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High Holiday Sermons 2022

High Holidays 2021



Aviva Rajsky, Tom Bellman & Jim Gelcer appearing this year as part of March of the Living’s on line programming, here are the direct links to their moving performances:

Eli Rubenstein's High Holiday Sermons 

Please see link below to a very moving CJN article by Avrum Rosensweig on the new Habonim, rising from the ashes of the Holocaust.

March  Of The Living 2017

The Habonim Crew on the March of the LivingPreparing to Welcome Yom Ha'atzmaut in Israel

Front Row: Anna Rosen, Jordan Pike, Rebecca Feldman, Eden Kliger, Gabrielle Sheiner,  Lauren Fleshner 

Back Row: Eli Rubenstein & Kenny Albert

Photos & Videos

“Six” in Memory of the 6 Million – Tali Katz, inspired by Sigmund Rolat

Two Important Short Holocaust Films


Just over a week ago, the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Prior to that, the world marked 70 years since the death of Anne Frank in Bergen Belsen. Please see links to two moving video created to mark this important anniversary.

Habonim played a role in both films.

In the first film – Voices of Liberation: Like Angels Out of Nowhere – several of the interviews with the survivors took place at our synagogue. In the second film – I am Anne Frank – one of our member’s children took part in the diary reenactments.

Voices of Liberation: Like Angels Out of Nowhere

New Film Released by the March of the Living Digital Archives Project: Voices of Liberation is a new video created with the cooperation of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, March of the Living Digital Archives Project, and the USC Shoah Foundation, assisted by a grant from CIC, Government of Canada. The film was released to To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe which took place on May 8, 1945.

The 9-minute video, directed by Canadian filmmaker Matthew Shoychet, features the liberation stories of ten Canadian Holocaust survivors, who were liberated by American, Canadian and Russian troops toward the end of WWII. When these forces encountered the labor camps and death camps, they came across thousands upon thousands of corpses and emaciated prisoners who seemed more dead than alive. Indeed, many perished in the immediate days following their liberation as a result of the years of torture and deprivation they endured.

Those who did survive lived the rest of their days with a feeling of deep gratitude for those who liberated them at the last moment – from the jaws of death, often referring to them as “angels” in their post-Holocaust memoirs.

The last story featured in the short film is that of Robert Engel who was liberated from Westerbork by Canadian troops on April 12, 1945, by units of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, including the South Saskatchewan and the 8th Reconnaissance Regiments. Robert Engel recalled:

All of a sudden these soldiers, our liberators, started singing. We didn’t know the song, had never heard it, but we knew instinctively that it was an important song. They sang it with such pride, standing there with their dirty faces beaming.

Their eyes were proud and smiling; by golly, they were beautiful. That song became, for me, the most beautiful song in the world. They sang . . . O Canada.

And we were free!

The film may be seen at:

I am Anne Frank

Among the many young victims of the Holocaust was 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose inspiring words and thoughts have touched the hearts of millions around the world. A prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau, she perished in Bergen Belsen just a few months before the end of the war, in February of March of 1945.

I Am Anne Frank was produced by award winning Toronto filmmakers, Riddle Films, to mark 70 years since the death of Anne Frank

The short film may be seen here:

Habonim Delegation at the March of the Living 2015

Dear Habonim Members,

The March of the Living has just concluded, and all the students are on their way home. This year Habonim had its largest delegation ever – 10 students, 5 adults members (on the adult trip), 2 young adults, and 3 staff, two of whom were our own Aviva Rajsky and Tom Bellman.

Aviva and Tom did an outstanding job with the music this year, both in their solo performances and with the March of the Living Children’s Choir. You can see some of their exceptional work in the video links below.

We will have more to write in our next bulletin.

Eli Rubenstein
Religious Leader
Congregation Habonim

1) Opening Melodies (Aviva Rajsky & Tom Bellman) – March of the Living Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau

2) What Will Become of all the Memories – MOL Birkenau Ceremony (March of the Living Children’s Choir, Conducted by Aviva Rajsky & Accompanied by Tom Bellman)

3) Lay Down Your Arms – MOL Birkenau Ceremony (March of the Living Children’s Choir, Conducted by Aviva Rajsky & Accompanied by Tom Bellman)

4) L’dor Vador- MOL Yom Hazikaron/Yom Ha’atsmaut Ceremony, Israel (March of the Living Children’s Choir, Conducted by Aviva Rajsky & Accompanied by Tom Bellman)

Two Significant Holocaust Anniversaries Marked in January 2015

Please take a few moments to watch these short films commemorating these two significant events.

1) The Legacy of Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg disappeared on January 17, 1945 after being apprehended by Soviet authorities. January 17th marks the 70th anniversary of his tragic and never explained disappearance. Last year, Riddle Media and March of the Living, with the help of the Azrieli Foundation produced a very moving short piece on his life and legacy.

100,000 Souls: The Legacy of Raoul Wallenberg

2) 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

On January 27, 2015, the world will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the video link below, five Canadian survivors who frequently accompany students to Auschwitz-Birkenau on the March of the Living, along with a number of March of the Living leaders and students, reflect on the meaning of the 70th anniversary and on the educational importance of Auschwitz-Birkenau to future generations.

Auschwitz-Birkenau: 70 Years After Liberation……A Warning to Future Generations

Evening with Sigmund Rolat & the Habonim Youth Choir

The Return of the Violin, Saturday, November 8, 8:00pm

A Film by Haim Hecht

“Expertly directed….No movie director could make up a story like this.” The Jewish Chronicle

A story about survival, not only of people but of a remarkable violin. The 1713 Stradivarius was given to a young Polish Jewish prodigy, Bronislaw Huberman, from Częstochowa. The story of Huberman and his violin are skillfully interwoven with the story of Sigmund Rolat, a Holocaust survivor, from Częstochowa. Huberman later became the founder of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, in the process rescuing many European Jews from the Holocaust. Huberman’s violin, stolen during his life time, is now owned by celebrated violinist, Joshua Bell.

Community Rally, Aug 20 8pm


We Will Not Be Silent!

Join us tonight as our community marches against anti-Semitism and the Demonization
of the Jewish State

March begins at 8 p.m. at Holy Blossom Temple
Bathurst and Dewbourne Parking lot

March concludes and outdoor community gathering featuring keynote speaker and acclaimed journalist, Martin Himel at:
Bialik Hebrew Day School parking lot, 2760 Bathurst St.

Can’t make it to Holy Blossom for 8pm but still want to come out? Join us en-route along Bathurst Street, or meet us at Bialik Hebrew Day School at 9pm for the community gathering.

Please dress in blue and white.

Parking is available in the Beth Tzedek & Shaarei Shomayim parking lots. On-street parking is also available, please pay attention to all street signage

 Habonim Youth Choir Kristallnacht Service from 1990

Sat, July 20 2024 14 Tammuz 5784