Holidays

Posted by jyuhasz
 
 
 
 
 
JG:          Where do you get your meat now?
 
ZG and HG: From Omnitsky’s [Vancouver] and Kaplans.
 
HG:        Marty Kaplan. I don’t know the man.
 
ZG:         I get some stuff from him too.
 
HG:        Safeway used to bring it in, but they bring in chickens, only chickens.
 
ZG:         But they don’t any more. They haven’t got a place.
 
JG:          What do you do for Passover?
 
HG:        No problem.
 
ZG:         Well Passover, Safeway brings in enough stuff for us because for the last what four years now that we’ve had Passover Seder at the Centre.
 
HG:        They used to have them a hotel or someplace, but now they have them at
                the Centre.
 
ZG:         They were catered, but we finally, well, we’ve got our own Centre, we should do it in our own kitchen. And so we clean the kitchen up. Our kitchen is dairy. But for Pesach we wash it down and use it for meat.
 
HG:        And Calgary sent...I think they came from Calgary, the dishes, they came from Calgary the meat dishes that we use, don’t they?
 
ZG:         Yeah, the dishes we got from Calgary. One of our members, a mother, Susan Shawley, her mother bought the dishes that we use there for everyday, so we bought a few things and cooked our first Seder.
 
HG:        They store away, nobody uses them.
 
ZG:         They have them covered up on top. The first year, I don’t know how I got into it—thanks to Mel—my girlfriend Ruth Finkleman and I took on. Well, we didn’t know anything about it, cooking for how much you should do. So we ordered turkeys and chickens and that and we…
 
HG:        Way too. They ordered way too much.
 
ZG:         Way too much. We didn’t cook all the turkeys we had ordered. I bought the ones that weren’t cooked. But a lot of our members went home with food after the Seder because I think we had about 75 people and I think I had cooked three turkeys which was quite a bit.
 
HG:        They have more than 75 now.
 
ZG:         Yeah, they have over 120 now, but that was the first one. It was good, it was fun, it was the first time we had it in our own place. Everybody helped; Susan Shawley helped us. She taking it over for this year now, and we in turn are going to help her.

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Posted by jyuhasz
 
 
 
 
 
LL:          My family was very assimilated. They were very Jewish in their own way but many, many Austrians and German Jewish families were very assimilated. And the only holidays that we really celebrated was Yom Kippur. My mother said it was the best holiday because she didn’t have to cook. And we, we fasted from, actually I don’t know if we, I don’t know whether my brother and I fasted, I can’t remember when I fasted the first time. But my mother didn’t cook and that was a big holiday that she didn’t have to cook. And Rosh Hashanah we had a family meal and that, we never went to the synagogue. I think the first time I went to the synagogue was when I was over 13 or 14 when I joined Habonim. And maybe once I went to a Bar Mitzvah. My parents did have Jewish friends who were also non-synagogue goers but a couple of them had younger children that had—and they came after the war, so before the war was finished, you know, these people came probably in the ‘50s. I went to a Bar Mitzvah anyways when I was in the early ‘50s and I think that was the first I hit a synagogue. My brother did not have a Bar Mitzvah. We did have Hanukah. We, it was very, very small at the time like you got…And the tradition in our family was not getting money it was getting a little present. And we lit the candles for the eight nights. And then Pesach, Passover, we had a family that invited us every year for Passover and we went to the same two families. One for the first night, and one for the second night of Passover every year for many years. And, and that was a typical, regular Passover. This family also always brought in new refugee people that they had collected along the way and they were also at the Passover.

