Library

District 2 resident Myra Shuster spearheads Monarch Butterfly program

The Monarch Butterfly is a pollinator and vital contributor to our ecosystem’s health and survival. However, the  population has plummeted in recent years by more than 80 percent and  they depend  upon milkweed in order to lay their eggs and feed the larvae.

With their breeding habitat on the decline, the David Suzuki Foundation is spearheading an initiative to help restore the Monarch Butterfly’s habitat by educating the public to its importance and by encouraging the planting of milkweed. They are doing this by encouraging mayors of North American cities to adopt the Mayor’s pledge and to become a “Butterfly-Friendly City.”.  To date over 340 mayors across North America have done so.

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Myra Shuster

Last September, the City of Côte Saint-Luc became the 75th city in Quebec to be certified as a Butterfly-Friendly City. The request to be part of the David Suzuki Foundation initiative to save the Monarch Butterfly and its habitat came from District  2 resident Myra Shuster,  who had brought the matter   to my attention. I submited the application,  committing to the city to follow through with at least 15 action items out of 24 possiblities earning us a silver designation.

A huge thanks to Director of Library Services Janine West, who called me the moment she heard about this initiative. She and Myra had previously worked together, so it was a perfect match. Janine and Myra have already formed a committee and set up shop in Ashkelon Gardens behind the library. Janine has also added a pedagogical component to the program, with events like Monarch Butterfly Storytime for kids three and up.

Bravo to Janine, Myra and their team for all the hard work. As a city councillor it is so nice to have constituents like Myra who want to go that extra mile!


This Sunday: The former head of Israel’s Mossad featured in CSL Library live video presentation

The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library presented a very special talk by video  on January 17   via www.csllibrary.org/liveonzoom featuring Shabtai Shavit, the former director of Israel’s principal secret intelligence service known as the Mossad

It was also be accessible by phone. 

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You can watch the entire lecture right here,

Mr. Shavit is the author of an extraordinary book now available at our library called Head of the Mossad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel . It is being touted as a brilliant and much-needed book on intelligence, Israeli history, and global security.  Mr. Shavit headed the Mossad from  1989 to 1996. The book was originally published in Hebrew in 2018. The University of Notre Dame Press released the first English translation of the book recently.

I  co-chaired the event with Councillor  David Tordjman.  Israel Consul General David Levy   provided opening remarks and CJAD’s Aaron Rand conducted a live interview. Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Director of Library Services Janine West  concluded the program.

Candid and powerfully argued, Mr. Shavit tells his life story in the book, including his role in alerting American intelligence agents to the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the US before 9/11, the secret negotiations that led to Israel signing a peace treaty with Jordan, and frequent long-running battles with Iran.  Mr. Shavit also provides fresh insights on present tensions and possible solutions to terrorism and security issues around the world, including in Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria.

Mr. Shavit, who has been a private citizen for more than two decades, was recently interviewed by the Jewish Insider about the book and discussed the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Shavit says: “During my tenure as director and even before, I was personally involved in all kinds of relationships between the State of Israel and most of the Emirates.  Since those relationships were secret or clandestine, the Israeli party which was responsible was the Mossad.”

Head of the Mossad has received strong interest. Kirkus Reviews says, the book is “a well-documented . . . logistical delineation of decades of sensitive Israeli security and intelligence concerns. Among other significant historical events, Shavit’s tenure coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the First Intifada, the Oslo Accords, and the election and assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.” Interviews, features, and excerpts from the book have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Ami Magazine, Counter Terrorism Today podcast, SpyTalk, and Jewish Insider.

Mr. Shavit has over 50 years of experience in international security and counterterrorism and is an internationally recognized authority in the field. He served in the Mossad, Israel's prestigious intelligence agency, for thirty-two years, eventually rising to the position of director. Previously, he served in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, retiring after a distinguished service in "Sayeret Matkal," Israel's elite special forces and SWAT unit.

You can see Mr. Shavit’s interview with me on The Suburban Newspaper’s video platform: https://www.thesuburban.com/on_air/cohen_in_the_city/cohen-in-the-city---episode-34-an-interview-with-the-former-head-of/article_26a3df1a-2818-11eb-a4f9-ab9be8fa8034.html.

To get in touch with our library related to the book, you can call 514-485-6900 ext. 3 or email  reference@cotesaintluc.org.

And from the US publisher of the book,  those attending the talk were offered a 30 percent discount to purchase "Head of the Mossad." The discount code is: 14FF30 and it expires on March 28, 2021. The book link is: 

https://undpress.nd.edu/9780268108335/head-of-the-mossad/

 

 

 


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 mcohen@cotesaintluc.org 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.

 

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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.

 

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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 dhchandler43@gmail.com.

 


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.

Fees

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.

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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 www.yidlifecrisis.com.

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 sharronmgallgher.net. 


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.

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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!

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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.”

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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 dhchandler43@gmail.com .

All of these images are for sale.  

 


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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You can reach her at maggiebloom1942@gmail.com.

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