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Return to Ukraine: searching out the Rosner family past

Cecil Rosner (right) with someone
he bumped into purely by chance
named Juras. Juras had read Cecil’s late
mother Mina’s book, “I am a Witness”
and was able to show Cecil around Buzcacz

Introduction: Not too long ago we were contacted by former CBC Manitoba managing editor Cecil Rosner, who asked us whether we’d be interested in publishing a story about a trip he took in 2012 to visit the area in Ukraine where both his parents were born. Although it’s been 10 years since Cecil visited Ukraine, given the current situation in that country we thought it timely to get a sense of what life was like in Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion.
By CECIL ROSNER ““Oi — look at the way the schlemiel drives.”

 

 

We are bouncing along the potholed roads of Western Ukraine, heading from Lviv to my mother’s hometown of Buczacz. Our driver and guide isn’t Jewish, but that doesn’t stop him from endlessly whistling Fiddler on the Roof tunes and inserting Yiddishisms into every second phrase.

“These guys are all ganefs (thieves),” he says of the policemen we pass, as he forms his thumb and forefinger into a pistol and slowly pulls the trigger. Alex doesn’t like the speed traps the highway patrols set up, and he appreciates oncoming drivers signalling him to beware of cops just beyond the next hill. It’s an important issue for our driver, who crisscrosses Ukraine’s roads all year-long, ferrying tourists to distant towns and villages in search of their Jewish ancestors.

Cecil walking with his guide, Alex
on a street in Buczacz,
the city in western Ukraine where
Cecil’s parents lived and where
they operated a small store

For Alex, who holds a history degree and is an expert at tracing genealogical roots, it’s an occupation he never dreamed he would have. But in the chaos of the Soviet Union’s collapse, when jobs were evaporating and everyone was trying to reimagine their lives, it seemed like a useful niche to pursue – especially as foreigners were finally trying to discover exactly what had happened to their relatives during the Second World War.

That’s why I’m here too, along with my wife and a cousin. Both of my parents were born in the region, and both were here when the Nazis occupied the area in 1941. In different improbable and miraculous ways, they both survived the war and emigrated to Canada. But every single other family member was shot, gassed, beaten or starved to death by the Nazis and their collaborators. We came here to see what traces of their lives remained.

It seemed logical to make our first stop the local museum, right across from the old city hall. Buczacz is little more than a village, with about 13,000 people. In the early part of the 19th century, Jews made up two-thirds of the population. While that number ebbed and flowed over the years, Jews were still in the majority when the Nazi occupation began. But that would have been difficult to discern in the museum.

In all the display cases, and in the colourful photo album that the town produces, there is no specific mention of a Jewish population. There is scarcely any reference to the Second World War, except for a notation that the town “was released from German invaders and captured by the Soviet Union.” Wouldn’t a town’s museum want to address what became of the majority of the population? What happened to thousands of farmers, shop owners, tailors, tinsmiths, doctors, lawyers and politicians? Doesn’t the mass roundup and extermination of most people in town even rate a mention?

The only hint of any Jewish presence came in the form of artifacts from the life of Shmuel Agnon, a Jewish writer born in Buczacz who won the Nobel Prize for literature. But the entire fate of the people Agnon wrote about had been erased.

Alex had little luck getting the museum’s employee to throw any light on what the town was like in the immediate pre-war period. She genuinely seemed not to know. But there were a few things I already knew.

My mother, Mina, had been born here in 1913, and her family owned a wholesale distribution company. They carbonated water and stored it in big, forty-litre copper cylinders, shipping them along with ice to shops throughout the area. When she was 25, she married my father, Michael Rosner, who came from nearby Kolomaya. In 1939, they opened a small retail store on the main town square, probably within metres of the present-day museum.

When the war broke out in September 1939, there was a reprieve. The region came under the control of the Soviets, and Jews were under no immediate threat. All that changed when Hitler marched eastward in 1941. My father was conscripted by the retreating Soviets, and my mother was trapped behind Nazi lines for the remainder of the war.

“We go to the Jewish cemetery,
where many of the town’s Jews –
including my mother’s parents –
were taken to be executed.”

For the next three years, every member of my mother’s family – her parents, five brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins – were dragged from their hiding places, bludgeoned or shot, or sent off to be executed. They were all dumped into unmarked graves. My parents’ first-born child – my brother – also fell victim, dying at the age of three in 1942.

