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For Immediate Release:Statement on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

Toronto, ON – In response to news that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are on the verge of ending, David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:

 

“The Palestinian Authority’s inflammatory, unilateral actions announced on Tuesday have threatened to derail negotiations and beg the question: was the Palestinian leadership ever at the negotiating table in good faith? The addition of seven new ‘pre-conditions’ by Mahmoud Abbas following consultations with his negotiating team almost certainly doom any prospect of continued negotiations and clearly demonstrate that the Palestinian leadership is simply not interested in peace. This is a shameful failure of leadership on the part of Abbas, one that above all else, betrays the Palestinian people.

 

“Mahmoud Abbas’ actions are in keeping with reports of his recent admission to President Obama that he will not agree to end the conflict and will not recognize the existence of the Jewish state. If the Palestinian leadership maintains its hardline stance and continues manipulating international institutions to isolate Israel and evade peace, it will condemn the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians to conflict. Canada and the international community should strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations without pre-condition, renounce destructive unilateral moves, and demand the PA commit to seeking genuine peace with Israel.

 

“For decades, a majority of Israelis have supported peace through the two-state solution and have been willing to make painful compromises. Successful negotiation requires compromise on both sides. Since 2000, Israel has extended three generous offers that have included painful concessions, all of which have been rejected by the Palestinian leadership without counter-offer. Regardless of Palestinian efforts to undermine goodwill, the dream of Israelis and the Jewish people to secure a peaceful future will remain unshaken.”

 

As the non-partisan advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) serves as the voice of the organized Canadian Jewish community.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Martin Sampson

Director of Communications

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

613-219-3500

[email protected]


 
 
Canadian Report on Jewish Refugees could be an important first step

~~
Canadian Report on Jewish Refugees Could Be Important First Step To Peace
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OTTAWA, March 27, 2014 -- B'nai Brith Canada commended Canadian Members of Parliament who joined together across party lines yesterday to concur with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development Report on Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. 

 


By doing so, Canada becomes only the second country, along with the Jewish state of Israel itself, to recognize the plight of over 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries from 1948 on.n Under the rules of the House, a motion to concur marks the endorsement of the report as a whole -- a report which contained two recommendations. 

 


However, Mark Adler, MP for York Centre rose to explain that the Government, while prepared to support the first recommendation that Canada officially recognize the experience of Jewish refugees, could not at this time support the second recommendation which called for the inclusion of this historical fact to be included in the current Middle East peace negotiations.

 


Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada stated, "This recognition is an important first step on the road to a true and lasting peace. However, the job is not done until this recognition is put into practice. It would be most disappointing to see this become another report that is left on the shelf. At least 100 UN resolutions have been passed referring explicitly to the fate of the Palestinian refugees. Not one has specifically addressed Jewish refugees.“

 

 

“The Time is now right for the Government of Canada to continue to show its leadership role on the international front by first updating its own Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which as it now reads makes no mention of the plight of Jewish refugees. The Government's position that it would not advocate for this recognition to be part of the present peace negotiations. Despite concurring in the full report, this position fails to recognize that a just solution requires consideration of all refugee.”

 


David Matas, Senior Honorary Legal Counsel added, "The notion that Canada is helping peace by keeping this issue of justice for Jews from Arab countries out of the negotiations is mistaken. What has driven the wars against Israel from their inception to today is anti-Zionism. The wars against Israel are primarily ideological. Keeping the ideology of the war partly intact means keeping the will to wage war, the incitement to war and the war itself intact. The only way to peace is to combat the anti-Zionist narrative straight on.

 

 

Central to the current narrative is the false notion that only one group of victimized refugee population exists, namely the ‘Palestinians’. In order to discredit the anti-Zionist narrative and pave the road to peace, it must be acknowledged that there were two refugee populations, both of which are entitled to redress. No recognition of that fact means there will be no peace.


 
 
RE BDS

~~Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Congratulate University of Michigan’s CSG on Defeating a BDS Resolution, But is Alarmed at the Virulent Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism Surrounding the Divestment Resolution Debate

After hours of discussion and debate, the Central Student Government (CSG) at the University of Michigan reversed the indefinite postponement of the BDS resolution and subsequently voted to not pass it during a 6-hour March 25th meeting in a 25-9 vote. During the entire process, hundreds of students lined the second floor of the Michigan Union and more than 2,000 viewers watched CSG’s live-stream of the six-hour-long event.

