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The editor would be pleased to receive your emails at [email protected]
Re: Editorial: The Bonuses of Having A Rady JCC Daycare in Herzlia Synagogue
Zelda and yours truly were married at the Herzlia Synagogue in Winnipeg
It brings back many fond memories.
Excellent editorial article
Aron Wolfson

Re: Editorial: La Grande Synagogue de Bruxelles

Dear Rhonda,

I’ve just enjoyed reading your report concerning your visit to the ‘Grande Shul’ in Brussels. As I was born and raised in Winnipeg, and lived in Brussels for about 32 years, until retiring to Toronto in 2011, I thought I’d give you a little more background about the Jewish community there.

Jews have lived in what today is Belgium since early in the first century. There was a Roman community in today’s Brussels, and old Roman homes can still be found – actually about 500 meters straight down Rue de la Regence from the shul. In antiquity, the Jews followed the Romans into Brussels. In the more modern era, Brussels was incorporated (in writing) as a city in the year 979. It did take, however, another 250-300 years for there to be a Jewish community thriving.

Before World War II, about 76,000 Jews lived in Belgium. The biggest Jewish community (35,000) was in Antwerp. There were about 25,000 Jews in Brussels, and lesser quantities in Liège, Charleroi and other smaller towns. However, less than ten percent were Belgian Jews, as most were from Germany and other European countries. Approximately 29,000 died between 1942 – 1945.

Today, there are about 42,000 Jews in Belgium, with about 20,000 living in Antwerp’s vibrant and very visible Hasidic community. (There are about 30 shulsin Antwerp!) Today’s Brussels’ Jewish community also numbers about 20,000, the last I’d heard. They have twelve synagogues, including three Sephardic synagogues, and a Reform (Liberal) shul which is also frequented by expatriates from North America. There is also a Yeshiva in Brussels, three Hebrew schools, and three Jewish community centres, all with different ideologies, and each with its own ‘personality’. The Brussels Jews live in many different parts of town, some within walking distance of their synagogue!

There, you have it! A pity you didn’t arrive in town while I was living there, as I would have enjoyed showing you around! (Your father, Frank, and I were classmates at Kelvin in the mid-50’s!)


All best wishes,


Jerome K. Pascoe

Editor's response: The caretaker at the Grande Synagogue of Brussels said there were about 16,000 Jews in Brussels today. 

Re: Editorial: The Bonuses of Having A Rady JCC Daycare in Herzlia Synagogue

Feb 10, 2013

To the Editor,

What a moving editorial! Thank you, Rhonda. No one could have said it better!

Juxtaposing the once vibrant orthodox Synagogue in Brussels, Belgium,
(now a museum) with what is about to happen with Herzlia is a stark reminder
of what could very easily happen in Winnipeg! We could very easily do to ourselves
by neglect, what Hitler failed to do - destroy all vestiges of Jewish civilization.

Truth be told, the current revival of the Winnipeg Jewish community is owed to a
small group of committed community leaders who chose to change the history of our
community about 20 years ago. Without them, this community was heading toward extinction!

Right now, we are on the road back to recovery, but that recovery is fragile
indeed. If we are not careful, it too could fail. Success is not assured.
We are still facing several major challenges to our survival. Assimilation is rampant.

Rhonda Spivak has performed for all of us a very important task by reminding us of
the importance of children making contact with their Jewish roots as early as Day Care.

As luck would have it, there is an up-tick in the demand of children demanding Jewish
Day Care. The province has allocated 70 day care slots to fill that demand,plus a capital

The reason given against it is that Federation should not back a synagogue. I believe that is a red herring! What is being proposed by the Rady Centre is really a business deal that is NOT a situation of Federation bailing out a synagogue (in fact, I would oppose that myself).

Indeed, it is a question of whether Federation should do what is necessary
to enable the Rady Centre to fulfill its mandate to provide 70 day care slots before the slots
and the capital funding goes elsewhere.

From what I understand, the objective is to get these slots operational for next fall. As far as I know, there is no other building in the south end that could better fulfill this requirement! The timing is such that the renovations could be done in time to avoid a loss of the slots and capital grant. A classic win win situation.

At this point, I understand from Ben Cohen that Herzlia has a plan B in place; it has raised $1 Million in capital funds in the last 6 weeks so they can now go it alone!

I appeal to the executive and directors to grasp this opportunity, since they
will be performing a major mitzvah for those in desperate need of Jewish Day
Care! Let us look after those who come after us, just as those who came before us looked
after us!

If it makes good economic sense for Federation, why would we as a Jewish community
discriminate against the only building in the south end that fits all the criteria?
What are we missing?


