Local resident publishes unique book: "I Love You In Every Language"

I was pleased to welcome to our city council meeting on Monday, January 13, resident Assaf Havilio and his wife Merav.

Assaf, a graphic designer who moved here from Israel 12 years ago, spent a decade turning his wonderful book “I Love You in Every Language” into reality. He was gracious enough to donate a copy to our CSL Public Library and I am sure it will be very much in demand. I accepted it along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor David Tordjman, who holds the library portfolio.

The book is self-published and available for purchase on Amazon. It explains and teaches readers how to say “I love you”  in different languages. On each page, Assaf chose the symbol of each country. In addition there is an explanation of how to pronounce “I love you” and also how to write” I love you”  in each language. At the beginning of the book, there is a background story with the two main characters who travel around the world and explore different cultures.

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Assaf Havilio and his wife Merav present a copy of the book to CouncillorDavid Tordjman, Mayor Brownstein and myself.

“The story comes with an important message: love is universal and it exists in each and every one of us, no matter where you come from,” said Assaf.  “Besides this, the book is talking about love and about different cultures, languages, and countries. My goal is  through this book, people from different countries will understand each other and will learn about different cultures in a way to understand each other better.  In Canada  a subject like this is very important because it's multicultural.”

Assaf says that feedback about the book from  children and adults has been wonderful. “I have met parents who told me that their children cannot put it down and they enjoy it so much,” he said.

You can purchase the book at Amazon at the following link.

Assaf hopes to have it available at some stores soon. He is available for public appearances. email me at and I will share your request.


Photographer David Chandler's exhibit at the CSL Public Library is stunning

If you have been to the CSL Public Library recently then you could not have missed the sensational photography exhibit of Sir Walter Scott (District 2) resident David Chandler. I am honoured to have such a talented constituent.


David Chandler at his exhibit.


The remarkable thing about David’s work is that the photos look like paintings. David met me at the library earlier this week to provide a personal backdrop to his work. He had showcased his work inside the library a few months ago and this turned out to be a competition. The winner got to do an exhibit and David triumphed. It was interesting to get his backstory on how he proceeded to take each photo.


Chandler admires one of his photos.

“All of the images shown here are based on photographs I have taken over the past 20 years,” David explained. “They have been modified with any of several programs, some only slightly, others to a much greater degree. They are all impressions of what was seen at the time: giving us contrasts of
light and colour.”

A retired high school teacher, David has been into photography for more than 60 years. But not professionally. “I have taught photography at different levels over several years,” he says. “My specialty is travel and architectural photography. In recent years I have turned to more abstract or impressionistic images,  always trying to isolate the essence of the object.”

For those interested David will be presenting three non-technical talks during the exhibition that will examine art, photography and digital art. The first is scheduled for Friday, November 29. The subject of the first is: Pixels: Older Than You Think. Other dates will be determined.

“My equipment in these digital days has always been Olympus, but it matters not since if the photographer doesn’t see the image no equipment can save it,” David notes.

All of the images are for sale. They can be mixed or matched in different ways by size or paper or support method. While the images
can obviously be printed multiple times no two are ever quite the same, as with multiple fine art prints made from the same plate.

The larger images sell for $195 while the smaller ones go for $125. The aluminum images are available for $450 each.

CSL Invitation 2019

David has published two books in recent years and they are on display at the library. There is also an agenda he created on Vietnam. A book of black and white images dates from a media course at Loyola in 1972. The exhibit continues until January 16. For more information David can be reached at


Pay as you go art classes with Noa in CSL

There is a new concept in registering for art classes, when the artist pays only on the afternoons they paint.

You can meet art teacher Noa Ne’eman on Wednesday, September 18 from 5 pm to 7 pm at  the CSL Public Library at 5751 Cavendish Boulevard. Refreshments will be served. Her students are exhibiting their artworks in the Community Art Space from September 12 to October 20.

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Noa has Tuesday weekly “drop-in” classes from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Art Room at the CSL Aquatic and Community Centre  (5794 Parkhaven).  So bring your brushes, paints and canvases. No oil paint is permitted.


Senior CSL Residents: $22
Senior non CSL Residents $28
Residents $28
Non-Residents $35.


