Beth Chabad

Proposed seven floor building on Marc Chagall only in the proposal stage

In recent days I have received several calls from people asking about a small notice that was placed at the corner of Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road. It is from our Urban Planning Department and explains that the city has received an application from a developer to build a seven floor, 28 unit apartment complex on the site at that spot near Beth Chabad CSL and Bialik High School.

This land is presently zoned for a two storey commercial building.  A zoning amendment approved by Council and then taken to local residents for consultation would be required.

The zoning for a two storey commercial building is for behind the fence.


Our Planning Advisory Committee has reviewed the proposal and will make a recommendation to city council, likely by August. I will keep everyone up to date. We are merely following process by sharing the developer's wishes.

I had invited the developer to have an information meeting with residents first, but he favored going  directly to Urban Planning.


Ces derniers jours, j'ai reçu plusieurs appels de personnes s'interrogeant sur un petit avis placé à l'angle de l'avenue Marc Chagall et de Kildare Road. Il provient de notre service d'urbanisme et explique que la ville a reçu une demande d'un promoteur pour construire un complexe d'appartements de sept étages et de 28 unités sur le site à cet endroit, près du Beth Chabad CSL et  Bialik.

Ce terrain est actuellement zoné pour un bâtiment commercial de deux étages.  Une modification du zonage approuvée par le Conseil et soumise ensuite à la consultation des résidents locaux serait nécessaire.

Notre comité consultatif d'urbanisme a examiné la proposition et fera une recommandation au conseil municipal, probablement d'ici le mois d'août. Je tiendrai tout le monde au courant. Nous ne faisons que suivre le processus en partageant les souhaits du promoteur.


A tradition continues for Chanukah with Beth Chabad CSL

Rabbi Mendel Raskin, the charismatic spiritual leader of Beth Chabad CSL,   spent the first night of Chanukah in his native home of Casablanca, Morocco. He then boarded  a plane headed to his  adopted home of Côte Saint-Luc and was front and center with members of council to light the giant menorah in front of City Hall.

Councillors Oren Sebag, David Tordjman, myself, Dida Berku, Sidney Benizri and Steven Erdelyi with Rabbi Raskin.


There was a large crowd on hand. Emmanuel  Darmond of the Deli Boyz handed  out 350 hot dogs, along with delicious donuts. Dozens of cars lined up with menorahs on their roofs. Members of council were carried on a lift to the top of the menorah. Pro-Mayor Sidney Benizri sang the Chanukah prayers and we each gave brief remarks to the large and enthusiastic crowd. Chanukah music played in the background.

Thank you Rabbi Raskin and your team for providing us with such an exciting program each year on the occasion of Chanukah!

Beautiful new green space appreciated by Beth Chabad and others

A look at the pathway and green space.

For those who may have missed it, last summer the Public Works Department of Côte Saint-Luc  put together a beautiful piece of green space between  Beth Chabad and JPPS-Bialik at the corner of Kildare Road and Marc Chagall in District 2.

Sidney Benizri, Ray Petrovic, Mitchell Brownstein, myself, Beatrice Newman, Dalia Bosis, Ruth Kovac and Mitchell Kujavsky cut the cake modelled around the new green space.

Beth Chabad had used the space, which is city-owned land, for wedding ceremonies for years but it was hardly attractive. That is when Public Works Director Beatrice Newman and her team stepped in. Working with Rabbi Mendel Raskin and  caterer Ray Petrovic of Blossom by the Plaza, the area was beautified with a lovely pathway running through it.

As a thank you, Petrovic invited Director Newman, her senior management team and the hard working blue collar employees for a classy barbeque lunch. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, myself and Councillors Sidney Benizri, Mitchell Kujavsky and Ruth Kovac were pleased to attend.

Thanks to Ray Petrovic, Dalia Bosis, Eva Ohayon and others who made this all possible.

Discussions have already begun about  choosing a name for this space.


Ronen Basal honoured at classy 30th anniversary gala for Beth Chabad CSL

When I decided to run for city council in the 2005 election in Côte Saint-Luc District 2 one of the first individuals I approached was Rabbi Mendel Raskin, the spiritual leader of Beth Chabad CSL. At the time his congregation was house at the Cavendish Mall in the old Eaton location.

