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Robyn Braha has been involved in dance all her life, but recently she’s found a new love: balloon building

Robyn Braha surrounded by
some of the 500,000 balloons at
“Give the Kids a World Village”

By BERNIE BELLAN For Robyn Braha, dance has been an integral part of her life for over 40 years. A former dance director with the Chai Folk Ensemble, which she joined when she was 16, in 1997 Robyn also started her own dance company, known as “Beyachad, Robyn Braha School of Dance.”

“A bit of history,” Robyn wrote in an email she recently sent to us: “I danced with Chai for 8 years, travelled with them to Mexico for the Aviv festival multiple times, to Disney World, Israel and on tour through the NW USA.”
In an article written by Myron Love in 2000, he explained how Robyn developed her deep love for dance: “AIthough Chai and Israeli dance have been an important part of Braha’s life for many years, her dance range goes far beyond Chai. She began taking dance lessons at the Royal Dance Conservatory. For the past two years, she has been a Blue Bomber cheerleader.
“I did jazz dancing when I was younger,” she says. “A friend encouraged me to try out for the cheerleading squad. It has been a lot of fun. It’s a relaxing environment, and the other girls are wonderful. It is nice to have the diversity.”

In that same email Robyn had sent to us, she added that “We have been partnering with the Rady JCC, and the Lisa Cohen Israeli Dance Program, and offer Israeli Dance, Hip Hop, Lyrical and creative movement dance classes after school at the Rady JCC. We are about to begin our 25th season in September which runs through to April. The program offers classes from 2 years old to adult. Registration has now started for this year’s program.”
Robyn continues: “Over the past few years the program and travel opportunities have really grown as the kids performed at one of the largest Israeli Dance Festivals in Miami, for Disney World and Universal Studios and at Israeli dance festivals throughout Canada and of course for community events like Yom Ha’atzmaut.
“We really focus on creating a fun and inclusive dance environment, where we work with each dancer to advance their own skill level, with of course a great celebration at the end of the season recital. We have been performing our annual recitals at MTYP (with the exception of during Covid). It is amazing that we have dancers that started with us in that very first year that are still involved with the program now. We are very excited to bring back many members of our dance family to reunite at this year’s celebration.”

But Robyn’s connection to dancing, which led to frequent visits to Florida with Beyachad, has also added an entirely new dimension to her life, as she explains in her email: Building giant decorations of balloons for kids who are staying in Florida under the auspices of the “Make a Wish Foundation.”
As she explains, “I have been doing balloons for a couple of years, mostly for community events, like for the Rady or Gray Academy. It was a hobby that grew into something bigger over the past couple of years. I am still teaching dance and this year is our 25th anniversary so balloons come second to that.”
Robyn goes on to say that “A few weeks ago I took part in the biggest balloon build in the world in Orlando, Florida in support of the “Give Kids the World Village.” This is where critically ill kids stay with their families when they are granted their wish through the “Make a Wish Foundation” to visit Disney World.
“Give Kids the World Village is an 89-acre non profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida that provides week long cost free vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world,” Robyn adds.
“My involvement was originally based on the balloon work that I do so I went to go and volunteer my services to help with this fundraiser. Through my involvement I had a couple of people from our community in Winnipeg reach out to me to let me know that they got to stay at that village when their kids were granted a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation, and for another family that they will be staying there in the near future when their child is granted their wish.
“Through the event we used 500,000 balloons, the biggest balloon build ever, and I was one of 14 Canadians. In total 300 Balloon artists from around the world took part. There was also a representative from Israel assisting as well.”

“I came across the event through the people I keep in touch with throughout the Balloon artist community around the world, and wasn’t sure if the event would take place given all the impact Covid has had, but it did, and it was incredible. I didn’t know about the community connections until I started sharing on Facebook the journey of the event. Every day I shared the progress we made as we turned an enormous room into a replica of the village. I got a lot of support from our community, positive messages, and cheering us on, which was wonderful.
“We built the balloons all week and then on the Friday the balloon world was open to the kids and their families who were staying at the village, and on Saturday is was open to the public to purchase tickets and all funds raised went back to GKTW.
“The space covered 30,000 sq feet, and had displays as high as 24 feet.”

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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” ( has been receiving hundreds of thousands of visits, according to Michal Harel, operator of the website.
In an email sent to 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,, 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” ( 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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Top-rated games you’ll find at online casinos

Online casinos serve as platforms where you can engage in games with monetary stakes for a chance to win real cash prizes. With many of these platforms accepting cryptocurrencies, this exciting activity has become popular amongst traders looking to earn more Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) to trade.
The array of games available at online casinos is extensive, offering a wide variety to choose from. Each game offers a unique experience that makes it stand out among thousands of titles. To give you an idea of what kinds of games await you, check out these three examples:
Video slots with multiplier features
The slot game category has the most variety out of all types of games offered at Bitcoin casino Canada. There are easily more than 1000 of them in a given platform and each one offers a list of features like multipliers, sticky wilds, and expanding bonuses. There are other features you can enjoy but some of them are unique to games from a specific software provider.
What you should look for is any slot game with multipliers. This feature boosts how much you win per hit in a slot game and the amount can reach up to the game’s max payout. It is also the most versatile feature because it can work in tandem with almost any other slot game mechanic. Thus, your experience playing slot games with multipliers will always feel rewarding.
Variations of poker table games
Poker stands out for its strategic depth. With simple rules, this game offers single-player variations available at all Bitcoin casinos. If you can’t remember the winning hand combinations, then you may use references provided by the game in the description. Most of these poker games tell you what kind of hand you have so there’s no need to memorise any winning combinations.
In single-player poker games, players compete against the house, with different versions featuring varying winning conditions. Some require players to bet on their hand to win by having the best combination on the table. Others are played like slot games where you win by forming any winning hand but the payout is determined by the combination you make.
Playing any kind of poker game is fun to play to win Bitcoin prizes. Multiplayer poker is difficult to win unless you’re skilled at bluffing so stick to single-player ones to have more chances to win.
European roulette with a twist
European roulette has been a beloved classic among gamblers throughout history. It can be more fun now with new technology that is possible at online casinos. Some software providers have introduced innovative features, such as multipliers, to make payouts more exciting. Others revolutionise the classic format by adding another ball or a new game mode as a bonus feature.
The most creative iteration of the classic European roulette can be found at the top Bitcoin casino operating in Canada. Explore this unique iteration and dive into the action using crypto for added convenience and security.
Discover more games at your favourite online casino
All of these games can be found in almost every online casino. Just choose whichever has the best offering or feel the most convenient to use then explore their other options. From classic card games to cutting-edge slot games, they each offer unique experiences from one another. Take your time to find the perfect platform that offers a whole package of excitement and convenience, giving you a worthwhile journey to win crypto in the most entertaining way possible.

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