Articles written by: Irwin Block

CD reviews: David Ian, Mike Rud, Ben Peterson
Features / Reviews & Previews

CD reviews: David Ian, Mike Rud, Ben Peterson

David Ian, Valentine’s Day, Prescott Records The music of the great American Songbook, when given a personal touch, never ceases to charm and delight. Toronto-born pianist David Ian has arranged these 11 pieces—classics of the standard repertoire, except for the gospel tune Sweet By and By—into smooth, easy listening yet spirited and […]

Commentary: Stephen Harper hugs Israel, but avoids issues
Editorials

Commentary: Stephen Harper hugs Israel, but avoids issues

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel and Jordan last month in which he reinforced Canada’s already strong support for the Jewish state got a mixed reaction in major Israeli and Canadian media. Bernie Farber, former CEO of the now-defunct Canadian Jewish Congress, wrote that Harper’s “giant hug of the […]

Scholar Chantal Ringuet has immersed herself in Yiddish Montreal. (Photo by Irwin Block)
Features

Montreal’s rich Yiddish heritage has an unlikely champion

Yiddish, and the rich literary output of the last century in Montreal when the language thrived here, has a new and unlikely champion. Chantal Ringuet, raised in Quebec City’s Charlesbourg suburb, never heard a word of Yiddish in that almost exclusively French environment. At the Ursuline school and Collège St-Charles-Garnier, […]

Violinist Luis Grinhauz and pianist Berta Rosenohl met and fell in love in Argentina. (Photo by Irwin Block)
Features

Love and Music: 88 keys to keeping romance alive

Don’t postpone joy. That injunction is a guidepost for the partnership of violinist Luis Grinhauz and pianist Berta Rosenohl, in love and music and their life and work together. It is on the wall of their basement rehearsal space in their cozy Côte St. Luc townhouse, and it reflects the […]

Music reviews: Rafael & Energia Dominicana, Matthew Shipp, Altsys Jazz Orchestra
Reviews & Previews

Music reviews: Rafael & Energia Dominicana, Matthew Shipp, Altsys Jazz Orchestra

Rafael & Energia Dominicana Enamorarse en la playa Vivo Musique We can’t all go south in the winter, so the next best thing for those of us stuck in El Norte is to feel the warmth, energy and love that permeates this wonderful album of Latin music. It is a […]

Hasidic councillor Mindy Pollak will be involved in secular issues. (Photo: Projet Montréal)
Features

Outremont makes history by electing Hasidic woman to council

The election of Mindy Pollak to the Outremont borough council in November made headlines internationally because it was regarded as a first for a practicing Hasidic woman. Pollak, 25, is a trilingual (English, Yiddish, French) beautician and community activist, and a member of the Vishnitz Hasidic court. It is one […]

Charter of Quebec Values must not stigmatize religious convictions: theologian
Features

Charter of Quebec Values must not stigmatize religious convictions: theologian

Gregory Baum, a leading and often controversial Catholic theologian, has added his voice to those who oppose the Parti Québécois government’s Charter of Quebec Values. But in so doing, the former priest cautions that it would be wrong to label as xenophobic all who support banning the wearing of conspicuous […]

Sugar Sammy cooks up controversy with political spice
Features

Sugar Sammy cooks up controversy with political spice

Joking about politics can be a risky thing, as Montreal comic sensation Sugar Sammy recently discovered. Sammy—the stage name for Côte des Neiges-born Samir Khullar—caused a sensation when he posted side-by-side photos of Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on his Facebook page. He asked, “Who would […]

Life coaching is not the same as therapy, Minda Miloff underlines. (Photo: Irwin Block)
Features

Life coach calls people off the bench

When the kids leave home, it leaves a huge void for caring parents left behind. If around the same time one’s own parents are confronting life-threatening diseases, the stress can be dramatic. That is exactly the confluence that Minda Miloff faced as her three children were moving on and parents […]

“We’re larger, we’re stronger, we’re healthier,” Richard Adler says. (Photo by Irwin Block)
Features / Health

The future is a (baby) booming place, visionary says

Never trust anyone over 30, we were told in the forever-young 1960s. Now that the Baby Boomer generation is pushing into their late 60s and early 70s, a well-known futurologist took a look at where we are heading and came up with some fascinating conclusions. Richard Adler, a distinguished fellow […]