Rabbi Raskin addresses the audience.

While Rabbi Raskin’s temporary Mall home was indeed in my district, Beth Chabad’s yet to be constructed grand facility at the corner of Mackle Road and Marc Chagall had yet to come to fruition. Zoning had been approved several years earlier, but the matter of financing had to be attended to.

Five years ago the beautiful Beth Chabad CSL Hechal Menachem Community Centre opened and as the district councillor I am proud to have played a role in facilitating this wonderful addition to our community. But where did it all begin? Thirty years ago Rabbi Raskin and his wife Sarah, a young newly married couple, arrived in Côte Saint-Luc. Rabbi Raskin was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco; Sarah was a girl from Brooklyn. Beth Chabad CSL was born immediately in a small upper duplex on Earle Road. Armed with blessings from the Lubavitcher Rebbe and overflowing with enthusiasm and the will to touch every Jew, they embarked on a very important mission. Three decades later, Chabad of CSL is going strong and committed to intensify and broaden their horizons helping youth at risk.

That certainly came out loud and clear on Sunday evening, December 4 when I attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Beth Chabad CSL. I was pleased to join Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and most members of our city council at this classy affair, emceed by CJAD personality Tommy Schnurmacher. The special honouree was Ronen Basal of the BSR Group.  Ron’s company, which he runs with his brothers, is putting up buildings fast and furious. In District 2 alone, he is responsible for many of the town houses on the Quartier Cavendish site, the soon to be opened The Avenue apartment building and four new homes on Sir Walter Scott Avenue and Ilan Ramon now under construction.  Ron told me that he has purchased the land just in from of Beth Chabad on Marc Chagall, which is presently zoned for a small commercial facility. He said that a proposal will be coming to council soon.

The Basal Family.


Ronen was chosen as the honouree for a number of reasons. For one thing he stepped forward and provided the brickwork to complete the exterior of the Beth Chabad structure. Now he and Richard Stern of Olymbec are undertaking the building of the Beth Chabad mikveh, which should be ready soon.

The Bitton Family.

The honourary chairman of the evening was Gad Bitton, a noted philanthropist whom I am proud to say had his locker next to me when we attended Wagar High School. He has gained notice for his success in the automobile sales and leasing business.

Rabbi Raskin and Rabbi Kotlarsky.

Special guests included  Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, the man responsible for Chabad Shluchim (emissaries) around the world. He is an extraordinarily charismatic individual whom I had the chance to talk to one one-on-one in the company of Rabbi Raskin. As the director of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries and Vice-Chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide.

Then there was world renowned mentalist Haim Goldberg, the evening’s entertainer.  This product of Israel had everyone in awe of his talents. He is an Israeli-Canadian mentalist, and host of the television series GoldMind.  

The hors d’ouevres and main meal were outstanding and the Raskins outdid themselves with the professional videos they had produced about Beth Chabad CSL’s history and another on Ronen Basel.

As everyone repeatedly pointed out, Beth Chabad CSL is not merely a synagogue – it is a community centre that does so much good for our city.

As Rabbi Raskin emphasized, Beth Chabad CSL was  founded on the principle that while Jews embrace many levels of observance in their personal lives, there should be a place for all Jews no labels, no affiliations. They develop a sense of community and enhance the experience of being Jewish. They have successfully catered to hundreds of families from all backgrounds, offering Jewish educational programming in an accepting and innovative setting where all feel welcome.  The goal is to create a positive Jewish experience for everyone as they strengthen their ties to the Jewish community.  “Beth Chabad CSL is a place where every Jewish person is welcome - regardless of affiliation or level of knowledge,” said Rabbi Raskin. “Our sole purpose is to create a warm welcoming environment to explore and experience our heritage in a non-judgmental and inviting atmosphere.”

Mayor Brownstein recalled how he travelled to Casablanca many years ago and enjoyed dinner in the Sukkah of Rabbi Raskin’s parents. At the same time,  his wife Elaine was in Raskin Sukkah in CSL.

Me and Ron Basal.

As president of the BSR Group, one of the largest real estate development firms in Montreal, Ronen Basel has been the driving force and raised much needed funds for many community projects.  BSR Group specializes in residential projects.

It was an absolutely wonderful evening. Congratulations to the Raskin Family and their entire team! 

