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2013

Shul Disturber (The Grid)

2012

Listen to Rabbi Aaron Levy talk about Purim on Here and Now:

2011

Rabbi Aaron was interviewed by Sarah Elton for CBC Radio Toronto’s Here and Now for their December 21 program, discussing Kensington Market and Sephardic chanukah traditions. Listen to the interview online here, along Aaron’s grandmother’s recipe for Burmuelos di Chanukah.

Makom was also mentioned in a Here and Now interview with community member Sarah Brodbar-Nemzer about chanukah on December 20. Listen here.

On December 20 Parent Central mentioned Makom’s Downtown Jewish Playschool, our after-school program for children ages 3 to 7, in a story about community member and Playschool co-founder Sharry Aiken and her family.

Two more of our community members were mentioned in a Toronto Star article titled “Judaism became more important after kids”. Read it here.

Back to the ‘Hood
The Jerusalem Report, October 10, 2011

As she strolls along College Street, at the northern edge of Kensington Market in downtown Toronto, Sarah Brodbar-Nemzer sometimes imagines that she is walking back in time.

Read more.

Makom and Shoresh published

In 2010 Makom and Shoresh co-presented the Jewish Urban Homesteading Workshop Series. Our July 2010 session, Jam Making and Canning 101, was attended by author Sarah B. Hood as research for her book We Sure Can! (Artisanal Pulp Press, 2011) The book has recently been published and a photo of that workshop appears on page 27 along with mention of the workshop series and an interview with Risa Alyson Cooper (nee Strauss), Director of Shoresh. We Sure Can is now available widely at bookstores, via Amazon and through the publisher.

Labour Day: A Jewish Holiday
By Rabbi Aaron Levy, Canadian Jewish News, August 18, 2011

A recent front-page article in the National Post brought attention to the claim currently before the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the Kashruth Council of Canada hasn’t been paying its mashgichim overtime, as mandated by provincial law. While COR disputes the charge, the case impels us to consider what Jewish law and values teach us about employer-employee relationships.

Full story (PDF)

Natan Annouces 2011 Grant Recipients
eJewish Philanthropy, February 6, 2011

Natan has announced the awarding of over $950,000 to 47 emerging nonprofit organizations and individuals around the world that are working to strengthen the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Full story

FED with Corey Mintz

Rabbi Aaron Levy and wife Miriam Kramer were “FED” by The Toronto Star’s Corey Mintz. Read Mintz’s account on his blog (January 26, 2011) and in The Toronto Star (January 28, 2011).

2010

Ancient faith finds new expressions
The Liberty Gleaner, November/December 2010

“A wholly different energy emanates from the Shabbat prayer services held by Makom…”
Read more… (PDF).

Alternate Congregation
CBC Radio’s Matt Galloway interviewed Rabbi Aaron on Metro Morning on December 10, 201.  Listen here

New grassroots movement wants to bring the Jewish community back to Kensington Market
Globe and Mail, Saturday December 4, 2010

The congregation of 50 or so is young and energetic and their voices roll and rock through the storefront artist’s studio, converted to a place of worship on Friday evenings.

Full Story (PDF)

…BlogTO’s Morning Brew feature picked up the Globe and Mail article:

A grassroots group known as Makom is looking to bring back a Jewish presence in Kensington Market, an area that was formerly one of the community’s mainstays prior to the post-war period when many people moved out of the downtown core.

Read more.

Makom makes it to the top 50
Canadian Jewish News, Thursday November 18, 2010

Makom, a new non-profit organization that serves downtown Toronto’s growing Jewish community, has been named one of North America’s 50 most innovative Jewish non-profits by Slingshot ’10-’11, a guidebook that helps funders identify up-and-coming organizations.

Full story

Startup congregation: Makom aims to enrich downtown Toronto Jewish life and culture
Yonge Street Media, November 17, 2010

The immigrants that settled in early 20th century Toronto eventually fled downtown for the suburbs in various directions. The Jews were the only group to take a linear route, straight up Bathurst, from Kensington Market.

Full story

Slingshot 10-11 (Resource guide for Jewish innovation)

Makom was the first Canadian organization to be named one of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations by Slingshot. Download or order the guide here (click on “The Guide>overview”).

Makom recognized as top 50 innovative non-profit
Jewish Tribune, Wednesday October 20, 2010

A Toronto organization was recognized this week as one of North America’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofit organizations. Makom, founded in January 2009, was listed by Slingshot in its 2010-2011 edition, becoming the first Canadian organization to receive the honour in the publication’s six-year history.

