Canada Jews

The Group Scaring Celebs Away From Israel

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 11.09.2013 | Canada Politics
Diane Weber Bederman

It's time Canadians are made aware of the tactics of intimidation employed by the BDS movement so that they understand that many celebrities who cancel events in Israel are not doing so for political reasons but rather out of concern for their lives -- personally and professionally.

We Still Forget the "T" in "LGBT"

Richard Marceau | Posted 10.12.2013 | Canada Politics
Richard Marceau

At a time when LGBT communities face frightening and growing prejudice from governments overseas, Canada's Bill C-279 serves as a stark moral contrast with the likes of Uganda, Russia, and numerous undemocratic regimes across the Middle East. It is often overlooked that the "T" in LGBT refers to the transgender community, members of which continue to face serious discrimination in some quarters. In supporting C-279 and calling on Parliament to enshrine greater protection for transgender Canadians, I am proud that we continue the legacy today.

Why Canadian Jews Must Show Solidarity With Natives

Philippe Assouline | Posted 08.31.2013 | Canada
Philippe Assouline

The situation Canadian Natives face is not befitting of Canadians' genuine compassion and sense of fairness. But Canadian Jews have, like American Jews during the civil rights struggle, a special duty born of shared experience to actively support First Nations' efforts "to be a free people in their own land" (from the Israeli anthem).

First Nations and the Jews: A Common History

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 07.15.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

Think of the many cultures throughout history that have disappeared, some for which we've no account, and others now only known by artifacts or bits and pieces of written history. Rather than focus on the cultures that have been lost, First Nations can focus on the one that has survived thousands of years,

As Prime Minister, I Supported Israel -- And I Still Do

Brian Mulroney | Posted 07.10.2013 | Canada Politics
Brian Mulroney

To this day, I cannot watch footage of the faces of Jewish mothers, fathers, and children consigned to the gas chambers in German concentration camps without, as a Canadian, feeling a great sense of sorrow, loss, and guilt. The government of Canada ignored not only the plight of the Jews, but also the protests of the Canadian people and the pleading of the press. Why was nothing done? Because of political expediency; because the prime minister had a visceral distrust of Jews, and in government circles an open-door policy was very unpopular. But prime ministers are not chosen to seek popularity. They are elected to provide leadership.

Hotbed of Hatred

Avi Benlolo | Posted 04.23.2013 | Canada
Avi Benlolo

Rock throwing. Beatings. Bullets. Shouts of "F----ing kike." Ambushes. Theft. Threats. Tear gas attacks. This is not history. This is today. The French Jewish community expects and deserves a far greater degree of respect, as well as a strategic response to the blatant anti-Semitism they are experiencing.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Jewish Santa Claus

Bernie Farber | Posted 02.24.2013 | Canada
Bernie Farber

When I was a child growing up in Ottawa in the 1950s and 60s, ours was one of only a small number of Jewish families in the city. We inescapably got enveloped by the Christmas spirit. I still recall my parents' sardonic smiles the year I came home to announce that I would be playing Joseph in the school pageant. That same year, I decided I would sit on Santa's lap at Frieman's department store. Turns out Santa was none other than Moishe Gorinsky, a Jewish friend of my father's moonlighting that season as a department store Claus. It was a sobering experience for a 9-year-old, to be sure.

Warning/Attention: You Are Under Surveillance in Canada

Rachel Décoste | Posted 02.03.2013 | Canada Politics
Rachel Décoste

Trudeau's Protection of Privacy Act made it illegal for people to use wiretaps and other forms of electronic devices without a person's consent. The law has since evolved, but its spirit still resonates with Canadians. That explains the widespread wince last winter, following Vic Toews' tabling of an "online snooping bill" that put an electronic prisoner's bracelet on every Canadian. And members of the LGBT community were left disturbed and frightened when a GLBT-themed message from the minister's office landed in their email inbox in September. The Harper government's Orwellian strategies constitute an affront on the Canadian way of life and the freedoms we all cherish.

Ontario's Queen's Park Set to Welcome an Annual Hate Fest

Tarek Fatah | Posted 10.14.2012 | Canada
Tarek Fatah

Did you know there are Canadians among us who are inspired by a mass-murderer? On Aug. 18 they'll defile the lawns of the Ontario Legislature to rally to the call of Ayatollah Khomeini for the destruction of the State of Israel -- the observance of "Al-Quds Day."