Abe and Barbara Anhang

PRESS RELEASE (Ra’anana, Israel), 12 February 2013
The Torah places an obligation upon husbands to make their wives happy during marital relations; literally “to gladden his wife.” Source: Deuteronomy 24:5.
Would you like to enjoy all aspects of your intimate life with your husband more?  Are you a woman who has difficulty loving your sexual-self?
Now there's a solution to this problem: become aware of your inner femfeelings.
Every woman experiences sexual feelings in a unique way. Valentine’s Day is one of the days we dedicate each year to focusing on romantic and intimate love. In order to be able to share intimacy with your partner, it is important that you first love your sexual self. Sexual self-love is a key to recognizing that you deserve to experience femfeelings, these warm female feelings of sexual joy. 
The Femfeeling method enables you to get to know yourself sexually and discover your body’s pleasure points. Once you know what makes you sexually happy, you can then share this with your partner and together with him experience joyful moments of intimacy.
In the words of Dr. Batya L. Ludman, clinical psychologist, Israel, as written in the Femfeeling Guide:
“Not only is the Femfeeling concept an asset to individuals, but for we professionals who work clinically with women and couples, this is an invaluable tool for providing a realistic approach to women’s sexuality. It is long overdue.”
For more information on how the Femfeeling method can enhance your intimate relationship with your husband, please contact us at [email protected]
About Femfeeling
The Femfeeling Sexual Health Research Center has developed a step-by-step approach to
sexually empower women and to enhance their feelings of sexual joy. The founding principle of the Femfeeling Sexual Health Research Center is that women are entitled to celebrate their own sexual choices in the form of femfeelings and to find sexual joy in their intimate lives.
Max Grunberg is a Femfeeling Educator, researcher, and the founder of the Femfeeling SexualSexual Health Research Center. Max pioneered the femfeeling method and authored the work "Femfeeling: A Woman's Guide to Romance and Sexual Pleasure."His approach takes also into account the needs and sensitivities of the Torah-observant community.
For more information, contact:
Femfeeling Sexual Health Research Center

P.O. Box 38
43100 Ra'anana
IsraelTel: + 972 9 7710768 / [email protected]

Re Max Roytenberg


Feb 4, 2013

To the Editor
Re Max Roytenberg

When he was in High School, his column was entitled "Menchem's Pidgeonhole".I wonder if he remembers that ?

Bill Lifchus, Toronto

Searching for possible Jewish Roots

Feb 4, 2012
Jewish Roots
To the Editor
Hello, my name is Rogerio Areias. I am a son to Portuguese parents and have been looking into the history of where we came from and there is a large possibility that we are of Jewish roots. Our ancestors most likely being the Jews expelled from Spain that came to Portugal. I've emailed the Asper Jewish Centre and asked if they could help with this but never got an answer and was wondering if you could or know of anyone who could help me with this.


Rog?rio Areias

PRESS RELEASE: AIPAC mourns the passing of Mayor Ed Koch

February 1, 2013

AIPAC mourns the passing of Mayor Ed Koch

WASHINGTON — AIPAC mourns the passing of Mayor Ed Koch, an indefatigable defender of the American-Israel relationship. With an unmatched passion, Ed Koch could always be counted on to stand up for America’s democratic ally. He was a larger than life figure who effectively led New York, a city he deeply loved. Mayor Koch often asked his constituents “How am I doing?”. For the pro-Israel community, the answer to this question is that we are all deeply saddened by the passing of the Mayor. Ed Koch was an American original and Israel's stalwart friend. The Mayor will be greatly missed.

Consistently ranked as the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, AIPAC is a bipartisan American membership organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. For more than 50 years, AIPAC has been working with Congress to build a strong, vibrant relationship between the U.S. and Israel. With more than 100,000 members across the United States, AIPAC works throughout the country to improve and strengthen that relationship by supporting U.S.-Israel military, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.

Contact: Marshall Wittmann, [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE: Statement on the Iranian-Argentinian Agreement

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2013

Statement on the Iranian-Argentinian Agreement

Toronto, ON – Today, Iran and Argentina announced an agreement to establish a “truth commission” to examine the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) building, which claimed 85 lives. Since 2006, Argentina has called for the extradition of a number of Iranian officials implicated in planning and ordering the attack. This includes former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and current Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that Argentina has joined with Iran to strike a so-called ‘truth commission’ to look into the worst terrorist attack in Argentina’s history. It is disturbing to think that any democracy – let alone one that suffered a mass bombing – would hand over its investigative duties to a ‘truth commission’ beyond its borders. That such a commission would be jointly established with the party implicated in the crime is added insult to those who were murdered at AMIA.

“For the victims’ families and for the entire Jewish community of Argentina, this decision is a betrayal of justice that has already been long denied. We call on the Government of Canada to convey to Argentina our country’s disappointment in its decision, and affirm the expectation that the due process of law will not be replaced by a futile exercise.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization that serves as the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada.

For more information, contact:

Steve McDonald

Associate Director, Communications


[email protected]

PRESS RELEASE: B'nai Brith Canada Congratulates New Ontario Liberal Party Leader

B'nai Brith Canada Congratulates New Ontario Liberal Party Leader


 Toronto, January 26, 2013 - B'nai Brith Canada has extended its congratulations to Kathleen Wynne on her victory in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race.

