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Women’s Endowment Fund celebrates 50 years of giving

Women who spoke at the Jewish Foundation Women's Endowment evening (Read the names of all the speakers in the article.)

By MYRON LOVE For the past 30 years, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s Women’s Endowment Fund (WEF) has been giving back to the community.  It has been the tradition of the foundation over these last many years to host an annual fundraising luncheon in the spring.
This year, however, in a departure from past practice – and in celebration of this most significant anniversary –  the foundation – instead of a lunch, decided to give back to the givers by hosting a social evening for the founders, long time supporters, former and current  committee members of the Women’s Endowment Fund.
On Thursday, May 9, about 100 women gathered at the Pavillion at Assiniboine Park for a short program of speeches and an evening of shmoozing and reminiscing over a light meal and refreshments.

Speakers at the Jewish Foundation Womern’s Endowment evening
front row (l-r): Katie Hall Hursh – Board Member, Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Lt. Governor Anita Neville, Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud – CEO, Siloam Mission
back row (l-r): Dr. Sharon Goszer-Tritt – JFM Board Member, Chair of the Women’s Endowment Fund Grants Committee, Chloë McComb – JFM Board Member, Former Chair of the Women’s Endowment Fund Grants Committee, Women’s Endowment Fund Builder (2013), Karyn Lazareck – Former JFM Board Member, Women’s Endowment Fund Founder (1994) and Builder (2013), Leah Leibl – Emcee, Women’s Endowment Fund Grants Committee Member, Becky Chisick – Executive Director, Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre


The formal part of the evening began with congratulations and comments from Lieutenant-Governor, Anita Neville, a long time Jewish Foundation supporter, who commented on the impact of the WEF on women and girls across Canada. 
“The power of giving is so important,” she said.  ‘The Women’s Endowment Fund brings together women in our Jewish community with a  shared passion for giving back.  Congratulations to all of you who continue to contribute to our community.”
Karyn Lazareck was among the founding members of the Women’s Endowment Fund.   “As we mark the 30th anniversary, I am reminded of the incredible journey that we have embarked upon,” she said.
“Back in1994, when we first conceived of the Women’s Endowment Fund,  we were driven by a desire to make a difference,” she recalled.  “We were inspired by the words of former Winnipegger Susan Weidman Schneider, the editor of Lilith Magazine, who challenged us to confront the historical lack of collective support among women for women’s causes. We set out to reshape the philanthropic landscape in Manitoba.”
Lazareck described “a diverse group of volunteers, from various organizations, united by a common goal to develop a space where women could make their own philanthropic choices.
“With the support of the Jewish Foundation,” she continued, “we paved a pathway to independence, establishing a women’s endowment fund driven entirely by women for women.”
The first challenge, she recalled, was raising the initial $5,000.  The initial requirement for the 50 founding members was $100 donation.
“We exceeded our target,” she recounted. “We were able to launch our endowment with $21,000 from 148 women.
“It took time for the concept of building an endowment to gain traction, but we persisted, buoyed by the unwavering support of the foundation and our growing community of women.”   
As to the state of the fund today, Dr. Sharon Goszer-Tritt, the Chair of the Women’s Endowment Fund grants committee, reported that the fund currently stands at over $2.2 million  “That $1,000 in grants that we were able to distribute in our first year has now reached more than  $101,000 a year,” she noted. “Our new goal is to grow the fund to $3 million and, from what we have seen already, I feel optimistic that we will do so.”
In illustrating the range of organizations – both in the Jewish and general communities, that the fund contributes to, Goszer-Tritt introduced  representatives of three of those recipient organizations to speak about the impact the WEF donations have had on their operations.  Among the three were: The Jewish Post’s new publisher, Becky Chisick, in her concurrent  role as executive director of the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre;  Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud,  Siloam Mission’s Chief Executive Officer; and Katie Hall Hursh,  a member of the board of directors of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
Hursh spoke at some length spoke about the HSC’s  new laparoscopic surgery  capabilitiy – partially funded by a grant from the Women’s Endowment Fund – which allows for much more rapid recovery from surgeries such as treatment for endometriosis, which effects the uterus – causing pain and making it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant. The laparoscopic equipment is one benefit of the HSCF current campaign to acquire new technology and state-of-the-art equipment to use in emergency gynecological surgeries at the Women’s Hospital.
Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud spoke of the work of Siloam Mission in building social housing. She also thanked the Women’s Endowment Fund for a grant to Siloam to buy new women’s undergarments and feminine hygiene products.
Becky Chisick related that the Gwen Secter Centre received a grant from the fund to pay for CPR and First Aid courses designed especially for older women.
She also spoke about the positive impact of Gwen Secter programming on seniors in our community.
Representing the younger generation of Women’s Endowment fund committee members was Chloe McComb, daughter-in-law of founder Karyn Lazareck.  McComb, who is also now also a member of the Jewish Foundation’s Board of Directors, spoke about how inspiring she has found it to be a part of the community of female philanthropists – and of being a witness to the “remarkable growth and impact” of the Women’s Endowment Fund.  
McComb noted that, from her perspective as a member of the grants committee, she has seen firsthand the persistent need for funding. “One common challenge that we have come across has been the need for funding for ongoing initiatives,” she said.  “In particular, small non-profits with very specific needs were not able to apply for funding because the WEF, like many other granting agencies, only provide one-time funding.
“I am happy tonight to share that we have changed our granting criteria to ensure that support remains available for those who need it. By allowing organizations to apply for grants for ongoing programs, we ensure that organizations in Manitoba supporting women and girls always have a place to go.”
The final word went to Karyn Lazareck.
“The Women’s Endowment Fund,” she observed,” symbolizes a shift in mindset, a departure from the status quo.  And, as we look to the future, let us remember that the fund is inclusive of all women.  While it may have been initiated by a group of Jewish women, its scope knows no bounds.  It is a place for all women who seek to give back to their community and uplift the lives of women and children.
“Our Fund is a testament to the power of collective action and a beacon of hope for future generations of women in Manitoba.”

