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The 1970 girls: the terrific ten

Celebrating a birthday – Covid style
April, 2020 Top row l-r: Jackie (Rosen Nash)
Michelle Golfman, Marni (Fingold) Miller,
Jill (Margolis) Atnikov. Middle row:
Davina (Muchnik) Golden, Lisa (Golfman) Kroft,
Lisa (Hamburg) Weidman, Jodi Hyman. Bottom row:
Samantha Zimberg, Allison (Hyman) Axelrod.

By GERRY POSNER I have always thought I was privileged to have grown up when and where I did, but I have learned that my children’s generation has also been imbued with this same feeling. In particular, I refer to 10 girls, now women, all born in 1970, who are all now just past 50, and who share this same sentiment. Their story almost makes one cry for a time gone by.

The ladies are: Jill (Margolis) Atnikov, Allison (Hyman) Axelrod, Davina ( Muchnik) Golden, Michelle Golfman, Jodi Hyman, Lisa (Golfman) Kroft, Marni (Fingold) Miller, Jackie (Rosen) Nash, Lisa (Hamburg) Weidman, and Samantha ( Zimberg) Adelman.

These are names known to many readers of the Jewish Post & News and beyond. They are women who have made a conscious effort to be connected ever since their earliest days together. There is what seems to be an unshakeable bond between all of them and their feelings of “ closeness” shine through and in all of them.

The reality of this deep friendship is best summed up in something Jill Margolis Atnikov wrote. Even though the girls were never at the same school together, “We have been friends for at least forty-nine years.” Organizations like Kadima, BB Camp, BBYO cemented the ten girls together in ways they could not have imagined. Whatever it was that tied these women together, it worked. Jackie Rosen Nash says, “We were all in close proximity to where we lived so we were able to be together. I could walk to everyone’s house. I can picture everyone’s house as they were.” That is a remarkable statement and I bet each of the group could describe all of their respective homes to one another.

Not all the women live in Winnipeg now. Out of the 10, there are five remaining in Winnipeg, with Michelle Golfman in Toronto, Marni Fingold Miller in San Diego, Jackie Rosen Nash and Lisa Hamburg Weidman in Vancouver, and Davina Muchnik Golden in Chicago. Included in this group are two sets of first cousins, as in Lisa Golfman Kroft and Michelle Golfman; and Jodi Hyman and Allison Hyman Axelrod. Between the 10 of them, they have added 14 more Winnipeg descendants (of a kind – since some of them are first Winnipeg removed). And, although they have gone on separate paths, what links them still is their desire to stay connected.

Davina Muchnik Golden works today as an educational assistant with two teenage daughters. Jodi Hyman is a Nurse Educator at Cancer Care Manitoba. Jackie Rosen Nash is a personal shopper (I sure could use someone like that). Marni Fingold Miller, mother of two children – both over 20, is an interior designer. Lisa Golfman, with two sons both over 20, is a small business owner in Winnipeg. Jill Margolis Atnikov is a Pharmaceutical Representative, a small business owner in Winnipeg and is mother to a 21- year-old daughter. Allison Hyman Axelrod, mother of two sons – both close to 20, also works in Winnipeg as a Senior Customer Success Manager in the Human Resource and Wellbeing Industry (you have to love that title). Michelle Golfman has another title I love, as she is a Director of Philanthropy. Lisa Hamburg Weidman works as an Education Intervention Specialist (I bet you never heard that term when you were growing up) and she has three kids – two over 20 and one just under 20. Samantha Zim-berg Adelman lives in Winnipeg and works as an Educational Assistant with two kids, also in the 20-year-old range.
Based on the ages of the children of these women, I suggest there is a further opportunity to tie some of them even more tightly together. Maybe it has already happened.

One theme that seemed to emerge after reading emails from several women was a really strong feeling for the Winnipeg Jets. As Lisa Golfman Kroft put it, “We used to stalk the hockey players from the Winnipeg Jets.”That thought was echoed by her cousin Michelle, who wrote that “ no matter where we are in the world the “ Winnipeg Jets” were and always will be our “ home team.” I think the group better plan a session together soon to help the Jets, who seem to be floundering right at this moment and need all the help they can get.