"We extend our congratulations to Kathleen Wynne on her victory at the Ontario Liberal leadership convention.” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada. “We look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the Canadian Jewish community with the government under its new leadership. We also commend all of the leadership candidates for their efforts during the campaign for Liberal leader.”

“In our capacity as Canada’s senior Jewish human rights advocacy organization, we will continue to advance the interests of the province’s Jewish community as well as working for social justice for all Ontarians. B’nai Brith’s priority issues of concern for the government under its new leadership include the need for resources to combat racism and discrimination in all its forms, the urgent attention to poverty and the lack of affordable housing in the province, and Alzheimer’s treatment.”

For more information please contact Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at  (647) 780-8490  or [email protected].

B’nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s foremost human rights agency.

15 Hove Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 4Y8 | [email protected]
Phone:  (416) 633 - 6224

PRESS RELEASE: B'nai Brith Canada urges UN to mark Holocaust memorial day by putting its own house in order

B'nai Brith Canada urges UN to mark Holocaust memorial day by putting its own house in order

January 25, 2013

TORONTO - B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the United Nations (UN) to mark this Sunday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day by taking concrete action to counter antisemitism in all its forms. The UN designated January 27 as a day that commemorates the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, but the Jewish human rights organization is pointing out the glaring contradiction between the UN honouring Holocaust victims and yet allowing rhetoric at its meetings that actually fuels hatred against Jews.

Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, issued the following statement:

"As we mark this coming 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, a day that the UN itself has chosen as an annual commemorative date, we can't help but be struck by the role of this international body in enabling the modern-day expression of hatred against Jews.

"Time and time again at the UN we hear hate-filled rhetoric supposedly directed against the Jewish State, but which is merely thinly-disguised repetition of the age-old medieval blood libels that targeted Jews for generations.

"If the aim of this Holocaust Remembrance Day is truly to honour Hitler's Jewish victims rather than just paying lip service to their memory, then the UN should call a halt to the type of open and ongoing demonization of Israel that it allows at UN fora, which fuels antisemitism around the world."

For more information please contact Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at  (647) 780-8490  or [email protected].

B’nai Brith Canada has been active in Canada since 1875 as the Jewish community’s foremost human rights agency.
15 Hove Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 4Y8 | [email protected]
Phone:  (416) 633 - 6224

PRESS RELEASE: Iran’s Assets in Canada must be Frozen and Given back to the People of Iran after Regime Change!

Iran’s Assets in Canada must be Frozen and Given back to the People of Iran after Regime Change! 
January 23, 2013 
Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and a pro-democracy activist stated
Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered costs against Iran to an American once held hostage by terrorist backed by the Islamic Regime. In November of last year an Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a restraining order against the Regime’s property in Canada including the Embassy in Ottawa and a former cultural centre in Toronto, as the family of an American woman killed in a terrorist attack tries to collect a $13 million judgment against Iran.
For years the Iranian-Canadian pro-democracy activists have urged the Canadian Government to free the assets of not only the Regime but private assets of individuals affiliated with the Regime who come to Canada and bring along millions of dollars for investment in Canada. The Islamic Regime in Iran does not represent the Iranian people and has not allowed for free elections for 32 years. The Regime has managed to stay in power through the use of violence and force. While the Iranian people have become poorer and poorer over the past 32 years the Regime and individuals affiliated with the Regime become richer and richer by stealing the monies which rightfully belong to the people of Iran. The Regime’s assets in Canada are an example of such monies as  are the millions of dollars brought into Canada by individuals like Mahmoud Reza Khavari for the purposes of investment.
While I would support and encourage the Canadian Government to freeze all assets belonging to the Regime and affiliates for the purpose of returning those monies to a democratically elected government once the current Regime is overthrown, I am strongly against any judgment coming from Canadian Courts to freeze these assets for the purpose of any type of civil action. 
I deeply sympathize with all victims of the Regime in Iran (Iranian and non-Iranian).However any issue of civil compensation must be addressed after the overthrow of the Regime in Iran by a democratically elected Iranian Government and not through Canadian Courts.
Media Contact: Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist
Tel:  416-363-9238 
[email protected]



16 Jan 2012

The Sea of Galilee is nearly full again. Read what ex-classmate Rhonda Spivak writes about flooding in Israel - I especially like the cooking show stuff at the end!

Marty Goldberg

Re: Silos in River Heights; Fort Distributors lost it's Appeal of the By Law Infractions

Jan 15, 2012

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Community members,


Round One - we won!!!!!


Thank you to each and everyone of you who came together to help protect & save our community.


Fort Distributors lost it's Appeal of the By Law Infractions levied against them by the city of Winnipeg. Stay tuned as this is only the beginning unfortunately.


We will need each of you to network with your networks so we can take this battle viral.


Best regards,
Judy Plotkin & Debra Black, Acting CoChairs for the RHRA

River Heights residents Association Meeting

Dear River Heights Residents friends and neighbours:

We are looking forward to seeing you out this Tuesday night [Jan 8]  at Sir John
Franklin Community Centre at 7pm for our very important meeting with our

We are also forwarding the following information for your consideration.
Note the date is also for this week.