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

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

Release ID: 132522


Successful CSL protest against the proposed Quebec Charter of "Shame"

Hundreds of people gathered outside  Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on December 2 for a morale lifting rally for religious freedom.

The rally itself was preceded by a Christmas tree lighting event with Father Peter Laviolette of Saint Richard’s Church of Côte Saint-Luc. Following the event, there was the traditional Chanukah menorah lighting with Rabbi Mendel Raskin of Chabad of Côte Saint-Luc.

This was a “feel good event” as guest speakers spoke out loudly against draft Bill 60, the proposed Charter of Quebec Values.


“Some people have asked why as a city we are speaking out against the Charter,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather. “City government of CSL has an absolute right to speak out against the Charter.  Our council is unanimous in opposing it and in fact each and every city on the Montreal island has adopted positions against the Charter. We are against the Charter because it is a violation of both the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and international treaties Canada has signed.  It would reduce religious and linguistic freedoms in Quebec as the primacy of French is also bundled into the Charter.  In the same way CSL led the fight in opposing Bill 14 which would have reduced our residents linguistic rights we will also lead the fight against this Charter.  Indeed the Charter is squarely a municipal issue as it impacts our employees and how the municipality operates including forcing elected officials to adopt policies against their conscience."

After opening remarks from Father Laviolette, the St. Richard’s Choir sang some Christmas tunes. They surprised us all with an improvised, “We wish you a Merry Chanukah!”

Rabbi Reuben J. Poupko  of Congregation Beth Israel Beth Aaron would later remark, “I am glad they did not sing Silent Night.”

Rabbi Poupko, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, Mayors William Steinberg and Beny Masella of Hampstead and Montreal West and Mayor Housefather energized the crowd with very strong words against the Charter.

Mayor Housfather called Bill 60 “an odious law,” and then put his own spin on former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s famous quote that the state has no business in the bedrooms of Canadians, noting how Quebec “has no place in the wardrobe of the nation.”

Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler was unable to attend the rally, but he sent a message calling Bill 60 “the Charter of shame.”

Added Mayor Housefather: “ If god forbid this law is ever adopted we will go the courts. We will never discipline anyone because they wear a hijab, a kippa or a crucifix.”

Mayor Steinberg declared this his town will not enforce the Charter, if it is ever adopted. "Immigrants from all over the world have fled tyranny and racial strife to come to Quebec," he said. "They came here for freedom and democracy. They came to a place where they could express their religious beliefs without fear of persecution or discrimination. If Bill 60 – the Charter of Shame - becomes law, Quebec will no longer be that place. This odious Bill contains provisions to eliminate minority rights, to restrict freedom of religion and freedom of expression. The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms will be amended so that these basic freedoms can be removed. We cannot allow that to happen. We must stand up and say no.

"The CAQ says that it is OK to ban religious symbols on authority figures like police, judges, and prosecutors. The Quebec Liberal Party now says that they might agree with that view. Well, they are wrong. What you put on your head does not suddenly make you unqualified or biased.  To force those who do these jobs to choose between their religious beliefs and their employment is immoral. Support for any part of Bill 60 fans the flames of racism and intolerance. I call upon the CAQ and the Quebec Liberal Party to stand up and just say no to Bill 60.  The Town of Hampstead will not recognize it as a valid law. We will not comply. We will not be complicit with hatred, racism and intolerance."

Mayor Masella acknowledged that while our communities have not elected PQ MNAs, “we need to tell the CAQ and the Liberals that there is no common ground here.”

Rabbi Steinmetz referred to the Charter of darkness. “It is destructive and divisive,” commented the spiritual leader of Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation.  “It is stirring up an awful lot of animosity in our community. It is a solution to a problem that does not exist. This is cheap demagoguery; a ploy to get better results at the ballot box.”

Rabbi Steinmetz said that he was never before reticent to be in certain parts of Quebec outside of Montreal wearing his kippa until now. “We are here not just to oppose it Bill 60, but to deny its legitimacy,” he said. “We will never respect this law. If it is ever passed, we will deny it and undermine it. We will act with civil disobedience and follow the lead of the Jewish General Hospital.”