Lisa Hamburg Weidman reflected on the way the ten of them came together. She says “There were so many facets of community that connected us and brought us together. We were never all in the same school at the same time, but we were always connected. There were so many different circumstances that always brought us together.” Golfman Kroft adds, “We don’t see each other as often or speak to each other often but when we do, it’s like no time has passed.” Samantha Zimberg Adelman commented that “Sharing our love of music and concerts from when we were kids until now” was a common thread. Hyman Axelrod put a different slant on it when she wrote, “ I love how we have instilled in our kids the importance of these friendships. My kids always report back to me when they bump into one of the girls or their families. They know saying hello is important.” What was crucial to Muchnik Golden was “the time spent at the beach at Gimli for us to be together.” You would have thought that over the years, ten women (men too) would have had many disputes and arguments which might have affected their relationships, but Marni Fingold Miller’s take on it is “We recognize how unique this friendship is. We know each other’s shtick, but we continue to love each other.” I identified well with the comments of Jodi Hyman who suggested “There is something to be said for true friendship. We were bound together through growing up and participating in Jewish community youth programmes, to sharing many laughs as well as tears as we move through life’s joy and losses. Although we may be geographically spread out, we will always be united through our Winnipeg routes and true friendship.”

Now these lovely ladies have made the point of meeting together at reunions in different locations over the passing years. The accompanying photos give a glimpse of the genuine joy of the women as they met together on several occasions. Sadly, the plans in 2020 for the big 50th birthday reunion were shelved due to Covid. What they did instead was to initiate birthday Zoom calls as each woman hit the magic 50 and they did a catch up.

It is not an easy thing to do, that is, to retain life-long friendships. Life sends one off in different reactions and yet these women remain attached to this date. Was it the Winnipeg weather, the close knit community, the lack of cell phones and internet access, the fact that the parents knew each other? Who knows for sure? What is known is this: These women savour the memories. Not that long ago, at a reunion in Scottsdale, Arizona, they played a game called the “Voting Game”. This game tries to uncover the truth about your friendships. The players in the game vote anonymously for the particular player who is described by a particular question. As Jill Margolis Atnikov wrote, “ No doubt there were screams of laughter as we were taken back to our childhoods. One question in particular brought out the laughter as in ‘Who had the worst high school photo?’ On this question, there was unanimity though they never told me who that was, nor did they send me the photo.”

I think most of us would agree there is great merit in sharing memories of what each did for their childhood birthday parties, what they wore to Sweet 16 parties, who their first crush wa,s and on and on. What one forgets, another remembers.

I get it. While you do not have to be from Winnipeg to feel this way, it is likely that most of us who were privileged to have grown up at the time when we did and where we did, have experienced in some small or larger way, these same feelings. I am doubtful whether my grandchildren and the children of the group of ten will have these same kinds of relationships and memories. But that is another story.

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Features

Life in Israel four months after October seventh

Orly & Solly Dreman

By ORLY DREMAN

(Special to the JP&N) Feb. 1, 2024

In every news broadcast that we hear that “The IDF spokesman is permitted to announce”… then every person in Israel sits down, holds their breath and waits to hear the names of the soldiers fallen in action that day. This causes deep sadness to every family in Israel. For example, I found out the son of my T.V technician was killed and my handyman’s son was seriously injured. Death in Israel is so personal.

Our synagogue recently mourned twenty seven year old Inbar Heiman who was kidnapped by Hamas from the Nova music nature party on October seventh and was murdered in captivity. She was a gifted young woman filled with love and compassion. She was a creative artist that was supposed to enter her senior year at university this academic year. We had prayed and wished that she would return until her family received the tragic news of her death.

When we made personal medical visits to the Hadassah hospital, we often heard helicopters overhead bringing in wounded soldiers from Gaza. In the surgery department we saw a reserve soldier being released after six weeks in the hospital. His wife and newborn baby were with him. The department had a touching farewell gathering with Israeli flags, music and cakes. This is how every soldier who leaves the hospital is treated. More than fourteen thousand civilians and soldiers were hospitalized since October seventh with most of the injuries being in the hands and legs, burns, head and eye injuries.

We seldom are in the mood to go to a restaurant these days, but if we do, such outings are accompanied by guilt feelings. Is it right to go when our people are suffering?- the hostages are starving. We all wear the metal disc that says “Bring Them Home now- Our hearts are captured in Gaza”. They occupy our thoughts pervasively. Some of the hostages have suffered untreated gunshot wounds and the hygiene conditions are poor, many of them not showering for four months, sitting thirty meters under the ground in dark tunnels, with no electricity and suffering from extreme malnutrition. Some of them have diseases like Celiac, Asthma, Colitis, Diabetes, Fibromialgia, heart diseases and allergies. They are getting no medications and time is running out for them. Twenty five of them have already perished. What sort of civil society will we be if we abandon them?