CSL Public Library to screen YidLife Crisis documentary Chewdaism September 10

After nearly 20 screenings in a matter of months at Jewish film festivals all around North America, as well as Bucharest, the YidLife Crisis duo of Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman finally launched their feature-length documentary called Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal for a hometown audience last spring at The Rialto. Now it will make its way to Côte Saint-Luc via our Public Library and a presentation on Tuesday, Sept 10 (2 pm to 4 pm). Admission is $5 in the Harold Greenspon Auditorium.

Elman and Batalion toast to Wilenskys.

The film is a tribute to Jewish Montreal and tells the story of the city through a day’s worth of eating throughout the town. “It’s both fattening and educational,” says Batalion, who tells me that he and Elman are working with Tourisme Montreal and may be releasing the film with the CBC soon.

Chewdaism follows Batalion and Elman as they discover the roots of the city’s Jewish community through a series of classical Jewish eateries telling the story of their community in the last 100 years, with various guests along the way sharing tales and meals. YidLife Crisis is dubbed as the world’s first 18 and over (or Chai Plus) Yiddish web series and Jewish cultural comedy brand. It has spawned numerous live presentations and screenings across the globe, as well as the travelog web series, Global Shtetl, the precursor to Chewdaism.

I was fortunate to receive a screener of the film and I liked it so much that I have already watched it three times. The breakout star of this film just may be Zev Moses, the bright young executive director of The Museum of Jewish Montreal. He is a walking encyclopedia of this city’s Jewish history and while I have yet to personally visit the Museum his performance has given me a reason to do so now. And boy will this film make you hungry as Batalion and Elman nosh at the likes of Fairmont Bagel Factory, Schwartz’s Deli, WilenskysCheskies, a Sephardic Jewish home in Côte Saint-Luc and Fletchers at the Museum.

Besides Moses, Concordia lecturer Steven Lapidus, Outremont Councillor Mindy Pollak and historian Pierre Anctil share their expertise on screen. “After years of touring around the world capturing the culture and the food in different corners of the world, we decided to turn the cameras on our own culturally unique backyard of Montreal to show the world all the great things the Jewish community has contributed to it, well beyond the bagel,” says Elman.

You can find out more about the film by going to

Meanwhile, Batalion tells me that an upcoming episode of YidLife Crisis was shot entirely in Côte Saint-Luc and deals with the topic of antisemitism. "It’s all part of a bunch of advocacy work we’ll be doing in the month of September , and ultimately hoping to take this stuff to the schools as the hip way of talking to the youngsters about these issues," he says.

Elman and Batalion attended Bialik High School in CSL.


Excellent photography exhibit at the library

The Côte Saint Luc Men’s Club is a happening place where men, retired or mostly retired, come together to meet old friends, make new friends and have fun together.

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Members of the Photography Class.

 One of the classes is photography Class and it has proven to be a wonderful place for social interaction where members can find their creativity and develop new outlets for self-expression in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual encouragement. This class is led by Charles Eklove, who is an accomplished photographer with formal education in photography from Concordia University, and who provides a professional level of instruction. The mix of students ranges from new photographers to award winning and retired photographers. There is a wonderful chemistry in the class with a continued exchange of ideas and a great synergy in the group. We learn from each other in class and on the class photography trips that we take.

These talented men now have put together an exhibition of their work which runs to September 8 in the Community Art Space of the CSL Public Library. Many of these works are exceptional and all are a pleasure to look at. The members of the photography class invite you to see this exhibit and, if you like, leave your impressions in the accompanying book. I took a walk through the other night and it was most impressive! 


Sharron Gallagher's art exhibit at the CSL Public Library worth a visit

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library presents some fantastic art shows and one by Sharron M Gallagher is no exception.

Gallagher's solo show called  ” Fish and trees, land and seas’ a runs  through June 30. A lover of the outdoors, she finds the woods are her sanctuary. Her love of nature and its creatures is evident in her work. The almost 50 pieces show the evolution of her art with a variety of applications, materials and techniques. She has a unique perspective and a sense of humour about the world around her.

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A multi-media piece by Gallagher called "Hidden Gold."


Gallagher has exhibited in juried and group shows around Montreal for over 10 years. She did a trio artist show with Barbara Sweeney and Jeannine Varalta at the Centre d’Art E.K.Voland in 2016. She was awarded the “Best by Theme’ [Invigoration] in the 125th Annual Juried Art Show of the Women's Art Society of Montreal this past April.  In addition she has studied at the Visual Arts School, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art Art School, as well as several years with amazing teachers like Marilyn Rubenstein.

