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Two murders of two Jewish Winnipeggers – one in 1913 and one in 1928 Could they have been eerily connected?

Left: David & Sarah Feinstein
Sarah was murdered in her bed in 2013.
Right: Ruven (or Robert) Cohen
Ruven was murdered in Saskatchewan in 1928.
His body was tied to the saddle of his horse.

By BERNIE BELLAN The story you’re about to read started off in one direction – then, following a phone call I received Tuesday evening, January 25, took a completely different – and frighteningly eerie direction.
My original story was going to be about a new book that is about to be launched titled “The End of Her”. The book’s author, Wayne Hoffman, is someone who first came to my attention, and subsequently the attention of our readers, in 2015 when he sent me a tantalizingly provocative email whose subject was the long-ago murder of his great-grandmother, Sarah Feinstein.

Mrs. Feinstein was only 26 years old at the time of her murder and, although as Wayne Hoffman notes in his book, there have been many theories advanced as to who could possibly have wanted to murder such a young, innocent woman, the case remains a total mystery.
(You can read my story about “The End of Her” elsehwhere on this website.)
Now, the story of how Wayne Hoffman came to write his book is in of itself quite a fascinating one, but that January 25 phone call really sent my head spinning.
The caller, as it turned out, was a woman with a relatively deep voice. She began by saying that it had just been brought to her attention that there is a Jewish newspaper in Winnipeg. Not only had she never heard of The Jewish Post & News, she said, she wondered what any Jewish newspaper would be all about? Would it be religious in content? she asked. When I assured her that this paper is mostly secular in content she seemed more interested in perhaps taking out a subscription.
We were enjoying a lengthy conversation when the caller sprung this one on me – totally out of the blue: Her grandfather, whose name was Robert Cohen, she told me, had been murdered in Winnipeg in 1928.
“Really?” I asked. “That’s an amazing coincidence,” I said. I explained that I was going to be publishing a story about a new book whose subject was also a long-ago murder of a Jewish Winnipegger.
“I actually have a copy of his obituary,” the caller continued. “But it’s in Yiddish – and I can’t read it.”
She wondered in which newspaper it might have appeared. I said that the main Yiddish language circulation newspaper in Winnipeg at that time was something called Der Yiddishe Vort. I told the caller that I was going to try and see whether there was anything I could find out about her grandfather’s murder and that I would get back to her.
The next day I contacted Stan Carbone, curator of the Jewish Heritage Centre, and asked him whether he or Andrew Morrison, the Centre’s archivist, could help me find the obituary of Robert Cohen from 1928.
Andrew was quick to respond, writing me that when he did a search he was able to come up with one reference to a Robert Cohen in a February 27, 1928 edition of the Israelite Press (which was called Der Yiddishe Vort in Yiddish.)
Andrew sent me the link to the story, which I was able to access on the Jewish Heritage Centre website. What I found was a pdf of the front page from that February 1928 issue which had a story about someone named “Ruven Cohen”, not Robert Cohen. (I can read Yiddish somewhat but my understanding is quite limited.)
But, it was a front page story in that pdf – not an obituary. I realized immediately that the story was about Cohen’s murder.
Next, I contacted Rochelle Zucker, host of the Jewish Radio Hour, and asked her whether she might be able to translate the story for me. Rochelle obliged me that same evening.
Here is the shocking translation of that story , as provided by Rochelle Zucker:
Feb. 17, 1928 Israelite Press
Young Jewish Man from Winnipeg Mysteriously Murdered
R. Cohen murdered in the area of Shell Lake Sask.

Shelbrook Sask, – From the coroner’s inquest of the mysterious death of Ruven Cohen, a cattle merchant from Winnipeg it was found that the $1190 that he had with him when he was leaving the area remained in his pocket. Therefore, the motive for the murder could not have been robbery. The tragic death of R. Cohen, a young man from Winnipeg, made a deep impression here in the city. His body is expected to arrive tomorrow.
According to the information that has been received to date, Mr. Cohen, on his buying trip, had found merchandise in the area and had telegraphed to Winnipeg for money. He got the money and according to reports from the town of Kenwood in that area, he deposited $2000 in the bank. Monday, he took out $1200 and took it with him to pay the farmers for the animals that he bought.
He borrowed a horse from Alfred Schwartz, a Jewish farmer from the area, and rode on horseback in the area. Tuesday, the horse came back home with Cohen’s dead body on it. His hands and feet were tied to the saddle.
Mr. Schwartz and Harry Adelman, a merchant from Shell Lake, traveled immediately to Shelbrook, 40 miles from there and notified the police who immediately started an investigation.
The deceased left behind a widow and 4 children.

