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The editor would be pleased to receive your emails at [email protected]

12 Sep 2012
Good morning,

 My name is Phil Jacobs.
 I'm the exec ed of the Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times.

 I am writing to ask permission to run Ms. Spivak's comment piece on the
Canadian Embassy closure.

 We would run it in the Washington Jewish Week in our Sept. 20 edition.
 Thanks, Phil

Editor's response:  Hi Phil--yes absolutely you can run it-

Invitation on behalf of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal

Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Douglas Davidson

Invite you to recognize the indomitable spirit of theMS St. Louis survivors with a special program and performance

Monday, September 24, 11:00 – 12:30 pm


(Please arrive at 10:30 am to clear security)


George C Marshall Conference Center


U.S. Department of State


21st and D Streets, NW




Introductory Remarks by


Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns


Moderated by Foreign Service Director General


Linda Thomas-Greenfield




The German steamerMS St. Louis set sail from Germany in 1939 carrying 937 German Jewish refugees bound for Cuba. Upon arriving in Havana, however, they were denied entry to Cuba, and were subsequently denied entry to the United States and Canada. TheMS St. Louis was forced to return to Europe. While some refugees were finally accepted in various countries in Europe, nearly a third of the passengers ultimately died in Auschwitz. A number of survivors will attend this event.




A special theatrical presentation will give the audience a chance to weigh in on the difficult decisions faced by U.S. leaders at the time, and gain insight into this dark chapter in U.S. and world history.




Please RSVP [email protected] by September 14 with your name, date of birth and passport or driver's license number. For security reasons, this information is required to enter the building. Please remember seating is limited.

Letter of protest from the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers sent to Haifa University



September 2012

Dr. Aharon Ben-Ze'ev

President,University of Haifa,                                              


Dear Dr. Ben-Ze'ev,

Re:  Honorary Degree Award to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney

The CanadianAssociation of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) is an organization of 275 immigration lawyers, law students andlegal academics We are committed to advancing and protecting the human rightsof refugees and migrants.  We write to express to your our disappointmentthat you have chosen to confer an honorary doctorate on Canadian Minister ofCitizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney in Toronto onNovember 4, 2012.

Under Mr. Kenney's leadership, the Canadian government has passedpunitive legislation that purports to address human smugglers, but is actuallydirected at deterring asylum seekers and refugees from obtaining refugeeprotection in Canada.Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in May 2012 authorizearbitrary and warrantless detention of asylum seekers for up to a year, withthe possibility of six months detention with no review of the necessity orlegality of the detention.  The new law prohibits designated refugees fromreuniting with their families for up to five years.  More recently, Mr.Kenney designed an executive Order that deprives refugee claimants fromso-called ‘safe’ countries of access to public health carecoverage, even in life-or-death emergency cases. These harsh, inhumane andunconstitutional policies have been condemned by medical, faith-based, andhuman rights organizations and individuals across the spectrum, including theToronto Board of Rabbis, former Canadian Jewish Congress Director BernieFarber, and Elie Wiesel.  In response to Minister Kenney’srelentless vilification of European Roma asylum seekers as unworthy ofprotection, prominent members of the Jewish community have drawn the historicalconnection between the persecution of European Jews and Roma. 

We remind you thatCanadawas one of several countries that, in 1939, turned away over 900 Jewishrefugees fleeing Nazi Germany.  At the time, a Canadian official was askedhow many Jews Canada should accept. His reply was ‘none is toomany’.  Here is what the present law, drafted by Minister Kenney,would say and do about those Jewish refugees were they to arrive today:

The SS St. Louis was piloted byhuman smugglers intent on abusing Canadian immigration system. The passengersare part of a ‘human smuggling event’ and will be automaticallydetained.  If their refugee claims are rejected, they will be deportedback to Germanywith no chance to appeal the negative decision. If their refugee claims areaccepted, these German Jews may or may not be released from detention before ayear has passed. It will be important to detain them for as long as possible inorder to send a message to other German Jews not to try the same thing, lest Canada beflooded with Jewish refugees. In any case, the Jews aboard the SS St. Louiscannot rescue family members left behind in Germany, because ‘irregulararrivals’ must be punished for using smugglers: Even if they are acceptedas refugees, they are ineligible to sponsor family members for fiveyears.  By that time, it will be 1943. The Nazi’s Final Solutionwill be in full operation.

We do not believethat University of Haifa’s statureas a university is enhanced by conferring an honorary degree on MinisterKenney.

Yours sincerely,

Mitchell J.Goldberg


CanadianAssociation of Refugee Lawyers.


