By BERNIE BELLAN Two years ago we ran a press release from Bridges for Peace, in which the organization announced that an interview that I had been planning on doing with BFP International President and CEO Rebecca Brimmer when she was slated to arrive in Winnipeg that April had to be postponed because of – you guessed it: the onset of Covid.
Blog # 39 How’s that for…
Opps. One of the ‘kosher’ Burger King outlets in Israel served a real cheeseburger. To a religious customer no less. The unwitting diner, sitting under a ‘Burger King Kosher Branch’ neon signa. Thought he was gorging (or should I say pigging out) on junk food within his halachic safe zone.
By BERNIE BELLAN Yonatan Orlov is a past nominee for Jewish Athlete of the Year (2018). We’ve been writing about Yonatan since 2014, which is when I first saw him perform at a talent show sponsored by Jewish Child & Family Service, when Yonatan was 15 years old. I, along with everyone else who was in the audience at the Art Gallery Auditorium that day, was absolutely blown away by what Yonatan was able to do with a baton.
Community rallies to save West Kildonan library, stop deal to hand local libraries over to private developers
We received the following press release on May 13 from a group rallying to keep the West Kildonan Public Library, which has been a familiar community institution for many members of our community for years, from being sold: Community members from around northwest Winnipeg and across the city will gather on Tuesday, May 17, between 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM for a rally to save the West Kildonan library. The community is speaking up to make it clear to City Hall that they have not been consulted on this back-door deal to close our library.
Review By BERNIE BELLAN In January of this year Myron Love wrote about a new film that has been produced by local filmmaker Yolanda Papini-Pollock, titled “Unusual in Every Way”.
As Myron noted in that article, the film tells “the story of the unlikely friendship between Don Barnard, an individual of Indigenous background living with disabilities and post traumatic stress, and Solly Dreman, a former Winnipegger who made aliyah almost 60 years ago and is a retired Ben Gurion University Professor of Psychology.”
By REGINA TEPLITSKY It looked festive: Challah kits and flowers on tables! Forty women who belong to an organization known as Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) Labs gathered on Sunday, March 27th at the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Learning Centre hall to pray for peace.
By BERNIE BELLAN Hadera Short has been dancing since the age of three. Now 29, she tells The Jewish Post & News that she “started doing Israeli dance when I was six. I joined Chai when I was 16.”
Operation Ezra one of seven local organizations that received unexpected gifts totalling $1.5 million US
By BERNIE BELLAN I was recently contacted by Michel Aziza, who has spearheaded the drive to help Yazidi refugees known as “Operation Ezra”. Michel told me about a totally unexpected donation of $150,000 to Operation Ezra that was received from something called the Dorothy Strelsin foundation.
By MYRON LOVE After a year’s delay due to the ongoing Covid situation, the 21st Maccabiah Games are back on track. The Maccabiah, aka “The Jewish Olympics”, is the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition.
Introduction: We received a note from Lainie Rosner, in which she asked whether we would be interested in providing some coverage for a project upon which she and her husband, Ian Horner, have embarked.
Lainie wrote that she and Ian are producing pins in the colours of the Ukrainian flag. Proceeds from the sales of the pins are going to the Canada Ukraine Foundation.
By MYRON LOVE For a Canadian kid born in Regina and raised in Winnipeg life couldn’t be better for Rich Nairn.
As the long-time executive vice president in charge of communications and broadcasting for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, Nairn, the son of well-known former local broadcaster and personality Ernie Nairn, is living the dream - and then some.
By GERRY POSNER For anyone who has spent any period of time in Winnipeg, he or she would be hard pressed not to be aware of the Kaufman family. And, for those even a bit older, like me, the names Harry and Sylvia Silverberg would also be well recognized.
Jewish Foundation to be honoured during concert for the tremendous support it’s given to Jewish organizations during the pandemic
By BERNIE BELLAN The Chai Folk Ensemble is now in its 58th year of existence. After a more than two year absence from performing live in front of an audience, Chai is set to make its long awaited return to the stage when it will be performing a gala concert at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre on June 16.
By MYRON LOVE Yohnatan Elizarov may well be on the threshold of a dream career. Fresh from winning his first Canadian national pairs figure skating competition – with partner Ava Kemp – in Calgary – in the novice division, the Israeli-born, Winnipeg-raised 18-year-old figure skater says that he would love to have the opportunity to skate with The Ice Capades or Disney On Ice – or emulate Garrett Gosselin, one of the choreographers he has worked with, and appear in a skating show on cruise ships.
By MYRON LOVE Regular readers of The Jewish Post & News will no doubt be aware that this writer has been highlighting the outstanding achievement of younger members of our community competing in the annual Winnipeg Music Festival. This year, however, I am taking a slightly different approach with a focus on the other side of the equation – that is, on one of the judges.