Features

The Astonishing Rise of Antisemitism in Canada

By HENRY SREBRNIK Anyone reading jewishpostandnews.ca knows full well the extent of antisemitism raging across Canada now. Not a day goes by when some horrific event isn’t reported, be it at a school, a university, outside a Jewish centre or synagogue, or on a sidewalk in front of a Jewish-owned business. Protestors in many cases openly call for the elimination of the state of Israel.

This is now commonplace and shows no signs of abating, with federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as civil society organizations, including school boards, seemingly unwilling or unable to stop it. 

Statistics show an unprecedented spike in Jew-hatred in Canada. A March 18 report from the police in Toronto, for example, indicated that of the 84 registered hate crimes in 2024, a startling 56 per were animated by antisemitism. The Vancouver Police January 16 revealed that the Jewish community experienced a 62 per cent increase in police-reported antisemitic hate incidents in 2023 compared to 2022. Most occurred after the October 7 terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.

The Jewish community in this country has been under siege, “confronting levels of antisemitism unseen since the Holocaust,” reported Richard Marceau, Vice President, External Affairs and General Counsel, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. This has included, he noted, “fire bombings of synagogues, community centers and Jewish-owned businesses; shootings and bomb scares at Jewish schools; harassment of community members; intimidation of Jewish students and faculty on campus; cheerleading of Hamas by unions; and many other hateful iterations.”

And it’s not just outright criminality on the part of hooligans that should worry us. There are other, more subtle, ways of making Jews feel they’re not really welcome. Plays are cancelled, speakers disinvited, and artists fired.

Vancouver photographer Dina Goldstein’s “In the Dollhouse” photo series was due to be exhibited at a toy-centred exhibition at the Vancouver Centre of International Contemporary Art. But Goldstein was born in Tel Aviv – so she was told by the organizer that she had got a complaint “from a group of Vancouver artists who didn’t think I should be showing because of the war in Israel and Gaza.” She feared vandalism.

Hamilton’s Playhouse Cinema agreed to be the venue for the three-day Hamilton Jewish Film Festival. But with only weeks to go, it abruptly told the festival they were no longer welcome due to “safety and security concerns at this particularly sensitive time.” They also cited “numerous security and safety related emails, phone calls, and social media messages.”

Sadly and ironically, the only connection to the Gaza war that they were screening was “The Boy,” the last film by Israeli filmmaker Yahav Winner, who was murdered by Hamas on October 7.

Cyclist Leah Goldstein had been invited to address a March 8 International Women’s Day event in Peterborough, Ont. The first woman to win the solo category of the Race Across America, a gruelling endurance race, she was scheduled to speak about overcoming “bullies, sexism, terrorism.” But they “discovered” she was raised in Israel, so was dropped “in recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East.” 

An obstetrics professor at McMaster University in Hamilton was removed from the editorial board of an academic journal after publicly criticizing his professional association for failing to condemn the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. “I was waiting for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as soon as the stories of rape and sexual violence came out,” Jon Barrett told National Post. 

Barrett saw political bias in Society President Amanda Black’s December 2023 public letter applauding the reporting of sexual assault perpetrated by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and highlighting the organization’s work advocating for women, alongside the association’s silence on Hamas’s atrocities against Israeli women.

I could provide all too many similar stories, but most of us already know this our new reality.

