Two Winnipeg writers along with one writer who was born in Winnipeg and who now lives in Vancouver have been nominated for Western Canada Jewish Book Awards.
By BEN SALES NEW YORK (JTA) — In the weeks after it became clear that the coronavirus pandemic would spark a lasting economic crisis, the Jewish world’s leading funder group put together a memo with some back-of-the-envelope projections for how much Jewish nonprofits stood to lose.
By RABBI LYLE FISHMAN (JNS) Countless times I have officiated at funeral and burial services since August 1984, when I came to Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Md.
‘Blazing Saddles’ still stands as one of the great comedies — and the Mel Brooks film teaches lessons, too
By MARC BRODSKY (JTA) — Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not.
By BERNIE BELLAN
What’s it like growing up the child of a mobster – and a Jewish mobster to boot?
The idea of stringing together various stories about children of Jewish mobsters came to me as I started to read a terrific new book that was sent to our office, totally unexpectedly.
By ADAM SCHWARTZ
What do all great women have in common? They just won’t take no for an answer. When someone puts an obstacle in their path they just power right through it. Neither will Sarah London.
Netanyahu and Gantz sign agreement for ‘national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as prime minister for now
April 20, 2020 JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz signed a deal Monday to form a “national emergency government” that keeps Netanyahu as the prime minister for now. Israel has spent more than a year under a caretaker government as neither Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, nor Gantz of the center-left Blue and White could assemble a coalition government. With the agreement, the country avoids a fourth national election in less than a year and a half.
By MYRON LOVE
As per usual, the 2020 Winnipeg Music Festival – even though suspended after just one week (as compared to the normal four weeks due to the Coronavirus – did produce some winning performances by several younger members of our Jewish community.
Jewish Child and Family Service stepping up to meet the needs of the neediest members of our community in this extraordinarily difficult time
By BERNIE BELLAN
With the Corona virus enveloping the entire world, and with seniors being among the most vulnerable members of our community, the agency whose mandate it is to provide social services to seniors in our community has been thrust into the role as the primary source of contact for many seniors - and others who rely upon social support.
Rather than being able to provide in person counseling and other services to its clientele, however, the Jewish Child and Family Service is front and centre among Jewish organizations in this city that have had to improvise how it provides its normal services.
By BEN HARRIS April 3, 2020 (JTA) — As the coronavirus pandemic forces Jews around the world to contemplate a Passover holiday in which large family gatherings will be all but impossible, an unusual question posed to a group of Israeli rabbis led to an extraordinary answer.
The question was whether it might be permissible for families to use internet-enabled videoconferencing to celebrate the Passover seder together even as they are sequestered in separate homes. Orthodox Jewish practice normally prohibits the use of electronics on the Sabbath and Jewish festivals, but might the unprecedented restrictions suddenly thrust upon billions of people permit an exception?
Are we going to be divided into two groups in society based on whose jobs are protected and whose not?
By BERNIE BELLAN
As if the fear that any of us might contract COVID-19 isn't bad enough, we're rapidly devolving into a society that has two groups of workers: Those who have either been laid off entirely or taken cuts in pay or hours; and those whose jobs are fully protected, either by collective agreements or organizations that do not want to cut staffs. Recently, however, the Rady JCC was forced to lay off an astounding 160 employees - not including contract workers such as aerobics or yoga instructors. Is it fair that some workers in society in general, and within certain Jewish organizations specifically, are being spared any financial hardship while others are being so severely impacted?
By BERNIE BELLAN
This story is one that I had been dreading to see. The Canadian Jewish News has been a hallmark of superior journalism for years. It was the model for all other Jewish newspapers in Canada.
April 3, 2020
MONTREAL (JTA) — Canada’s flagship national Jewish newspaper, the Canadian Jewish News, became a coronavirus casualty after it announced that its April 9 issue would be its last after 60 years in business.
By BERNIE BELLAN
Elsewhere on this website we have an article about a new movie, titled “JAMES VS. HIS FUTURE SELF”, which was slated to receive its Winnipeg premiere April 3.
As events have overtaken the original plan, filmmaker Jonas Chernick, who wrote, produced, and starred in the movie explained that the Canadian distributors of the film have changed how the movie will now roll out.
Instead of being shown in theatres, the movie will now go straight to video on April 3, including digital release on iTunes and Video on Demand through such providers as Shaw, Bell MTS, and Rogers.
You don’t need Zoom or Skype to say Kaddish without a minyan. Here’s a healthier option for the community.
March 25, 2020 WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) — Like so many others, I am feeling the spiritual loss and pain of our current inability to learn Torah and pray together in person. Many mourners are devoted to the customary recitation of Kaddish for a deceased close relative and struggling with how to do so in the absence of a minyan.
Some rabbis are encouraging internet-based solutions to hold us over until this crisis abates. I’m concerned that those solutions come with a significant cost.
By Rabbi YOSEF BENARROCH, Adas-Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation
These have been trying times. The coronavirus has changed our lives in a way we never imagined. But there is an upside to all of this. As our society gradually turns inward and shuts down, religion is turning outwards and revving up. That may sound strange but think of the following. Online prayers services and classes are booming on Zoom and other programs. People around the world are logging on in unprecedented numbers to pray and to study Torah together. Case in point, our synagogue as is the case with all others in Winnipeg, is closed. That is our building is closed, but our activities are far from closed. We are broadcasting Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv every day. All our weekly classes are available on Zoom. This past Motzai Shabbat we had a communal Havdalah service and over forty people participated. The coronavirus may be shutting down our society but it cannot shut down our spirits. With that said I would like to share a Dvar Torah with all of you a coronavirus silver lining so to speak.