Leading up to the vote, the heated environment on the U Michigan campus reached new levels of expressions of hate speech and discrimination. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, at least one pro-Israel student “received death threats and that others have allegedly been called ‘kikes’ and ‘dirty Jews’ by backers of the virulently anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which aims to delegitimize the Jewish state through economic means.”

Although campus police were notified of the above, no action was taken, and other than encouraging the student groups to engage in civil debate university administrators have been quiet as well.

It was also revealed in news reports that Michigan student Yazan Kherallah, who serves as the divestment chair for Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), had posted a picture of himself on Facebook in which his face is covered by a keffiyeh and he posed in a threatening manner while stabbing a pineapple with a large knife. Given the recent debate on the Michigan campus about divestment from companies doing business with Israel, the symbolism and message of the photograph is very clear: it is a blatant threat against the lives of Jewish students who oppose the divestment resolution and support the Jewish state.

SPME calls on the administration of the University of Michigan to address this instance of very clear radicalism and hatred, as well as the related events which led to the anti-Semitic slurs being uttered by Arab students towards Jewish supporters of Israel, in an unambiguous, public, and forceful way, just as universities immediately have done when hate speech or acts of racism or prejudice have been directed at gay students, African-American students, Muslim students, or other minority groups on campus.

“This speech and these actions and behavior have to be seen for what they are,” said Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, president of SPME, “raw anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred. This is not a discussion about how a Palestinian state will evolve, where the future borders will be between this new state and Israel, what will happen to the settlements, or how other issues in the conflict will be resolved for the benefit of both parties. The BDS activity on the Michigan campus, mirroring other BDS radicalism world-wide, is about demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and Jews, with the ultimate purpose of weakening and destroying the Jewish state. To minimize the virulence of this rhetoric and activism is to overlook the lethality of the BDS narrative and the harm it does to academia by parading as scholarly debate and potentially causing a campus climate of intimidation and fear for Jewish students.”

While SPME applauds the defeat of the BDS resolution in Tuesday night’s vote, it is concerned that the true face of the BDS movement, as well as the sentiments of its proponents, is not being taken seriously by university administrators, as well as some faculty and students.

SPME welcomes, and encourages, vigorous scholarly debate on campus about a broad range of topics involving the Middle East; but talk of “kikes” and dirty Jews,” not to mention the brandishing of knives with the threat of the intended murder of Jews, Zionists, or other pro-Israel individuals, is not academic discourse, political discussion, or, as its supporters regularly contest, simply “criticism of Israel.”

 

 

About SPME

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit , grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

The peace we seek in the Middle East is consistent both with Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders, and with the rights and legitimate aspirations of her neighbors.

Our mission is to inform, motivate, and encourage faculty to use their academic skills and disciplines on campus, in classrooms, and in academic publications to develop effective responses to the ideological distortions, including anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist slanders, which poison debate and work against peace. SPME welcomes scholars from all disciplines, faiths groups and nationalities who share our desire for peace and our commitment to academic integrity and honest debate.

http://spme.org

Read online.


 
 
Re: Munich's hofbrauhaus

Dear Sir,

I just noticed that your publication of March 8 featured in your 'editor's report' Munich's Hofbrauhaus where you kindly linked to my site.
It's great to be noticed by my hometown (which I had left 20 years ago)!

Respectfully,

David Heath
Bavarian International School
schloss Haimhausen
85778 Germany


 
 
Re IAW on Campus

From: "David Kattenburg
Sent: March-16-14 8:09 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: re: SAIA - Interview

Hey Rhonda ...

 Snowy Sunday evening greetings. Wondering if you've had the chance to think more about this request of mine. Very current this week ...

 You may have heard that an attempt is underway to block tomorrow morning's Israeli Apartheid Week debut at the U. of M. A ten day-old WAIA room booking, on the verge of being paid for in advance of tomorrow's session, was abruptly cancelled on Friday afternoon. WAIA member Liz Carlyle is disputing the rationale. U. of M. booking services promised to provide WAIA with an alternative space on the fifth floor of the Student Center, for free; very out of the way and low profile. SAIA is insisting that the higher profile venue be restored.