Kind regards,
Judy Plotkin, Acting Co-Chair on behalf of the River Heights Residents

*From:* Beth McKechnie <[email protected] <javascript:_e({},
'cvml', '[email protected]');>>
*Date:* 3 January, 2013 3:18:16 PM CST
*To:* AT network <[email protected] <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml',
'[email protected]');>>
*Subject:* *[At-network] Jan. 9th Open House - Capital Region
Transportation Master Plan*

*Have your say on the Capital Region Transportation Master

Okay, it may not sound very exciting, but it could have a major impact on
active transportation opportunities between and within communities
surrounding Winnipeg. Please consider sharing with your networks and
participating in the discussion.

*Open House*<>
: Wed, Jan. 9th, from 4:30-7:30 pm*,* City Hall in the Mayor's Foyer (510
Main St)

*Storyboards* from the three open houses held to date can be found at:

*Can't make the Open House? Fill out the online survey instead*:

Note that a workshop was also held in December in West St. Paul, which
included representatives from the Province, various municipalities in the
Capital Region, and a number of organizations and associations (including
Janice Lukes from the Winnipeg Trails Association, Anders Swanson and Shoni
Litinsky for Green Action Centre's Active & Safe Routes to School Program,
Mark Cohoe from Bike to the Future, and Jason Carter representing the
Manitoba Cycling Association).

For consideration, here are the main points that I focused on during group
discussion at our table at this workshop:

   - Ensure variety of transportation options - don't assume that, due to
   distances, people will only drive and will always drive
   - Make it feasible for residents to choose not to drive whether it's
   between communities or within their community
   - Ensure multi-modal options (residents able to combine bike and bus,
   regional connections, etc)
   - Need for regional transit strategy and collaboration between
   - Concerns around changes to Perimeter for increased and faster speeds
   of freight goods movement (CentrePort) – barrier that cuts off communities
   and makes it that much more challenging for AT users
   - Recognize the tourism opportunities in developing the plan – transit
   to Birds Hill Park and Grand Beach; cycle tourism in the area with
   popularity of cycling route to Lockport and to / within the provincial parks
   - Potential role that a Regional Transportation Authority could play
   - Potential tool - regional subscription to carpooling/ridematching
   service (e.g. RideShark, Pathway Intelligence,<>

On behalf of the
River Heights Residents Association



Below, FYI.
David Harris

David B. Harris
Barrister and Solicitor;
International Intelligence Program
INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.
Ottawa, Canada