CORRECTION: *This press release was brought to our attention in an email from Alan Yusim of B’nai Brith Canada. When we published it, we mistakenly posted Alan Yusim's sender details on the bottom of the email leading to the false impression that he was a signatory. It is not the case that Alan Yusim had anything to do with this letter in either a professional or a personal capacity. We apologize to Alan Yusim and B'nai Brith Canada for what was a posting error on our part.

Sincerely Rhonda Spivak, editor Winnipeg Jewish Review


September 10th, 2012

B’nai Brith Canada has called on all Canadians to mark the eleventh anniversary tomorrow of the 9/11 attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children. The Jewish human rights organization continues to stress the importance of memorializing the victims of this cowardly terror attack and standing firm against the forces of terrorism that still operate across the globe today.

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

“Tomorrow we will honour and remember those who died at the hands of terrorists on that fateful day. We must continue to condemn such horrific acts of terror wherever they occur, to demonstrate our unwavering opposition to those with an agenda of hate and violence. The Government of Canada continues to take a principled stance on this issue, and it is our hope that other world leaders will follow its example.

“Despite the neutralization of Osama bin Laden, the threat of Islamist extremism remains ever-present. As we mourn the victims and pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11 - the first responders who risked their lives to save others - let us pledge that we will continue to fight those who threaten to destroy all that our Western democratic society stands for.”

For more information please contact Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at

(647) 470-8439 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


Friday, September 7, 2012

Montreal –M.P. Irwin Cotler, International Chair of the Responsibility to Prevent Coalition on the dangers of a nuclear, genocidal, terrorist-supporting, and rights-violating Iran, said today that “The Canadian government’s decision to close the Canadian Embassy in Iran – and expel Iranian diplomats from Canada – is as important for the reasons underlying the decision, as the decision itself.”

“In a word,” continued Cotler, “Iran has emerged as a clear and present danger to international peace and security manifested in the four-fold Iranian threat: Iran is in standing violation of international law prohibiting nuclear weaponization; Iran has already committed the crime of incitement to genocide prohibited under the Genocide Convention; Iran is a leading state-sponsor of international terrorism; and, finally, Iran is engaged in the massive domestic repression of the rights of its own people.”

Cotler, co-Chair of the Interparliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran, said that three other considerations underpinned the Canadian decision – Iran’s complicity in Syria’s atrocities; Iran’s complicity in assaults upon diplomats from Central Asia to Central America; and the intimidation of Canadian-Iranians in Canada.”

At the same time, Cotler said that “The decision highlights – and indeed calls for – a set of initiatives to combat these Iranian threats, including:

 ·    Listing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist entity under Canadian law;

·     Undertaking mandated legal remedies under international law to hold the Iranian leadership to account for its state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, which has intensified dramatically of late;

·     Enhanced sanctions for Iran’s defiance of international law in its nuclear weaponization program;

·     Sanctioning major human rights violators in the Iranian political and juridical leadership for their criminal violations of the human rights of the Iranian people.”

Cotler concluded: “The very exemplary case made by the Canadian government for closing the Canadian Embassy in Iran, is the same case warranting these targeted remedies.”

B’nai Brith Canada Welcomes Government Announcement on Diplomatic Relations with the Iranian Regime

September 7, 2012

B’nai Brith Canada welcomes the announcement earlier today by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to cut all diplomatic ties with the regime in Iran, by closing the Canadian Embassy in Tehran and evicting Iranian diplomats in this country. This follows on the heels of the Jewish human rights organization’s call for Senator Don Meredith to sever ties with the Iranian Embassy after he attended one of their events.

Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada commented:

“Today’s announcement by the Federal Government to cut diplomatic relations with Iran is welcomed by all Canadians of good conscience, who are concerned with the extremist Islamist regime’s ongoing human rights atrocities, its genocidal intent towards the Jewish people, its support for international terrorism and its aggressive nuclear ambitions which threaten not just Israel but the entire Western world.

“We welcome Canada’s move given our call yesterday to alert the public to the stratagems Iran’s diplomats have been using to infiltrate Canadian institutions, intimidate Iranian expatriates and pro-democracy forces, and recruit followers to an agenda of hate, repression and violence.”

For more information please contact Sam Eskenasi, Communications Officer at

(647) 470-8439 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


30 Aug 2012

LET MIGRON STAY !!!!  Has Gone Viral  - 
250,140 hits since August 28

 Please forward to your email lists world wide
Thanks for helping Israel. 

Seeking the heirs of Esther Shechter, a Winnipeg Yiddish writer whose memoir "Di geshikhte fun mayn lebn"

 30 Aug 2012

 I am seeking the heirs of Esther Shechter, a Winnipeg Yiddish writer whose memoir "Di geshikhte fun mayn lebn" (The story of my life) was published in 1951. Any family members are invited to email me at [email protected] or phone (604) 251-9190.