 I've received a copy of a note Josh Morry apparently sent out to U. of M. Hillel members, urging them to block the second WAIA venue. If Josh succeeds, he and his allies will have succeeded in totally blocking IAW activities from the U. of M. campus. Quite an accomplishment for a law student.

 You wouldn't possibly be able to put Josh Morry and I in touch, would you? Feel free to forward this note to him, if you're in contact by email.

 Can you and I speak tomorrow or Tuesday? Front page news, this.

 Best ...

David Kattenburg

Editor's response: I declined being interviewed by David Kattenburg for the media on IAW since I am a journalit not a participant..


 
 
CIJA Commends Norwegian Cruise Line Decision

Toronto, ON – Yesterday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it has cancelled all calls to Tunisian ports. This announcement is the direct result of an incident on Sunday in which Israeli passengers of the Norwegian Jade were unexpectedly refused entry by Tunisian authorities, an act Norwegian Cruise Line deemed “discriminatory”. 

 

In response, CIJA Chair David Koschitzky wrote directly to Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan to express his appreciation, and issued the following statement:

 

“We commend Norwegian Cruise Line for its strong statement in support of its Israeli customers, a response that serves as a model of corporate responsibility. The decision of Tunisian authorities to bar Israeli tourists is just the latest example in a long history of hatred and rejection of Israelis and Jews throughout the Arab world – a disturbing phenomenon that only hinders regional peace and progress.”


 
 
Re Israel's Land Grab

Israel's recent land grab in the West Bank is the largest in three decades and will only make the situation in the West Bank and Gaza even worse. Abbas has been a great friend to Israel and Israel pays him back by appropriating 990 acres of land in the West Bank. They will only cause Abbas to be further alienated from his own people. The  Arab radicals will say " you see what happen to Abbas the Israelis just screwed him you can only deal with Israel by being with us Arab extremists."

 

Perhaps BiBi believes the US is so busy on so many other fronts in the world today that we have nothing to worry about . After putting Hamas in their place we are “golden,” the only country in the world seriously going after terrorists. But BiBi is wrong in his strategy. The enemies of Israel want examples to prove that Israel is unreasonable and secondly to prove there is point in negotiating with this bully. BiBi has just played into the enemies' hands. He might have won this recent battle with Hamus but his high-handed behaviour could cause us to lose the War!

 

We must show our enemies that we are firm but reasonable. Not that we want more and more of Palestinian land as the Arab extremist claim.This land is not that important that more lives of either side must be lost. We must stop focusing myopically on try to get your opponent to say you are right and I have always been wrong. This will never happen. In difficult deep rooted conflict the parties must look for the smallest amount of common ground and build on it every day! In doing so you are attempting your opponent to agree to act in ways that get you what you really need, even when the other party doesn't agree with you! This should be the prudent behaviour of Israel towards its opponents.

 

 Surveys in North America and Western Europe among Jews by generation show that the younger you are as a Jew the less Israel means anything to you! One of the main results from these attitudinal studies are that younger Jews believe in more numbers than ever that the propaganda against Israel that it is in fact a bully is correct! Within the next 20 to 25 years the US foreign policy toward Israel is expected to greatly change toward Israel. Since, American Jews shall be so assimilated that they will not see any need for Israel to be treated as “special case”. Israel must stop managing its strategies in a bubble, and not considering the impact of its behaviour on its greatest supporters in the world -all of us Jews in North America. 

Alan Levy


 
 
DISPATCH FROM THE TORBRAU HOTEL, MUNICH--HITLER'S SS IN THE BASEMENT

Hello Rhonda,

You staying at the Torbrau Hotel loosely parallels

President Obama occupying the White House, which was built by

slaves.

Both events are triumphs.

Keep well and

Rise Above

 

- J.Mick


 
 
Re MEDIA INTERVIEW

~~Feb 14, 2014 -Hello Rhonda Spivak ...

 Dave Kattenburg here -- independent radio producer/writer based here in Winnipeg. We met several years ago, at a Winnipeg presentation by Jeff Halper. I'm subscribed to the WJR. Always an interesting read.

