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Thanks for your piece on Steve’s [Congressman Steve Rothman's] presentation at AIPAC.

Aaron Keyak
Communications Director
Rep. Steve Rothman (NJ-9)

June 12th, 2011
Ms. Rhonda Spivak
Editor and Publisher
The Winnipeg Jewish Review 
Dear Rhonda,
A note of thanks. Your coverage of the role of the Peres Center and the Peres letter at the J Street conference in Washington played a crucial part in the piece that our agency has just published  in Hebrew as a feature  in the Makor Rishon newspaper and on the News1 web news magazine, both of which are published in Tel Aviv. The link to our piece can be found here :
With greatest appreciation, 
David Bedein
Israel Resource News Agency
Center for Near East Policy Research
Beit Agron International Press Center,Jerusalem

Re: One sentence about the forgotten trauma of Jerusalem day

June 1, 2011

To the Editor,
As we prepare news stories today about Jerusalem Day, no background news story would be complete without adding one sentence, which is that Jews were forbidden entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, between 1949 and 1967, during which time all 57 synagogues in and around the old city of Jerusalem were destroyed.
Without mentioning that context, it is hard to understand the celebration of Jerusalem Day.
A new generation in Israel has forgotten this trauma and a new generation of reporters in Israel, including Israeli reporters, neglect to report this.
The new Palestinian Authority Ministry of Tourism map, which we have in our office, published in 2010. shows the Old City of Jerusalem, without any Jewish Quarter.

David Bedein
Israel Resource News Agency
Center for Near East Policy Research
Beit Agron International Press Center

Your  report of the AIPAC  Conference reveals that AIPAC remains and operates  under the delusion that Abbas/Fayaad of the Fatah/PA and the Palestinians they lead in J & S are moderate Muslims  whereas Hamas  and the Gazan Palestinians are extreme radicals.
Even Israel mouths those delusional sentiments, though I often wonder whether they do so only so as to  not offend America and Western sentiments and desires that desperately wants to differentiate Abbas/Fatah/P/A from Hamas in order to perpetuate the myth that Abbas/Fatah/PA are potential partners for peace because they can be bought with more Israeli territorial and other concessions.
Though Netanyahu lends credence to this notion of Abbas’ moderation by challenging him to tear up his unity deal with Hamas and speak peace with him, I suspect Netanyahu and indeed most Israelis see Abbas/Fatah/PA for what they really are.
Had to laugh at someone suggesting that if aid is cut off, it will make Hamas angrier than it is.  Pathetic!
Activating peace discussions has become an end in itself and so the dance macabre continues.  
Bill Narvey

Subject: Your Invitation to the Goldberg IIE Prize Ceremony - June 21, 2011-Won By Vivian Slilver and Amal Elsana Alh'jooj



The Consul General of the
Embassy of the United States of America
Mr. Andrew Parker
requests the pleasure of your company at an award ceremony and reception
in honor of
Ms. Amal Elsana Alh’jooj and Ms. Vivian Silver
the recipients of the annual
Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 5:15 p.m.
at the Peace Tent (Al Sa'adah) in Rahat
Tel: 1 (212) 984-5446 or
East at Lahavim Junction on Highway 40, right at first traffic circle to Rahat industrial zone on right.


Editor's response: I willl not be in Israel on June 21, 2011 otherwise I would have attended this event. So that our readers understand, Vivian Silver is a former Winnipegger (the sister of Rachel Gamliel--a teacher at Gray Academy) who now lives in Ber-Sheva and has been very invovled in peace work. She is receiving this distinguished award for her work with a Beduin colleague. We hope to be writing about this in due course. In the meantime, on behalf of the Winnipeg Jeiwsh Review, congratualtions to both Vivian and Amal.

Subject: Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition

June 9, 2011

Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition
Presented by Miles Nadal JCC Toronto in partnership with the Calgary JCC
Submission deadline: Thursday June 30
Prize: Between Stages Play Reading at the MNJCC Toronto in 2012
NEW PRIZE: $1000 for the winning playwright.  Generously sponsored by The ShaRna Foundation.
Three previous CJPC winners have been published and professionally produced: Einstein's Gift by Vern Thiessen, Sara's Cave by Don Molnar and Yahrzeit by Alex Poch Goldin. 
Submission Guidelines and other info:
Shula Banchik
Youth & Adults Program Coordinator
Friend me on
Follow me on
Direct line: (403) 537-8596
JCC Front Desk: (403) 253-8600 Fax: (403) 253-7915



To The Editor,


I'm going to write something about your report [re: UNWRA INn GAZA TEACHING WESTERN STYLE EDUCATION ?]. Can you send me a high res jpg of yourself to include?

