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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Six Lev Tahor Children May Remain In Guatemala, Judge Rules

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Six children from the Haredi Lev Tahor sect who fled Canada will be allowed to remain in Guatemala with their parents, but with conditions, a Guatemalan family court judge ruled Tuesday.

The Lev Tahor members from two families can stay in the Central American country, but they must check in with the Canadian embassy within three days, the Toronto Star reported. Sect members must return to the town of Solola, where they settled after fleeing Canada earlier this month, with the proper paperwork from the Canadian embassy, the judge said.

A violation of the order will lead to criminal charges, according to the newspaper.

Fourteen children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada two weeks ago ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in protective custody.

Eight of the children traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children were apprehended in Calgary and also removed from the sect.

Child protection officials in Ontario and Quebec say they have evidence of abuse in the community, including physical beatings, underage marriage and substandard education. The community has denied all allegations and claims it is a victim of religious persecution.

A spokesman for Guatemala’s Ministry of Immigration confirmed Monday that the Lev Tahor members are under surveillance by the country’s national police force, the Star reported.

Canadian Court: Lev Tahor Sect Must Surrender Children

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A Canadian court ordered the fringe haredi Orthodox Lev Tahor sect to turn over as many as 13 of its children to authorities after some of its members appeared to have fled the country.

Police officers and children’s aid workers visited Lev Tahor homes Wednesday night in Chatham-Kent, in southwest Ontario, with the landlord helping them gain access to residences where no one was home, the Toronto Star reported.

Officers told sect members who answered the door that they were there because of a “court order” and that they were looking for children. The officials refused to answer reporters’ questions.

A court official told the Star that a judge had issued an order for the children after Lev Tahor parents failed to show up in court on Wednesday. The parents were scheduled to appeal a decision to have the children returned to adjacent Quebec.

Some 200 members of Lev Tahor left Quebec for Ontario last fall just before authorities could execute an order from a Quebec court to place 14 children in foster care following allegations of physical abuse, neglect, underage marriages and forced medications in the community.

The affected families were forbidden from leaving Canada. But on Wednesday, nine sect members — three adults and six children, according to the Star — were detained in Trinidad and Tobago. The group was en route to Guatemala when immigration officials at Port of Spain’s Piarco International Airport stopped them, the Trinidad Ministry of National Security said in a statement.

The Lev Tahor members were denied entry because they gave inconsistent answers when questioned by immigration officials, the statement said.

It was not immediately confirmed whether the children detained were those named in the Ontario court order.

However, Stephen Doig, executive director of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, told the Globe and Mail newspaper, “We now apparently have those children missing in defiance of that court order. We would certainly have some concerns about the welfare of those children.”

A Lev Tahor spokesman did not comment on whether the two families targeted by the court order had indeed left for Trinidad. Asked whether the 14 children were still in Chatham, he said, “I don’t think so.”

On Wednesday, another Lev Tahor member told the Toronto Sun that the children who left “are on a trip, on a vacation.”

The rest of the sect remains in Ontario.

Lev Tahor Sect Members Arrested in Trinidad

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

An Ontario court has ordered the apprehension of 13 children from the bizarre Haredi sect Lev Tahor, following the news that a few sect members have traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, the Toronto Star reported.

Police and local Children’s Services workers visited Lev Tahor homes Wednesday night, and were allowed by the landlord into premises where the tenants have vacated without notice.

Police officers told sect members who did answer their door that they had a court order to collect their children. That must have gone over well.

Those police and CS teams visited more than a dozen homes on Wednesday night, but walked away empty handed, as the children were not to be found. Although they didn’t invest a lot of energy in searching for the kids – according to the Star, their visits lasted less than 10 minutes.

The court order was revealed after Children’s Services brought an emergency motion on the day that a court had been scheduled to hear an appeal related to an earlier order for the removal of 13 children over allegations—mostly made by one individual—of physical abuse and a substandard education regime within the sect.

Earlier on Wednesday, several members of Lev Tahor were detained by border authorities in Trinidad and Tobago, the Star reported.

A senior immigration official in Trinidad and Tobago told the Star that three adult members of the sect had arrived with six children around 5 AM Wednesday.

The families involved in the court appeal have been under strict restrictions not to leave the region of Chatham-Kent, Ontario.

The official said the sect members had flown in from Toronto and were en route to Mexico.

“Usually if you are coming into the country you must have a ticket saying you are going on to another part. Because they did not have that, immigration refused them entry,” said the Trinidad official.

He said the group refused to go back to Toronto and so it was detained. He said the group hired a lawyer to try to get into Guatemala.

“I think they ended up in Trinidad by mistake because they missed their flight to Mexico,” said the official.

The Sun quotes Lev Tahor spokesman Nachman Helbrans, who confirmed the two families and 13 kids are no longer at the rural Ontario settlement where they had fled to from Quebec last fall just before officials could execute the order to seize the children. He said he did not know where they had gone.

“The children are on a trip, on a vacation,” he told the Sun, saying the families wanted to be out of the country until after the court makes its decision, because they don’t want their kids sent back to Quebec.

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.