Whole families are recruited for combat duty in different areas of the country. It might be a brother and a sister fighting in Gaza or a father in Judea and Samaria while another brother is fighting on the Lebanese border. If you ask soldiers who have lost their siblings in combat if they wish to go back to fight after the shiva, they do not hesitate, even though it is so hard on the parents. This demonstrates the dedication of Israeli citizens and their wish to complete the task of exterminating the Hamas, while at the same time knowing their family member did not die in vain. The grief is intergenerational and we are even acquainted with grandparents whose grandchildren are in combat and they are given the opportunity to go to workshops that help them with their anxiety.

In a Knesset Committee it was recently reported That many survivors from the Nova party have taken their own lives. Others continue to experience the trauma of the horrific events. They cannot sleep nor eat. Many were sexually abused and even though they were not murdered they continue to experience the pain- the sights, voices- cries for help and the fear. They are in a sense also fighters who awaken to a new existence everyday and continue to fight for their existence.

At the military cemeteries there is one funeral process after another and the families are asked to leave the site to make room to prepare for the next funeral. Wounded soldiers arrive in ambulances, on hospital beds or wheelchairs in order to eulogize their fallen comrades.

The reservists who return home after months of combat are having troubles adjusting because this war, like the War of Independence, is very meaningful. It is the most justified war our homeland has encountered. Upon their return there is a big downfall in physical and mental energy. A stranger cannot understand this. These soldiers were disconnected from normal civilian routine for a long time and they had difficult and intimate experiences with their combat mates. They have lost friends and did not have time to mourn. They must release the stress they were exposed to. They are back in body but not always in spirit. They also might be recruited again in the near future to the southern or the northern front, the war is not over. Many men who were injured worry about their future fertility and sexual functioning.

They entertain such existential thoughts as would it be better that I am killed in action before I have children and leave no descendants, or losing my life and leaving behind orphans. Dozens of children remain orphaned from both parents. They also have witnessed their family members being murdered and their homes burned down. Years ago, Solly treated and did a follow up on a family where both parents were murdered in a terrorist attack. Even though the children were adopted by loving relatives they suffered from survivor guilt and this expressed itself in such phenomena as dropping out of school, turning into juvenile delinquents and having trouble in intimate relations.

The evacuees from the south and the north are dispersed in hundreds of hotels in the center of the country. Hence, they have no permanent home, have no privacy and many have no work, nothing to do for months on end and experience feelings of powerlessness. Some pupils are not capable of returning to their temporary schools because of anxieties, depression and fear. Some teenagers have turned to drugs and alcohol which increases violence and vandalism. For them school is experienced as a waste of time. Their friends were murdered, some still have relatives in captivity and everything is falling apart. They also experience sleep disruptions and are in no mood to study. For them life is a living hell. Some families are moved from city to city several times. The children do not have friends in the new locations and they feel lonely and express a lack of social support.

In the realm of parenting many mothers even those who were NOT directly exposed to the dramatic events reported that their children cry more (eighty three percent). Others say the children have difficulties sleeping (seventy three percent), have concentration problems (fifty four percent) and many children are developing eating disorders. In sixty percent the anxiety of the children is so high it hurts functioning. For example, they are often afraid to leave the house. Other disturbances were reported such as bed-wetting, insisting on sleeping with their parents and acts of anger and aggression.

We, as Israelis are also concerned with our Jewish brethren who are experiencing thousands of antisemitic incidents, higher than the number of all incidents in the last decade. There are many Jews in the diaspora who are considering emigration to Israel after experiencing antisemitic events such as seeing their synagogue, Hebrew school, kosher butcher and other Jewish businesses being stoned and burned. For them Israel is their safest haven.

On a more optimistic note the Jewish people have prevailed over thousands of years despite terrible events. In spite of the uncertainty not everything is lost. We are united and strong. The soldiers are full of motivation and good values. I firmly believe that if we are patient and persist, the Jewish people and the state of Israel will prevail.

Orly Dreman is a 10th generation Israeli. Her cousin, Ruvi Rivlin, was a former president of Israel. Orly’s father was a diplomat who served both in North America and in Europe.
By profession Orly is an English teacher. She has dealt with children suffering from ADD.
Since childhood, Orly has been involved in voluntary work with the disabled, the challenged, new immigrants, the elderly and others. 