My mother’s survival defied any normal odds. She fled from one hiding place to another, escaping just in time to avoid capture. She spent 11 months in the attic of a Polish family along with five other Jews. She took an assumed name and boldly convinced the Nazis she was Christian. Finally, after Buczacz was liberated, she re-united with my father and they came to Canada to start anew in 1948.

I had been to Buczacz once before, with my mother, in 1990. We came with a documentary crew to record her first visit back home since the war. It was an emotional trip and a difficult one for both of us. But we learned very little of the actual events that had transpired in the town, or the exact locations where they happened. That’s why, nearly 15 years after my mother’s death, I was returning for a second time.

I convinced Alex that our best strategy on this trip would be to find older people and ask them what they knew about the 30s and 40s. Alex seemed skeptical. For one thing, the war had begun more than 70 years ago, so it was unlikely there would be any useful first-hand witnesses at hand. And there was also the collective amnesia that pertained to inconvenient truths.

After all, a segment of the population had actively collaborated with Hitler. They were instrumental in helping identify and round up the Jews, the Communists, and all the other elements the Nazis wanted to destroy. Some might still be living in Buczacz and surrounding areas. Their children and grandchildren almost certainly are here.

The museum’s employee finally gives us a sliver of hope. There is someone in town we should visit – someone who knows the history and might be able to help us. His name is Mykola.

We drive for a few minutes and stop at Mykola’s house. I am expecting to find an elderly man who may have been a teenager during the war. Instead, we come upon a 40-something man in sweatpants and a Maple Leafs T-shirt. He is clutching a handful of papers and photographs. One of them shows a photo of Buczacz’s surviving Jews standing beside a memorial gravestone in 1944. Out of the original population of 10,000, no more than 100 survived. One of the people in the photo is my mother.

Mykola has taken an interest in wartime history, and now helps visiting tourists locate family remnants. He has a variety of interesting documents, including a map of pre-war street names, and a mid-19th century register of townsfolk. It turns out that he knows about some of the Jewish families that lived in Buczacz during the war – a handful of them have returned over the years, and he has helped them find their old homes and landmarks.

We ask Mykola if he could help solve a puzzle my mother and I couldn’t figure out on our previous trip. Her family had lived on a street called Zeblickevicie, which had changed names several times after the war. From her description, though, we knew it was beside a stream that ran into the Strypa River, a subsidiary of the Dniester.

We pile into the car along with Mykola and he directs us to the location. The stream had been covered over, except at the point where it emptied into the Strypa. Though the original home was no longer there, he shows us the exact location where my mother’s family had lived. I saw the idyllic surroundings, the lush vegetation around the quiet river, and for the first time I had an inkling of the peaceful life my mother experienced before the war changed everything.

While we were all walking along the old Zeblickevicie street, Mykola bumps into a friend and exchanges a few words with him. As we walk on, the friend stops my wife, Harriet, and our cousin Nina and says: “Mina Rosner – I am a Witness.” That is the name of my mother’s book. Alex is impatient. He had rich experience of locals trying to pester visitors, and he was eager to move us all along. But Harriet and Nina persist. It turns out the man on our chance encounter knows all about my mother’s story, and offers to take us on a tour of where she lived, where she went to school, where she hid during the war, and where her family members were killed.

Near where Cecil’s mother once
lived: “I saw the idyllic surroundings,
the lush vegetation around the quiet river,
and for the first time I had
an inkling of the peaceful life my
mother experienced before the war.”

Over the next 24 hours, Alex grudgingly admits he was wrong. Our serendipitous encounter has linked us up with Jura, a 60-year-old retired computer technician, astrologist and local historian. He knows my mother’s exact birthdate, and, it appears, everyone else’s in town. He has a photocopied version of my mother’s book, and he has pieced together her recollections with precise locations of many of the events she describes. If photographic memories actually exist, we figure he has one. He is a visiting tourist’s dream come true, and Alex has to take a back seat while Jura takes us on a remarkable tour of my mother’s life.

The first stop is just around the corner, on a street that used to be called Chechego Maya. I remember it from my mother’s stories, but we could never pinpoint it on our previous trip. Jura shows us the building where my mother’s sister and her husband ran a hardware shop. He knows the address because it’s listed in trade publications of the era. Though my mother’s original house and her parents’ store no longer existed, I finally had an authentic touchstone of some of her family’s life at the time.

