Montreal, Canada - Following New Synagogues Ban In Outremont, Local Woman Shares Positive Experiences With Chasidic Neighbors
Montreal, Canada - Disturbed by a recent referendum that prevents the construction of new synagogues in Outremont, one non-Jewish resident turned to a popular blogging forum to show her support for the local Jewish community and to share her many positive interactions with her Chasidic neighbors.
Sarah Dorner, a professor in civil engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, has been living in Outremont since 2008. Two of the six families in Dorner’s building are Chasidic.
“They are wonderful and warm,” Dorner told VIN News. “We do the gardening together and our kids play together.”
Over the years, Dorner has become good friends with the many Chasidic families who live on her block.
After a public referendum upheld a bylaw banning any new houses of in order to promote local business as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2fYmvkN), Dorner penned an article that appeared on Medium.com expressing her disappointment with the results.
Dorner described how her Chasidic neighbors give her children candy on both Halloween and Purim and how she only has to shovel when it snows on Shabbos because at all other times her young Chasidic neighbors are happy to clear the walk.
In another instance, Dorner found that a tree had fallen on her car during a windstorm.
“We were outside inspecting the damage when a young Hasidic boy came over and started talking to my husband,” wrote Dorner. “He walked my husband through the steps he needed to take with the insurance company, including getting a loaner vehicle. Priceless. I wish I remembered the boy’s name. I’m sure he’ll go far.”
The 43 year old Dorner said that she has found much to admire in the way Chasidic families raise their children.
“For us it is a real challenge to keep our kids away from technology: televisions, screens and iPads and these kids are all outside playing,” said Dorner. “I like that. It’s a good model for my children.”
Dorner said that she finds the Chasidic families on her block to be very inclusive and that her daughters, ages six and eight, play frequently with their Chasidic neighbors.
Extremely disheartened by the results of the referendum, Dorner noted that there are other ways to promote small business in the area.
“We need to have creative solutions,” said Dorner. “These neighbors are part of the community and have been here longer than I have. It is important for everyone to come together and talk about what we can do because this is everybody’s community and it belongs to all of us. We have to come up with solutions that work for everybody.”
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