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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Canadian Girl Guides Cookies Go Kosher

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The famous Girl Guides cookies now have the OU approval as being kosher thanks to an all-Orthodox troop in Canada, but their chocolate mint cookies still are on the forbidden list. All Girl Scout cookies in the United States have been kosher for at least 20 years, said organization spokesman Stewart Goodbody.

When the 31 Jewish girls established the 613th Thornhill Pathfinder Unit  in Thornhill, Ontario, a heavily Jewish suburb north of Toronto, the first question member Sara Silverman asked was, “When do we start selling cookies?” according to the Girl Guides of Canada. But the troop could not bring the cookies into the synagogue where they met.

The unit “badly wanted to raise funds for Girl Guides and for camps, trips and other activities,” noted the Guides this week on its website. The unit’s leader wrote the organization, asking how to make the iconic treats kosher.

The Guides said they worked closely with the cookies’ manufacturer, Dare Foods Ltd., and found there was nothing non-kosher in  the ingredients in their classic chocolate and vanilla cookies sold in the spring.

All that was required was formal certification. Recently, the Guides confirmed that the spring cookies would be certified under the auspices of the Orthodox Union (OU).

The process was “a relatively simple and fiscally feasible endeavor,” the Guides said.

There will be no similar fate for the time being for the group’s chocolate mint cookies, sold in the fall, because of non-kosher ingredients in their coating, the group said.

“It feels like our unit has made a difference,” Avigail Rucker, a 12-year-old Guide, told The Canadian Jewish News.

Israel Sixth Favorite Country for Americans, Says Survey

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Israel is the sixth favorite country of American citizens and Saudi Arabia is their least favorite among allies, according to a Pew Research Center survey carried out in November and released this week.

The Jewish state was viewed favorably by 61 percent of Americans and was sixth behind Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil.

Some 26 percent of Americans view Israel unfavorably, while 81 percent of Americans viewed Canada favorably and 9 percent unfavorably, by contrast.

Saudi Arabia was at the bottom of the list of 12 countries that are U.S. allies, with 27 percent of Americans viewing the country favorably and 57 percent unfavorably.

Meanwhile, more Republicans than Democrats like Israel with 74 percent of Republicans viewing Israel favorably to 55 percent of Democrats.

The survey was part of a larger survey on “America’s place in the world.”

Canadian Prime Minister to Address the Knesset

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver a speech to the Knesset during his visit to Israel next month, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Wednesday.

Harper will lead an entourage of approximately 200 politicians, businessmen and journalists towards late January. ‘”I am happy and proud to host the prime minister of Canada, a courageous and true friend of Israel,” Edelstein stated.

Harper has stood behind Israel more than other world leader the past several years, backing it during the crises in the Second Lebanon War, counter-terrorist operations in Gaza and on the Mavi Mamara flotilla that was manned by IHH terrorists in 2010.

Harper told a recent Jewish National Fund dinner in Canada, where he announced his forthcoming trip, “In the world of diplomacy, we know how easy it is to drift away from Israel. We understand that the future of our country and of our shared civilization depends on the survival and thriving of that free and democratic homeland of the Jewish people in the Middle East.”

Canada Sends Ex-Jobbik Leader Packing before Montreal Speech

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Canadian immigration officials this week ordered a former leader of the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party in Hungary out of the country prior to a speaking engagement in Montreal.

Csanad Szegedi was sent back to Budapest on a plane just before he was slated to address a Chabad group. Approximately 200 people who came out to hear Szegedi, who two years ago discovered he had a maternal Jewish grandmother and was ousted by Jobbik, instead heard a videotaped message.

“I acknowledge that I have a lot of sins,” Szegedi said. “And this is why I understand those people who are not happy me being here. But these sins I try to rectify not only at the verbal level but at the level of my actions.

“I have to tell the Canadian Jewish community … that I am exactly such a Jew as they are. I cannot help it — as you cannot help it.”