Rabbi Poupko said that the Charter  is a repudiation of Quebec history. He accused the PQ government of  trying to divert attention from the economy. “The definition of a democracy is when minority rights are protected by law,”  he said.

After the rally, the large crowd moved over to the large menorah where Chabad officials first showed a video of how Chanukah is celebrated around the world with political leaders. Rabbi Mendel Raskin, just back from his native Casablanca, Morocco, looked around at the dozens of cars with Chanukah menorahs on top and smiled at the tradition which Côte Saint-Luc has made sure continues each year. Councillor Glenn J. Nashen then climbed aboard a truck with a lift and manually lit the shamash and six candles. Bravo Glenn!

Here is the video:



Lag B'Omer Parade and Festival a big success in CSL

As the city with the highest per capita Jewish population in the province, Côte Saint-Luc is proud to host high profile events like the annual Lag B’Omer Parade . On Sunday, April 28, blessed with picture perfect weather, the festive parade began its  route in the Snowdon area and made its way to our community via police escort.  Many thanks to Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, the Department of Public Security and our Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs).


I was pleased to join Mayor Anthony Housefather and Côte des Neiges - NDG Borough Mayor Lionel Perez for the formal opening ceremonies, hosted by Rabbi David Cohen from the Chabad Lubavitch Organization.  As I arrived so did a bus full of men dressed as clowns. They filed into the parking lot of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park and began a celebratory dance. Rabbi Cohen welcomed three young children on stage to say some prayers. The parade then continued, leading to a big festival in the central part of the park featuring games, jugglers, horse rides, a petting zoo and much more.

Bravo to all involved!







Chabad lights giant menorah at CSL City Hall

On Wednesday evening December 12   I joined my fellow city councillors and Mayor Anthony Housefather for the annual Menorah Lighting ceremony in the front of City Hall.

 Rabbi Menachem Raskin and his team from Beth Chabad of C.S.L. lit up our streets with the giant menorah. Councillor Steven Erdelyi braved the climb via a hydraulic lift, said the prayersand lit the candles.  


Joel Lion, the dynamic Consul General of Israel and a CSL resident, joined us for the ceremony. The mayor and each councillor brought greetings. There was a raffle for a limousine ride as part of a parade of  70 cars with menorahs on their roofs.

Prior to the ceremony,   in the basement auditorium of the City Hall, there was an interactive carnival for children ages two to 10. They  help build a six ft foot "Bizzy Bitz" menorah,created chanukah sand art, decorated a wooden dreidel, and much more. Doughnuts and chanukah gifts were handed out. 

Thank you Rabbi Raskin and Beth Chabad for your 25th menorah lighting in front of our City Hall.



Beth Chabad CSL unveils new facility

It was about eight years ago that I attended a groundbreaking ceremony for Beth Chabad  Côte Saint-Luc’s new facility in District 2, at the corner of Kildare Road and Marc Chagall Avenue. At the time the community centre was based at the Cavendish Mall and prior to that at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre.


Under the leadership of Rabbi Mendel Raskin and his wife Sarah, Beth Chabad CSL spent almost two decades looking for a permanent home. They had to be patient until this facility became a reality. When the Mall began demolition of half of its façade to make way for housing two years ago, Beth Chabad moved into trailers and rented some space at Bialik High School. Pictured at the right is Rabbi Raskin (left) and his brother Yitzhak, who runs Chabad in Burlington,  Vermont.

Last fall, their new home opened for business during the Rosh Hashanah period. While not yet fully completed,  officials had met all necessary building standards.



Here is my interview with Rabbi Raskin and Mayor Housefather:


On May 23 I was thrilled to attend Beth Chabad CSL’s 26th anniversary gala, which was highlighted by the debut of a gorgeous new social hall. Officially known as Beth Chabad Hechal Menachem, the building is home to the Maurice and  Nicole Benisti Youth Centre. At the gala, Max and Sigy Laredo (that is Max with me above) received the  Tree of Life Award; Jacob and Therese Attias, the Builders Award; and Michel and Perline Amar, the  Anshei Chesed Award.

The new social hall  can  accomodate  close to 600 people.  “This will fill a large void in the greater Montreal area where few halls can boast the capacity to hold events of this magnitude,” says Rabbi Raskin. “ 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 a 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.”

Below, I share a word with Rabbi Raskin and Raphael Perez.