Kill the Quest for ‘Chill’

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Single frum male seeks female who is chill. That’s the description that plagues a particular stack of resumes found in the homes of matchmakers throughout every Jewish community. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Flatbush, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, the Upper West Side, Toronto, Miami, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Israel, etc. This desire to find a “chill” girl is everywhere.

When examined, this seemingly vague description can really be a code for many things. Unfortunately, these things are primarily irrelevant and some are just completely unrealistic. More importantly, if this is you, then you need to take a step back and put on your safety goggles because I am about to burst your bubble. Here goes. No female, young or old, is “chill” after marriage. Final answer.

Ouch – did that snippet of reality sting? Are you in disbelief? Now, I will say that many women are clever and can easily appear to be “chill.” Why? We can multitask – it’s our superhero power. We get things done and we handle our responsibilities. Hence, we begin to grow into our own unique manifestation of our husband’s Aishes Chayil.

What kills the chill? Some married men may believe that they married someone who began as very chill. So, what killed the chill? For new wives, the post-marriage non-chill mode may stem from the self-imposed pressure to perfect their ability to prepare their husbands shabbos favorites while learning how to coordinate an open home for regular visitors and random guests.

What originally seems like fun can quickly turn into a buzz kill. Hence, there is nothing glamorous about coping with the responsibility of balancing everything that one takes on in marriage: maintaining a home, dealing with in-laws and navigating your community as a couple. Scheduling conflicts for new couples can be tricky as well.

For the slightly post newlywed couple, this “non-chill” trigger can mean kids. You, BH, iy”H, have them but then you have to balance them. Then when you, iy”H, have more of them you must strive to somehow keep your world together while doing everything else (work, cooking, cleaning – oh, yea and actually talking to your spouse). Then as the years of your relationship goes on, more pressure is added.

So, again, let me say – basing your search for a partner on their ability to be “chill,” is definitely wrong. Warning: This may be you or it may be the hang-up of your otherwise perfect-catch that keeps their status set to single. Searching for a “no pressure” mate is something that may seem to make sense until you actually examine the thought process behind it and what you would really get if you accomplished such a task.

What’s behind the chill? “Chill,” that’s the word. That’s the term that acts as a crutch. It’s an easy was to say I want to be married but I need to find someone who will put no pressure on me.

What’s the big problem here? There are many big problems here. What is one big problem? The feeling of “pressure.” This feeling, like all feelings is a person’s own reaction to a situation. In life, Hashem gave us a big blessing. He gave us free will. In this case, it means that we get to choose our own reactions. This includes the feeling of pressure. You feel it, because you perceive a situation in a particular way. However, your perception is an opinion and not a fact. And, as we all know, opinions can be changed. If you can’t escape the feeling of pressure then embrace it as the blessing it is.

Police Launch Hate Crimes Probe of Toronto Arab Leader

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Toronto police launched a hate crimes investigation into comments made by an Arab community leader who called for the murder of Israelis.

“We have received a complaint with regards to things said at last week’s Al-Quds Day rally, a global and annual event started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

There is an investigation ongoing,” Toronto police spokeswoman Wendy Drummond told the Canadian Jewish News.

Addressing an Al-Quds Day rally on Aug. 3, Elias Hazineh, former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, said “an ultimatum” must be issued to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine,” he said.

“We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400 at the annual rally.

His remarks were captured on video and posted to several blogs and websites, including YouTube.

Hazineh later said his comments were not meant to be taken literally.

B’nai Brith Disavows Anti-Shalit Article in Newspaper It Founded

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

B’nai B’rith International has disassociated itself from a news story critical of former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit published in a Canadian Jewish newspaper it founded and still is closely associated with B’nai Brith Canada.

In anticipation of a four-city visit to Canada by Gilad Shalit, The Jewish Tribune, Canada’s largest Jewish newspaper, criticized the former Hamas hostage who was the only member of a three-man crew who survived a terrorist attack on their position at a Gaza crossing in 2006.

The Jewish Tribune story in no way represents the views of B’nai B’rith International or its members and supporters around the world,” the organization said in a statement. “B’nai B’rith International has the deepest respect for Shalit and the horrors he endured as a Hamas captive.”

“While his story is intriguing and his return heartwarming, some have expressed concern that by appearing worldwide as an invited guest speaker, Shalit – who showed no resistance during his abduction nor made any attempt to protect his fellow IDF soldiers – could now become a new Israeli icon,” the Tribune’s Israel correspondent Atara Beck wrote last week.

The article did not cite any sources critical of Shalit’s visit. He is to appear in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

The newspaper also published a letter referring to Shalit as a “stumblebum” and calling his visit a “dubious honor.”

The head of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, Shalit’s host for his Canada visit, told the Tribune that Shalit was not being honored by the JNF, but rather his visit was a way of thanking those in Canada who supported him during his captivity.

Technology in the Minds and Lives of Jewish Students

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai presents an interview he recently recorded with Avital Aharon, Judaic studies & technology coordinator at Associated Hebrew Schools in Toronto. Yishai recently spoke in Toronto and had the opportunity to speak to students while there. They discuss how technology affects the minds and lives of young Jewish students and how technology has become an integral part of the student’s lives. Listen in!

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/technology-in-the-minds-and-lives-of-jewish-students/2013/05/31/

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