Thank you,

Faith Jones


30 Aug 2012 
Canadian best-selling author Cordell Cross (The Himmler Stratagem) questions why United States Senator Joe Lieberman, Jewish leaders, rabbis, and world politicians did not speak up when certain details of WW2 and the Holocaust were recently locked away for "another" 100 to 150 years.
"Those with the keys to the vault must know something big ... really big. But who has those keys?" Cordell Cross asked from his home in British Columbia, Canada. "The Second World War ended sixty-seven years ago, yet certain information remains so extremely sensitive it will not be released for at least another 100 years. What could it be? Did Adolf Hitler leave Berlin at least six months before the war ended? Did Rudolf Hess reveal the total plans for the holocaust to Winston Churchill? Was Heinrich Himmler, a known pederast, allowed to leave Germany with his maniacal leader? All Jewish leaders must demand that the information be released. Each of us must do the same, along with every newspaper and television network. After all, what could be so guarded after all these years? Where are the Jews; bizarrely, their lack of voice is assisting the sales of my novel, but I also want answers." 

In his best-selling novel The Himmler Stratagem, Cross says Adolf Hitler did not die in his bunker, nor did Heinrich Himmler bite on a cyanide capsule. "These two tyrants would never commit suicide. Himmler used to scream when he cut himself shaving. I believe massive amounts of mone bought off world politicians. Amounts unheard of in those days. Jewish money, and yet we haven't even heard a word from Israel about the information just put on hold for another 100-150 years. It's absurd, disgraceful. Who makes these decisions?"

For information email or call: Robert Vanbrugh (604) 953-1365

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Urges UN Secretary-General to Withdraw From Summit in Iran

August 24, 2012

Toronto, ON - The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) joined with numerous others, including the World Jewish Congress, in expressing its profound disappointment that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran next week and urges him to withdraw. CIJA is especially gratified to note that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird conveyed a similar message to the UN Secretary-General in a formal letter earlier this week.

 “The Secretary-General should be distancing himself and the UN from this travesty. In addition to its illegal nuclear program, the Iranian regime continues to rank amongst the world’s worst human rights abusers. In Iran, Christians are regularly imprisoned, women are executed by stoning for ‘adultery’ and gay citizens are publicly hanged. Iran is also one of the leading state sponsors of international terrorism and is directly involved in the ongoing violence and oppression in Syria,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

 “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who openly denies the Holocaust, has called for the destruction of Israel – a UN member state – no less than three times in the past month alone. To protect the integrity of the United Nations, the Secretary-General should refuse to attend this summit and instead, reaffirm the international community’s call for an end to Iran’s ongoing human rights abuses and the regime’s dangerous drive towards nuclear weapons capability,” said Fogel.



August 20, 2012

Selkirk, MB - James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, issued strong words condemning the Al-Quds Day rally held this past weekend at the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park. Al-Quds day, which refers to Jerusalem, is an anti-Israel event that was started in 1979 by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The core message of Al-Quds day is to call for the takeover of Jerusalem, and in turn, Israel, and to replace it with an Islamist Palestinian state. It has been documented that “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” are often chanted at Al-Quds day rallies, especially in Iran.

“Freedom of expression is a core Canadian value that we all hold dear, however, I can’t think of anything more un-Canadian than an anti-Semitic hate rally that calls for the destruction of a democratic state,” said MP Bezan. “Those who chose to attend and support the Al-Quds rally are doing the bidding of the Iranian regime.  The Iranian government suppresses the rights of innocent Iranians, supports international terrorism and illegally pursues nuclear weapons. The fact that this rally was held outside the Ontario legislature is a slap in the face to the values and beliefs our country was built upon.”

At the rally this past weekend, as well at last year‘s Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, speakers labeled Israelis as “barbarians” and “inhuman,” and Israel was described as a “cancer” that must be killed. Supporters of Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization as defined under Canadian law and banned in Canada, were present.

“The Department of Public Safety has indicated it is aware that the Iranian regime is using its embassy in Ottawa to exert influence over Iranian-Canadians,” said MP Bezan. “The fact that a Al-Quds Day rally originating from Iran is taking place in Canada is evidence that the Iranian Embassy is meddling in the affairs of Canada, and is of grave concern.”

Rabbi Ari Ellis

 Sun, 19 Aug 2012

I just read Ari's tribute to his Zayde Irving Belfer apparently born around  1905. . I am curious to be in touch with Ari because my own Zayde (we call it Zeideh 
down under in Australia) was Elias (Eliyahu Shalom) Belfer the oldest of a  family whose youngest brother was born around 1912   T he fanmily lived  somewhere near the Odessa area.
Possibly we can find a common connection. 

