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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

British Airlines Trims Food Service on Economy Flights

Monday, August 15th, 2016

If you’re reading this and flying to Europe on British Airways, you may want to pack yourself a little something to eat.

The national British carrier has just cut its food service in the wake of Brexit, the separation of the United Kingdom from the rest of the European Union.

British Airways is down to to one meal only for economy passengers on flights under eight and a half hours. This includes flights between the UK to the United States and Canada.

The same belt-tightening measure has been applied to premium economy passengers on flights under seven hours.

“We offer customers on all of our trans-Atlantic flights a three-course meal, bar service and snacks, and on our longer trans-Atlantic flights, including to the West Coast, customers are offered an extra meal during the flight,” said a spokesperson for the airline.

The above does not necessarily apply to passengers who order kosher and/or glatt kosher pre-packaged meals.

Hana Levi Julian

Surrealist Postmodern Jewish Artist Esther Warkov Showing at WAG

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Esther Warkov, a surrealist postmodern Jewish artist living in Winnipeg, Canada, grew up on the Canadian prairies, but her stylized motifs reveal the clear influence of the Eastern European immigrant community into which she was born (in 1941).

“Warkov is adamant that her paintings do not tell a specific story and invites the viewer to meander through her work,” says Andrew Kear, the Winnipeg Art Gallery curator of Historical Canadian Art, which is showing Warkov’s paintings from the 1960s to the 1980s. WAG is actually showing two Jewish artists who dabble in the surreal, Warkov and Marc Chagall, who apparently was no stranger to Winnipeg. “It is exceptional to view Warkov and Chagall alongside each other; the stylistic parallels are stunning,” says Kear.

The WAG presented Esther Warkov’s first solo exhibition in 1964. Since then, the Gallery has acquired nearly 50 works by Warkov, spanning her career as one of Manitoba’s most distinctive artists. In recent years the Gallery has received a number of Warkov’s large multi-panelled paintings, a body of work that earned her national attention beginning in the 1970s. This exhibition showcases one of her most celebrated and defining periods of creative production.

Subtly psychedelic, Warkov’s stylized motifs reveal the influence of the Eastern European community into which she was born. Her motley scenes integrate a recurring and morphing array of images—townsfolk, historical figures, insects, and engine parts—appropriated from the old photographs, postcards, medical textbooks, and department store catalogues the artist scavenged from local junk shops and second-hand stores.

Warkov’s refreshingly idiosyncratic paintings engage with matters of race, ethnicity, social history, and cultural memory. At the same time, her work does not correspond to specific intentions, revealing no coherent stories. “When most people look at my work,” Warkov told Maclean’s in 1977, “they want to know what the symbolism is—and the truth is I don’t have any.” In the absence of an encompassing narrative, Warkov invites the viewer to meander, as one might through a found box of nameless photographs, and simply revel in the partial, provisional, and ultimately inarticulate strangeness of her painted worlds.

Esther Warkov: Paintings, 1960s-1980s

Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 1V1

Tel 204.786.6641

Through October 16, 2016

Sat., Sun, Tue. Wed. Thu. 11 AM- 5 PM, Fri. 11 AM – PM, Mon. closed.

JNi.Media

Tuesday 223 American Olim Made Israel their Home

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

On Tuesday, July 19, a flight with 223 olim from the US and Canada landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport, where a ceremony was held to welcome them to Israel.

KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar said that “the Aliyah to Israel is the foundation on which the Zionist enterprise stands. It is the clearest expression of our love to the land of Israel.”

“The strategic cooperation between KKL-JNF and Nefesh Be’Nefesh assists many diaspora Jews to find their way to Israel, build their home there, integrate in the Israeli society and contribute to the prosperity of Israel,” Atar said, adding, “I am sure that many Olim will encounter KKL-JNF down the road … We are here for you and proud of you.”

The 223 newcomers include Jews from 17 US states and two Canadian provinces, former servicemen from three different US Armed Forces units, families of all sizes, and young professionals.

JNi.Media

Israel Among Top Five Countries on WHO 2015 Life Expectancy Chart

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Only 22 countries around the globe have reached an average life expectancy at birth greater than 80 years, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, which would suggest that if one is planning to retire abroad, one should consider those countries most seriously.

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Global life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), ranging from 60.0 years in the WHO African Region to 76.8 years in the WHO European Region, giving a ratio of 1.3 between the two regions. Women live longer than men all around the world. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.5 years in 1990 and had remained almost the same by 2015 (4.6).

Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic, and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 2000-2015 increase was greatest in the WHO African Region, where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV.

As to the friendly global race of whose citizens get to live longer, the top countries are, in descending order: Japan – 83.7, Switzerland – 83.4, Singapore – 83.1, Italy – 82.7, and Israel – 82.5. The US did not make the 80+ club in 2015, with only 79.3 years’ life expectancy. Neither did the Russian Federation – 70.5.

Israel’s neighbors are definitely not ideal locations for retirement: Egypt – 70.9, Jordan – 74.1, Lebanon – 74.9, and Syria – 64.5 (if you’re lucky). Nigeria stands out with 54.5 life expectancy, along with Angola – 52.4, Burkina Faso – 59.9, Burundi – 59.6, Cameroon – 57.3, Central African Republic – 52.5, Chad – 53.1, Guinea – 59, and Guinea-Bissau – 58.9.