In Remembrance of Yitzchak Shamir, and an Elevator Ride with Him

Avrum Rosensweig | Posted 09.03.2012 | Canada
Avrum Rosensweig

In 1994, while in the employ of the United Jewish Appeal and Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, I was given the task of overseeing former Israeli prime minister Yitzchak Shamir's trip to Toronto. But of course, as fate would have it, Saudi Arabian sheiks were staying in the same hotel as he was. What was I to do?

Why Are Israeli Police Stopping Jewish Women from Praying?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.21.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

On June 21, a Jewish woman was detained for hours by Israeli police for praying at the Western Wall. Why? Because she was wearing a tallit -- a prayer shawl. Some say that women who are wearing the tallit are flaunting their piety, but is this really the case? Shouldn't we, as a Jewish people, give women the benefit of the doubt when they honour Hashem?

Chief Rabbi or Corrupt Pol?

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 08.08.2012 | Canada Living
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

In September 2012, a successor to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the current Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, will be appointed. The new rabbi will begin his tenure in September 2013. If the post will not undergo a major transformation and become purely one of spiritual and educational leadership, then it is far better to leave the post empty than to continue the institution of a chief rabbi.

Is Obama the New Sarah Palin?

Peter Worthington | Posted 07.31.2012 | Canada Politics
Peter Worthington

"Polish death camps," isn't the first embarrassing "misspeak" by President Obama. But for some reason, when Palin makes a gaffe about Russia, it gets parodied by comedians. When Obama makes a gaffe about the Holocaust or concentration camps, all that ensues is an apology. Like warfare, politics isn't fair.

Let the Bully Bloggers Talk Amongst Themselves

Bernie Farber | Posted 07.28.2012 | Canada
Bernie Farber

It was difficult for bullies to gain a public pulpit. Letters to newspapers were closely monitored to ensure that slander and intimidation were not published. Magazines and television likewise; the professional mainstream media for the most part undertook the responsibility to self-regulate. Today anyone can publish virtually anything, and personal attacks are de rigueure.

Meet Press TV: Iran's Hateful Mouthpiece in Canada

Mike Fegelman | Posted 07.22.2012 | Canada
Mike Fegelman

We recently marked World Press Freedom Day. Iran not surprisingly has been described by Reporters Without Borders as the "world's biggest prison for journalists," listed by the Committee to Protect Journalist's as the fourth worst country when it comes to censorship.

Why an Israeli Coalition Government Now?

Peter Worthington | Posted 07.16.2012 | Canada
Peter Worthington

Netanyahu's proposed coalition government strikes some as ominous, others as encouraging. Some see it as Israel preparing to do something about Iran and its developing nuclear weapons, whereas others sees it as a tool to pass mandatory military service for all -- Ultra-Orthodox Jews included.

Who Says You're a Jew?

Richard Marceau | Posted 07.15.2012 | Canada
Richard Marceau

I find myself disheartened by the direction that the conversion debate is unfolding in Israel and the Diaspora. While we cannot hope to be, nor should we strive to be, uniform in our views, we have an obligation to be united as one Jewish people. It makes no sense that Orthodox converts, including those looking to make aliyah (moving to Israel), face the possibility of seeing their fully halachic conversions retroactively annulled.

No Dogs and Jews Allowed

Bernie Farber | Posted 07.12.2012 | Canada Politics
Bernie Farber

In cottage country, and even on Toronto's beaches up to the mid 1950s, it was common to see signs that read "No Dogs or Jews Allowed." Though we, as a nation, have made great strides in the name of human rights for all, we cannot be complacent. There cannot be justice for Jews if there is not justice for everyone.

This Kippa Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 07.11.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

When me and my wife were looking for our seats at a concert, a man approached me, and began to interrogate me on whether I believed in a personal god. To be honest, I did not know how to respond.

Jewish Homes Ransacked In Quebec

CBC | Posted 06.16.2012 | Canada

Vandals ransacked more than a dozen homes in a gated community in Val Morin over the weekend, marking walls with racial slurs and swastik...

Progressive Jews Can Love Israel; Religious Jews Can Love Peace

Mira Sucharov | Posted 01.22.2012 | Canada
Mira Sucharov

Instead of a person's values coming to carefully inform one's opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what I'm seeing is the reflexive taking of sides. What could be a very fruitful discussion about values, ethics and policy instead comes to resemble a boxing ring, with everyone in their corners primed to fight.

Israel's Tent Protests: Whose 'Social Justice'?

Mira Sucharov | Posted 10.08.2011 | Canada
Mira Sucharov

In my opinion, the Israeli cost-of-living tent protests are not necessarily about the broadest reaches of social justice. They are confined to how Israelis want their own society to be ordered. And whatever the borders of the Jewish state, Israel must not sacrifice democracy on the altar of ethnicity.