Szegedi, 31, was a leading figure in the neo-fascist Jobbik party for a decade and was known for his rabid anti-Semitism. After discovering his Jewish relative — an Auschwitz survivor — he made contact with Chabad representatives in Hungary. He since has embraced his Jewish roots and publicly denounced Jobbik.

His talk at Montreal’s Chabad of Westmount was titled “My Journey From Hater to Fighter of Hatred,” but the speaking engagement caused a backlash in Montreal’s Jewish community, with detractors charging that his denunciation of Jobbik is insincere and that he only embraced his Jewish identity after he failed to suppress the news through bribery.

Arabs Accuse Israel of Deploying Trees as Soldiers in the Negev

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Arabs in Canada tried to protest an appearance by Canadian Prime Stephen Harper at a Jewish National Fund of Canada event because trees that the JNF plants are “soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” the website of the Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported.

Harper has staunchly stood in support of Israel more than any other leader in the world and plans to visit the country in January for the first time as Prime Minister.

The JNF hosted Harper at the “Negev Dinner” Sunday, and Canadian police prevented disturbances from protesters, already riled up by the Palestinian Authority over the “Prawer Plan,” designed as a compromise to make some kind of order out of chaos on the Negev that has been overrun by tens of thousands of Bedouin in recent years.

More than 3,500 supporters of Israel, including Christians, attended the high-priced fundraiser, where Harper made a personal donation to Israel for an aviary to be known as the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Center in northern Israel.

He announced his first official trip to the Middle East and was so excited that he broke out into song, singing songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

In a videotaped message played after Mr. Harper spoke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded his Canadian counterpart for “unabashedly, unapologetically,” standing up for Israel.

Outside the convention hall where the dinner was held, Arabs chanted, “Harper, Harper, will you see, Palestine will be free.” The Calgary Herald quoted  activist  Yafa Jarrar as saying, “The main message really is to push Canada to end its complicity with these violations of international law that Israel commits.”

The activist may have been referring the war crimes committed by those “soldiers” who have been planted to occupy Israel.

It’s Hanukkah, Not Thanksgiving and Not Thanksgivukkah

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

I already have erased the first version of this article, which was preachy and snotty, when I realized I have lived in Israel too long to remember that I lived too long in America before moving to Israel.

All of the rah-rah Israel attitude than landed with me 30 years ago comes out like a tired preacher fed up with his flock of sinners and no longer able to lead them to the path of Truth and Beauty.

So for all of you still in the United States, and in Canada where I lived for eight years, the only way I know to get inside you is to write the news and views the way I see it, and not as the journalist I once was, when I had traded in Judaism for Journalism as The Way of Life.

My trip into idol worship – H. L. Mencken was one of my gods – ended in the news room at a major metropolitan daily in Canada, where I had the fancy title of Senior News Editor with a salary I have not seen again until this day.

That was in 1981, during what was known as the Peace for the Galilee campaign, usually referred to as the First War in Lebanon. I was ripping off UPI and AP copy, poring through the reports and deciding what our readers would read and what would go into the trash bin.

At that time, Judaism was a memory, and Zionism was an embryo, which I did not know existed.

Let’s go back a bit, but briefly. I grew up in a home where my parents of blessed memory became observant when I was almost too young to remember. Fast forward to 1960, when I was 16 and when they already were heavily involved in the Orthodox Union and Hadassah and took their first trip to Israel.

I was going to public high school but was very serious in my religious learning, which I continued at the “afternoon Hebrew school” well after my Bar Mitzvah. My favorite bedtime reading was the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch on Jewish laws.

Israel was never a part of my studies, except for stories about Jews in the days of “Palestine.”

When my parents returned with photographs of Israel, I refused to look at them. I blurted out instinctively, “Israel is not a religious state. I do not want to see pictures from a Jewish state that is not orthodox.”