For more information, please go to 

Local artists Chandler and Mann present beautiful art display at the library

The Côte Saint-Luc PublicLibrary regularly has superb displays of art work from our very own residents. Through January 6, David Chandler and  Hélène Mann are the focus of attention in our Community Art Space. I strongly recommend you pay a visit.

CSL small poster

David is a resident of District 2 while I will always remember  Hélène as Mme Benoussan. She was my teacher at the former Wentworth French Immersion School (Grade 7) in Côte Saint-Luc. We reconnected years later via her art work. She was a public school teacher for some 25 years. Also a resident of CSL, she is presenting more than 30 of her original digital art works. Her brilliant images are sometimes based on photos which are worked into collages; others are completely original imaginative creations. A must see!

Hélène Mann paintings.


David taught for over 30 years, including several years focusing on photography. His photographic experience exceeds 60 years. The digital works on display attempt to show that photography is as much an impressionistic art as any painted art. There is a wide range of topics leaving much room for personal interpretation.

“All the images on display are based on photographs I have taken over the past 20 years,” David shares. “They have been modified with any of several programs. While the images can obviously printed multiple times no two are ever quite the same, as with multiple fine art prints made from the same plate. I consider pixels to be a modern variation of ancient Greek and Roman mosaics where coloured pieces of glass were combined to create images.”

David’s speciality is travel and architectural photography, always looking for patterns in the world around us. In recent years he has turned to more abstract or impressionistic images, always trying to isolate  the essence of the image. “I am presently preparing a paper on these ideas,” he says. “My equipment in these digital days has always been Olympus but it matters not since if the artist/photographer doesn’t see the image no equipment can save it.”

Some of David Chandler's work.

David has personally published a couple of books,  which are on display for library viewing only.

For more information he can be reached  at 514.482.4148 or .

All of these images are for sale.  


Artist Maxine Bloom opens a magnificent display of her work at the CSL Library

I was pleased to meet with Maxine at her display.

Maxine Bloom, a longtime constituent of mine in District 2, is a wonderfully talented artist who lives and paints in two places. Here is Côte Saint-Luc spring, summer and fall and Deerfield Beach, Florida in the winter.


Maxine’s style is mixed media and her eclectic subjects reflect her love of color and movement. She combines watercolor, acrylic and ink with collage.  As she and her husband Victor told me at the opening of an exhibit of her work at the CSL Public Library, many of the paintings are from holiday destinations of theirs.I encourage you to drop by the library anytime through November 18. Many of the 35 paintings on display are for sale, with net proceeds going towards the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors Foundation.  There is a price list on site. Cathy Simons oversees the latter operation. She is also a constituent.


Maxine has exhibited in group shows in Florida and has won both first and second prizes. Her work hangs in several private collections and she is delighted that others are enjoying her paintings every day.


You can reach her at



Dr. Harry Rosen unveils public art sculpture Partenaires/Reliance at CSL's Ashkelon Gardens  

Côte Saint-Luc  hosted a wonderful unveiling of the public art sculpture Partenaires/Reliance at Ashkelon Gardens in District 2  on August 13.

The sculpture was created and donated to the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library by Dr. Harry Rosen. He has created and donated 17 sculptures in the Montreal area including the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Jewish General Hospital, the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, the YM-YWHA, the YWCA Westmount, the Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal, and the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre.

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Library Director Janine West, Councillor David Tordjman, Mayor Brownstein, Dr. Harry Rosen, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Councillor Steven Erdelyi, myself and Councillors Dida Berku and Ruth Kovac.

“Dr. Rosen's philosophy is to donate his art to institutions to which he shares their values,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “Our library was a natural fit and we had the perfect place for it in Ashkelon Gardens behind the library.”

Dr. Harry Rosen has enjoyed a successful career as a dental surgeon and professor at McGill University. He began working with stones at his country home in the Laurentians and developed his skills as a sculptor using the flat layers of sedimentary rocks, which he acquired around his country home property after breaking rocks apart with a sledgehammer.

The sculpture shows two people facing each other and holding hands as they lean backwards. The plaque inscription reads: “When communities build libraries, libraries build communities.”

“Public art has community-building potential,” Dr. Rosen said. “Not only does it create more beauty, joy, and connection in the world, but it has the ability to tell stories. In effect, it tells the library’s story. A library’s greatest asset is its ability to connect with people building relationships and creating partnerships.