Jura takes us to the pre-war building on Kolejowa Street that served as the cheder, the religious school, where Jewish kids studied. We visit the girls’ school and middle school where my mother was a student, and walk into Buczacz’s Sokol theatre, where she watched dramatic performances and movies as a teenager. A group of children is rehearsing a musical concert on stage, and I can imagine my mother sitting in the auditorium with her brothers and sisters and friends.

Just down the road, near an orchard, Jura shows us the garden of a long-ago demolished home where my mother hid during one of the Nazi aktions, or periodic killing sprees. A bunker had been constructed in the cellar, and this helped shield her and other Jews from capture. The Nazis conducted four major aktions during their occupation of Buczacz before declaring the town Judenrein, or completely free of Jews. But the declaration turned out to be false. My mother, along with dozens of others, managed to survive with the aid of courageous gentile families who risked their safety to shelter them.

In the middle of our travels, Jura pulls out a sheet of typewritten names – people who had served as policemen, gendarmes and SS officers during the war. I recognize some of the names. Some of the Nazi war criminals and their collaborators have been brought to justice, but the vast majority remain undetected and untried for their crimes.

We go to the Jewish cemetery, where many of the town’s Jews – including my mother’s parents – were taken to be executed. The place is untended and overgrown, a jumble of brush and junk, with headstones in various states of disrepair. We find my great-grandmother’s grave. It’s significant, because two plots over my mother buried her first-born child, Isaac, in an unmarked plot. I clear away the branches and debris from the group of headstones in the area to get a better view. I bend down and touch the ground where the brother I never met is buried. Exactly 70 years later, someone has come back to this place to remember.

Jura takes me down a path through brambles to a spot where survivors had erected a memorial to the war’s victims. The place is overgrown with trees and bushes now, but he says there was nothing here before the war. The marker no longer survives, and even if it did, it’s unlikely anyone would be able to find it without an expert guide.

Our next stop is Fedor Hill, another killing ground where thousands perished. It’s difficult to see traces of anything here, but Jura once again guides us to a marker commemorating the killing of 450 people during the early days of slaughter in 1941. It had been erected by a survivor’s family well after the war.

A far more prominent memorial on Fedor Hill is dedicated to the UPA, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the military wing of a movement that initially collaborated with the Nazis in hopes of winning an independent homeland. In fact, throughout our travels in Western Ukraine, there were numerous new memorials to Ukrainian nationalist fighters in places where it might have been logical to place markers noting the victims of the Nazi era. We saw this on the side of a synagogue in Ivano-Frankivsk, near the Jewish ghetto entrance in Lvov, and many other places. In my father’s hometown of Kolomyia, it was a similar story — no mention of Jews or Nazi victims in the local museum, no remnants of the huge Jewish population, and a patriotic memorial to Ukrainian nationalist figures on the site of a former synagogue. In the re-written history of today, the UPA and its related Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists are presented as groups that fought both Soviets and Nazis; no mention is made of the collaboration in 1941 that led to so much destruction during the war.

Throughout our trip to Ukraine, we were reminded of the upcoming election campaign and the ever-present imagery of Ukrainian nationalism, especially in the Western part of the country. In a land that was exercising its brand of democratic activity, we had to wonder how thoroughly the country had come to grips with its recent history. Many countries are wrestling with related questions, trying to reconcile horrendous events of the past with a way forward. But as in any process or truth and reconciliation, there needs to be an initial recognition of what took place. Erasing and denying the past is rarely the path to building a healthy future.

At the end of our tour in Buczacz, Jura wanted to know the exact date of my mother’s death. He also was interested in our birthdates and any other information he could glean from us. In a country that chooses to forget so much, he was something of an anomaly.

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Features

Remis Lecture Group at Gwen Secter Centre attracts large crowds to hear from two well-known speakers

Mayor Scott Gillingham speaking to the Remis Lecture group at the Gwen Secter Centre Thursday, May 16

By BERNIE BELLAN On two successive Thursdays in May (May 16 and 23), the usual fairly small number of attendees at the Remis Lecture Group luncheons more than doubled in size as large numbers of guests came to hear two well-known speakers: Mayor Scott Gillingham (on May 16); and Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Michael Boroditsky (on May 23).

The Remis group is open to anyone to attend, but anyone who is not a regular member of the group is asked to notify in advance that they will be attending by calling 204-291-4362.

I thought it might be interesting to provide readers with snapshots of what both Mayor Gillingham and Dr. Boroditsky had to say, despite my writing for a Jewish newspaper (and website) and trying to think desperately how I could tie in either speaker to a Jewish theme. How about if I mention that the mayor said he really enjoyed the kosher meal provided by the Gwen Secter Centre, which featured kugel as the main dish?

