Dear Members of the Young Israel of Chomedey, Welcome to the New Year 5778. Shana Tova! Happy New Year! A Gut Gezint Yohr!

Last year at this very time, our Past President George Finkelstein, in his New Year message for 5777 “regretfully and painfully” informed us all that we would be celebrating the High Holidays in our beautiful building on Elizabeth for the last time. It was not the most uplifting news one wants to hear at the start of a New Year, but it was reality. And I’m sure, that most if not all of us at the time, stood in shul during the Days of Awe, and looked around as we prayed in our beautiful sanctuary for the last time. No doubt we were inspired by the magnificent stained glass windows shining all around us, listening to Rabbi Banon and Rabbi Stieffel guide us through our solemn Holiday Prayers and pondering the uncertain future of the Young Israel of Chomedey as we beseeched the Almighty for a Healthy and Happy New Year.

And the year 5777 was indeed a mixed blessing. During the past year a number of long-time members have passed on – including the “patriarch” of our shul George Abramovitz. Some other long-time members have moved to be closer to children and grandchildren – to Montreal, Toronto, and Cote St Luc; we wish them well in their new homes. The move from Elizabeth to Notre Dame was a harrowing experience that took it’s toll on all who were involved.

Fast forward approximately 365 days to the start of 5778, and welcome to our new spiritual home, as tenants in the Shaar Shalom Synagogue. Tenants we may be, but we and Shaar Shalom have established a relationship during the past ten months, which is more of a partnership than a lessor-lessee relationship. Both of our congregations – together with Chevra Mishnayis who is now part of the Young Israel – have joined forces to provide our Ashkenazi community with a viable “Minyannaires” experience on a daily basis. Mornings and evenings, and every Erev Shabbat and some holidays, we are there together, providing meaningful services for all, especially for those who have to say Kaddish for a loved one. Shaar Shalom and the Young Israel have forged an alliance in providing Hanukkah and Purim Parties this past year, and will continue to do so this year where both our shuls can mix socially and get to know each other; where we will see that what unites us as Jews, is much more than what may divide us. This Sukkot, we will be celebrating Chol Hamoed services and celebrating in a beautiful new Sukka together.

Whether it’s Rabbi Banon, whether it’s Chazzan Sheni Yossi Aberman, or our Gabbaim – Moshe Levinger, Naphtali Shienbach and Jerry Segal, we always have a service that is first class. Unfortunately, at the end of October, we will be losing long-time Gabbai Naphtali Sheinbach who is
moving to Cote St. Luc – a huge loss for our shul, but also a huge gain for some shul in Cote St. Luc. We wish the Sheinbachs “Bracha ve’Hatzlacha” – blessing and success in their new surroundings.

Those of you who are joining us for the first time for the High Holidays will find first and foremost, relatively familiar surroundings in our sanctuary. This is thanks basically to a handful of people. VP Dave Green – with the help of Bernie Peroff behind the scenes despite his debilitating arthritis – and VP Fred Rudy, have managed to accomplish in less than 6 weeks the following: The installation of our Yahrzeit boards and Tree of Life, our Hannukiyaand the names of our shul prominently placed on the walls outside, the installation of our seating plan; a new electronic Yahrzeit Board is up and running; more information on that is or will be provided on our new website. This new and modern website will put the Young Israel of Chomedey on the map for the local Ashkenazi community, and perhaps beyond. More than that, the website will now be your prime source of information about our shul and it’s members. All our newsletters and holiday bulletins will be accessed only through the website. Those without email access, will continue to receive this bulletin by regular mail. Weekly and holiday davening times will be prominently posted. Various links to the Jewish community will be found there, and more!

Visit the website at

it’s yours – use it!!! If you have any suggestions let me know at

Once again we welcome Rabbi Stieffel fromFlorida; together with Rabbi Banon, they and the lay clergy will no doubt inspire us as they have for  the past few years, during the Yomim Noroim.

The new Executive takes pleasure in extending our  thanks to the outgoing Executive, headed by George Finkelstein, for guiding us along a new path to the future. There were forks in the road along the way, but “Anakhnu Kahn” – the Young Israel of Chomedey is here. We want this beautiful new home to be your home, your spiritual home. Our doors will always be open, our Executive members will always be accessible, our Rabbi will always be available for those in need whatever the occasion. Thus – we can now safely say that the Young Israel shoulders on – offering the Ashkenazi community of Chomedey a place of worship we canall be proud of.

On behalf of my wife Zila and myself, and on behalf of the entire exec, we wish for the coming year 5578 – with Hashem’s help – to be one of joy, one of myriad blessings, one of reconciliation – between man and man and between man and G-D – obviously women too!!… a year of spiritual awakening, one of prosperity, and most important one of good health for us all and for KLAL YISRAEL. May it be a Year of Peace – for us, for the State of Israel, and for all mankind. Amen!

Issie Baum


Click here to download the pdf President’s message Spetmber 2017