 In the wake of Stephen Harper's passionate comments in Jerusalem about the "New Anti-Semitism" -- with specific reference to the Israeli "apartheid" idea -- I'm developing a radio story and written piece about this year's Israeli Apartheid Week in Canada. I'll be putting together the written piece for Mondoweiss, and am about to pitch the radio story to CBC Radio (to whom I freelance), as well as DW, in Germany (who you can hear on CBC Overnight, in the wee hours of the morning). PRI's The World too.

 I'll be speaking with IAW folks in Vancouver and Winnipeg. Hoping to speak with several "pro-Israel" voices as well. You come immediately to mind. I'm also hoping to speak with Josh Morry, but have yet to make contact. If you can put the two of us in touch, I would be very grateful.

 Rhonda ... Would you be willing to sit down with me for an ~ 45-min. audio-recorded conversation about the Israel apartheid idea: your critical thoughts on its merits; your assessment of the current debate; your take on Israeli Apartheid Week, where its advocates and critics are coming from; Harper's recent position. Is it anti-Semitic to posit that Israel practices apartheid in the occupied territories -- perhaps in 1948 Israel as well?

 Let me know if you've got any questions about this request of mine. If you're game, we could meet for this interview in a reasonably quiet public spot (i.e. not Stella's).

 Check out the Palestinians and Israelis link at my website below.

 Thanks for your time and thoughts, Rhonda. I'd be most grateful to chat.

 Best ...

 Dave Kattenburg
 Winnipeg
www.greenplanetmonitor.net
  


 
 
Re: YOUR INVITATION TO CHITA RIVERA’S 80TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION !!

Hi Rosalind,

 

Thank you so much for your article on Chita Rivera . It is wonderful and quite amusing :)

 

Kindest regards,

Annikki Lotta

Promotions and Communications 

Valley Performing Arts Center

www.valleyperformingartscenter.org


 
 
Re; THE GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL AND REPS OF WORLD JEWRY LAUNCHES MAJOR INITIATIVE WITH 72 HOUR ON-LINE JAM SESSION

Rosalind,

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

 

I am so happy that you were able to advertise the 72-hour Online “Jam Session” on Sunday, February 16th until Tuesday, February 18th.

 

You are enormous asset to the Jewish society.

 

 - Irina


 
 
Statement on the Hon. Irwin Cotler's announcement that he will not be seeking re-election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2014

OTTAWA, ON – Yesterday, the Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP for Mount Royal, announced that he will not be seeking re-election at the end of this term of Parliament.

In response, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:

"David Koschitzky, National Chair of CIJA, and the entire Board of Directors join me in thanking Mr. Cotler, a great Canadian, for the enormous contribution he has made to Canada and particularly to the Canadian Jewish community. He will leave an unparalleled legacy as an intellectual and as a passionate advocate for the values that make our country great - values embedded in the Jewish tradition he is so proud to call his own.

"Whether as a distinguished professor of law, a world-renowned human rights activist, President of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Member of Parliament or as the Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler served his country, touched countless lives here at home and around the world, and inspired many – particularly young Jewish Canadians.

"We wish Irwin continued success and happiness along with the best of health, and we hope that we will have the honour of benefiting from his advice, counsel and continuing leadership in the years ahead."


 
 
Re: Harper visits Israel
In all fairness, it should be pointed out that there are a considerable number
of Canadian Jews who are quite upset, if not angry, with the fact that our
Prime Minister is so gung-ho for Israel and appears to believe that
Israel can do no wrong.
 
David Pinto
Montreal

 
 
News Release: LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR TO PRESENT AWARD FOR ADVANCEMENT OF INTER-RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING

Lt.-Gov. Philip S. Lee will present the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Inter-religious Understanding to Dr. Lloyd Axworthy at a ceremony at Government House at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

 

Dr. Axworthy is a life-long, active lay member of the United Church of Canada.  He credits his roots in the denomination with shaping his life and career which, by any standard, has been distinguished, extraordinary and world-changing, said Lee. 

 

During his time as minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Axworthy initiated roundtables of religious rights within the department and the wider community.  He has been a champion of religious freedom and peaceful dialogue, especially as an outspoken supporter of the Baha’i community worldwide and in Iran, writing and speaking on the need for freedom of religion in education. 