In a separate article I’ll write about Dr. Boroditsky’s talk. (I have posted about his having said that a new association of Manitoba Jewish physicians has been formed. You can read that article at https://jewishpostandnews.ca/faqs/rokmicronews-fp-1/jewish-physicians-in-manitoba-form-association-in-response-to-antisemitism/: )

Scott Gillingham began his remarks by telling the audience that he was born and raised in Brandon, where he honed his skills as a very good hockey player. First elected to Winnipeg City Council in 2014 and reelected in 2018, in 2022 he ran for mayor.

Readers might remember that former mayor Glen Murray had entered that race and was, at first, considered the heavy favourite to win the election.

Gillingham told this amusing story about election night, which was October 26, 2022: Apparently CTV News had called the election in Murray’s favour shortly after the polls had closed at 8:00 pm.

But, as events transpired, CTV was quite wrong, and it wasn’t long before Gillingham took the lead for good. As he noted to the Remis group, “By 8:30 I had lost and won the election all within a half hour.”

Gillingham explained to the audience of 38 that, as this year is the 150th anniversary of Winnipeg’s incorporation as a city, he wanted to give them a brief history of the city.

The first mayor of the city was Francis Cornish, Gillingham noted, elected by a total of 398 people who voted in our city’s very first election. The Gillingham family’s own history of settlement in Manitoba began in 1907, he said, when the first Gillinghams arrived from England, “and headed as far west as they could go until they ran out of money.”

The key event in Winnipeg’s history, he suggested, came when businessman J.H Ashdown convinced the federal government of the day to route the first trans-Canada railway through Winnipeg rather than Selkirk. Ashdown was instrumental in Winnipeg’s quickly building a bridge across the Red River, which turned out to be decisive in the government’s eventual decision. “That kind of vision and action built the city that we love,” Gillingham suggested.

Continuing on the theme of building upon that which has been laid down already by visionaries in the city’s past, the mayor said: “The fortunate thing for me is stepping into this role has afforded me the opportunity to inherit what’s already in place.”

For that, Gillingham thanked the many generations of entire families that have contributed so much to “the health and welfare of this city. Yes, we have challenges,” he admitted… “we have struggles, we have potholes,” but we still have a great city, he insisted.

He pointed to two specific projects in Winnipeg’s history that came about as the result of great vision and determination: the building of the gravity-fed aqueduct from Shoal Lake and of the Winnipeg Floodway. Gillingham also noted former Mayor Stephen Juba’s role in the building of City Hall in 1962 as another example of vision, as was the construction of the Manitoba Legislative Building in an earlier era.

“As we look back over these past 150 years,” Gillingham said, “we realize there’s a lot to inspire us.”

Turning to some of the more immediate problems that continue to fester here (as they do in almost all major urban centres), the mayor admitted “we don’t have enough housing…I’ve challenged our staff to approve 8,000 units of housing in 2024.” (He added that, as of the day he was speaking, 3,500 units had already been approved, so the goal of 8,000 was well within reach.)

He noted, as well, that new census figures for Winnipeg are about to be disclosed “next month” – which means they may already be out by the time this is read, and the anticipated fairly large increase in Winnipeg’s population is only going to add more pressure to build more housing.

As Gillingham put it, “I love my kids, but I don’t want them to live with me forever.”

The mayor also referred to some of the improvements in technology that are underway in the delivery of certain services to the public. He referred specifically to an enhancement to 911 service that will allow anyone calling that number to send a photo to the 911 operator, which should lead to a much better understanding of what type of emergency situation is being talked about. (By the way, Gillingham noted, the very first 999 service – which was the antecedent of the current 911 service, began in Winnipeg, under Mayor Juba, in 1959.)

Gillingham spoke of the need to challenge the Chamber of Commerce to come up “with an actionable set of recommendations which Winnipeg should focus on.”

He noted, as well, that in meeting with business leaders throughout North America, he has learned that they are specifically “interested in Winnipeg – and not Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, or Calgary” and each time he’s asked them “what it is they’re looking for and how we can provide it in Winnipeg?” Later in his talk he returned to this topic and elaborated on what it is that business leaders are looking for, saying they’re looking for “skilled labour and are we connected to markets?” As well, he noted, many are looking for “green energy and a quality of life for their employees” which, he suggested, Winnipeg has in abundance, with “world class arts, pro sports, universities, a diverse population, and cottage country within an hour and a half.”

