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Hadassa Dubrofsky: A True Role Model

25 Shevat 5772 – February 17, 2012
Hadassa Dubrofsky, a lovely twelve-year old girl from Toronto, Canada decided to forgo bat-mitzvah presents and replace them with something even more meaningful and exciting – an act of chesed (charitable kindness).

Saying Farewell To Toronto’s Couple Of Valor

28 Tevet 5772 – January 23, 2012
Every Friday evening, in Jewish homes across the world, the question is asked, "Eishet chayil mi yimtzah – The woman of valor, where can she be found?"

Bubbies, Babies and Locksmiths

1 Tishri 5772 – September 28, 2011
It was an exceptionally hot and humid day in Toronto. I was driving the car with my bubbie sitting next to me, and baby Shmueli in the back. I suddenly remembered that I needed a small item at the local supermarket. I gently asked my bubbie if she would stay in the car with the baby while I ran into the store. My bubbie warmly replied, "Go, my shefele [sweetheart]."

An Eternal Legacy

5 Tammuz 5771 – July 7, 2011
Dear Rebbetzin: I am a 62-year-old Conservative Jew, recently retired from teaching and planning to relocate to Florida. My three children are all married and living in different parts of the world: a daughter in Jerusalem, one son in Toronto, another son in California. Those living in Jerusalem and Toronto have become very Orthodox, while the son living in California is totally uninterested in religion. As a matter of fact, he is married to a non-Jewish woman. As you can see, there is no happy medium in my family, but I cannot interfere in the lifestyle choices of my children.

There Is Nothing New Under The Sun – Or Is There?

23 Elul 5770 – September 1, 2010
From Ecclesiastes we learn the expression "there is nothing new under the sun" and when you read history you see how true this is. From cults to politics it seems as if nothing is really ever new. That also includes technology. While a certain invention or discovery can be classified as new, we often find it in nature much earlier. Arctic fish used anti-freeze in their bloodstreams long before people put it in their cars. There are airplanes, but birds flew much earlier; there are satellites, but the moon was there earlier. Whales are better than submarines and as for nuclear fusion; the sun and stars had that worked out long before we did.

Spending and Investing

4 Av 5770 – July 15, 2010
Francine has been coming to therapy for about a month. Her parents brought her due to problems and conflicts she was experiencing boat home, school and in the community. Like many teens, Francine did not see the value of therapy and felt the problems were only her parents' issues. Besides, if she needed to talk to anyone, she would speak with her friends.

Oh, So Angry (Part IV)

14 Nisan 5770 – March 29, 2010
This is the fourth and final part on my series on anger, apersonal control and anger management. I believe there are several major beliefs one needs to appreciate when it comes to understanding anger, angry people and controlling anger and other emotions - let's call then the "secrets of anger." An important definition to remember before we discuss these secrets is that when something happens that causes us to have strong emotions, the thing happening is referred to as a trigger.

Oh, So Angry (Part III)

2 Nisan 5770 – March 17, 2010
In continuing our discussion on anger management, I would like to share some basic beliefs that one must understand in their journey to anger management (which I also referred to as personal control). As we have previously discussed, anger control is directly related to self-esteem and confidence. That is, the better the self-esteem, the more capable the person will be in controlling emotions. Also, related to this is the concept we refer to as "shame."

Life Filled With Miracles

Something beautiful happened last summer while I was visiting my daughter and her family in Toronto. I was shopping at Sears and did not realize that I had accidentally dropped my wallet on the floor. I only realized what had happened after returning home. It was upsetting when upon returning to the store to inquire, no one had turned it in. But I then had to return home to Montreal.

Oh, So Angry (Part II)

17 Adar 5770 – March 3, 2010
In Part I of this four-part series, I introduced you to Aaron and his extreme anger. I ended that article with, "I must say that as I was describing this theory, Aaron's mouth dropped open, his eyes grew wide and tears formed in his eyes as he moved closer in his chair. The only thing he could say was, "How did you know?" With that comment, Aaron and I started a remarkable relationship. With all the counselors he had been to over the years, Aaron said that no one really understood him. Here was the angry young man who didn't want to be there, fully engaged and ready to work, ready to share his pain, ready to begin a trusting relationship."

Oh, So Angry (Part I)

3 Adar 5770 – February 17, 2010
Dr. and Mrs. Schwartz came into the office looking very tired, stressed, despondent and unsure of themselves. They came without Aaron because he had refused to come to the appointment. He claimed that at 15 he could decide for himself if, and when, he would come to appointments about his life. They began by describing an extraordinarily angry young man.

Childhood Resilience

28 Tevet 5770 – January 13, 2010
Why is it that one youth involved in a trauma or difficult situation seems to bounce right back with little effect on his daily functioning while another youth seems to take forever to get back to his usual self?

Mendy Sacho – Designing Fashionable Kapotes

3 Heshvan 5770 – October 21, 2009
When one thinks of kapotes, the traditional long suit jackets worn by married Lubavitcher chassidim, one doesn't automatically think of the cutting edge of fashion. Yet Mendy Sacho, a 25-year-old Lubavitch tailor in Toronto, Canada, is pushing the garb into the spotlight.

The Past, The Present, The Future: From Generation To Generation

27 Elul 5769 – September 16, 2009
"Time waits for no man" is an old saying, though I'm not sure where it originated. Other such sayings like, "time flies by too quickly" or "the older you get, the faster time flies by," also contain meaningful messages. For me, I can't believe how quickly the days and years go by. When I think about it, I realize how we must make the very most of each day to accomplish what is important while we still have the opportunity.

Changing Lanes

20 Elul 5769 – September 9, 2009
I am driving along in my small silver sports car. The pace of the cars around me has suddenly become frenzied; the flow of traffic has thickened considerably; I have hit morning rush hour on Toronto's busy thoroughfares. I need to merge into traffic on a very busy main road. But I am stopped, stuck, as the cars whiz past me.

Changing Lanes

I am driving along in my small silver sports car. The pace of the cars around me has suddenly become frenzied; the flow of traffic has thickened considerably; I have hit morning rush hour on Toronto's busy thoroughfares. I need to merge into traffic on a very busy main road. But I am stopped, stuck, as the cars whiz past me.

Now I Know Why I Survived

8 Av 5769 – July 29, 2009
Flip Wilson was a famous comedian and television actor who once used the line, "The Devil made me do it." At the time it was funny, though pretty soon completely overused. In hindsight, the quote can be a pretty accurate description of the misguidance of our youth, as well as many adults. Could this be another means of blaming the yetzer ha'ra for our misdeeds? Can we really get away with anything if it's not our fault or was an accident? What about the concept of "responsibility," how do we teach that to our children?

Why Do You Hurt Yourself

2 Adar 5769 – February 25, 2009
I recently saw a sign that read: "There are a million reasons for abuse, but not a single excuse." Sharon* (name has been changed) came into my office last week after being a client for almost a year. Over the past few weeks, she has been working towards disclosing a "secret." Finally, through an established trusting relationship, Sharon was ready to tell me her "secret." She is 16 years old and has had a 19-year-old boyfriend for almost a year. She was finally able to disclose to me how abusive this young man has been to her. Having told me of various forms of abuse, she also stated how angry she is at him, while at the same time she says that she cares for him.

A Mother’s Soldier: A Candid Discussion with a Toronto Mother...

25 Tevet 5769 – January 21, 2009
War. Guns. Bullets. Combat Officers. Tanks. Paratroopers. Unfortunately, we've all become far too familiar with these terms.

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