 

As the president of the University of Winnipeg, he invited leaders of every world faith to attend the 2010 World Religions Summit in Winnipeg.  His support of Aboriginal spirituality was recognized by the Sagkeeng First Nation when he was made an honorary member and given the Ojibway name Waapshki Pinaysee Inini, which translates to White Thunderbird Man.  He mandated the establishment of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy and the Knowles/Woodsworth Institute for Theology and Public Policy.  In 2007, in the midst of a nationwide controversy over ‘reasonable accommodation’ in post-secondary education, he ensured the establishment of a prayer room for Muslim students at the University of Winnipeg.  He has mandated the convening of Middle East Week and has supported the annual Holocaust Symposium for the full decade of his mandate.  Most recently, he supported the establishment of the Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Foundation for Sikh and Punjabi Studies. 

 

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Inter-religious Understanding is presented each year at a ceremony at Government House to an individual who best embodies understanding between all religious groups.  Past recipients include the late Dr. Redwan Moqbel, former head of immunology, faculty of medicine, University of Manitoba and a member of the Bahai Faith; Dr. Atish Chandra Maniar, a Hindu priest;  Mae Louise Campbell, an Ojibway Métis elder; and Zane Zalis, a composer and musician. 

 

“Since 2010, when this award was bestowed for the first time, this ceremony has become a much-anticipated event for Manitobans who believe deeply in human dignity, the search for meaning and the common ground we all share.  Our province’s faith communities come together with this award to celebrate efforts to broaden our circle of friendship and reach to a greater understanding of one another” said the lieutenant-governor.  “I am so honoured to host this event at Government House each January, which is an opportunity to honour those strong spirits who build harmony and understanding in our world.”

 

For further information on this award and others given to worthy individuals by the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, please see the lieutenant-governor’s website at www.manitobalg.ca

 

Contact:  Phyllis Fraser, 204-945-2752.

             


 
 
Re: EDITOR'S DISPATCH FROM THE DAVID CITADEL HOTEL: HARPER WOWS ISRAEL
This was my proudest moment of being a Jewish Canadian... too bad the leftist media in Israel ignored our Prime Minister's visit.  If you get a chance, see if you can get an interview with Channel 2 and Channel 10 in Israel and ask them why our Prime Minister was not newsworthy enough for them!

- Susan Meged

 
 
STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 January 27, 2014

 The Leader of the Official Opposition, Tom Mulcair (Outremont), made the following statement on Holocaust Commemoration Day:

 “On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we join Canadians in paying tribute to the millions of innocents who died during this dark chapter in history.

 We remember the millions of Jewish women, men and children who were killed by the Nazis in the Second World War, and we pay tribute to the survivors and to all those who helped save lives during this tragedy.

 Today, it is our duty to remember and teach our children our responsibility to combat racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism in all its forms, to prevent similar atrocities from ever happening again.”


 
 
Alejandro Baer talk, Friday, Feb.28.2014, UofM Cross Common Room, 108 St. John's College

All are welcome to attend the following talk.  Please feel free to print and post the attached flyer, and pass it along to others who may be interested.

 

The Judaic Studies Program, the Department of English, Film, and Theatre and the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba in cooperation with Limmud Winnipeg present a talk by Prof. Alejandro Baer

 

Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

 

University of Minnesota

 

Globalised Holocaust: Between universal values and particular memory politics

 

The Holocaust is now remembered beyond the ethnic boundaries of Jewish communities and the nations that were originally responsible for perpetrating it, in part due to wider shifts from national to cosmopolitan memory cultures. Such shifts raise many questions for the interpretation of the genocide of the Jews, notably concerning its actualization and contextualization in the history of war, oppression and large-scale political violence in different countries. This lecture will present material from an ongoing international study of Holocaust commemoration ceremonies, with a special focus on Spain, a country still confronting the ghosts of its own past. The Spanish case opens the door to more general reflections on ongoing tensions between particular and universal readings of genocidal violence, as well as emerging patterns of social memory no longer bound to specific places, nations or cultures.

 

Friday, February 28th, 12:00-1:30 pm

 

Cross Common Room, St. John's College Room 108

 

Fort Garry Campus, University of Manitoba

 

This presentation is made possible with the generous support of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba, and the Marion Bookbinder Fund of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. 

Everyone is welcome!