Wow! I thought – Mr. Cohen was murdered, but apparently he was not robbed – even though he was carrying a huge amount of cash on his person! And he was in Saskatchewan buying cattle! Sarah Feinstein’s husband, David, was also a cattle buyer who was in Canora, Saskatchewan at the time of her death.
How similar though was Ruven Cohen’s murder to Sarah Feinstein’s I asked myself. Here were two Jewish Winnipeggers, both murdered in the early part of the 20th century, yet with no apparent motive for either one’s murder.
Yet, there was much more to the story, as I was to find out. The next day I contacted the woman who had called me Tuesday evening to tell her what I had found out, including that her “grandfather” was murdered in Saskatchewan, not Winnipeg. But then I was in for another surprise when the woman with whom I was talking told me that she was 19 years old.
“Nineteen?” I said. “But you sound so much older.” After I got over how young this woman was it dawned on me that something else didn’t make sense.
Robert or Ruven Cohen – as he was referred to in the Israelite Press, couldn’t have been her grandfather. She’s much too young to have had a grandfather who was murdered as long ago as 1928. “He had to be your great-grandfather,” I said to her.
“I guess,” she answered. “I hadn’t really thought about it much.” I told her that I was so caught up in this story now that I was determined to try and find out whether there was anything else that I could find out about Mr. Cohen’s murder.
Subsequently, I renewed my subscription to something called newspaperarchives.com, which is a fabulous source for investigative reporters. I had actually taken out a subscription to that service a year and a half ago when I was pursuing the mystery of why someone named Myer Geller had left $725,000 to the “Sharon Home” after he died – without offering any explanation.
It was after searching newspaperarchives.com that I came across a story that was every bit as tantalizing as that initial story from the Israelite Press.
Here is that story, from the February 15, 1928 issue of a newspaper called the Shelbrook Chronicle:
R. Cohen of Winnipeg tied hand and foot to saddle
Horse returns home with dead body
Grim tragedy stalked through the little hamlet of Shell Lake on Tuesday morning when the dead body of Robert Cohen, cattle buyer of Winnipeg, was found tied to the saddle of the horse he was riding. The horse, which Robert Cohen had borrowed from Perry Turrell on Sunday afternoon to go to Kenwood, returned early Tuesday morning to the farmstead of his owner dragging his dead body, and when Mr. Turrell found the body the hands were securely and apparently expertly tied together and then tied to the stirrup of the saddle. The feet were likewise securely tied and the body apparently thrown over the saddle and the feet and hands tied to the same stirrup by the same rope passed underneath the body of the horse. The conjecture is that when the horse was started off the saddle turned under the horse and the body was then thrown under the horse and dragged. The head was severely bruised and lacerated.
It is alleged that a sum of money was sent to Cohen through the bank at Kenwood by his Winnipeg partner and the purpose of his trip to Kenwood was to draw out some of the money for the purpose of buying cattle in the country about Shell Lake.
He is alleged to have withdrawn $1300, distributed about $100 in Kenwood and started for Shell Lake with about $1200. He borrowed the horse – a rather spirited one from Perry Turrell on Sunday afternoon and rather late in the afternoon left for Kenwood. Monday he spent in Kenwood. When interviewed by long distance the pioneer cattle buyers of Kenwood said that Robert Cohen was a stranger to them until his visit of this week.
On Tuesday morning Turrell rose early, noticed that the yard about his buildings was marked as if by an object dragged over it. On examination he found blood stains and then noticed the horse in the yard riderless.
On going over to investigate in the half light of the early morning the horse took fright and ran to the field dragging a dark object. Terrell approach the frightened animal again and this time found that the heavy object was the dead body of Robert Cohen who had on Sunday afternoon borrowed his horse. Thinking life might not be extinct he cut the cinch of the saddle and also the rope which bound the body to the saddle. He then discovered that the man was dead and left the body where it was and immediately sent alarm to several of his neighbours…
In the meantime Turrell and some of his neighbours followed the blood trail out of the yard east on the roadway and across some vacant land for a distance of a mile. An empty pocketbook was found on the snow in this vacant land, presumably that of the dead man, for when the Constable and coroner later examined Cohen there was no money on his person.
Cohen is a large man, apparently about 35 years of age. He has a wife and family in Winnipeg, the wife at present in hospital in that city. His wife has a sister and brother-in-law, residents of Shelbrook, the brother-in-law a blacksmith also named Cohen
There are a number of theories as to how the man may have met his death. The most commonly held is that his assailant, with the intent of robbery, knocked the man insensible, took his money and then tied him to the saddle.
Yet, there is one gaping hole in that Shelbrook Chronicle story. Why on earth would a robber have gone to the trouble of tying Mr. Cohen’s body to his horse after he murdered him? What possible motive could there have been for such a savage and what must have been fairly time consuming task if the motive were simply to rob the poor man? And, why were the two stories – the one in the Israelite Press and the other in the Shelbrook Chronicle so contradictory? Never mind that the name of the person who gave Mr. Cohen a horse was completely different in both stories, the question of whether he was robbed or not is also180 degrees different in both stories.
It was when I came across one final story about Mr. Cohen’s murder, however, in an April 7, 1930 issue of the Winnipeg Free Press that the robbery motive seems to have been thoroughly disproven. Here is an excerpt from that story:
Government offers $1000 reward for slayer of Cohen Winnipeg cattle buyer
Cohen was a likeable man who paid good prices for his cattle and was thought well of in the district where he met his death. Robbery apparently was not the motive for his killing for his money was found in his pockets. (Editor’s note: emphasis mine.) He had been killed before he was roped to the saddle of a horse. A blow at the base of his skull was the cause of death.

