Julie Zuckerman

The cover of Julie Zuckerman's new book.

Like all charitable organizations, this past year has been a struggle for CHW Montreal as it continues to pivot and try new ways of raising money for its projects. Coordinator Alanna Elias wishes to share some upcoming fundraising efforts

CHW will present a Virtual Travel Series: A Jewish Tour of South America in support of The Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh), Israel. Click here to get the full details. Starting on Feb. 10, participants are invited to discover the Jewish communities of Montevideo, Lima, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires on four separate evenings. Each city has its own history and culture to explore with CHW personalized tour guides. The first 25 people to register for the full series will receive a beautiful sterling silver Hamsa necklace, generously donated by Lim Lim Accessories. The full series is $100. Individual cities are $36. Charitable tax receipts will be issued.

 On Thursday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm, CHW Montreal will host its second online Mahjong Event. Mahjong players are invited to sign up with their teammates and assign a Team Captain who will join CHW over Zoom to win prizes. This will be a very fun afternoon of Mahjong, camaraderie and prizes. Tickets are $18 or $36. Charitable tax receipts will be issued.

Finally, they are hosting a book review event Feb. 22 at 1 pm. Author Julie Zuckerman will discuss her debut novel, The Book of Jeremiah, a novel-in-stories.

Since Grade 10, Zuckerman has been a writer. In high school and college, it was journalism. Her first job was writing business plans for high tech startups, and to this day she continues to write marketing and investor-related material. Currently, she has a full-time job as a senior product marketing director at a high tech company.

Though an avid reader from an early age, it wasn't until 2008 that she discovered her passion for writing fiction. She has since published over two dozen stories, many of which can be found online. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, including CRAFT, Jewish Women's Archive, The SFWP Quarterly, The MacGuffin, Salt Hill, Sixfold, The Coil, Ellipsis, MoonPark Review, Crab Orchard Review and others. The Book of Jeremiah was the runner-up for the 2018 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction and is her debut collection.

Zuckerman holds a BA in political science from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a MA in international relations from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.A native of Connecticut, she now lives in Modiin, Israel, with her husband and four children. When she’s not writing or working, she can be found reading, running, biking, swimming, birdwatching, baking or trying to grow things in her garden.

Tickets are $18. Charitable tax receipts will be issued. Register online at www.chw.ca/bookreview2021.

ONLINE HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE EVENT: International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be commemorated on Wednesday Jan. 27 with a special online event at 5:30 pm. Everyone is invited to join via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/museehmontreal to hear messages of resilience from survivors and the thoughts of Canadians from different walks of life as we reflect on the legacy of the Holocaust. You do not need a Facebook account to watch. Simply click on Facebook page to tune in.

The event will feature messages from The Honourable Bob Rae, H. E. Sabine Anne Sparwasser, The Honourable Irwin Cotler, H.E. Souriya Otmani, author Monique Polak, artist Karyne Lemieux, journalist Tommy Schnurmacher, refugee rights advocate Rivka Augenfeld, and many more!

The event is in partnership with Federation CJA, March of the Living Montreal, Cummings Centre, Jewish Public Library and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.

SUPPORTING BIDEN: Last week T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization that represents over 2,000 rabbis and cantors and their communities, issued the following statement in support of the executive actions that President Biden planned to enact during his first day in office. T’ruah recently released their Mishkan Vision for the next four years, which details their commitment to replacing systems of injustice with systems of righteousness.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, released the following statement: “Today was a day full of hope for the future. T’ruah supports the executive actions taken today by President Joe Biden that will start to restore America’s human rights record and address the countless crises that face Americans today.

“‘I extol You, Eternal One, for You have lifted me up, and not let my enemies rejoice over me. Eternal One, my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. Eternal One, You brought me up from Sheol, preserved me from going down into the Pit. . .One may lie down weeping at nightfall; but joy comes in the morning. . . .You turned my lament into dancing, you undid my sackcloth and girded me with joy’ (Psalms 30:2-4, 6, 12)

“T’ruah has spent the last four years fighting the xenophobic policies that closed America’s borders, separated families, denied pathways toward citizenship, and celebrated discrimination over compassion. As Jews, we know that immigration policy can be a matter of life or death. Many of our own families fled danger to find refuge in the United States, and many of our family members died after our country’s borders closed to them. Providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for Dreamers, reversing the Muslim ban, ensuring that non-citizens are counted in the census, and taking responsibility for reuniting families separated at the border are moral victories that reinstate our commitment to human rights, including protecting the lives and dignity of every human being.

“T’ruah also shares a sense of relief that the COVID-19 pandemic will finally get the focused, science-based attention the crisis deserves, after 400,000 Americans have already died from the disease. We support President Biden’s executive orders today requiring masks and physical distancing and extending eviction and foreclosure moratoriums as well as the student loan pause. COVID-19 is not only a public health crisis and economic crisis, but also a human rights crisis, as the disease has laid bare and exacerbated the economic discrepancies of this country, as well as our shameful legacy of racism.

“President Biden’s orders also demonstrate a respect for the world we all share and a commitment to facing the existential challenge of climate change, the effects of which vulnerable and marginalized communities experience first and most severely. His decision to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change repositions the United States to champion the massive investment needed to repair our world.

“These orders, in addition to Biden’s selection of a cabinet that reflects the rich diversity of America, are encouraging first steps along the long road to repair the damage of the last four years.

“Yet, the work does not end today. Our country, and our world, is constructed on a system of injustice that maintains power and wealth for a small few, while trampling on the rights and the wellbeing of the many. T’ruah will continue to fight to replace the systems of injustice with systems of righteousness, as laid out in our Mishkan Vision for the next four years.”

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights mobilizes a network of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors from all streams of Judaism that, together with the Jewish community, act on the Jewish imperative to respect and advance the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we call upon Jews to assert Jewish values by raising our voices and taking concrete steps to protect and expand human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Have an item for SJN? E-mail mcohen@thesuburban.com

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