 

Please see www.limmudwinnipeg.org   for Professor Baer's workshops at Limmud Winnipeg (Jewish Learnfest)


 
 
Re:Request to Reprint ' The Night I Slept with Bed Bugs for Peace'

January 14, 2014

 

Memo to Editor, Winnipeg Jewish Review

From Don Harrison, editor, San Diego Jewish World

 

I enjoyed reading Rhonda Spivak's story on "bedbugs for peace" and would like to request reprint permission with, of course, full credit to her and to your publication.

 

Here is the link in question:

 

http://www.winnipegjewishreview.com/article_detail.cfm?id=4010&sec=1&title=Editor%27s_Report_:_The_Night_I_slept_with_Bed_Bugs_for_Peace

 

Our daily on line publication may be accessed at www.sdjewishworld.com

 

Thank you,

Donald H. Harrison, editor

San Diego Jewish World

www.sdjewishworld.com

 (619) 265-0808

[email protected]

 

 Editor's Response: Yes you may reprint. With pleasure.


 
 
When Jews Were Funny a film by Alan Zweig opens in Winnipeg Friday Jan 10, 2014

 Winner of Best Canadian Feature at TIFF

KINOSMITH presents a Sudden Storm Entertainment Production

 

When Jews Were Funny

A film by Alan Zweig

 

Winner Best Canadian Feature at Toronto International Film Festival and?

Named Top 10 Canadian Film 2013 by TIFF

 

Opens in Winnipeg

Cinematheque Theater (100 Arthur St.)

January 10 - 18, 2014

 

People are on shpilchus over Alan Zweig's When Jews Were Funny!

 

Zweig's acclaimed documentary - about the nature of Jewish comedy and how it came to inform pop culture itself - was crowned this past fall as the Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

The perceptive and introspective doc delves into both the historical and the personal. It combines the factual impact of the Jewish presence in American showbiz, with its existential impact on a young Jewish-Canadian boy who wondered how Jewish-ness and laughter came to merge.

 

Why, the young Alan Zweig wondered, were all the comedians he watched on TV in the '50s and '60s Jewish? It puzzled him since childhood. What connection was there, if any, between the humor of the professional comic and the humor of the old Jews around him, who never seemed satisfied with anything.

 

"My whole filmmaking career I resisted invoking my Jewish background," says Zweig, "but when that resistance broke, perhaps inevitably, I went full Jew."

 

When Jews Were Funny drills deep into the well of kosher talent, their styles, opinions and experiences in both their religious and secular lives. It features interviews with Shelley Berman, Howie Mandel, Gilbert Gottfried, Norm Crosby, David Steinberg, Shecky Greene, Jack Carter, Andy Kindler, Elon Gold, David Brenner, Bob Einstein, Judy Gold, Marc Maron.

 

The TIFF jury praised When Jews Were Funny for "its deeply moving exploration of memory, identity and community and for its coherent and profoundly humorous representation of the personal as universal."

"To debut my previous film (15 Reasons To Live) at Hot Docs in the spring and then to be lucky enough to debut When Jews Were Funny at TIFF that same year was a thrill," says Zweig. "Going on to win the award was almost too much and one of the great shocks of my life."?

 

Toronto filmmaker Zweig has become known for documentaries that explore both the human condition and his place in it. He first gained acclaim for his 2000 film Vinyl, about the obsessive passion that drives record collectors.

 

About Alan Zweig

Alan Zweig has been around the film scene in Toronto for over 30 years. He drove on "Videodrome" and "The Edison Twins", wrote an episode of Mr. T's show "T and T" as well as a few other things, and acted in some films including one of Canada's greatest underground shorts "The Ballad of Don Quinn." He did some other things including directing a low budget feature in 1994. But he was reborn as a documentary filmmaker in 2000 with the release of "Vinyl", which went on to become a cult film. Since then he did two other documentaries in a similar style, namely "I, Curmudgeon" and "Lovable", which collectively became known as his mirror trilogy. In 2009, he completed "A Hard Name" which went on to win an Audience Award at Hot Docs and later the Genie for Best Feature Documentary. In 2011, Zweig was honored with a "Focus On" retrospective at Hot Docs as well as being the subject of a retrospective on TVO.

