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The editor would be pleased to receive your emails at [email protected]
Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

Thank you for sharing this sharp and funny piece with me.

- Arlene Kushner


Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

A terrific story.

- Sandra Antoniani

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

Very funny article. I like it.

Would you like to write about the first ever aliyah ticket in the modiin municipal election being run by an ex-wpg shaliach?

- Jonny Cline, Modiin Israel

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

Dear Rhonda,  

I enjoyed reading this little story  of real people .....trapped pawns by their leaders. 

- Hillel Taylor

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

If the Arabic-speaking Christians of the Holy Land are descended from Jews, how come the run-of-the-mill Ashkenazic Jewish genome is closer to that of the Samaritans than to the genome of the Arabic-speaking Christians of the Holy Land? Whether Ashkenazim or Sephardim, the run-of-the mill Jewish genome is also closer to that of the Samaritans than is the genome of the Muslim Arabs of the Holy Land. The Samaritan genome is the obvious experimental "control," because today the few hundred surviving Samaritans are the only fanatically endogamous population, whose ancestors never left the Holy Land. Whether Muslim or Christian, the modern Palestinians have no genetic or historical evidence to substantiate claims that they are actually the descendants of ancient Jews or any other of the distinct Peoples that inhabited the Holy Land in biblical times.


- Alan Hertz

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

I really enjoyed reading this article. It sounds like quite an adventure. Kol- hakavod.

- Michelle Cohen, Israel

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethlehem Gift Shop

Sounds like quite an experience.

- Gilead Paritsky, Israel

Re Editor's Report: Trapped in a Bethelehem Gift Shop


- Oren Basson

Re Editor's Report : Trapped in a Bethelehem Gift shop


- Eliyahu Richter, Jerusalem

Re Nuremberg and a Hilter Figurine

Dear Rhonda;
I was deeply saddened but not shocked by your article about the Hitler figurine. The generation of perpetrators, bystanders, victims and liberators is inexorably leaving the stage of history. Those who seek to recast history to fit their bigoted world view have already been hard at work, from Germany and Austria to Iran and yes, even the US.
I do hope you will contact the German Ambassador to ask if authorities will incestigate if anti-Nazi laws are violated by such products.
As for the magen david in the Church? Tragically, European Jewish history is replete with such tales of Churban, including and especially Spain and the former Soviet Bloc where the outer shells of historic synaogues of buildings used as warehouses, churches, evn barns dotted the landscape. It is a painful but necessary reminder of what or ancestors went through and why a Jewish homeland is the only guarantee of a Jewish future.
All the best

Rabbi Abe Cooper

Associate Dean of the Simon Weisenthal Center

Re Ads Slated for Translink Vancouver



Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns ads slated for TransLink, Vancouver 



Toronto, August 26, 2013 - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is deeply disturbed to learn about TransLink's agreement to run historically distorted anti-Israel advertisements on its buses and SkyTrain stations.


The four-part advertisement falsely depicts a map of "Palestine" overtaken by the modern state of Israel.  In truth, an official state of Palestine had never existed, while Jewish contiguous presence on the land is a record of fact.


"While Israel and the Palestinian Authority are currently engaged in peace negotiations to resolve their differences and reach a two-state solution, TransLink will be running ads that are provocative and incite hatred and contempt," said Avi Benlolo, FSWC President & CEO.


The sponsoring groups for the ad openly seek the destruction of the State of Israel by calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the nation. 


"By running this ad, TransLink is aiding and abetting groups that are malicious and questionable, while countering its own mission statement of inclusivity," Benlolo said.


Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is a non-profit human rights organization committed to countering racism and anti-semitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and education.


- 30 -


Please send a statement of dissatisfaction to:


Ian Jarvis, Chief Executive Officer [email protected]

Doug Kelsey, Chief Operating Officer [email protected]

Nancy Olewiler, Chair of the Board [email protected]

TransLink Board of Directors [email protected]



Media Contact


Liana Shlien

Education Associate

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 33 (office)

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Re Doug Lamont Becomes official Contestant for Manitoba Liberal Leader



Dougald Lamont becomes official Contestant for Manitoba Liberal Leader
WINNIPEG - Dougald Lamont has become an official contestant for the Leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party. 
Lamont said that his main focus of his campaign would be on creating better paying jobs for Manitobans. 
“When I drive around Manitoba, I see so much potential. We have energy, we have water, we have land, we have people and we have room to grow,” said Lamont. “I want to run a government that is open, and puts more money into Manitobans pockets - so they can reach their full potential and build a future right here.”
He created the “Incredibly Cool” campaign for Winnipeg, including viral videos for Winnipeg, including “Does Winnipeg Really Exist?” and “Maybe Winnipeg Exists” that assemble film and TV references to Winnipeg that have over 250,000 views. 
Lamont has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Manitoba, where he also sat on the Board of Governors and taught an undergraduate course in English Literature. Lamont, 44, is married with four children and runs his own business, Jetpack Media. He is a long-time Liberal. 