Guest Column: Justin Trudeau's Islamist Revival
by David B. Harris¨Special to IPT News ¨December 20, 2012
Nothing says bug-eyed clerical fanaticism more than inviting a hate-spewing Saudi cleric to address your religious revival meeting. But this is part of the under-reported history of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) Convention, a conference that Justin Trudeau, a frontrunner in Canada's Liberal Party leadership race  and " son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau"  will address this weekend in Montreal. It's also why moderate Muslims and non-Muslims are aghast at the prospect of Trudeau's presence legitimizing the conference and some of its notables.
Although organizers pitch the gathering as "A Unique Youth Effort" "to help overcome new challenges of communication and integration" and "reviv[e] the Islamic tradition of education, tolerance and introspection," there is reason to be concerned. Aspects of the multi-year history and present-day manifestations of RIS invite questions about ideology and influences at play.
This year's conference was initially sponsored in part by IRFAN-Canada, an international Muslim relief entity that has seen its federal charitable tax status yanked by Ottawa, as a result of the Canada Revenue Agency's belief that millions in contributions went to "relieve" the Hamas terror organization. Although exposure of this background forced IRFAN's eleventh-hour cosmetic removal as an RIS sponsor, it is not evident that all remaining sponsors are clear of radical taint. UBS Bank recently blocked the overseas account of British-based charity and RIS 2012 sponsor Islamic Relief, a situation which an Islamic Relief official reportedly attributes to the technicalities of counterterrorism regulations. Meanwhile, some have questions about the uneven ideological record of one or two prominent figures attached to sponsoring organization Zaytuna College, an Islamic institution in Berkeley, Calif.
And, yes, the inevitable Tariq Ramadan, the charming, soft-spoken and dupe-seducing scion of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood “ a man who famously called for a moratorium, rather than a ban, on the stoning of women, and avoids condemning Hamas " will also speak at the event. Ramadan is an RIS veteran speaker whose apparent Muslim Brotherhood link offers little reassurance when taken in concert with a Brotherhood strategic plan for Canada and the United States which prescribes "a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house."
Meanwhile, a journalist has exposed expected RIS 2012 speaker Yassir Fazaga as a fixture of Peace TV, an outlet with radical presenters, including Yusuf Islam “ the former Cat Stevens “ who called for author Salman Rushdie's death and spoke at the 2009 RIS.
But, years ago, those of us in intelligence who studied RIS conferences had concluded that RIS's problems exceeded even these present-day issues.
Indeed, the RIS's history of invited speakers includes some dignitaries who would give pause to people of conscience, especially when speakers might be considered models for youth and other convention attendees. For example, there was distinguished American neo-Nazi William W. Baker at the 2004 gathering. Known for establishing something dubbed Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP), Baker has rounded publicly on "belligerent American Jews." "[H]is apparent goal," wrote a reporter a year or two before his RIS invitation, is "the creation of a united Christian-Muslim front against Jews and other groups."
Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes complained that now-disgraced former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, then-Toronto Police Chief (and now federal Tory Minister) Julian Fantino and Mayor David Miller appeared at the Toronto conference, "thereby giving it"  and by implication, William W. Baker “ their blessing." Zaccardelli's pander-filled speech was memorable. Even the social-democratic NDP's Jack Layton could not resist addressing an RIS meet.
For "bridge-building" and interfaith work, there was RIS 2006 speaker Imam Siraj Wahhaj, US unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Another RIS invitee was Sheik Bilal Philips, a Canadian imam who is an unindicted co-conspirator in that bombing, favors death for homosexuals in Muslim lands, and fancies punitive amputations, lashings and public executions. From Kenya to Germany to Australia, he has been banned and deported on national security grounds.
The bug-eyed invitee mentioned above was reportedly Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudais, imam of Mecca's Grand Mosque. Well before his invitation to speak at the 2004 RIS, Al-Sudais said "Jews of yesterday are the evil forefathers of the even more evil Jews of today: infidels  prophet murderers, the scum of the human race, accursed by Allah, who turned them into apes and pigs." "[A]n ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption," too. Christians?: idolators “ "worshippers of the cross"  as were hideous "idol worshipping Hindus."
This was a bridge-building too far, and Canada's government barred entry to the Saudi imam.
As it did to RIS 2010 invitee (and previous speaker) Indian physician-preacher Zakir Naik, thought to have a crush on Osama bin Laden. "[E]very Muslim should be a terrorist," says Naik, and Jews are "our staunchest enemy." At the 2005 RIS, Naik pressed Islamic Sharia law upon America, complete with death penalties for homosexuals, heavy veiling for women. There was more than a dash of false equivalence in his comparing of the targeted civilian deaths of 9/11, and the accidental civilian casualties in Afghanistan combat. Naik's ambiguous position on suicide bombing included the view that it "should be done under proper guidance"  surely a constructive thought for susceptible youth juggling contemporary responsibilities and trying to reach that life-balance between school and demolitions. Naik is progressive inasmuch as he believes wives should be beaten only "lightly."
Several years ago, Britain's Sheikh Riyadh ul-Haq spoke at an RIS convention in Toronto. Reports point to Indian-born ul-Haq's enthusiastic paraphrasing of the Quran in remarks made on another occasion: "the ones who are bitterest in their enmity towards Muslims, the most unrelenting, unforgiving, are the Jews and the mushrikeen, idolators in all their forms." Today's "chief idolators," he adds, are the Hindus.
U.S. authorities have taken an interest in RIS, and detained some American Muslims returning from the 2004 RIS conference in Toronto. Department of Homeland Security: "we had credible intelligence that conferences similar to the one from which these individuals were leaving were being used by terrorist organizations to fundraise and to hide the travel of terrorists themselves." The Saudi-funded, extremist-sympathetic Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “ later an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror funding U.S. prosecution, and the mother group of a Canadian chapter, CAIR-CAN, now attacking critics of this week's conference – sued the American government, and lost.
Border authorities, asserted the supportive U.S. appeals court, "had reason to believe that terrorists, or those with terrorist ties, would be attending the RIS conference."
It was at this Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference “ presumably in the midst of some of its participants' condemnations of liberal coexistence “ that a jargon-laced greeting was read aloud from a letter from then-Prime Minister Paul Martin. "[T]his year's conference," he intoned on behalf of the Government of Canada, "adds to the fabric of our nation and strengthens our social foundations by making our communities more dynamic, culturally rich, and cohesive." U.S. border authorities might have taken another view.
Now comes the Reviving the Islamic Spirit 2012 conclave. You've heard about Tariq Ramadan and the rest, but what about other invitees who will be joining this month's Montreal conventioneers?
Jamal Badawi: Professor Emeritus, St Mary's University, Halifax, and held by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report to be "a leader in many of the most important organizations of the Global and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood." Unindicted co-conspirator in the aforementioned terror funding trial, and an executive member of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator organization. Former board member of the Muslim Association of Canada, an organization boasting of its Muslim Brotherhood ideology. A pamphlet by Badawi that was available at an earlier RIS appeared to justify the practice of polygamy.
Imam Zaid Shakir: A U.S. cleric tending to trade in 9/11 conspiracy theories, aiming for Islamic rule of America, and believing that the U.S. government is at war with Islam “ a poor example for the Muslim youth at any conference. At the 2005 RIS, Shakir seemed consumed with portraying the United States as a stain on humanity, a catalog of "slavery and genocide, oppression and military aggression." It is unsurprising that his ideology was condemned by moderate American Muslim leader and retired U.S. naval Lt. Cmdr Zuhdi Jasser, and by the American Anti-Defamation League. Shakir has spoken at RIS conventions on a number of occasions, and is a senior faculty member of RIS 2012 sponsor Zaytuna College.
Edina Lekovic: Policy director at the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Exposed in 2007 by leading American counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson as having been managing editor of UCLA Muslim students' newspaper when its 1999 "Spirit of Jihad" issue counseled Muslims: "When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid ¦ Osama bin Laden as a 'terrorist,' we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter." Bin Laden had declared war on the United States in 1996.
Almost all of the foregoing information was on the public record before Trudeau accepted his speaking invitation. No wonder the moderate Muslim Canadian Congress and Muslims Facing Tomorrow organizations are joining so many other Canadians in raising questions about public officials who would become involved in this kind of enterprise.
Worse yet, there are now reports of enormous prospective increases in Canada's already-world-beating per capita immigration, some of it from countries associated with extremism and subversion. As suspicions deepen that much of this intake reflects a Harper government desire to "import" grateful voters for coming elections and profit from resultant demographic shifts, Canada is left to face policy outcomes that will continue to inflate its radical ranks, fill conferences of the RIS sort, and imperil Canadians' future. In the end, the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention stands as a warning of the need to press ambitious political figures of all stripes to resist the temptations and perverse political incentives endangering that future.
David B. Harris is a Canadian lawyer with three decades' experience in intelligence affairs, and serves as Director of the International Intelligence Program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc. He is on the advisory board of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow (MFT), although opinions expressed here are his alone.