Michi (Michael) son of Asher yehudah Son of Eliyahu Shalom son of Yaakov Yosef  Belfer
I would appreciate this email being passed on to Ari

Re: The biggest story from Israel you may not know about-the Eilat Railway to bypass Suez Canal

sent July 24,  posted August 17, 2012

Nice story Rhonda --- May we reprint it with credit to you and the Winnipeg  Jewish Review?

Thanks, Don Harrison, editor
San Diego Jewish World

Editor's Response: yes absolutely
Don Harrison: Thanks--- here's the link:

Subject: Re: WJR Special Report :Dr_Ruth:_With_My_Accent_I_never_thought_I'd_be_talking_about_Sex_all_My_life_

July 30, 2012

Good one.
Rhonda Prepes

Re: Dr. Ruth: With My Accent I never Thought I'd be Talking about Sex all my life

July 30,2012

Delightful article.  She is a real character.
Harriet Berkal

Re: Are you old enough to remember woodstock? Jerusalem Woodstock Revival 1V

10 August 2012

I missed the festival, but it's one of my favorite films...

David Suissa,

AIPAC Applauds House Passage of Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act

August 1, 2012 

AIPAC applauds the House passage (421-6) of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act. This bill represents the strongest set of sanctions the United States has ever imposed on any country during peacetime.

 Each passing day affords the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism the ability to advance its illicit nuclear program. America must lead the effort to exert the maximum economic pressure to get Iran to change course.

The implementation of this bill would subject virtually all of Iran’s energy, financial, and transportation sectors to U.S. sanctions. Furthermore, it would prohibit the repatriation to Iran of any revenue it receives from the sale of its oil—which accounts for 80 percent of Tehran's hard currency earnings and 50 percent of the funding for its national budget. Click here to read more about the bill.

AIPAC applauds bill authors Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA).

AIPAC calls on the Senate to expeditiously pass this bill and send it to President Obama for his signature.


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.


SAVE THE DATE: 19 Sept 2012 Raoul Wallenberg centenary event sponsored by UN Department of Public Information and the Permanent Missions of Hungary and Sweden to the United Nations

28 July 2012

In marking the centenary of the birthof Raoul Wallenberg, 1912-2012
Award-winning authors Kati Marton of the United States and Bengt Jangfeldt of Sweden will discuss the heroic efforts of the Swedish diplomat to rescue Jews in Hungary and his mysterious disappearance after World War II.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
36 Battery Place (Downtown Manhattan)

Sponsored by United Nations Departmentof Public Information’s Holocaust Programme
and The Permanent Missions of Hungaryand Sweden to the United Nations

Statement on the Opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics

July 27, 2012

Toronto, ON – In honour of the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics today in London, David Koschitzky, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, made the following statement:

“With much excitement, we join with our fellow Canadians from coast to coast to coast in offering our best wishes for success to Canada’s Olympic Team.

“At Vancouver in 2010, Canadians demonstrated that our athletes are second to none – as reflected in the fact that Canada took home more gold medals than any other country. Over the next two weeks, we will be cheering on the Canadian team with immense pride.”


As the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization that creates and implements strategies for the purpose of improving the quality of Jewish life in Canada and abroad, increasing support for Israel, and strengthening the Canada-Israel relationship.


Terrorist attack against Israelis timed to coincide with AMIA bombing, says Jewish community
18 July 2012
 Continued vigilance necessary in all Jewish communities
TORONTO, 18 July 2012 – Canada’s Jewish community has condemned today’s terror attack in Bulgaria targeting Israeli tourists that has already caused several deaths and many more injuries.      B’nai Brith Canada has also noted the grim irony that today’s attack falls on the 18th anniversary of the Iranian regime-led terrorist bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded 300 more. Early reports are now linking Iran and Hezbollah to today’s attack as well.
Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, issued the following statement:
 “Today’s terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria acts as yet one more reminder of the deadly intentions of international terror groups, such as Hezbollah and their state sponsors, which target the Jewish State and Jewish communities worldwide as part of their deadly agenda. Today, 18 years after the Iranian regime-led terror attack against the Jewish community of Buenos Aires, and with the memories of the Toulouse massacre still fresh in our minds, we have witnessed yet another vicious attack. But it is not just Jews and Israel that are the targets of such groups. The world continues to be threatened by the same forces that seek the destruction of the Western world.
“In Canada, we must remain vigilant as Islamist terrorism knows no boundaries.  Report any suspicious activity to police services and to B’nai Brith Canada’s 24/7 Anti-Hate Hotline at 1-800-892-BNAI (2624).”

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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.