re: Limmud Festival : Art therapy with Tzafi Weinberg, Family Legacy Videos with Shirland Productions


Your article Limmud Festival : Art therapy with Tzafi Weinberg, Family Legacy Videos with Shirland Productions mentions Shirith Pais, and Yolanda Papini-Pollack's video of Irma's Dream.

I was just on your website and noticed to my shock and dismay that Irma Penn's funeral was on August 2, 2013.  Irma was my Dad's (Syd Gurvey) cousin's (Marvin Penn) wife.

I don't find any obituary or anything, other than the funeral announcement - I don't live in Winnipeg, so I'm not circulating in the community.

I'm wondering if makers of the video would be willing to share it in some way with me.

Would you be able to put them in contact with me?

- Ariel


Re: Michael Posner

Dear Editor,

I'm writing to you from London in case you might be able to help. I'm researching a relative of mine,Michael Posner, who I believe emigrated from England to Canada via Australia & I came across a photograph of a Michael Posner from your newspaper. I'm unable to access any information about him & wonder if you might be able to provide any information or article about him. I would be most grateful if you can shed light as I'm keen to contact my uncle. I hope to hear from you.

Kind regards,
- Lorraine Molins

An Apology: Dave Gaudreau, MLA for St. Norbert

Yesterday in the Legislature I made a comment that was offensive, which I regret.

It was a poor choice of words on my part, especially given that they were directed at a colleague of mine for whom I have the greatest respect. I have
since apologized to that member and conveyed this regret in person.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my constituents, to my colleagues on both sides of the House, and to the Premier.

Unfortunately, homophobia is far too common and accepted in today's society. Sometimes we even stop noticing it, until it comes out of our own mouths.  I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to fighting homophobia and bullying.  All my working life, I have fought hard for a society in which everyone is treated equally and with respect. Yesterday I fell short of this standard, and I know I need to take responsibility for my actions.

Once again, I offer my apologies to all Manitobans.


re: Interesting article about Israel urging Canada not to cut its subsidy of the P.A.


Interesting article about Israel urging Canada not to cut its subsidy of the P.A..  The controversial part is, "But former Canadian ambassador Mike Molloy said the notes and the Conservative government’s subsequent decision to continue providing support to the Palestinians demonstrates what happens when its pro-Israel rhetoric runs up against Israel’s actual desires.  I think this is another example of the government acting or contemplating action in support of Israel without taking the trouble to determine where Israel’s real interests lie.”

Mr. Malloy's comment assumes that Israel's policies foster Israel's national interests.  Such an assumption is not warranted.  Many politicians, American, Russian, Israeli, put ideological, political, or personal interests above national interests.  For example, U.S. policy has favored the Arabs over Israel, though Israel is an ally against international jihad.

The P.A. is a mortal enemy of Israel.  The Israeli national interest is to bring that enemy down and to advance a Zionist grip on the Territories.
Western countries should not give foreign aid to the P.A. or to Egypt's huge military, if they should give any foreign aid at all.

PM Netanyahu's policy of shoring up the P.A. is a never ending drain of resources and a foreclosing of the Zionist claim to Judea-Samaria.  The P.A.
itself is not stable.  And if Israel followed its national interest, it would not have allowed Hamas to survive and pose the menace Netanyahu fears.  Nor
would it have allowed Hezbollah to build up an existential danger to Israel.

- Richard H. Shulman


CIJA Statement Re death of Laszlo Csatary

For Immediate Release
August 12, 2013


                                                                                                        Statement on the Death of Laszlo Csatary

Ottawa, ON – Today, it was reported that Laszlo Csatary has died in Hungary. Csatary was convicted in absentia by a Czech court in 1948 for his involvement in Nazi war crimes. This past June, he was further indicted in Hungary for assisting in the deportation of thousands of Jews in World War Two – including many he had personally abused. 

Csatary lived in Canada from 1949 to 1997, when he fled the country in anticipation of deportation orders. Although stripped of his citizenship by the Federal Cabinet, Csatary is in many ways emblematic of the failure of Canadian authorities to prevent our country from being a safe haven for war criminals in the post-war years.

