Cultural and Educational Classes

Contact: Roslyn Wollock
(613) 798-9818 ext. 254,

Spring 2018

Registration for Adult Education Programs begins Thursday March 1

Register online here or in person at the SJCC front desk.
For more information contact Roslyn Brozovsky Wollock – Adult Education Manager,, (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning – Continuation of Year Two

The Dramas of Jewish Living Throughout the Ages

with Rabbi Steven Garten

What are the lessons and dilemmas of Jewish history, from the earliest wanderings of Abraham to the modern experiment in Jewish statehood? How do the turning points in Jewish history influence our lives today? This course investigates how the Jewish past gives meaning to the Jewish present.

The Ethics of Jewish Living

with Rabbi Idan Scher

This course shows how Jewish teachings, through the wisdom of ancient and modern rabbis, scholars and thinkers, shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, inter-personal relationships, end-of-life decisions, and stem-cell research.

Monday 10:00am – 12:15pm
March 19–June 18
No Class: April 2, May 21

Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning – Scholars Course

Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab Israeli Conflict

with Rabbi Steven Garten

Students are provided with a strong, text-based historical overview from the late nineteenth century through today. The complexity of the conflict will have students looking at issues of religion, culture, history, politics, economics, identity and survival through primary sources. Course material is designed to help students appreciate the basis of the conflicting historical claims made by both sides.

Wednesday 10:00am – 11:30am
April 4–June 6

A Taste of Melton (Admission Free Classes)

with Rabbi Steven Garten

The below four classes introduce students to the Melton curriculum and method of learning. You must reserve a spot by calling (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

Week One: What does creation tell us about God? What do we learn about the Creator by looking at the specific acts performed on each day…’God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day’. JPS Hebrew-English Tanach.

Week Two: One father, two sons – two religions, two thousand years of tension. What do Islam and Judaism have in common besides Abraham?

Week Three: One Hundred Years of the Balfour Declaration. What was the context of its adoption?

Week Four: Mumbo, Jumbo; The origins of Kabbalah.

Mondays 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
April 9 – April 30
Wednesdays 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
April 18 – May 9

Jewish Education


From the Bible to Bar Kokhba – 2nd Temple Judaism and Its Aftermath

with Professor Shawna Dolansky

Is Judaism an ethnicity, a nationality, a religion?  How much assimilation is too much? We think of these as modern questions, but they have been explored since the very beginning of Jewish history.  This course looks at the development of Judaism during the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods – from the Bible to Bar Kokhba – to understand the diverse responses of a variety of early Jewish communities concerning the boundaries of their identity.

Classes will be recorded and posted online for those unable to attend. Only those registered will have access.

Thursdays 10:00 am – 11:30 am
April 26 – May 31
$148 M • $163 NM

Words That Hurt – Words That Heal

with Lauren Shaps

We all struggle to be a good person in a very complicated world, but often we are at a loss on how to proceed. Using Jewish source materials and case examples, this four part series addresses the quandaries of communication and explore the timeless wisdom of Judaism on the following complex topics.

1. Lashon Hara: Speech that causes embarrassment, damage, or disgrace
2. Constructive Criticism
3. Words That Hurt
4. The Truth & Nothing But?

Tuesdays 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
April 10 – May 1
$77 M • $87 NM



Travel Fiction

with Gefen Bar-On Santor

For centuries, the desire and the need to travel went hand in hand with the passion to create fictional accounts of travel.  Travel fiction illuminates the potential of travel to enlighten travelers, challenge their assumptions and expand their horizons.  It also often demonstrates how the biases that travelers bring with them inform their perceptions of the local environment.  We will explore the complexity of the travel experience through excerpts from the following authors: Homer, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas More, Jonathan Swift, Henry James, E.M. Forster, H.G. Wells, Thomas Mann, Joseph Conrad, Willa Cather, Paul Monette, Paulo Coelho and Lionel Shriver.

Tuesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 10 – May 15
$148 M • $163 NM

Art Appreciation

Sculpture, Architecture, and Design in the Gardens and Woods of Italian Renaissance Villas

with Dr. Susanne McColeman

In the sixteenth century, the villas of Italy’s political and ecclesiastical elite often included large areas of land dedicated to formal gardens and woods. In this course, we will explore the art of six of the most extraordinary Renaissance gardens in central Italy: The Medici Villas in Tuscany, including The Villa Medici di Castello, The Boboli Gardens in Florence, The Villa Medici di Pratolino; and the Grand Villas Around Rome; The Villa d’Este in Tivoli, The Villa Lante in Bagnaia, and The Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo.

Mondays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
April 16 – May 28
No Class: May 21
$148 M • $163 NM


Mixed Media for Beginner/Intermediate

with Violeta Borisonik

This course offers an overview of several techniques using acrylic paint and acrylic mediums. Experimentation to convey ideas and building confidence through art will be the focus of this course. Through guided exercises students will cover notions of design, composition, color, texture and will learn how to build up backgrounds and focal points using various painting methods such as: action painting, dripping, drybrush, and, layering with a palette knife. Students will also learn techniques such as stamping, stenciling, photo transfers and collage. Intermediate student will work on their own projects using elements of design and techniques seen in class. Participants will complete between 2 and 3 pieces of art during this six week course. Supply fee of $30 payable to teacher on April 11th.

Wednesdays 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
April 11 – May 23
No Class: May 9
$153 M • $173 NM

Paper Sculpture Workshop

with Violeta Borisonik

During this paper sculpture workshop students will cover basic paper techniques to achieve volume. Folding, scoring, pricking, coiling, embossing and layering will be learned through simple exercises. Students will be guided to accomplish a 3D piece ready to be framed. We will be working with acid free coloured papers. Each part of the paper sculpture will be mounted on a semi rigid background such as watercolour paper. Use of x-acto knives is essential for this class. To see what a finished paper sculpture looks like please visit Supply fee: $8 (frame 11”x 14”/ paper) payable on April 22.

Sundays 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
April 22 – April 29
$75 M • $85 NM



Canadian Jazz: Going Strong for More Than a Century

with Karl Nerenberg

This course will celebrates all that (Canadian) jazz. The work of Canadian jazz musicians including Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanofsky, Michael Buble, Sophie Milman, pianist Oliver Jones, and the late flutist Mo Koffman will be examined. We will consider the over-sized contribution Jews in Canada and elsewhere, have made to this art form, particularly as song writers. This class is for all, those with none or considerable music knowledge.

Thursdays 7:00 pm – 8:30pm
April 12 – May 24
No Class: April 19
$148 M • $163 NM

SJCC Shira Ottawa Choir

Join conductor Ben Sajo and accompanist Aviva Lightstone as they lead the JCC choir through its 18th season. The choir sings a wide repertoire of songs in Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, English and French. Shira Ottawa performs at community events throughout the year. If you love to sing and have a passion for Jewish music this choir is for you.

Join us for our Open House: Tuesday, September 12,
6:45 pm–8:45 pm Teen Lounge, SJCC.

Tuesdays 6:45pm – 8:45pm
September 26, 2017 – May 22, 2018

The choir will break from December 12 – February 27.

Canadian Musical Theatre

with Susan Blyth-Schofield

Examine works by Canadian creative teams from early days to Come From Away, look at the growth of a world class musical theatre scene in Toronto, look at work from The Charlottetown Festival, The Stratford Festival, Livent, Mirvish Productions and other Canadian producers, and talk about the contributions of Canadian performers to the art form to see if we can come up with an answer. The material will be covered in chronological order. All lectures will have audio and/or audio visual content, and lecture notes will be emailed to those of you who wish them. Discussion and class interaction is highly encouraged!

Wednesdays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
April 11– May 16
$148 M • $163 NM

Concert Series

with Katherine Addleman & Friends

Felix Mendelssohn’s Life and Music

with Katherine Addleman

Felix Mendelssohn was born with unparalleled talents. But although he seems to have led a charmed life, there were often troubling undercurrents roiling the waters. Katherine Addleman presents Felix Mendelssohn’s story, illustrated at the piano by some of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words and other compositions by the composer.

Monday, February 26, 1:30 pm

Fun and Games in the Goldberg Variations

with Katherine Addleman

Usually we think of Johann Sebastian Bach as a rather severe composer, focused on religious redemption and the immortal soul, but the popular Goldberg Variations are something of an anomaly. They are full of humour, tricks, and even slightly bawdy references, along with some of the most sublime music ever written.