So, here is the list of world countries where you’ll get to grow older than 80, barring unexpected circumstances:

Japan – 83.7
Switzerland – 83.4
Singapore – 83.1
Italy – 82.7
Israel – 82.5
France – 82.4
Sweden – 82.4
Canada – 82.2
Luxembourg – 82
Netherlands – 81.9
Norway – 81.8
Malta – 81.7
New Zealand – 81.6
Austria – 81.5
Belgium – 81.1
Finland – 81.1
Germany – 81
Denmark – 80.6
Chile – 80.5
Cyprus – 80.5

JNi.Media

Jews Help Alberta, Canada Residents Fleeing from Fort McMurray Wildfire

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Jewish groups are stepping forward to help more than 100,000 residents of the Fort McMurray area in Alberta, Canada, who were forced to flee their homes in the face of a wildfire that continues to burn unabated.

The Global Leaks news site managed to upload some of the nightmare faced by residents on to YouTube.

The fire was first detected about a week ago, and so far has blazed through an area about 621 square miles wide, about the size of Mexico City. It is now about 18 miles from Saskatchewan, a less populated area, and residents there have been warned to close their windows and doors due to the smoke.

The Calgary Jewish Federation has said it will donate $25,000 from its emergency relief fund to help those who were forced to abandon their homes to the fire.

Other Jewish groups in Ontario and Edmonton are also gathering funds to help the now-homeless refugees living in camps in the oil sands and elsewhere.

Israel’s IsraAid humanitarian aid group has a volunteer on site, and is preparing to send a team to Canada as well, according to the organization.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze with air tankers, helicopters and other heavy equipment.

It could be “months” before it is brought under full control, officials said. The fire is expected to be the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history, with insurance costs alone already running into billions of dollars, according to the BBC.

Some 1,600 homes and other buildings have been lost to the fire so far. The power grid in Fort McMurray is damaged and the water now is undrinkable. Entire neighborhoods are destroyed.

At least 25 percent of Canada’s oil production has been stopped by the fire; the effect on the country’s economy has not yet been calculated.

Hana Levi Julian

Officials Facing Wildfire in Alberta, Canada Order Entire City Evacuated

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Officials in Alberta, Canada have ordered the mandatory evacuation of the entire city of Fort McMurray as an uncontrolled wildfire burns in the heart of the country’s oil sands region.

Some 80,000 city residents are affected by the order. Firefighters have appealed for assistance from other provinces to help airlift people from the city and fight the blaze, first seen on May 1.

The 2,650-hectare wildfire has shifted with the wind to close off the main southern exit from the city, forcing residents to head north towards the oil sands camps, Reuters reported.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told the news agency, “This is the biggest evacuation we have seen in the history of the province. We need to find more camps; we have secured spaces for about 6,000 people. We know we need to find more and that work is under way.”

Fort McMurray is located about six hundred miles north of the Montana border. Its surrounding area contains oil deposits more extensive than those of Saudi Arabia.

The city is also home to one of Canada’s fastest-growing Muslim communities, one that is moderate and led by Abdurrahmann Murad, a young “unity-inspiring” imam with a large online following.

Last year a new $50 million, 150,000-square-foot Islamic center project was launched there. The complex included a mosque with several prayer halls, K-12 school, recreation center and a swimming pool, as well as a playground and 475 parking spots.

Administrators of the mosque were quick to tell The Globe and Mail at the time that no foreign money had yet been donated. They also said they would never let any donor shape their doctrine. “We don’t accept any conditions. Even if it takes 1,000 years to build it, let it be,” said Abdulsalam Abdo, president of the mosque. “We don’t want to take orders from somewhere else.”

Hana Levi Julian

Canadian Synagogue Helps Rescue 2 Yazidi Families

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

A Canadian synagogue in Winnipeg has reached out to sponsor two Yazidi refugee families as a concrete way of carrying out the mitzvah of “tikkun olam” — the Jewish commitment to improve our world.

The commandment has long been a part of Shaarey Zedek Synagogue’s mandate, according to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press.

The synagogue is known for its regular volunteer night at Winnipeg Harvest, and for the annual Christmas lunch it generously prepares and serves to clients of the West Broadway Community Ministry, WFP reported.

But now the synagogue is expanding its mandate, joining a more global effort with participation in Operation Ezra. The project, taken on last year by members of the city’s Jewish community, involves arranging sponsorships for Yazidi refugees and raising awareness about their plight.

Project members were reaching out last fall to established Jewish schools, synagogues and community agencies for assistance when Shaarey Zedek became involved.

Two families – a large family of 10 and a smaller family of four with very young children – still needed sponsors.

Shaarey Zedek board member and rescue committee co-chairwoman Anita Neville told WFP, “Rather than choose, we agreed to do both.”

The synagogue’s Rabbi Alan Green pointed out, “The history of the Yazidis, who have been hated and persecuted for their religious beliefs for many centuries, runs parallel to the Jewish historical experience in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.”

The Kurdish speaking ethnic minority resides mainly in northern Iraq – or did, until their people were targeted by Da’esh operatives from the Islamic State terrorist group. The women and girls were raped and enslaved. The men were murdered or forcibly converted and then enslaved.

Fellow slaves – and fellow refugees, for that matter – still cling to ancient hatreds. For this reason the Yazidis are separated from other refugees when they are rescued and brought to DP or refugee camps.

The two families that are to be sponsored by Shaarey Zedek are living – separately – at present in such a camp in Turkey. When all the paperwork is completed for their sponsorship, they will be brought to Canada.

The synagogue members meanwhile are busy collecting money, furniture, clothing and school supplies for the children. Arrangements for housing will be made once a time frame for their arrival is established.

Saving the lives of those facing genocide, said Green, “strikes a very deep chord.”

People’s memories are pretty strong: It hasn’t been so long since the world turned its back on the Jews of Europe.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-synagogue-helps-rescue-2-yazidi-families/2016/03/13/

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