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Features

The Critical Job Roles in Online Business

More companies than ever are embracing remote working. As of 2023, around 16% of businesses have a fully remote working model, with many more adopting a hybrid one. All of this should come as welcome news to anyone looking for a better work-life balance. As well as saying goodbye to grueling commutes, remote employees can embrace lucrative salary packages, generous benefits, and more. Ready to reap the benefits of online work yourself? Below are just a handful of remote working opportunities to consider.

Video Game and Casino Platform Development

Whether it’s creating Canadian online slots for real money casinos or an open-world epic, great games need talented developers. Thankfully, this is one sector where the typical rules of the 9-5 don’t apply. In the US, an experienced game developer can expect to take home around $103,000 annually. For a midweight casino games developer, a starting salary of around $65,000 is fairly respectable.

Software Engineering

If you have a background in software engineering, you’re in luck. Currently, it’s one of the highest-paid online roles around, with an average salary of $108,000. There’s no one size-fits-all remit for a software engineer, but typical roles include designing applications, testing, and creating system upgrades.

UX Design

User experience is becoming increasingly important as companies strive to make their digital products more accessible. Unsurprisingly, there’s a high demand for user experience designers, with many positions now advertised as remote-first roles. You’ll need to have sufficient software and development experience to excel here. What’s more, you’ll need to work closely with clients to meet the needs of the consumer. If you think you could do well in a role like this, expect an annual salary in the region of $97,000.

Web Design

One role you’ll never struggle to find is that of a web designer. It’s a pretty broad field, so expect a lot of disparity when it comes to job remits and starting salaries. At a minimum, a web designer worth their salt should be able to create accessible websites for a wide range of clients. You’ll also need to be familiar with coding languages and testing. Less experienced web designers can expect to command a starting salary of around $43,000. If you’ve been working professionally for more than a few years and have a solid portfolio to back you up, you can easily negotiate twice that amount.

Entry-Level Online Roles

For digital natives, remote working will come as second nature. Don’t have the skills to land a web designer or developer job? Not to worry. There are an increasing number of entry-level remote roles out there.

Customer service roles are readily available, with positions to cater to all experience levels. At the bottom rung of the ladder, you might be tasked with making sales calls or resolving complaints from customers. A customer service agent can comfortably make around $40-50,000 a year. If you operate on a commission basis or can take advantage of a generous bonus scheme, you could easily double this annually.

Is Remote Working Here To Stay?

Even as many businesses encourage workers back to the office, there’s an deniable upward trend in the number of remote and hybrid-only roles on the job market. Video conferencing technology and collaboration tools are making it easier than ever for remote teams to remain connected. Meanwhile, company executives are finding it hard to argue with significantly reduced overheads and increased productivity.

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Features

Dangers from the far-right in America explored in new book

By MARTIN ZEILIG “The United States is confronted by a serious domestic terrorist threat in addition to the foreign ones that have commanded our attention for the past two decades,” warn Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) fellows and leading terrorism experts Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware, says a review of “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America” on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations (January 2, 2024).  
“Their new book provides a definitive account of how ‘“violent extremism has woven itself into the fabric of national, state, and local politics,”’ from the tragedy that unfolded at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015 through the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.” 

Co-authors of “God, Guns, and Sedition” Bruce Hoffman (left) and Jacob Ware


Bruce Hoffman is the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service; professor emeritus of terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews; and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. His Columbia University Press books include “Inside Terrorism “(third edition, 2017).
Jacob Ware is a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and at DeSales University. He serves on the editorial boards for the academic journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism and the Irregular Warfare Initiative at the Modern War Institute at West Point. 

