Oct 31, 2023
By AM740 Staff
Coming up this Saturday at 1pm on Finding Your Bliss, we have a show devoted to understanding grief! Life Coach and Bliss Expert Judy Librach is joined by Ellen and Bevvy Schwartz to talk about their new book for children, The Puddle Jumper.
Ellen Schwartz is an elementary teacher, community leader, author, public speaker and advocate for research awareness and screening for neurodegenerative diseases.
As founder of Project Give Back, she links her decades of teaching together with her personal passion for charitable causes. She also co-founded Jacob’s Ladder, the Canadian Foundation for the Control of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Jacob’s Ladder has raised over three million dollars for research, education and awareness of neurodegenerative illnesses.
Ellen has inspired audiences with her steadfast commitment to education and research into neurodegenerative diseases, and her heartfelt desire to help others cope with life’s toughest challenges.
Through her philanthropic work, Ellen was honoured as “A Woman of Action” by the Israel Cancer Research Fund, as well as honoured by Ve’ahavta and Aish Toronto. She was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee medal as well as the Meritorious Service Decoration by the Governor General of Canada, and a Canada 150 Exemplary Canadian Award. Ellen was also named the Philanthropist of the Year by Brilliant Minded Women.
Ellen has written two previous books: Lessons from Jacob: A Disabled Son Teaches His Mother About Courage, Hope and the Joy of Living Life to the Fullest and Without One Word Spoken. Without One Word Spoken was even rated a National Best Seller by the Globe and Mail.
Beverly Schwartz recently received her BSc Honours in Kinesiology at Dalhousie University and is now an MSc Kinesiology Candidate at Dalhousie.
She works as a personal trainer and has run several marathons!
Now, Beverly and Ellen have written a children’s book together called The Puddle Jumper, a story all about helping children find the language to express and cope with grief.
Also on the program is the founder of The Grief Centre, Dr. Jay Bacher!
Dr. Jay Bacher is a retired dentist who practised dentistry for over 33 years in private practice, also teaching dentistry at the University of Toronto.
He taught Operative Dentistry and Oral Diagnosis at U of T Dental School for 25 years and then, in 1970, he became a founding member of Temple Har Zion and was its first lay cantor.
In 2006, Jay received the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry Alumni of the Year Award and he is presently a member of the Ontario Dental Association and West Toronto Dental Society.
When he retired from Dentistry 25 years ago, he established the Dr. Jay’s Charitable Foundation and then later became an energetic supporter and inaugural Board Member of the Dr. Jay’s Children’s Grief Centre. Jay also began the annual Dr. Jay Golf Classic, which has raised several millions of dollars for these charities.
In June of 2021, Jay joined an exploratory committee which sought to look at what could be done to address the critical need for grief counselling and services for children, youth, and their families following the Board’s decision to permanently close the doors of Dr. Jay’s Children’s Grief Centre in May 2021. What emerged was that Dr. Jay Bacher helped to create a brand new charity called The Grief Centre, and he became a founding Board Member of this very meaningful new charity in December 2021.
Later on in the program, we will also be joined by talented featured artists, Lily Librach and Halle Burnett, singing their version of a song called I Rise Above, (the original was written for Ellen’s late son, Jakey by Jakey’s friends and family).
As Halle Burnett describes it, music has always suffused her life. “I feel like I’ve always been singing, and I’ve always had music in my house. I started doing singing competitions around Toronto when I was eight, and we would do all these church singing competitions. I honestly don’t even know how I ended up there as a Jewish kid singing in church. But I loved it.” She loved it, she worked hard at it, and she was good at it. Good enough that she fell in love – completely – with singing and performing.
At 11, Halle entered a singing competition, fudging her way in by claiming she wrote original songs. Pen to paper to transform her white lie into a truth, Halle wrote her first song – and subsequently won her first competition. Hearing her talk about it, there’s so much gratitude for those early opportunities and a family that has loved and supported her, every step of the way.
“After that first song, I used songwriting as a way to document my life and my issues,” she says. Her hard work and relentless dedication are paying off, giving Halle the confidence to collaborate on music and expand her influence.
Some of Halle’s new music includes her new single Flatline, and her awesome songs Expiration Date and Through. She’s also the lead singer of a band in New York City called Who Shot LuLu.
Lily Librach is a singer, actor, dancer, creator, and adjunct professor of voice at NYU. She is in her final year of her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance: Musical Theatre, and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from NYU. She is a proud graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre program. There she starred as Lillian Holiday in Weill and Brecht’s Happy End. Lily was named a top 10 finalist of Mirvish’s worldwide Show Tune Idol Competition and has since been featured in City Life Magazine.
She was invited to perform in the Lunigiana International Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy this past summer
(singing Opera and Musical Theatre) and recently she performed in Til Then with Eclipse Theatre Company, a new musical written by Andrew Seok, along with many Canadian composers and lyricists, including Chilina Kennedy and Britta Johnson. She just did a 29-hour reading of Jane the Queen with the Musical Theatre Collective in New York City directed by Hayley Goldenberg. She also participated in a reading of a new play by Emil Sher and a showcase with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company.
This past summer Lily made her producing, directing and performing debut at 54 Below in New York City and has upcoming performances at The Cutting Room and Green Room 42 in NYC! Lily is also performing in another upcoming show in New York called Songs for Shalom, featuring many Broadway stars.
Join us this Saturday at 1 PM on Finding Your Bliss. You can follow us @theblissminute on Instagram and Facebook. Or you can visit our online magazine at www.findingyourbliss.com and take one step closer to finding your bliss.