Far More than a Gym



By: DORIS STRUB EPSTEIN  
Published: February 19th 2010


Rachelle Bronfman and Erez Cohen
Pic: NULL

 

The eye-catching, newly renovated white building on Eglington Avenue sports a cozy sitting area in front of a cheery fireplace. A coffee and juice bar offers refreshments. The sleek, grey, state of the art, work-out machines  await on the next level.  In the spring a rooftop patio with food and socializing, will be open.

 

This is the Power Club, an upscale workout club and the brainchild of Rachelle Bronfman, who greets me as I come in. At 49, the mother of three children, with her light brown shoulder length hair and not a stitch of make-up, radiates a calm energy and looks years younger than her age. The former producer of the Tovia Singer radio show and leader in the Jewish community attributes this to Israeli brothers, Erez and Oren Cohen, who because of their unique expertise inspired her to open the club.

 

“I worked with them for about a year and felt transformed,” she said. “They know every bone, every artery every muscle, by name.” She discovered too, the rehabilitative work they were doing with people. “One woman was due to have back surgery – she couldn’t even walk. Another with bad knees tried everything – acupuncture, injections – to no avail. Someone lost 100 pounds and now has a normal body.”

 

The brothers also got involved in the schools with kids who were getting bullied. “They taught them how to protect themselves and to stand strong,” she said. “The bullies backed off. It was far better than therapy.”

 

At the club, kids can get special training to do better at their sport. There’s even a one of a kind hockey targeted training program.

 

They teach Krav Maga, Israeli style self-defence, to all age groups. Recently, they gave a demonstration workshop to March of the Living participants. These Krav Maga experts and international Judo fighters shared their stories about hand-to-hand combat in Israel while teaching the skills and techniques that it takes for self-defence. As well, they teach Sambo, Russian martial arts. Many high profile business people are taking it. “It really empowers you,” declared Rachelle.

 

Erez, is 29, black-haired and soft spoken. He bulges with muscles, but is lithe and graceful. Both he and Oren (who I didn’t meet) were on Israel’s national judo team. They are graduates of the famed Wingate Institute, living and studying there until their army service. Erez served in the elite anti-terror combat unit.

Prior to this new venture, Rachelle, who is the daughter-in-law of the late Edward Bronfman,  produced and funded the Tovia Singer radio show for four years. She says she did it to counter the bias against Israel that proliferated “like a speeding train”.

 

 A staunch community activist, she helped with the Idan Reichel concert recently and raised money for Sderot with the Mosh Ben Ari concert. Rachelle has been involved with Aish HaTorah, One Family Fund, Soldiers of Israel....the list goes on and on.

 


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