If you have not gotten the point, I was far from a Zionist. As a cub reporter in a small hillbilly town in Virginia during the Six-Day War, I remember my managing editor calling out, “Hey, do you know what you guys are doing to the Arabs?

I did not know and could not have cared less. I was more interested in pounding the police beat.

But what happened in the news room in Canada during the war in Lebanon tore me up.

Journalism was my Truth, but something did not read right between the lines of the wire copy.

It said that Israeli soldiers were attacking “guerillas” inside Lebanese territory and then noted the “invasion” followed some rockets that had fallen on Israel, killing a few people here and there.

And you thought that the anti-Israel bias on the war against terror in Gaza, Judea and Samaria is something new? Every day, I read about Israel “invading” Lebanon and killing these “guerillas,” with the obvious bias that Israel was to blame for the violence that I could see between the lines was initiated in Lebanon.

I couldn’t take it anymore. My belief in Journalism was extinguished in a flash. I was devastated. After six weeks, I walked into the news room and said, “I quit.”

The bosses were astonished but did not ask for an explanation, and I do not know if I could have answered. Journalism had become  a lie, and there would be no sense telling the gods they have ears and cannot hear and have eyes and cannot see.

Two years later, I took my first trip to Israel – on a one-way ticket, intent to stay, which I did.

So dear, reader, I am trying not to preach to you. I can only let you know of one person’s path to The Truth.

Everyone has his or her own path, and I cannot communicate to you other than through the news and views.

You have your reasons – let’s be honest and call them excuses, in most cases – to remain outside of Israel. I am not referring to those with children. I  mean all of the singles and couples without children and without the financial responsibility that could be a question mark before moving to Israel. We can discuss that some other time.

I cannot persuade you or convince you other than to write through my eyes that see Israel with its warts and puts them in perspective of a Divine Presence that protects this country, and see the warts of American in the perspective of a fading empire whose Jews are living in their hope that there will always be a tomorrow.

All of this comes to mind on what is being called Thanksgivukkah, a name which says volumes.

I am sure Americans have a lot to be thankful about, and I will let each one count his own blessings.

My “anti” stage has long passed; I am not anti-American nor anti-America. I was born there, grew up there, was educated there and worked there.

And I am thankful that Thanksgiving is so far behind me that I don’t have the burden of having to celebrate the Miracle of Lights and the Jewish victory over the Romans  in the home of the Jewish people along with the holiday that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

According to my prayer book, every day is a day of thanksgiving.

Ukrainian Jewish Leaders: Romania Unfit to Lead Holocaust Body

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Ukrainian Jewish leaders said Romania was unfit to head a Holocaust remembrance forum because it has not done enough to come to grips with its own Holocaust-era culpability.

Approximately 380,000 Jews were murdered in Romania-controlled areas during the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.

“Romania’s actions prove it is not ready to assume responsibility for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust, when Romanian troops acted as an occupying force in large parts of Ukraine under orders from the country’s pro-Nazi leadership,” Oleksandr Feldman, a Ukrainian lawmaker and president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JTA.

Feldman was reacting to reports that Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean was interested in having Romania head the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, in 2016. Canada currently heads the alliance.

Ukrainian Jewish Committee Secretary Eduard Dolinsky said that Romania’s embassy in Ukraine has rejected invitations by his organization to discuss ways to jointly commemorate the murder of Jews by Romanian troops.

The Romanian bid is supported in principle by Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international affairs and personal representative on combating anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — an intergovernmental agency with 57 member states known by the acronym OSCE.

“There may be additional issues to tackle but Romania has taken some important steps toward coming to grips with its Holocaust-era record,” Baker said. He noted the 2005 establishment of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania and the 2004 designation of a national Holocaust remembrance day on Oct. 9 — the day that Romanian authorities began deporting Jews to their deaths 72 years ago.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ukrainian-jewish-leaders-romania-unfit-to-lead-holocaust-body/2013/11/25/

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