Re: Response of the Council of Rabbis to the Decisn of the Rady JCC to Open Shabbat Mornings

To the Editor,

I am very proud of the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis.  I regret deeply the stance that the Rady Centre has taken.  Will the leaders of that non-obsersvant community be eshewing circumcision, next?  On whom, then, will the longevity of Judaism depend?

Perhaps the ordinary, average, members of the general Jewish Community of Winnipeg will speak with their feet, and avoid setting them anywhere near the 'so-called' Jewish Community Centre, on Shabbat.  This, I would encourage.

Yours sincerely,


River Heights Residents Association Meeting-Jan 8, 2013
This is to remind you of our upcoming RHRA meeting this Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 between 7-9 pm at the Sir John Franklin Community Centre located at 1 Sir John Franklin Road.
It is very important to get as many people as possible out to this meeting as Ms. Joyce Bateman, (Member of Parliament – Winnipeg South Centre), will be in attendance to answer our questions and concerns as to the overdevelopment in our neighbourhood. Dr. Jon Gerrard (our MLA) will be there, but City of Winnipeg Counsellor Orlikow unfortunately will be tied up with city business. He may send a delegate in his place.
Please share this important notice with your river heights friends & neighbours.
Judy Plotkin, Acting Co-Chair
on behalf of the River Heights Residents Association (RHRA)

Conference Defies Canadian Values


Toronto, December 21, 2012

B'nai Brith Canada has sent a letter to Liberal leadership candidate Marc Garneau thanking him for his stance regarding the 'Reviving the Islamic Spirit' convention taking place in Toronto Dec 21-23 2012. The Jewish human rights organization also included concerns it still had about speakers and sponsors that will be featured at the event.

Below is an excerpt of the letter sent to Mr. Garneau:

Dear Mr. Garneau:

Since 1875, B’nai Brith has been the leading voice of the grassroots Jewish community of , advocating for the rights of all Canadians against the forces of antisemitism, hatemongering, and xenophobia.

We would like to thank you for your recent stance in support of Canadian values Liberal leadership rival Justin Trudeau at the ‘Reviving the Islamic Spirit’ conference on December 22. As you noted at the time, one reason you would not attend the conference was due to IRFAN Canada’s sponsorship of the event.

“As an MP I'm ready to meet with any group at any time to talk about our shared values of peace, tolerance and equality,…In this case, I have concerns. One reason I wouldn't attend myself is because I'm not sure (these people) share those same values.”

It is truly unfortunate that Mr. Trudeau has steadfastly refused to meet with leading Canadian Jewish and Muslim groups who have serious and legitimate concerns regarding his upcoming appearance at the ‘Reviving the Islamic Spirit’ conference in Toronto.

As you are aware, IRFAN Canada was exposed in a Canada Revenue Agency audit as having used "deceptive fundraising" to support Hamas. In fact, a report stated that "IRFAN-Canada is an integral part of an international fundraising effort to support Hamas", a listed terrorist organization in , the , the EU and elsewhere.

We note with regret that -CAN, the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, has taken you to task for your principled commentary.

While IRFAN Canada’s conference sponsorship, many reasons persist as to why this conference remains as controversial as ever.