At that point the mayor began to field questions from the audience. The first question posed was “Whether, in concentrating on growth for the future, are the needs of the inner city being ignored?”

Gillingham answered that there is currently a major investment in housing in the downtown. “There is $122 million in federal funding” earmarked for downtown housing, he said, of which “$30 million has already been received – which will lead to 600 new units of housing downtown.” He added that there will also be “new spray pads in the north end” this year.

The mayor also noted the creation of a new “concierge service” for anyone wanting to build something, whereby if “you call one number you can correlate all the housing requirements,” rather than having to contact a number of different city departments.

He also mentioned the next “round of funding” from the federal government, which “will focus on transportation infrastructure for rapid transit.”

Someone asked Gillingham to define what the term “affordable housing” actually means?

The mayor answered that it would be “80% of the market rate,” so that if housing is renting for $1,000 then $800 would be affordable. He pointed to new housing that will be going up where the old Public Safety Building once stood. “It will include units for less than $1,000 a month,” he said. “If a builder can include at least six units of affordable housing we’ll give them money to offer those,” he added.

Another question was about the Arlington Bridge and what will happen to it?

The mayor answered that “we’re waiting for a consultant’s report.”

I posed a question about cycling, noting that both the mayor and I are ardent cyclists, but for anyone who wants to take their bike downtown, it is extremely difficult to find a secure are in which to leave it. I suggested that the city ought to take one of the many vacant lots downtown and build a secure (above ground) compound, in which cyclists could leave their bikes. I even proposed to the mayor that it could be called “Gillingham’s Island.” (For anyone under a certain age that reference might be totally lost, but lucky for me the Remis group – and the mayor, are of sufficient age to have got the joke.)

Gillingham did address the issue of bike thefts in the city (and I just had another bike stolen not too long ago), saying that anyone can register their bike for free by going to 529garage.com. It would help police in locating the owner of a stolen bike if it’s recovered.)

The final questions were about Portage and Main. The first questioner wondered why this time around the mayor was in favour of opening up Portage and Main whereas in 2018 he was opposed?

Gillingham responded that “something happened between the plebiscite (whether to open Portage and Main to pedestrian traffic) in 2018 and today that’s shifted people’s attitudes.”

He was also asked “When you open Portage and Main will you be closing the concourse?”

The answer was “No, more information is needed.”

Finally, someone wondered whether the skywalk system could be extended to connect the west side of Portage Avenue to the east side – and thus to the skywalk system which connects east of Main Street.

Gillingham said that “We’re open to the conversation. The only date we have in mind is the reopening of the street at street level.”

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Features

Connecting the Dots: Ari Posner- Meet Ari Posner

Ari Z. Posner, son of Barry and Bebe on the left and Ari P. Posner, son of Gerry and Sherna with the cap on the right

By GERRY POSNER I suppose we are not the only family to have inter-related connections. At least, not in the old days of the shtetl. What I do know is that finding my way through these family relationships took me years to figure out and understand. Recently, the dots got connected once again.

It all started (at least as far back as I can go) when around 1905, one Isaac Posner married one Kayla Shulman. They were living at that time in the same shtetl or at least close to the same shtetl of what was then known as Propoisk (now Slavgorod) in present day Belarus. From this marriage emerged three children: a daughter, Lillian Posner – later Romalis;l a son, Samuel L. Posner; and another son, Solomon Posner. That was simple enough. As it turned out, Issac Posner was an older brother of my grandfather, Herman Posner. Isaac’s wife, Kayla, was the sister of my other grandfather, Harry Shulman. Even that was not terribly complicated. In short, my father’s uncle Issac, married my mother’s aunt Kayla. That marriage linked the Posners to the Shulmans in Round 1.

When Isaac and Kayla’s kids married, a son, Sol, married a woman from Iowa City Iowa, named Rhea Markovitz. Not long after, in December, 1937 a son of Herman Posner (my grandfather) – Samuel R. Posner, (my father), married a woman named Rhea Shulman ( my mother) also from Iowa City, Iowa. She was a daughter to Harry and Anna Shulman of Iowa City. Thus, in Iowa City there were two first cousins – Rhea Shulman and Rhea Markovitz, born less than a year apart and both of whom later married men from Winnipeg, both with the initials SP – one Sol Posner and one Sam Posner. Of course, the marriage of my mother, a Shulman, to my father, a Posner, created Round 2 of the Posners and the Shulmans joining together. Are you still with me?