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Posted by jyuhasz
 
 
               DB:         I think we bring to the Jewish calendar a lot of new spirit. We celebrate at home, everything. You know, the Jewish holidays that people are celebrating here or even Jewish holidays that people are not celebrating here. Everything is getting special attention in our house. When we do, you know, the Seder it’s from beginning ‘til end. Again, like I mentioned in my family we bring in a lot of extra reading into the Seder table, we bring a lot of songs. We, the table is always full with people. And the last few years it’s basically with friends. And we try to give the warmth and the beautiful spirit of the Jewish tradition to our children, so I go above and beyond the call of duty of just celebrating. I celebrate it with meanings. I celebrate it with joy. I celebrate it with all the little details that I can bring into the, whatever ceremony it is. In Rosh Hashanah for example, you know, I try every year to give something new to every member that sit around the table. Just a little gift, it can be for a dollar or a $1.25 but something symbolic to celebrate something new. And you know, we sing a lot. Some of our children play musical instruments or they always help us with music and whatever. Nice, you know.
 
You see, we just had Tu Bishvat, so Tu Bishvat, you know, I will not go to plant a tree because I don’t, I cannot do to it here. In Israel I’ve done it. But for dessert the same night I will give some dried fruit and we will discuss it and we will talk about it. And basically what we discuss about is the recollection from Israel celebrating those days. But you know what, now my three children are basically not at home. And it’s not the same with me and Michael. It’s not the same even the Shabbat, you know, unfortunately. But whenever we try to celebrate, we try to do and we try to bring the beautiful spirituality behind our Jewish calendar.

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Posted by jyuhasz
 
 
 
 
 
RT:        We were talking about how a group of Jewish people in Nelson formed a cultural association and had an alliance with Canadian Jewish Congress, who helped them in various ways. What were some of the things that happened with Congress’ help?
 
MD:      Well, my particular interest was in the cultural part of it because of the diversity of the Jewish types. I, being quite interested in the Yiddish language, but unable to share much of it because of lack of Jewish speaking people and the—so my interest was the cultural part, the having seders and holidays. And we began to celebrate them in a non-religious way. And so occasionally we’d rent space in a church or community centre and have, you know, potluck and so on. And then there would be some emphasis on the Jewish particular holiday.
 
The most recent one was I think around less than a year ago. We were able to get maybe twenty, thirty people together for a holiday celebration and at that time my, one of my youngest grandchildren was studying music, the violin, and David Feldman came along with his band of—he was trying to start a klezmer band—and my grandson got very enthusiastic. He was only, like, thirteen or younger, and picked it up very,very well (laughs).

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Posted by jyuhasz
 
 
               RT:        Can you recall what was done on High Holidays?
 
               BD:        Yeah I do, I have very, very special memories of Leo Levey being our patriarch and taking charge of the, I think we used the Eagles Hall or one of the service club halls, and it was just as it is for any child, a special time to get dressed up with your parents and meet with everyone else and children ran in and out like they do at shul in Vancouver. And we did the whole thing and we’d occasionally have the rabbi come from Spokane to help us.                                                      
 
RT:         And Pesach?
 
BD:        Always had a seder, always, always.
 
RT:         At your own home?
 
BD:        Yeah, I think my Mum and Dad put on seders but I just remember that we always had the full thing and it was done a lot more seriously I think than it is in this day and age, it just seemed like a long ordeal.
 
RT:         With other families?
 
BD:        Oh yeah, we always made sure that, you know, I think we just had so many families per home but no one was alone for sure.

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Posted by jyuhasz
Object id: 
L.09576

Colour photograph depicts B'nai B'rith Lions Gate Lodge Easter party for developmentally challenged children.  

Date: 
1969
Posted by jyuhasz
Object id: 
L.09569

Colour photograph depicts Lions Gate Lodge serving Christmas dinner at B'nai B'rith Manor on Haro Street.

Date: 
1983
Posted by jyuhasz
Object id: 
L.09568

Colour photograph depicts the Lions Gate Lodge B'nai B'rith preparing for the Christmas holiday at the B'nai B'rith Manor on Haro Street.                        

Date: 
1983
Posted by jyuhasz
Object id: 
L.15058

Colour photograph depicts children seated around tables with plates and cups.

Date: 
[1989]
Posted by jyuhasz
Object id: 
L.14972

Black and white Talmud Torah photograph depicts children gathered around Hanukkah candles. Decorations are on the wall behind them.

Date: 
[1981]