Monday, April 9, 1:30 pm

Beethoven and Beyond

with Katherine Addleman and Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker (cello) joins pianist Katherine Addleman in a performance of Beethoven’s stirring Cello Sonata in G minor, as well as other highlights from the cello repertoire.

Monday May 14, 1:30 pm

Admission $15/concert, payable at the door on the day of the concert.


S’iz Besser in Yiddish – It’s Better in Yiddish –For Lovers of Mamaloshen

with Shirley Steinberg and Rubin Friedman

Join writer, director Shirley Steinberg and humorist Rubin Friedman for a Yiddish smorgasbord, where you’ll enjoy a melange of stories, humorous Yiddishisms, song and improvisation. A true mechaye (a pleasure). No knowledge of Yiddish required. Free Program.

Monday, February 26—Special Purim Program, 10:00am – 11:30am
Tuesdays 10:00 am – 11:30 am
March 20, May 22, June 12

Daytime: Conversational Hebrew from Scratch

with Sigal Baray

Designed for students who are new to the Hebrew language. The aleph/bet and basic reading skills will be taught, as well as an introduction to basic conversational concepts; numbers, counting, times, days of the week, greetings.

Thursdays 10:00 am – 11:30 am
April 12 – June 7
No class: April 19
$168 M • $189 NM

Evening: Conversational Hebrew for Beginners

with Ella Dagan

Each lesson will include 90 minutes of spoken language practice at the Beginner level. Topics covered: greetings, numbers, family, shopping, telling time, scheduling activities, and asking and giving directions. Emphasis will be on comprehension and pronunciation.

Tuesdays 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
April 10 – June 5
No Class: April 17
$168 M • $189 NM


with Wendy Ordonez

Beginner 2 • 8 weeks
Fridays 10:00 am – 11:30 am
April 13 – June 1
$168 M / $189 NM

Advanced • 10 weeks
Thursday, 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm
April 5 – June 7
$224 M • $245 NM

Intermediate • 10 weeks
Thursdays 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
April 5 – June 7
$224 M • $245 NM


Photographing the Posthumous Landscape in Western Ukraine

with photographer and filmmaker David Kaufman

David Kaufman has made numerous trips to Poland to document what he calls the Posthumous Landscape – Jewish historical sites in the post-Holocaust world. In 2016 Kaufman took a journey through western Ukraine, photographing synagogues, cemeteries, and former Jewish neighborhoods in Lviv (Lvov) Chernivtsi (Czernovitz), and 18 small cities and town in the region. The area once had a Jewish population of about 800,000, but today fewer than 5,000 Jews inhabit the region and their communities are struggling to survive. During this lecture, illustrated with photographic projections, Kaufman will discuss the precarious state of Jewish material culture in a part of the world that has largely forgotten about its illustrious Jewish past.

Sunday, April 22
10:30 am – 12:00pm
$10 at the door.

Russian Jewry and the Revolutions of 1917

with Professor Eugene Orenstein

In recognition of the recent 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, esteemed scholar, Professor Eugene Orenstein will speak on these fateful events with special emphasis on the effect upon and the role played by Russia’s Jews in this period. During his 39 year academic career in the Department of Jewish Studies at McGill University, specialized in modern Jewish social and intellectual history, with particular emphasis on the Jewish labor and socialist movement in Eastern Europe and North America.

Sunday, May 6
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
$10 at the door.

Celebrating Sholom Aleichem

Sunday, May 13
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$5 at the door.



In partnership with the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society.
Share your memories of Camp B’nai Brith during this fun filled nostalgic retrospective evening.

Thursday April 26 7:30 pm at the SJCC

Israeli Dancing

Contemporary Israeli dances, old favourites, great music, exercise, all in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Tuesday evenings at the Ottawa Jewish Community School, gym, 31 Nadolny Sachs Private (off Carling Avenue and Broadview) from 7 to 10 pm, starting Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Learn beginner steps and easier dances to start, progressing to intermediate and advanced dances. No experience or partner necessary. All ages welcome.

$5/evening (pay at the door)

Visit Facebook page, ottawaisraelidance or email for more information