One fact -CAN conveniently did not disclose in its open letter to you is that it has a direct link to the ‘Reviving the Islamic Spirit’ Conference. Dr. Jamal Badawi, a featured speaker at the conference, is alsoa Board Member of -CAN on its website, where he proudly solicits donations for that organization.

In his book, Gender Equity in Islam, Jamal justifies the circumstances where and how a husband may beat his wife. writes,

“Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body...”

and there must be zero tolerance for speakers that advocate otherwise.

Another keynote speaker, Zaid Shakir, delivered a lecture entitled “Jihad or Terrorism,” at the Zaytuna Institute in 2001 where he stated,

“What are the consequences of so-called ‘Jihad in ?’ What are the consequences of acts like the bombing, which of course was aided and abetted by our good friends at the FBI?”

is another conference sponsor and Zaid Shakir, one of its co-founders, his anti-American and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.

In 1993, he in the first World Trade Centre bombing, writing,

“Considering the available information, it is the view of some observers that the WTC bombing was undertaken by the Zionist forces to give proof to their allegations concerning the magnitude of ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ terrorism, and as a pretext to intensify their anti-Islamic propaganda campaign in the U.S. media.”

A third example of the extreme Islamist views that Mr. Trudeau is aligning himself with at this conference is Hamza Yusuf.

In a speech to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Mr. Yusuf was quoted as stating,

“But Allah is calling us to jihad. And I, in all honesty, have to say that if Islam is not a threat to this society, than I am in the wrong religion. I don’t believe that. I believe that Islam is in fact a threat to this society.”

Mr. Garneau, your earlier remarks were made at a area mosque. mosques often receive community newspapers such as Meshwar, an Arabic language newspaper based in .

Earlier this year, Meshwar published both a love poem to a Palestinian suicide bomber and a blatantly antisemitic cartoon based on the traditional blood libel. The cartoon featured a faceless “Jew” drinking the blood of an innocent Arab/Palestinian at his dinner table. blood libel rampant across the today, and now being imported into by community newspapers papers such as Meshwar

This example is meant to contextualize how deeply the Jewish community is alarmed when prominent Canadian politicians lend their legitimacy to events with historically radical leanings.

Politicians have a choice when deciding which events to support, and which to avoid. By stubbornly choosing to support these conference speakers and sponsors - while steadfastly refusing to meet with whistleblowing human rights organizations over their legitimate concerns - Mr. Trudeau will no doubt be seen by many as emboldening those that promote a radical agenda that is contrary to Canadian values. This will indeed be a harsh blow to the many moderates within the Muslim community, and the supportive organizations who try to build bridges with them, who are all fundamentally opposed to the imposition of a radical Islamist agenda in .

It is disingenuous for -CAN and its supporters to brush off sincere critics of this conference as anti-Muslim.

The truth is that Canadians of all faiths have good reason to be worried that impressionable youth, of any background, may be exposed to such loathsome views this weekend.

Yours truly,

Frank Dimant
CEO, B’nai Brith

c.c. The Honourable Bob Rae, Interim Leader, The Liberal Party of Canada

c.c. Justin Trudeau, MP

# # #

For more information please contact Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at (647) 780-8490 or [email protected].


WASHINGTON — AIPAC applauds the 74 Senators who signed a letter to President Obama urging further pressure on Iran until Tehran takes decisive steps to curtail its nuclear program. The letter urges implementation of all existing U.S. sanctions and adoption of tough new measures to further its diplomatic isolation. It calls on the president to press the regime to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, including suspending uranium enrichment. The Senators also ask the president to reiterate his readiness to use all elements of national power should Iranian intransigence continue.

AIPAC commends the work of Senators Menendez, Lieberman and Ayotte who initiated the letter.

The letter signed by a supermajority of the Senate noted, “we believe there is no national security challenge that is more urgent and essential to resolve during your second term than Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. We share your commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and strongly agree with your statement that, “[t]he clock is ticking. If [the Iranians] do not meet the demands of the international community, then we are going to take all options necessary to ensure they don’t have a nuclear weapon.”

Below is a listing of the Senators who signed the letter along with the text.

The letter was signed by: Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Robert Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), James E. Risch (R-ID), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Johny Isakson (R-GA), John McCain (R-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), John Boozman (R-AR), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Scott Brown (R-MA), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Mike Lee (R-UT), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Daniel Coats (R-IN),Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), David Vitter (R-LA), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Kay R. Hagan (D-NC), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Udall (D-CO), John Thune (R-SD), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Al Franken (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Bob Corker (R-TN), Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

December 19, 2012

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Over the past four years, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have set aside their differences and worked together on a bipartisan basis with your Administration to put in place the most stringent sanctions ever against Iran. We appreciate your continued, strong implementation of these sanctions, which combined with the leadership of our allies, has led a growing number of countries and companies to curtail or reduce trade with Iran across a range of sectors -- including energy, shipping, and telecommunications. These measures are now having a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, as demonstrated most dramatically by the sharp drop in the value of Iran's currency this year.