When, in the course of time, Sol and Rhea and Sam and Rhea began to have children, they created a relationship for their children in what might be considered by some to be almost incestuous. Rhea and Sol had two sons, Barry and Craig (of blessed memory), both of whom were and are likely still known to many readers to this day. My parents had Linda, my brother Michael, and me. We were, and still remain, cousins to Barry to this day. I was, and still am related to Barry and Craig in no less than three ways. Why? First of all, Barry’s father Sol was a first cousin to my father Sam. Secondly, Barry’s father was a first cousin to my mother Rhea. Thirdly, Barry’s mother Rhea was a first cousin to my mother Rhea. So the ties are deep. Confusing as well.

Of course, what solidified these roots even further was the fact that Sam and Rhea, my parents, and Sol and Rhea, Barry and Craig’s parents, all lived for the rest of their lives in Winnipeg. So, there were two S. Posners – three in fact, as Sol had a brother, Samuel L., a pharmacist. But, let’s not get sidetracked. The two Rheas were very close and I suspect there had to be much confusion about these two women with the same name and almost the same age. Moreover, the two families shared similar experiences each summer. That was because Rhea Posner – Barry and Craig’s mother, took her kids to Iowa City to spend part of the holidays with her parents, while my mother – Rhea, would also take my siblings and me to visit her parents in Iowa City, Iowa. My cousin Craig and I were the same age (born one month apart ) and hence spent much time together, both in Winnipeg and Iowa City. I never could quite get the picture as to why I saw him in both locations. All I knew was that he was my cousin.

Well, we all grew up with this similar history and genetic connections. When Barry married the former Bebe Melmed, three kids followed. The eldest son was Ari Z. Posner, who grew up in Montreal – where Barry and Bebe lived. When I married Sherna Bernbaum, we also had three kids, the eldest of whom was Ari P. Posner. The fact that these boys had the same name – Ari, was more of a fluke as they were not named for the same person. Oddly, (or maybe not given the past history) Ari Z’s middle name is Zvi, the same name as my son, only in the case of my son, Zvi is his Hebrew middle name. Ari Z. is about 5 years older than Ari P. That difference is about the age difference between Barry and me.

Recently, and to my delight, my son Ari had a good reason to go to L.A. to receive a music award and, to my greater delight, he expressed an interest in seeing the other Ari, whom he had never met. L.A. is where the other Ari Posner resides. As it turns out, their names were not the only dot that connected them. Both have made a career in the arts, Ari Z has done it in writing, creating and producing for TV primarily – and has been very successful in his field. Ari P. is a composer. He is not that far removed from the other Ari since he often writes music for TV in the US and Canada.

I think of grandfather Herman Posner and his brother Isaac. Would they not be amazed at this connection? Or better yet, what would my great-grandfather Shmerya and wife Yudasha have to say about two of their descendants now – approximately 170 years after their births, meeting and reinforcing the family ties. As much as so much has changed, this little bit of Posner history is the same.

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New website for Israelis interested in moving to Canada

By BERNIE BELLAN A new website, titled “Orvrim to Canada” (https://www.ovrimtocanada.com/ovrim-en) has been receiving hundreds of thousands of visits, according to Michal Harel, operator of the website.
In an email sent to jewishpostandnews.ca Michal explained the reasons for her having started the website:
“In response to the October 7th events, a group of friends and I, all Israeli-Canadian immigrants, came together to launch a new website supporting Israelis relocating to Canada. “Our website, https://www.ovrimtocanada.com/, offers a comprehensive platform featuring:

  • Step-by-step guides for starting the immigration process
  • Settlement support and guidance
  • Community connections and networking opportunities
  • Business relocation assistance and expert advice
  • Personal blog sharing immigrants’ experiences and insights

“With over 200,000 visitors and media coverage from prominent Israeli TV channels and newspapers, our website has already made a significant impact in many lives.”
A quick look at the website shows that it contains a wealth of information, almost all in Hebrew, but with an English version that gives an overview of what the website is all about.
The English version also contains a link to a Jerusalem Post story, published this past February, titled “Tired of war? Canada grants multi-year visas to Israelis” (https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-787914#google_vignette) That story not only explains the requirements involved for anyone interested in moving to Canada from Israel, it gives a detailed breakdown of the costs one should expect to encounter.

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