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Was a Nazi war criminal living in St. James forced to hang himself by a Jewish “avenger” in 1960?

Alexander Laak (supplied)/Soviet file photo

By BERNIE BELLAN
The story of an alleged Nazi war criminal by the name of Alexander Laak, who was found hanging in his St. James garage in 1960, is one that has been revisited in this newspaper several times.
In October 1987, the late Gene Telpner first broached the story in our pages in one of his columns, when he wrote the following:

These children of Jewish mobsters were kept well shielded from their fathers’ affairs

Lisa Novick Greenberg/John Novick

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.

For Jewish law authorities, the coronavirus has caused an unprecedented flurry of questions

Covid 191By 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?

You don’t need Zoom or Skype to say Kaddish without a minyan. Here’s a healthier option for the community.

Rabbi Seth Winberg

By Rabbi SETH WINBERG

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.

Winnipeg’s own Jonas Chernick discusses how he made his latest movie, “JAMES VS. HIS FUTURE SELF”

Jonas Chernick

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.

Coronavirus: Is there a Silver Lining?

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.