 

About Sudden Storm Productions

Sudden Storm Entertainment Ltd. was founded in 2001 by Jesse D. Ikeman and Jeff Glickman. It produces feature film and television content. The company recently completed WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY (Winner, Best Canadian Feature Film, TIFF 2013) a feature length documentary, and provided the Canadian production services on ALL IS LOST (Official Selection Cannes 2013), starring Robert Redford. Wrapped television projects include the second season of HOW TO BE INDIE for YTV, and the reality show ReVAMPED for Slice Network. Past features including RUNNING MATES starring Henry Winkler; George A. Romero's SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, and KILLING ZELDA SPARKS, directed by Jeff Glickman, and starring Vincent Kartheiser ("Mad Men"), Sarah Carter ("Entourage"), and Colm Feore which had its US Premier at the San Diego International Film Festival where it won top Honors, the Heineken Red Star Award. www.suddenstorm.ca

 

About KINOSMITH?

When Jews Were Funny is being released in Canada by KINOSMITH INC., an independent Canadian film distribution & marketing company founded in February 2007 by distribution veteran Robin Smith. KINOSMITH is also home to the Hot Docs Collection on DVD that releases award winning documentaries curated by the Hot Docs festival in Canada. Current KINOSMITH releases include: Blackfish, Good Ol' Freda, After Tiller, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Unclaimed, Dragon Girls, A People Uncounted, Call Me Kuchu, Informant, Mussels In Love, 15 Reasons To Live, and The Venice Syndrome. Upcoming releases include; Design Is One, Big Sur, Il Futuro, Brother Number One, The Punk Syndrome, Village At The End Of The World, The Ridge, Road North, I Will Be Murdered, These Birds Walk and Wavemakers.

 

www.whenjewswerefunny.com

facebook.com/whenjewswerefunny

twitter.com/FunnyJewsDoc


 
 
Verdict Against Arab Federation Welcomed

January 7, 2014, Toronto — B’nai Brith Canada is applauding the upholding of an earlier court decision to stop funding the Canadian Arab Federation over concerns it appeared to support terrorist organizations and promote antisemitism.

 

"As Canada’s Jewish human rights organization charged with tracking Antisemitism in Canada, B'nai Brith was among the first to express concerns as to the activities of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF)," said Frank Dimant, CEO, B'nai Brith Canada. "The court upheld the original logical ruling and we are confident that the signal is clear: Support for hate and terrorism will not be tolerated by organizations that receive government funding.

 

“The CAFs special brand of antisemitic and pro-terror propaganda has only served to hinder the multi-pronged fight to safeguard the Canadian public from the ever-growing problem of radicalization and extremism, both at home and abroad."

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
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  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Winter's Collision Repair
  • Gray Academy
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • CHW
  • Cantor's Meats
  • JCFS
  • Esther and Sid Halpern Shana Tovah
  • GTP
  • Jim Muir
  • Booke & Partners
  • Sobey's
  • Commercial Pool
  • CDN Visa
  • Jack & Debbie Lipkin
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgliesh
  • Rady JCC
  • The Bob Silver Family
  • Carol and Barry McArton
  • Shindico
  • D'Arcy & Deacon LLP
  • Shinewald Family
  • Piston Ring
  • Bruce Shefrin
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Fair Service
  • Eddie's Gravel Supply Ltd.
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • Kromar Printing
  • Daien Denture Clinic
  • Bob & Shirley Freeman
  • Protexia
  • Ixtapa Travel
  • Superlite
  • Brent Schacter Sora Ludwig
  • Dr Ted and Harriet Lyons
  • Amalgamated Drywall Systems Ltd.
  • Josef Ryan
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Chisick Family
  • Broadway Law Group
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dakota Chiropractic Office
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Southwynn Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Imperial Soap
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • JCFS
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Jim Gauthier
  • Capital Grill
  • CVA Systems
  • Stella's
  • Chochy's
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Fetching Style
  • Lazar Family
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Michel and Danita Aziza and family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Dimensions Insurance
  • HUB
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Orthodox Union
  • Allan Davies
  • City Sheet Metal
  • John Orlikow
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Winnipeg Prophecy Conference
  • Thorvaldson Care
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Miller's Super Valu Meats
  • Pitblado
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Erickson Motors
  • Canadian Magen David Adom
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Elaine and Bernie Lofchick & family
  • Cascade Financial Group
  • Sorrento's
  • Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem
  • East India Company
  • Nikos
  • Sean Fisher
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.