“Us and Them: A Memoir of Tribes and Tribulations”

Us and Them: A Memoir of Tribes and Tribulations by Sid Tafler – originally launched at the Fisher Building as a paperback – is now available as an ebook at Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

The book by Sid Tafler, is about growing up Jewish in Montreal in the 1950s and ‘60s, as the country gradually evolved from an era of open discrimination to a place of acceptance and tolerance. It includes a chapter about Sid’s arrival in Victoria and involvement with our shul. Us and Them is especially relevant today as the Quebec government plans to prevent Jews and other minorities from wearing religious symbols at public workplaces.

Folkshul: “Letters from the Lost”/Helen Waldstein, Dec 1, 2-4pm


As part of the Folkshul: Community Learning at Emanu-El series, award-winning author, Helen Waldstein, talks about her fascinating book: Letters from the Lost, onSunday, December 1, 2-4pm. 

On March 15, 1939, Helen Waldstein’s father snatched his stamped exit visa from a distracted clerk to escape from Prague with his wife and child. As the Nazis closed in on war-torn Czechoslovakia, only letters could reach Canada through the barriers of conflict.

The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm where they learned to be Canadian and  forget their Jewish roots. When Helen first read these letters as a mature adult, it changed everything. As her past refused to keep silent, she followed the trail of the letters back to Europe where she discovered living witnesses who could attest to the letters’ contents. In the book, she has interwoven their stories with her own into a compelling narrative of suffering, survivor guilt, and overcoming inter-generational obstacles when exploring a traumatic past. Letters from the Lost has already been nominated for five book awards. As author, Helen Waldstein Wilkes has given numerous presentations to audiences ranging from book clubs to large auditoriums filled people. Her powerful impact as a public speaker along with the relevance of the book’s subject matter is garnering rave reviews.


Nominated for:

  • 2011 Book Publishers of Alberta Association Award
  • 2011 George Ryga Award (British Columbia)
  • 2011 Marsha and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award (National)

For more information, and to read Chapter 1, go to: www.lettersfromthelost.com/