Nevertheless, the Iranian government has continued to press forward with its nuclear program. It has quintupled its stockpile of low enriched uranium since 2009. It has taken a significant step closer to possessing weapons-grade uranium by enriching up to 20 percent. And it has raced towards completion of its hardened Fordow enrichment facility, more than doubling the number of centrifuges installed there just since the summer of this year.

At the same time, Iran continues to reject the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including refusing to allow inspectors to visit sites where nuclear weaponization work is suspected to have occurred. These facts mean that Iran today is now moving dangerously closer to a nuclear weapons capability.

For this reason, we believe there is no national security challenge that is more urgent and essential to resolve during your second term than Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. We share your commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and strongly agree with your statement that, “[t]he clock is ticking. If [the Iranians] do not meet the demands of the international community, then we are going to take all options necessary to ensure they don’t have a nuclear weapon.”

In order to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, we urge you to consider the following steps:

First, we strongly believe there should be absolutely no diminution of pressure on the Iranians until the totality of their nuclear problem has been addressed. The time for limited confidence building measures is over. Iran must understand that it has a closing window of time in which to show it is serious about wanting to reach a diplomatic solution. This requires Iran to quickly and fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, including the suspension of all enrichment and reprocessing activities. Iran should also permit the removal from its territory of all uranium enriched to the twenty percent level.

We remain very skeptical of any proposal that would allow the current Iranian government to possess an enrichment capability in any form, given its long track record of deceptive and illicit conduct. We also believe that, at an absolute minimum, a successful resolution of the Iranian nuclear file must include the complete closure of the Fordow facility; full cooperation by Iran with the IAEA and the resolution of all outstanding questions about possible weapons dimensions of the program; and an extremely intrusive and comprehensive inspection regime for the foreseeable future.

Second, until these objectives have been achieved, we believe that the United States must make use of all elements of our national power to pressure Iran. This should include aggressive implementation of existing sanctions and the adoption of new, even stronger ones. We should also work to deepen Iran's diplomatic isolation by encouraging countries to expel Iranian diplomats and close Iranian missions, as Canada recently did, given Iran's use of its embassies and consulates to engage in proliferation and terrorism-related illicit activities.

Third, as you begin your second term as President, we ask you to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon. In addition we urge you to work with our European and Middle Eastern allies to demonstrate to the Iranians that a credible and capable multilateral coalition exists that would support a military strike if, in the end, this is unfortunately necessary.

Fourth, we urge you to expand America’s outreach and support to the Iranian people and support of the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran. As we have seen across the Middle East over the past two years, autocratic regimes that appear entrenched and invulnerable can collapse with stunning speed. We believe that the current government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will eventually end up in the ash heap of history, not because of the efforts of the United States, but because of the desire of the Iranian people to enjoy the basic freedoms that are their universal right, and that many of their neighbors increasingly are demanding.

It is critically important for the U.S. to stand clearly and vocally on the side of the Iranian people today and support their quest for freedom -- regardless of the status of negotiations with the Iranian government.

We thank you for your continued leadership on this critical issue and look forward to continuing to work with you to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons capability.


Consistently ranked as the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, AIPAC is a bipartisan American membership organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. For more than 50 years, AIPAC has been working with Congress to build a strong, vibrant relationship between the U.S. and Israel. With more than 100,000 members across the United States, AIPAC works throughout the country to improve and strengthen that relationship by supporting U.S.-Israel military, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.


News Release, December 20, 2012, Canada’s decision to list the IRGC’s Qods Force as a terrorist entity

December 20, 2012

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs welcomes Canada’s decision to list the IRGC’s Qods Force as a terrorist entity
Toronto, ON - The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs strongly welcomes today's announcement by Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews to add Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force to the list of terrorist entities that fall under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act. Today's decision, which follows the Government’s recent addition (December 11, 2012) of the IRGC to the Special Economic Measures Act, significantly enhances Canada’s array of legal and security tools available to combat Iranian support for terrorism.

"The Canadian Jewish community deeply appreciates today's long anticipated announcement by the Conservative government,” said David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “For many years, we have called for this measure as the next logical step in countering international terrorism – and we are gratified that the government has responded to this appeal.”

"In sponsoring horrific terror acts that have claimed scores of lives around the world, the Iranian regime has acted with impunity for far too long,” said Koschitzky. “Canada's listing of the IRGC sends a clear and direct message to Tehran that it will be held to account for past and future acts of terrorism."
The Centre also applauds the unanimous support for listing the IRGC under the Anti-Terrorism Act by Canada’s two largest opposition parties, and particularly commends the Liberal Party for its efforts in support of this policy.

The IRGC is widely suspected of having played a pivotal role in various high-profile attacks, including the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre (both in Buenos Aires), as well as last February’s attack on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi. The IRGC is also alleged to support a range of international terror organizations, including Hezbollah and the Taliban. In addition to its role as a sponsor of terrorism, the IRGC is also the principle agent in Iran’s illegal efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization that serves as the Canadian Jewish community’s official spokesperson to government and media.

For more information, contact:
Steve McDonald
Associate Director, Communications
[email protected]

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