Robert Sklar
Contributing Editor
Detroit Jewish News

Re: Canadian Funds Group Organizing Boat for 2011-Government Responds to Winnipeg Jewish Review

June 8, 2011
To the Editor,
Well done.
Alan Yusim, Director
Midwest Region
B'nai Brith Canada

B’nai Brith calls Stats Canada report on hate crimes a wake-up call

TORONTO, June 7, 2011: 
B’nai Brith Canada is calling for action following the findings of a Stats Canada study based on police reports that documents a 42% increase in hate crimes overall in 2009 compared to 2008, with a particularly significant spike (71%) in crimes motivated by religion targeting the Jewish community.
“We are very disturbed by the findings of this study,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “Not only did the number of hate crimes rise in general, but the role of religion as a motivating factor has become more pronounced, which is a threat to all religious minorities. This is a direct challenge to the values of our multicultural society.
“The 71% increase in religiously-motivated hate crimes that specifically target the Jewish community should be a cause for alarm. These findings are consistent with our League for Human Right’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which has tracked sustained year-on-year increases in antisemitic activity in Canada over the past decade.
“As the organization on the frontlines of combating antisemitism in Canada , we call on all levels of government, as well as law enforcement agencies, to dedicate further resources to combatting antisemitism and hate crimes of all kinds.
The professionals at B’nai Brith are ready to assist the community and the police in every way possible. Our Anti-Hate Hotline (1-800-892-2624) is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to provide assistance to victims of antisemitism.”




Congratulations! It's so pleasing to read of  Chai's success!


Eli Herscovitch

Re: Chai In Mexico

June 3, 2011
To the Editor,
Shalom from Rome.
Hope you are doing well. I am glad to see Chai's article. It's really good. I like it.
- Maxim Berent

Subject: Palestinian Education

Hi Ms. Spivak,

It was a pleasure meeting you at the AIPAC conference press reception. (I was also the blogger with a friend who knew Jews in Winnipeg.  We all spoke while in the security line the afternoon of Bibi's speech).  I've been researching Palestinian curriculum debates for my summer research assistantship, and I've come across a few of your articles (such as this one)).  They've been really helpful!

Good luck, and see you at the next convention,
Scott  Weiner



Submitted May 25, 2011, posted June 3, 2011

Dear Editor,

In January 2010, as the process of packing up my life and moving to Israel began, I started keeping notes about my journey, with the hopes of rolling it all into a blog one day. One day arrived and my blog has been active for over six months.

I lived most of my married life in Los Angeles, had a career in environmental consulting, and earned an MBA at USC while I was also busy having and raising children. I was happy rolling along on the conveyor belt of life. All that changed in August 2010, when we picked up and moved to Israel. The impetus for the move was my husband, Koby Tanzer, a Winnipeger who made aliya in 1991 after graduating from JWC.

Please consider my blog.

Marianne Tanzer

Editor's response: I am glad you found the Winnipeg Jewish Review. I have checked out your blog and I will be running a piece of yours next week. So that my readers know, your husband Kobi Tanzer is the son Shira Waldman, z"l.


To the Editor,

posted June3, 2011

Your article refers to Mazin Qumsiyeh.

Mazin Qumsiyeh and Samir Qumsiyeh are Palestinian Christian cousins from Beit Sahour in the Palestinian territories. Mazin is an American academic and the virulent leader of several anti-American and anti-Israeli groups and a self-proclaimed Palestinian nationalist who routinely calls Israelis "Zionazis." In contrast, his cousin, Samir, is trying to save the remnant of the once vibrant Palestinian Christian community from what he has called "Islamic thugs" abusing his people and stealing their lands. The Qumsiyeh cousins are a world apart; one is an extremist who would deliver his own people into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, while the other is a fierce opponent of them.

