorough and achieved its goals. He added that committee members Louis Drazin, Edie Friedman, Leslie Gal, Alan Katznelson, Perry Kliot, Daniel Lieberman, Dean Mendel, Shira Vasilevsky and Scott Garber left no stone unturned, explored every issue and detail, and considered every member throughout the process.


Rabbi Freundlich’s arrival coincides with the launch of new programming that will guide TBDJ into the New Year and Holiday season. “I am very excited to get started on this new adventure,” he said.