Full story

Freezing Jews in the Great White North
JewSchool, Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yesterday, Slingshot announced this year’s honourees. 50 “innovative” Jewish nonprofits are included in their annual guide.

Full post.

Marching to his own beat
Friday Night, summer 2010 issue

The crowd at Kiever’s Friday’s Shabbat service looks like a microcosm of your typical downtown Toronto street. A young man with blond dreadlocks hands out prayer books, while the pews fill up with 20 and 30-somethings sporting jeans.

Full story (PDF)

“Ani le-dodi ve-dodi li”
By Aaron Levi, Uri Topolosky, Aviva Richman and James Greene
Sh’ma, June 2010

Ani le-dodi ve-dodi li: I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine

Full Story

Grassroots downtown community celebrates first anniversary
Jewish Tribune, February 10, 2010
Full story

From intention to action
By Rabbi Aaron Levy
Canadian Jewish News, January 14, 2010

I recently returned from a conference for rabbis and rabbinical students organized by American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org), an international, grassroots development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among people in the developing world.

Full story (PDF)

2009

Toronto hosts think tank on social entrepreneurship
Canadian Jewish News, December 24, 2009
Full story

Limmud festival combines study with fun
Jewish Tribune, September 2009

TORONTO – Lois Lilienstein of Sharon, Lois and Bram fame is not only a great entertainer. She makes the most wonderful blintzes, as anyone who attended last week’s Limmud program, where she demonstrated the art of creating the perfect crepe, would agree.

Full story.

A Canadian Perspective on Gun Control
By Miriam Kramer & Rabbi Aaron Levy, Sh’ma, November 2009

In the three years since we moved from New York to Toronto, we’ve been asked countless times, in all seriousness: “Isn’t it dangerous in the United States?” We laugh each time at the seeming absurdity, the way our Canadian colleagues relate to America with the same fear that Americans usually reserve for developing nations engaged in active civil war.

Full story.

Memorial recalls Tel Aviv attack on gays, lesbians
Canadian Jewish News, September 9, 2009

The slight chill and heavy winds did little to deter the crowd that showed up to honour the memory of two recently murdered Israelis. Held on the rooftop of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, approximately 85 people attended the Aug. 25 vigil for Nir Katz and Liz Trubeshi, who were killed in the attack on a Tel Aviv centre for gays and lesbians on Aug. 1. At least a dozen others were injured by the masked gunman.

Full story

Local vigil held for those shot at LGBT centre in Tel Aviv
Jewish Tribune, September 2009

TORONTO – On a windy rooftop patio in the heart of downtown Toronto, a crowd gathered last week for a vigil.

They were remembering the victims of the Tel Aviv shooting, when a masked gunman stormed Aguda, a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community) centre and sprayed bullets with a machine gun through the crowd during a support group session on Aug. 1, 2009.

Full story

Celebrating the Sun’s Creation in Christie Pits
BlogTO, April 9, 2009

On Wednesday morning I awoke before dawn and gathered with about 100 others from Toronto’s Jewish community at Christie Pits park to honour Birkat Hachamah, the blessing of the sun, marking the location of the sun being at the precise location it was placed on the fourth day of creation, according to ancient Hebrew texts.

Full post

Blessing the sun, blessing life
Rabbi Aaron Levy, Canadian Jewish News, March 26, 2009

I’m not a morning person, but on April 8, I’ll actually be excited to wake up before dawn. Yes, it’s the morning before Passover begins, and I’ll still have a long to-do list of cleaning and cooking to purge our home of chametz and prepare for the seders, but that’s not why I’ll rise with alacrity. Rather, it’s the once-in-a-generation opportunity to say Birkat Hachamah – the blessing of the sun – that has me enthused.

Full story

Day to day happenings at the Prayer Vigil
Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, March 25, 2009

The day began with the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Ontario and other individuals gathering to share readings, reflection, and naming the MPPS on the day’s prayer list.

Full story

2007

Diversity and Destruction
Rabbi Aaron Levy, Canadian Jewish News, July 19, 2007

It is commonly known that Jews will commemorate the destruction of the Second Temple this coming Tuesday with the fast of Tisha b’Av.

What’s less known is that the period prior to the destruction featured great variety in Jewish life: there were multiple, competing groups with widely diverging ideologies on the most fundamental matters in Jewish belief and practice, including Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, among others. Of course, there were also plenty of ordinary Jews not affiliated with any sect.

Sound familiar?

Full story

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