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Office Manager

Thornhill 

Please tell us about your career.

Currently I work as a manager in the office of the doctororthodontist Michael Sherman.

Why did you choose to live in Thornhill?

First of all, because of the large Jewish community here. I lived in Israel for many years, and I was always fascinated by the festively dressed Jewish families and children walking to the synagogue on Shabbat. I myself joined them. So in Thornhill, the Shabbat movement of the Jews towards the synagogues reminds me of Israel. In addition, there are Jewish schools in Thornhill where I sent my children. Later, my place of work was also here. I have many acquaintances here who, knowing that I work in the office of Dr. Sherman, often turn to me for advice.

I would like to share a shocking case that occurred not long ago in our office. In addition to his Thornhill office, Dr. Sherman also accepts patients in the nearby town of Keswick. The Keswick office was moving, and we decided to inform the residents by sending out flyers. We found a company online that would deliver the 10,000 flyers door-todoor. On the day the deliveries began we started receiving complains, which were also accompanied by a visit from the police. To our surprise, the police accused us of disseminating information containing hate literature. As evidence, they showed us our flyer and another leaflet, which, as it turned out, was delivered to the doors of the city residents together with ours. We were horrified: it contained fascist propaganda about the domination of the white race, as well as a nasty libel about the Canadian government, with horrible pictures. The flyer was produced by a man who calls himself a doctor, because he wants to heal the world from the invasion of undesirable minorities. The advertised magazine is full of the typical anti-Semitic libels and conspiracy theories. When I researched the man who publishes these slanders, I learned that he was repeatedly tried for the propagation of hate.

Having received this leaflet together with ours, people began to call the police. I pointed out to the investigating officers that Dr. Sherman, to whom they came accusing the spread of hatred of people and Jews in particular, is in fact Jewish and an active member of the Jewish community. In addition, 80% of our patients in Thornhill are Jewish. Dr. Sherman immediately called the flyer distribution company to complain. He asked if the distributors knew about the contents of the offensive flyer delivered together with his, to which he received an answer that they did not care as long as payment was made. I want to ask a question to everyone, including the readers of Exodus Magazine: Is this an acceptable form of freedom of speech, for which, among other freedoms, any democratic society struggles!? We teach our children tolerance, love for their neighbor, to help everyone need, and we want to instill in them the values of a democratic society, including freedom of speech. At one time, we in the former Soviet Union were deprived of this right. But still I believe that there should be a reasonable approach to the concept of freedom of speech.

Where does your family come from?

My grandparents come from small Jewish towns in Belarus – Mozyr, Yelsk, Gomel. In their families, of course, Jewish customs and traditions were observed. But the majority of family members on both sides died during the war. The survivors remarried, and were very afraid to practice Jewry in the Soviet Union. When we arrived in Israel, we were absolutely helpless, because we did not speak Hebrew. But, thank G‑d, my grandfather and grandmother, who spoke and wrote in Yiddish and therefore could communicate, which saved us.

Given the opportunity to meet anyone, who would you choose?

I admire our foremother, Leah.