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Yom Kippur Study Session: National Teshuvah: Indigenous Reconciliation and Canadian Jewry

September 16 @ 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

National Teshuvah: Indigenous Reconciliation and Canadian Jewry

With David Koffman and Leading Indigenous Voices across Ontario

The High Holy Days present us with an opportunity to turn inward and examine our roots, our behaviours, and our actions over the past year with an eye to improvement in the year to come. As Canada faces an ongoing process of reckoning and reconciliation with the violence and traumas inflicted upon our Indigenous communities, how can we, as Jews, examine our responsibilities and take action toward healing? What are the resonances between Jewish and Indigenous stories of intergenerational trauma and healing? How are the connections between Jews and Indigenous peoples also central to the enterprises of Canadian Jewish history and futurity? Professor David Koffman sits down with Indigenous leaders to explore the possibilities and necessities of national reconciliation.

This session is open to all and will be livestreamed at holyblossom.org/holy-blossom-temple-livestream/



David S. Koffman is the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry and an associate professor in the Department of History at York University. His first book, The Jews’ Indian: Colonialism, Pluralism, and Belonging in America, won a 2020 Association for Jewish Studies’ Jordan Schnitzer Book Award. His newest book project, an edited volume entitled No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging was published by the University of Toronto Press in early 2021. He serves as the Associate Director of York’s Israel & Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, and as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Canadian Jewish Studies / Études juives canadiennes.


Pre-taped appearance by Dr. Duke Redbird. Dr. Duke Redbird is an established Indigenous intellectual, poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and keynote speaker, he brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience. Dr. Redbird was instrumental in the implementation of innovative multimedia, technologies and beyond, bringing an Indigenous approach to art education that was rooted in his pioneering work at OCAD University. Dr. Redbird’s legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada. His art has been exhibited and his poetry has been published and translated in anthologies around the world.


Robyn Grant-Moran (Métis) is a classical singer, writer, artist and a jack of many trades who, in 2018 met the requirements to call herself a Bachelor of the Fine Arts at York University. That same year, Robyn participated in the Performance Criticism Training Program with Generator Toronto where she learned that theatre criticism can be used to push for more inclusive spaces and champion voices that have been historically underrepresented; so of course she fell in love. Since then, shes been published in Intermission Magazine, The Dance Current, the Toronto Star, won the Nathan Cohen Award for Outstanding Emerging Critic, joined the Canadian Opera Companys Circle of Artists and in 2020 began co-hosting their podcast Key Change. Robyn currently resides in Tkaronto (Toronto), weathering the pandemic with her wee rat dog in a box in the sky.


Steve Teekens is a member of Nipissing First Nation, has a Master Degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University. Steve is the Executive Director at Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) where he has worked since 2008. He has been working with the marginalized and homeless sector in Toronto since 1995. Steve is very active in Toronto’s Indigenous Community where he volunteers at Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council (TASSC), Aboriginal Legal Services Community Council Program. Steve also teaches traditional drumming and to the youth and men at various Native organizations inside and outside of Toronto. Steve enjoys working and volunteering in the Indigenous Community and wishes to see people overcome their obstacles and find the resilience in themselves to succeed in life.


Kim Wheatley is a multi-award-winning Cultural Consultant who has been featured locally, nationally and internationally in magazines, news articles, television and radio over the past 3 decades. As a Traditional Anishinaabe Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation, Kim has organized workshops, cultural events, written 4 books, provided advisory support for films, books and documents that support and celebrate Indigenous ways of knowing. Some of Kim’s most recent highlights include The Great Lakes Water Walk (2017), The Masters Indigenous Games (2018), The Indigenous Arts Festival (2019), Juno Awards (2021). While her work may be diverse, the connective thread is always her great love and respect for her distinct and rich cultural heritage.

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September 16
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
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