In response to today’s reports, Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, issued the following statement:

“Justice delayed is ultimately justice denied – and it’s deeply saddening that Csatary's thousands of victims were denied any measure of justice. It calls for Canada’s redoubled efforts to extradite those Nazi-era war criminals who continue to evade justice to this day, such as Helmut Oberlander, as well as those from other conflicts who have likewise abused Canada's hospitality.”


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, or to arrange an interview with Shimon Fogel or a Canadian Holocaust survivor, please contact:

Martin Sampson
Director of Communications and Marketing
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
[email protected]


Dear Rhonda Spivak

My friend Barb Taverna has been good enough to give me your name and email address.
I read your piece on the Venetian glass chess p[ieces showing Jewish versus goyish sides and wonder if you have any further information on the provenance of these figures, their maker and his family background, as well as the tradition of such historically symbolic board games in Judaism.
By the way, my wife and I lived in Winnipeg in the 1960s when I was teaching at the University of Manitoba in Ft Garry.
Norman Simms
Editor's reply: There is a  youtube about the maker of the chess set Gianni Toso but I muss confess that atfter watching it I didn't come away with much of a better understanding. You can access it at


August 1, 2013






WINNIPEG, Manitoba        Robert Young, the vice-president of the Manitoba Liberal Party, today announced his official endorsement of Rana Bokhari for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party.  This endorsement marks the first executive member of the Manitoba Liberal Party to throw their support behind a candidate.


In announcing his support of Bokhari, Young highlighted her leadership qualities as one of the key reasons he decided to support her campaign. "I have met a lot of people who think they can lead, but Rana is the only leader I have met who brings the passion, credibility and energy this party needs," Young said.  


Young, who had considered entering the contest himself, added, "Rana is stepping up for Manitobans. It is an honour to walk through this process with someone like her.”


Bokhari, a Winnipeg lawyer who recently officially entered the Manitoba Liberal Party leadership contest, has acknowledged the depth of experience that Young will bring to her team.  She says she looks forward to having Young's support as she continues to travel across Manitoba, reaching out to people and communities who feel left out by the province’s political process.


"Robert has contributed to the Manitoba Liberal Party in so many ways over the years.  Today I am very proud to have him join our team," said Bokhari.   "Mr. Young is a passionate Liberal and I look forward to working with him as we build a strong Manitoba Liberal Party to offer Manitobans  a real alternative to the status quo,” says Bokhari.



 The Manitoba Liberal Party will hold its leadership convention on October 26, 2013. 


For Immediate Release

August 1, 2013

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Applauds Queen’s Park for Refusing Permit for Al-Quds Day


Ottawa, ON – Today, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) received a letter from the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Ontario Legislature confirming that the annual Al-Quds Day protest has been refused a permit to hold its event at Queen’s Park – originally scheduled for this Saturday – for reasons of “public safety”.


In 2011, CIJA videotaped the Al-Quds Day protest held on the Legislature’s grounds. Speakers accused Israelis of being “racist”, “inhuman”, and “barbarians” who “suck the resources and blood from people all around the world” – statements reminiscent of historic antisemitism. One speaker went so far as to refer to Israel as a cancer that must be killed. Footage also showed protestors displaying the image of the Ayatollah Khomeini (who created Al-Quds Day in 1979) as well as the flag of Hezbollah, a banned terrorist organization.

CIJA provided this video evidence directly to the Sergeant-at-Arms, who manages security and event permits at Queen’s Park. For the past two years, CIJA has been in regular contact with the Sergeant-at-Arms, making the case for appropriate action to ensure that the Legislature’s grounds are not abused as a venue to showcase such vile rhetoric.


Upon receipt of today’s letter, Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, issued the following statement:


“We applaud the Sergeant-at-Arms for refusing to grant a permit to the organizers of Al-Quds Day. We know that this decision was not taken lightly, but reflected serious deliberation and analysis of the video evidence CIJA captured in 2011. Just as we must preserve freedom of speech, we must ensure that Ontario’s Legislature – a symbol of our freedoms – is never exploited as a platform for an event that glorifies terrorism and promotes antisemitism.

“Given their reckless record, the organizers of Al-Quds Day may very well reject the Sergeant-at-Arms’ ruling and proceed without authorization. In light of this possibility, we ask that the Legislature take appropriate measures this weekend to uphold its decision.”



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

To view video footage of the 2011 Al-Quds Day protest at Queen’s Park, click here.

For more information, please contact:


Steve McDonald
Associate Director, Communications

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

[email protected]


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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.