Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting ready to greet Passover once more

Winter has officially left us, spring is beginning to bloom around us, and, amazingly, a year has passed, Passover is back. Families will come together in the coming week for their annual seders and retell the story of our Exodus from Egypt.

Before Erev Pesach rolls in next Friday, be sure to check out our Literary/Greetings supplement in next week's paper. It's a collection of fiction and poetry submitted by our readers. For you the web generation think of it as our most effective use of user- generated content.

Starting Tuesday you'll find the 2012 edition posted in the supplements section on The CJN's main site at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SDM bringing Tel Aviv heat to Toronto!

Size Doesn't Matter, the web campaign highlighting Israeli nightlife, pop culture, art, innovation and more is aiming to capture the attention of young professionals from across Toronto right after Passover.

For those who have yet to experience the Holy Land, the exotic flavour of Tel Aviv, considered by some to be a cultural mecca, will be on display in Toronto at the first annual TLV to the YYZ. The event will feature world renowned Israeli spinmaster, DJ Erez Ben Ishay, samplings of delectable Israeli food and wines, and showcase the hottest trends from the streets and runways of TLV during its premiere designer fashion show.

For more information and to get on the guest list click here

Don't forget to check out the event's teaser video below.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tackle problems together

Ask Ella
By Ella Burakowski
Dear Ella,

Michelle and I have been together for a long time. We’ve discussed marriage and at this point, we just assume we will always be together, but I can’t bring myself to pop the question just yet.

Michelle is very close to her family as I am with mine, but there is a big difference: she shares everything with them. Last week, her mom approached me to discuss an intimate, private problem that should have stayed between us. This was very personal, and my girlfriend metaphorically brought her mother into our bed.

I have spoken to Michelle at great length about her unhealthy dependence on her parents and how it’s time for her to distance herself from them if she wants to move on with a new family of her own. She disagrees with me and feels I don’t understand because I don’t come from a close family. She says you can’t have too much love. In fact, I do come from a close family. It’s just that we don’t speak to or see each other every day, and I choose to solve my problems without my parents’ intervention.

As far as I’m concerned, the relationship she has with her family is unhealthy, and last week it became embarrassing. Do I give her an ultimatum to choose them or me? I don’t know what to do.

Cut the Cord

Dear Cut the Cord,

It’s very important to feel loved and to have a close bond with family. However, at some point, there needs to be a natural break. It’s not unusual for a child of overprotective parents to have a difficult time separating. It’s possible that Michelle is having a hard time letting go because her parents have always helped solve her problems. The fact that her mother approached you about something so private between the two of you is proof of that. She should have advised her daughter to work it out with you, rather than take over and try to fix things for her little girl.

You have to make Michelle feel secure enough to trust that together you can solve your own problems. Right now, you’re like the outsider trying to break in to a sealed bond that has had a lifetime to strengthen. It’s up to you to turn the tables. For a relationship to be healthy, there needs to be trust, communication and boundaries.

Did you discuss the inappropriateness of her approaching her mother with such a personal problem? Did you communicate to her how it made you feel? You need to teach Michelle to trust that together you can work out your issues. As her husband-to-be, you’re entitled to verbalize your expectations and set boundaries. She needs to know that your loyalty to, and privacy with, each other must take priority. It’s the basic foundation for respecting the sanctity of your relationship.

Michelle has to know that she stepped over the line, but at the same time, you have to be patient while she works through this complicated relationship she has with her parents. You both have some serious work ahead, and you may benefit from some professional couples counselling. Only you can decide if you love her enough to help her through this.
Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN, e-mail: But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Scapegoats through the ages and the Purim parallel

The concept of Tikkun Olam, Hebrew for "repairing the world", is an important mission. To prevent or resolve  social chaos wherever and whenever it presents itself should be the goal of all people, regardless of ethnicity or religion. In a piece for the Huffington Post Canada's religion blog, Toronto-raised Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troste, director of North American programs for Rabbis for Human Rights North America, traces the practice back to the time of Esther and the story of Purim.