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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

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

Israeli Couple Bringing In Patriarch Jacob’s Biblical Sheep from Canada

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

An Israeli couple is hoping to bring home the sheep they’ve been raising, but the process has been a bit complicated. The herd of 130 is comprised of the apparent descendants of the Biblical patriarch Yaakov (Jacob).

Yaakov received speckled and spotted sheep as wages from his father-in-law Laban (Genesis 30:25-31:16) and with time grew wealthy despite Laban’s stinginess.

Jenna and Gil Lewinsky gathered a herd of 130 such sheep (which are now extinct in Israel) and raise them in Vancouver; but the couple hope to bring the sheep back with them to the Jewish State.

They initially ran into resistance from the Agriculture Ministry, however. The project was rejected because the Ministry said Canada is not one of the country’s “approved sheep importers.”

But the Foreign Ministry intervened via its embassy in Canada, which facilitated a dialogue between the ministry and the Lewinskys. Israel’s ambassador to Canada got involved as well.

Since that time, the Agriculture Ministry has changed its attitude and this week was in touch with its Canadian counterpart to launch the import process.

“This should be the national animal of the Jewish People,” Jenna Lewinsky told Israel HaYom. “It would be a very important and historic moment when these sheep return after basically 2,000 years.”

Hana Levi Julian

Canada Formally Condemns Anti- Israel BDS Movement

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

The Canadian Parliament voted overwhelmingly Monday afternoon (229-51) to formally condemn the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The historic motion was a wall-to-wall rejection of BDS by the representatives of the Canadian people.

Both Liberals and Conservatives backed the motion “That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

Canada has for years stood beside Israel against the onslaught of the new anti-Semitism that began to creep up on campuses across North America and in Europe.

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was present to cast his ballot against the movement together with the rest of his Conservative colleagues. Tom Muclair, leader of the NDP, opposed it, according to CIJ News.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion declared after announcing the Liberals would also condemn BDS, “The world will win nothing by boycotting Israel, but depriving itself of the talents of its inventiveness.”

Liberal candidate Michael Levitt said during a February 18 debate that “BDS is about intolerance. It’s a broader movement to… collectively punish all Israelis by holding Israel alone responsible for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whereas anti-Semites have long targeted Jews throughout the world as the root of all society’s ills, this new form of anti-Semitism targets Israel as the Jew among the nations, singling out the Jewish State as the root of all ills in the world.”

During the same debate, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather noted that the BDS movement is “asking for the disappearance of the State of Israel. BDS is saying that all Palestinian refugees must have the right of return to what is today Israel, which would automatically create a situation where we would not have a two-state solution. We would have a one-state solution where Israel was not a majority Jewish State…. the only one in the whole entire world, and that is wrong. BDS, which again singles out Israel, is not looking at all those other countries in the world that engage in egregious human rights violations… The whole idea of holding Israel to a higher moral standard than anyone else is clearly anti-Semitic,” he said.

MP Jeff Watson called the BDS movement “hateful and deceitful.” He denounced “this new anti-Semitism which is poisoning our Canadian campuses.”

Hana Levi Julian

Geneva Jews Warned to be ‘Vigilant’ in New Terror Alert

Friday, December 11th, 2015

As the Sabbath approached, Geneva’s Jews were warned to be “vigilant” on Friday morning as the Swiss city went on high alert along with the Canadian city of Toronto and the U.S. Midwestern city of Chicago.

All three appeared on a terrorist hit list linked to the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization, according to a report by Fox News. Four male suspects “tied to ISIS” were being sought in the Swiss city.

Swiss officials said Thursday that a car registered in Belgium, home to some of the Paris attackers, had driven through a police checkpoint near Geneva, Le Matin reported.

Geneva’s Jewish community was warned to be “vigilant,” Swiss television said. “Sensitive sites have been alerted,” said a government official.

Officials said the United Nations’ European headquarters is also on maximum alert following intelligence warnings from federal police in the capital city of Berne about people with “possible links to terror.”

“The heightened security affects the entire Geneva area, and the UN is taking measures that are commensurate with those taken in the host country,” said UN Geneva spokesperson Rheal LeBlanc.

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/geneva-jews-warned-to-be-vigilant-in-new-terror-alert/2015/12/11/

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