Avrum Rosensweig

Associate Religious Leader

avrumAvrum Rosensweig is the associate religious leader at Congregation Habonim, a position he has held since 2006. The only son of the widely admired and respected Orthodox Rabbi of Kitchener, Ontario, Avrum brings an old-world style warmth, charm, and personal touch to all his activities at Habonim. Avrum combines these attributes with his characteristic passion and charisma and his dedication to values of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish ethic that commands us to the heal the world, and to assist all members of the human family in need of our assistance.

Together with his friend of over 30 years, Eli Rubenstein, the Religious Leader of Congregation Habonim, Avrum brings a variety of skills and talents to Habonim that help make the Congregation the unique place that it is.

Other biographical information:

Avrum Rosensweig was born into a family of Orthodox Rabbis and a family that emigrated to Canada during the turn of the last century. He received an Orthodox Jewish education completing the first stage of his Talmudic studies at Ner Israel Yeshiva in Toronto and later on in Jerusalem, Israel.

Following Avrum’s Yeshiva study, he entered the working world as a commodities broker, as well as engaging in the world of secular learning at York and Ryerson Universities.

Always motivated by the ethics of Judaism, Avrum went on to work for the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) where for seven years he explored and gained experience of all aspects of Jewish philanthropy and Diaspora/Israel relations.

During the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Avrum proposed to the UJA that a relief operation be launched to help the fleeing victims in refugee camps in the Congo, work which UJA graciously supported.

Secure in the belief that Tikkun Olam must take an equal place at the table of Jewish institutional priorities, in 1996 Avrum went on to found Ve’ahavta, Canada’s only Jewish humanitarian and relief organization.

For a decade Avrum has directed Ve’ahavta, a charitable organization that supports hands on voluntarism in Canada and around the world. He has shared his “joyous enthusiasm” for doing good deeds (mitzvoth and tzeddaka) that is the hallmark of his upbringing. Avrum infuses volunteers with that same enthusiasm in the local and international development work that is carried out by Ve’ahavta, often with interfaith partners. Avrum believes that by doing so, both Jews and non-Jews rediscover the beauties of Judaism, its universal ethical message and how Jewish inspired acts of charity make the world a better place.

Projects initiated by Ve’ahavta under Avrum’s supervision have saved and/or improved the lives of untold numbers of people in Canada and around the world: in South America, in the Caribbean, in Asia (in communities affected by the Tsunami), and with the peoples of rural Africa (affected by AIDS). He has also launched many programs for the disadvantaged in Toronto (Passover Seder for the Homeless, Creative Writing Contest for the Homeless, Homework Partnership Program for Somalian Children etc.), as well as built bridges between the Jewish and First Nations communities. Avrum was one of the first Canadian notables to publicly advocate for the victims of the genocide in Darfur, urging the citizens and government to act to solve this ongoing tragedy.

Avrum is a popular and much sought after public speaker and brings much personal warmth, charm and creativity to all his speaking venues. In the little spare time he has, Avrum has also worked as a talk show host, and has written and performed in his own TV series. He writes a weekly column for the Canadian Jewish News, which has gained him a wide readership and he s a contributing columnist for Haaretz.com (Israel’s most respected newspaper).

An amateur painter, Avrum insists that any resemblance that he may have to a character in Chaim Potok’s novel, “My Name is Asher Lev,” is purely coincidental.

Contact: Avrum@veahavta.org

 

Sun, August 20 2017 28 Av 5777