“This is the message of Partenaires-Reliance. I always felt that we humans are social animals and rely on each other. We don’t live alone. The sculpture tries conveys that message.”

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D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum joined us for this photo as well as Dr. Rosen's wife Dolores and Councillor Sidney Benizri.

I was pleased to be asked to speak with you today regarding Harry Rosen’s latest installation.   While it is easy to admire the innovation, the craftmanship and the feats of engineering that resulted in this sculpture, landing in front of this library, it is the artist that I would like to focus on now.  In doing so, I hope you will gain an even greater appreciation for the work he has created as it is very much an expression of himself and his world view.

Joy Rosen, Dr. Rosen's daughter, beautifully explained  how this second career or hobby evolved. “How fitting that a first generation Canadian would choose big hunks of the Great Canadian Shield as the material for his artistic expression,” she said. “And how ironic that this denizen of St Urbain Street, whose Jewish immigrant parents saw peril lurking around every corner and who counselled him to ‘work hard with the head, not the hands’ would create two ton works of art, that would, if toppled, annihilate a bungalow.”

Joy described her dad as a studious, much loved third child, who through will, intelligence, and an abiding commitment to excellence, propelled himself into McGill, then dental school and then into the upper echelons of his field, never allowing lack of privilege, adversity, or bad weather deter him.  

“And just as Harry created his own narrative from the rough environment that he was born into, he seems to thrive in all kinds of rough environments,” Joy said. “Skiing down frozen mountains during snow storms, digging in 100 degree heat in archaeological ruins, and riding through the woods on the backs of frisky horses.   So, when he started to re-distribute the landscape at our country house, by hauling huge boulders out of the lake with a series of winches and pulleys, it was clear that our dad would never be joining a golf club. By the time the first perfectly engineered stone terraces began to dot the property, we knew, he was not merely trying to avoid drying dishes, but that it was another step in his lifelong project: to work with whatever nature gave him and make it better.”

Until now, Dr. Rosen’s art has touched on themes such as: Self Reliance & Ambition with Assent: Personal Strength with Little Hercules and then finally “we are stronger together” with The Connection.  “With this latest work, Harry’s oeuvre has taken another turn,” Joy explained.  “For the two figures cantilevered together, convey unequivocal trust and complete synergy between the partners. Together they are one and can spin together just like the world on its axis.  However, if one or the other partner were to let go, both would tumble.  In speaking with my dad about this sculpture, he indicated that it was like his relationship with my mother, Delores, over all the years of their marriage.  If you examine the work, it is easy to see that.  They spin together in beautiful balance, never breaking their hold.

“Our family is so lucky to have such an inspiring role model although there is not one among us that would not admit that he is a tough act to follow.  Harry is an incurable optimist with no illusions that creating perfection requires a lot of really, really hard work. And yet, I don’t think he’s ever found himself between a rock and a hard place that he could not engineer into something awesomely positive.  This is, both as an artist, as a human being, his gift, his message and his legacy.”

Congratulations to Library Director Janine West and her staff for the work they did on this project.

Watch Mayor Brownstein’s interview with Dr. Rosen at Watch the sculpture being installed at

Walkway leading to CSL City Hall/Library to be named Leonard Cohen Lane

I am pleased to announce that the walkway from Marc Chagall Avenue, which heads directly to the City Hall and Library facility, will be named Leonard Cohen Lane in memory of the legendary Montreal  writer, poet, composer and singer who passed away in November 2016 at the age of 82.

While Leonard Cohen never lived in Côte Saint-Luc, he was indeed a Quebec icon we all revered. Indeed his presence was always felt at our very own CSL Public Library through  CDs,  videos and books.

When we formally inaugurate Leonard Cohen Lane later this year, I will work with Library Director Janine West, Councillor David Tordjman, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch on an event which will celebrate this great man’s life and all of the joy he brought to us.

This land was unofficially referred to as Marc Chagall Park. We had considered calling it Library Lane, but a few people, including community activist Tamar Hertz, suggested that we honour the memory of Leonard Cohen There are a number of people I know in Montreal who were personal friends with him. I am sure they will be thrilled to attend any event we organize.

Cohen (no relation to me by the way)  was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine. He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year. But literature had a stronger call than litigation.

"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s. He etablished himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better. Leonard cohen

A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year. That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire." He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."

Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.

It is  played at weddings, funerals - including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton - school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.