Gray Academy graduate Jaron Rykiss is the new president of the University of Manitoba Students Union
By BERNIE BELLAN Twenty-year-old Jaron Rykiss is the newly elected president of the University of Manitoba Students Union. The results of the election, which was held online, were announced on April 1. (Voting began March 31 and was completed April 1.)
According to the university student newspaper, The Manitoban (which is now also entirely online), Jaron secured 63.6 percent of the votes cast. His only opponent, Savannah Szocs, received the other 34.6 percent.
Organization in Ukraine known as Zgraya that has many Jewish members desperately needs your help to continue doing its important work
By BERNIE BELLAN Alexander Kovalchuk is a 27-year-old Jewish Ukrainian who is currently in Kyiv working with a group of young people, mostly in their 20s and 30s, called Zgraya (https://zgraya-help.com). Zgraya means "wolf pack" in Ukrainian. In normal times, Alexander told me that he is a video editor, “working in post production” – mostly in “commercial and music videos.”
Posted April 10 The Simkin Centre is continuing to deal with a major outbreak of Covid cases among residents. There are now 22 positive cases reported on Simkin 2 and two on Simkin 1. Two residents on Simkin 2 that previoulsy had Covid have now recovered.
Some observations about Jews who've come here from Ukraine and the tremendous role the Chabad movement is playing in Ukraine
By BERNIE BELLAN After over five weeks of constantly turning to CBC Radio news and checking my iPhone or iPad for regular updates on the war in Ukraine, maybe it’s time to take a breather from following the military action as we head into what is shaping up to be a new phase in Putin’s invasion of that country. Rather than turning away from what’s going on there though, we should now be taking stock of what it is that we can all do to help beleaguered Ukrainians in terms of humanitarian relief.
Jews from Ukraine who have settled in Winnipeg offer conflicting opinions about the Russian invasion
By BERNIE BELLAN With the war in Ukraine still raging, its effects are being felt especially closely by individuals who have relatives or friends in that country.
Such is the case with several newer members of our own Jewish community in Winnipeg, who either came to Winnipeg directly from Ukraine, or who emigrated first to Israel, then to Winnipeg.
ACHI, American Communities Helping Israel, was founded in 2004 after the Second Intifada to boost the economy and morale in Israel, and to keep Israel in the hearts and minds of this generation and the next. Most recently, they have created an online market to help Israeli vendors who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By BERNIE BELLAN The longest-serving current executive director of any of the Jewish Federation’s beneficiary agencies will be stepping down as of April 1, when Nancy Hughes, the executive director of Shalom Residences, will be retiring. Into her role will be stepping Michael Goldberg, who is someone who brings with him a great deal of experience in the fields of gerontology and palliative care.
By BERNIE BELLAN While there has been a large influx of Jewish immigrants into Winnipeg over the past 25 years, perhaps one of the most interesting stories of how one family made the decision to come here is the Zylberman family’s - when one learns how much their decision to come here was totally a matter of chance.
By MYRON LOVE Since the time of Elvis, teenagers have been picking up guitars, forming bands and hoping to reach the stars. Jorel Minuk was one of the many struggling to break through.
The son of Cindy Bass and Morley Minuk would seem to have succeeded.
By BERNIE BELLAN The Jewish Federation has been accepting donations on behalf of Ukrainian Jews. As of Friday, March 18, the Federation had received $150,000 in donations toward relief for Ukrainian Jews. We had contacted Rebecca Brask, Chief Development Officer for the Federation on March 11 to obtain an update on how much had been raised to that point
By BERNIE BELLAN At the time of writing we are now in the fourth week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As we all recoil from the images and the utter tragedy that has befallen the Ukrainian people it is time to take stock though of the conflicting currents that are running through this tragic situation for us as Jews.
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Winnipeg’s two largest congregations, Shaarey Zedek, and Etz Chayim, have announced that they are taking similar approaches to reopening, even though the Province of Manitoba has announced that it is removing all Covid restrictions as of March 15.
Following are excerpts from announcements issued by the two congregations:
By SARA J. BLOOMFIELD (JTA) –The Russian invasion of Ukraine, justified by Vladimir Putin as necessary to “denazify” the country and stop “genocide,” outraged me for its blatant assault on a people, and on truth. But as I thought about his previous misuses of history, I should not have been so surprised.
In 2019, marking the 80th anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Putin sought to downplay the significance of this agreement in starting World War II and its secret protocols that divided Poland between Hitler and Stalin — two other masters at re-writing history.
By BERNIE BELLAN Elsewhere on this website you can read our preview of Avi Posen’s presentation at this year’s Limmud (which was held on Sunday, March 6, via Zoom.)
For readers who may not have read that article, in it Avi gave an overview of the work that he has been doing in Israel for three and a half years, ever since he and his wife Illana made aliyah to Israel in 2019. You can read that article at http://jewishpostandnews.ca/local/1062-avi-posen-to-discuss-engaging-the-next-generation-of-jews-through-media-at-limmud). But what you're about to read is a report on what Avi actully had to say on March 6.