So, there we have it. Despite the Shelbrook Chronicle’s claiming that Mr. Cohen had been robbed of $1300, both the Israelite Press’s and the Free Press’s story say the exact opposite: that no money was taken from him. Whether or not he was robbed, the manner in which he was killed and tied to his horse certainly would suggest that the motive for his murder was far more insidious than simply robbing the poor man.

And, what does this have to do with the murder of Sarah Feinstein? Think about it: Two murders of Jews – who both have strong ties to the cattle buying business.
This is where another story written by Wayne Hoffman enters into the picture. In January 2019 we published a story by Wayne about his great-grandfather David, which was titled “My Great-Grandfather, the Jewish Cowboy”.
In that story Wayne goes into great detail about his great-grandfather’s time spent in Canora, Saskatchewan, where he and his brothers had a thriving business, including before and after Sarah Feinstein’s murder. The story is quite vivid in how it describes what an outstanding cowboy David Feinstein was, but when you read the following two paragraphs from that story, just stop to think how much more sense it now makes to think that Sarah Feinstein’s murder was a hit – exacted by some very tough competitors of David Feinstein:

“David’s stay in Canora coincided with Canadian, and later American, Prohibition. According to a few of my cousins, some of the Feinstein brothers–possibly including my great-grandfather–were probably involved in bootlegging. There was more than just horses in those barns, one suggested; perhaps the family’s connection to organized crime had something to do with the murder? It did explain one odd thing I’d found in my research: While the brothers were dealing cattle in Saskatchewan, according to a business directory, they were also officers of a short-lived company in Winnipeg called Manitoba Vinegar Manufacturing.
“The notion that the brothers might have been involved in unsavory endeavors was bolstered by other stories I learned, about how they were serious gamblers, and tax cheats; two of my great-grandfather’s brothers were later fined in what the Tribune called ‘Canada’s biggest tax evasion case.’”

Could both Sarah Feinstein’s and Ruven Cohen’s murders have been part of the same pattern of “sending a message”, which was all too common among gangsters of that era?
You be the judge.

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Popularity of Online Casino Games in Canada

In recent years, the popularity of online casino games in Canada has surged, captivating the attention of a diverse audience seeking thrilling entertainment. With the convenience of accessing these games from the comfort of home, Canadians are exploring the vast world of virtual casinos that offer an extensive array of gaming options.

Diverse Selection of Casino Games:

One of the key factors contributing to the widespread appeal of online casino games in Canada is the vast selection available. There are hundreds of top casino games online, covering every genre imaginable. From classic table games like poker and blackjack to immersive slot machines with captivating themes, Canadian players have a plethora of options to choose from.

The Rise of Online Slots:

Among the various casino games, online slots have witnessed a significant surge in popularity. The ease of gameplay and the potential for substantial payouts make slots a preferred choice for both seasoned players and newcomers. With themes ranging from ancient civilisations to popular movies and TV shows, online slots offer a diverse and engaging experience for players of all preferences.

Convenience and Accessibility:

The accessibility of online casino games is a key driver behind their growing popularity in Canada. Players no longer need to travel to a physical casino to experience the thrill of gambling. Instead, they can enjoy their favourite games with just a few clicks on their computer or mobile device. This convenience has opened up the world of online gambling to a broader audience, attracting both seasoned gamblers and those trying their luck for the first time.

Technology Advancements:

Advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in enhancing the online casino gaming experience. High-quality graphics, realistic sound effects, and seamless gameplay contribute to an immersive environment that mirrors the excitement of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Additionally, the integration of live dealer games brings an authentic touch to online gaming, allowing players to interact with real dealers in real-time.

Regulatory Environment:

The regulatory environment in Canada has also contributed to the popularity of online casino games. While each province has its own regulations, the overall legal framework allows for a thriving online gambling industry. This has given rise to reputable online casinos that prioritise player safety and adhere to strict industry standards, ensuring a fair and secure gaming environment.

Social Aspect and Community Engagement:

Online casinos in Canada are not just about individual gameplay; they also provide a platform for social interaction. Many online casinos feature chat rooms and community forums where players can connect, share experiences, and discuss strategies. This sense of community adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the gaming experience, making online casinos a social activity beyond the solitary pursuit of winning.

The popularity of online casino games in Canada is undoubtedly on the rise, driven by a combination of diverse gaming options, convenience, technological advancements, and a favourable regulatory environment. With a wide array of top casino games available at their fingertips, Canadians can indulge in the excitement of gambling from the comfort of their homes. As the online casino industry continues to evolve, it’s clear that virtual gaming is here to stay and will likely continue to captivate audiences across the country.

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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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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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