Yardena, from Israel




June 3, 2011

Rhonda --

A few quick notes before heading into the weekend:

Daniel Gordis’ attack on J Street last week in the Jerusalem Post got a great deal of attention. I’ve responded this week with a Post op-ed entitled “Saving the Tent.” In it, I argue that opponents of ours who devote their energy to developing and applying litmus tests to determine who’s in or out of the pro-Israel tent are losing sight of the larger challenge – securing the future of a Jewish and democratic Israel. Here’s the link – please considering liking the piece on our Facebook page and sharing with your friends.

The media and the Jewish community has been in a frenzy since President Obama’s speech on Israel, wondering what the impact will be on the President’s political fortunes. This is a classic example of what Aaron David Miller, Woodrow Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar, calls a communal “oy vey” moment. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent explodes the myth that the speech has had an impact on donations to the President.

In Jewish communal politics, the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council voted 57-9 last week against an effort to kick J Street’s Boston Local off the Council. Leonard Fein has a wonderful piece in the Forward about this that you might enjoy sharing as well called “Treating J Street with a Little Respect.”

And, speaking of links you may want to share, last Sunday, Tom Friedman had a terrific appearance on Fareed Zakaria’s weekend show on CNN – arguing strongly that the real threat to Israel is the lack of an end to the occupation and that all the applause in Congress means nothing for addressing the real challenges Netanyahu should be facing up to.

I’ve mentioned before that Israel is waking up to the importance of the moment. In further news on that front, tomorrow in Tel Aviv, Israelis associated with various political parties and peace organizations will be gathering in the largest show of support for peace and Palestinian statehood in years. We’ll have an update for you on Sunday – including a great giveaway that you won’t want to miss!

Finally, a heads-up. J Street is launching our “Two-State Summer” campaign this coming week. It’s our effort to demonstrate support for the President’s vision for the Middle East. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be asking you to sign up, get engaged, and take action! Preview our special two-state summer resource page here.

Have a great weekend. Shabbat shalom,

- Jeremy Ben-Ami
President, J Street
June 3, 2011

AIPAC Applauds U.S. Decision on Durban Commemoration

AIPAC commends the Obama Administration for its decision not to participate in the United Nations’ upcoming commemoration of the Durban World Conference Against Racism. The event is scheduled to take place in New York in September.

In a letter yesterday to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been a leading voice against American participation in the conference, the State Department rightly acknowledged that the original 2001 Durban Declaration “unfairly singled out Israel” for condemnation and that “the Durban process included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism.”

Re: Holocaust Obfuscation

Dear Editor,

Antisemitism should be taken seriously. Silly articles like Dovid Katz's on "Holocaust obfuscation "treats antisemitism cavalierly brandishing the accusation with little regard for its gravity. A non-Jew concerned with the suffering of his own people is hardly an anti-Semite. A Jew who knows suffering and tragedy only too well should be more sensitive to the suffering of others. Unfortunately, world history is replete with tragedies, suffering and genocides. Insensitivity only exacerbates the problem.

- Askold S. Lozynskyj
  New York, New York (212) 254-2260


June 2, 2011

Dear President Obama:

I am writing today with a somewhat unusual request. Firstand foremost, I will be asking that you return America to its August 20th, 1959 borders so that Hawaii is no longer a state and you are no longer a citizen of the USA.

- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Subject: RE: First hand report on AIPAC conference in Washington



Loved the picture of you with my former boss - Abe [Foxman].


Robert Jacobs

Northwest Regional Director,Stand With Us



From a visiting Israeli Camp Massad counselor and boyfriend of Winnipegger Cheryl Hechter in 1987 to percussionist for the Israeli band Sela Adom playing at the Centennial Concert Hall at the Negev Gala in 2011. Absolutely outstanding performance by Doron and the band in English and Hebrew!

Good to see his wife, Cheryl Hechter and her parents Gail and Ted Hechter in the audience. Children Mor (18) and Eden (14) stayed in Hod Hasharon.

Doron’s rhythm and theatre group Tararam performed in Winnipeg and Calgary at the NEGEV Galas in 2009.

Hoping to hear Sela Adom, Tararam or the Doron Raphaeli Trio in Winnipeg again soon. Fabulous entertainment!

- Rhonda Prepes

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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.