Mr. Hoffman agreed to discuss the book in an email interview with The Jewish Post & News.
JP&N: Why did you decide to write this book now?
BH: The idea for this book came to me just a month into the global COVID lockdown. April 2020 was a dark, dangerous, and highly fearful and uncertain time. Odious conspiracy theories, that had been circulating for years, suddenly gained newfound momentum across the internet and social media. Indeed, within days of the lockdown, Jewish people were being blamed and vilified for creating the pandemic in order to profit monetarily from it.
Asians, persons of color, and immigrants, and others, were also being targeted for blame. Only weeks earlier I had been the target of a serious hate crime. Isolated at home, like most of the rest of the world, I had lots of time to think about what was happening and, I quickly reached the conclusion that I needed to return to my analytical roots.
To explain, I had begun my career as a terrorism and counterterrorism analyst in 1981 at the renowned American think-tank, The RAND Corporation. However, by the time that I joined its Security and Subnational Conflict Research Program, all the more prominent left-wing and ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorists active at the time had been taken by other members of the research team.
Surveying the remaining terrorist movements that had not yet been chosen, I decided to focus on the threat posed by neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups then active in Europe. That in fact was the subject of my first ever professional publication.
Within only a couple of years, I expanded by focus to include their even far more dangerous American counterparts. I therefore studied intently violent, far-right terrorism in the United States from the mid-1980s through the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then, like most other terrorism analysts, my attention was diverted for the next two decades almost exclusively to al Qaeda and then the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).
Meanwhile, terrorist attacks from violent, far-right extremists both in the United States and elsewhere had suddenly started to increase during the twenty-teens. In 2011, for instance, there were simultaneous, tragic terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya, Norway; four years later there was the horrific shootings of worshippers at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; then in 2018 a gunman stormed into the Jewish Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killing congregants; and in 2019 the attacks within weeks of one another on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and a Jewish synagogue in Poway, California, and then that summer at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, clearly demonstrated that the same hateful ideology and bloody mindset that had fueled far-right violence during the closing decades of the twentieth-century, when I first began studying this phenomenon, had neither disappeared nor abated.
Accordingly, I approached my friend and colleague at the Council on Foreign Relations and Georgetown University, Jacob Ware, and proposed that we together write this book. And, we immediately began work on it.
 
 JP&N: What is the extent of far-left terrorism in the U.S.A. and elsewhere in the world? Is there a connection between far-right and far-left extremists?
 BH: Let me emphasize that politically-motivated violence—that is, terrorism—in the United States is not confined exclusively to the far-right. Indeed, prior to the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building the most serious incident targeted Republication congressmen. In June 2017, a self-proclaimed supporter of progressive, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders opened fire at an early morning practice for the annual congressional charity baseball game. The then-House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, was seriously wounded, along with five other persons. If not for the U.S. Capitol Police present as part of Rep. Scalise’s security detail, who killed the gunman, the outcome would likely have been very different. In another incident two years later, a self-professed anarchist tried to firebomb a Tacoma, Washington Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, before being shot dead by responding officers.
But with the exception of those two very serious incidents and some others of brawling, rioting, arson, and vandalism that occurred during Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration in Washington, DC, and in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and some other cities following the death of George Floyd by police in 2021, the threat of violence from violent, far-left extremists has been less pervasive and less consequential than that from their counterparts on the far-right. Indeed, Professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss in her book, “Hate in the Homeland,” estimates that there were at least 75,000 armed and violently-inclined far-right extremists in the United States as of 2020—a number that likely completely eclipses that of violently-inclined far-left extremists in the United States: many of whom are not armed and lack the training and expertise possessed by those on the far-right fringe.
The only connection between the two is that they both ascribe to the strategy of “accelerationism.” First articulated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in their 1848 pamphlet, “Manifesto Of The Communist Party,” accelerationism today is embraced by both ends of the ideological spectrum who believe that the modern Western, liberal state is so corrupt and inept that it is beyond redemption and must be destroyed in order to create a new society and way of governance.
 
JP&N: What are the strategies for combating far-right terrorism?
BH: The book argues that the United States needs a comprehensive, wide-ranging, institutionalized strategy to effectively counter the threat to our democracy from violent, far-right extremism. Measures are required to strengthen American civil society more generally as well as to specifically target violent extremist groups, their activists and supporters, their propagandists and sympathizers, and their recruiters and financiers.
 The policy recommendations we propose fall into three categories: short-term measures to create a stronger regulatory framework, with relatively immediate effects; medium-term measures to strengthen civil society, with impacts over the next five to ten years; and, long-term measures to build national unity and strengthen resilience that will benefit future generations and inoculate them against the allure of extremist ideologies.
This comprehensive counterterrorism strategy will require measures to combat extremists’ free reign online, efforts to build and support longer-term initiatives to prevent new radicalization, and the establishment of new laws to counteract the challenges in prosecuting perpetrators of far-right terrorist plots.

“God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America”
(Columbia University Press $28.95 USD)


 
 

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