We know all about the university encampments, but worst of all is the effect this hatred is having in our primary and secondary educational institutions, where very young minds are being informed that Israel – and by implication Canadian Jews? — are evil.

In the official multifaith calendar for the York Region District School Board in Ontario, Jewish holidays this year were denoted with a small menorah, while the holidays of other religions had their usual representative symbols (a cross for Christians, the star and crescent for Muslims, and so forth). Why? A leaked e-mail revealed that administrators deliberately avoided using the Star of David, the traditional symbol of Judaism, lest it remind students of Israel.

On April 30, Shaked Tsurkan, a 14-year-old Israeli girl attending Leo Hayes High School, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was followed and beaten up by an older student. It happened off school grounds during the lunch hour and other classmates gathered to watch. Someone even filmed the whole thing on their phone, later posted to social media. It was just one of many incidents, and her parents felt authorities were ignoring the antisemitic overtones to their daughter’s beating.

More recently, a Burlington, Ont. mother pulled her Jewish daughter out of high school, saying the school is allowing and encouraging pro-Palestinian activists to display and promote threatening antisemitic messages. “My child is not in school because she’s Jewish. That’s insane,” Anissa Hersh stated, after withdrawing her daughter from Burlington Central High School recently.

Her daughter had artwork included in a school exhibit but the event seemed like a Gaza protest. “They had a huge booth, and it was labeled Palestine. There was a map: the state of Israel was relabeled as Palestine with the Palestinian colours on it.” The school permitted students to wear T-shirts and jewelry depicting the eradication of Israel. The school’s solution to her complaint? “The only thing they did was, they sent me information on how my daughter could finish school at home.”

Just sitting down at the computer every day, reading all these articles can make your head spin.  One year ago at this time, we would have been scoffed at, called fearmongers, and delusional, had we said we felt uneasy about antisemitism in this country. Yet clearly it was all “out there,” ready to go, so to speak. Does this not in some way demonstrate how tenuous civil peace is, that it can turn so incredibly ugly so fast? Was this what it felt like in Berlin in, say, 1931 or so?

 In fact a colleague who teaches European history answered by pointing out that antisemitism lurks often unnoticed within larger social movements, obscured by other issues, until an event comes along to trigger it, like the Gaza war, and then those of us look back and ask where did that come from? Call it the “Greta Thunberg Syndrome?” Even climate change activism has become tinged by Jew-hatred.

 I think that since October 7 Canadian Jews are suffering from political vertigo. It’s as if a rug was suddenly pulled out from under us on an apartment balcony we assumed was safe, and we were tipped over and fell 12 stories to the ground below. 

 Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

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A beginner’s guide to using Paysafecard

Paysafecard (stylized as paysafecard) is becoming one of the top online payment methods. It is one that not many people are familiar with, outside of seeing a few hints to accepting Paysafecard online, mostly around online casinos that accept Paysafecard. So, we figured that we would give you a quick run-through of what to expect from a Paysafecard. We’ll tell you how to use it, including topping up and spending the cash on your account. We’ll also let you know about the monthly maintenance fee.

What is a Paysafecard?

A Paysafecard is a unique way to pay online, although a platform does need to accept Paysafecard.

It is a secure payment method, since you don’t need to share your payment details with anybody. You can even pay for a Paysafecard in cash (more on that soon).

With a Paysafecard, you get a unique, 16-digit code to pay for things online, although you may also use a Paysafecard account to make your payments.

Because you’re sharing nothing but your 16-digit Paysafecard code, this is one of the safest payment methods online, so it is no surprise that you want to learn more about it.

Topping up your Paysafecard

There are two ways to top up your Paysafecard. One method is more ‘secure’ than the other, although, to be honest, both methods are incredibly secure. One method will require you logging into a website, while the other lets you use a 16-digit code that is more secure but requires a little more effort.

Topping up a Paysafecard with cash

One of the major benefits of using a Paysafecard is that it is one of only a few online payment methods that you can fund with cash. You can head to a variety of retailers that sell Paysafecard (normally smaller shops) and ask to buy a Paysafecard. You can buy the card in a variety of denominations, and the amount will vary depending on your country.

You’ll then be given a 16-digit payment code for your Paysafecard. Protect this. This code is how you’ll access your funds online, as well as check how much cash is in your account. If you lose that card, then you’ve lost access to your funds. However, most people will likely use their Paysafecard right away.

With a Paysafecard account

If you create a Paysafecard account, then you’ve got a bit more control over your money. There are also fewer fees.

A Paysafecard account will give you login details that you can use. Once you’ve got an account, you can top up your Paysafecard account using your debit/credit cards, or even via bank transfer. Don’t worry if you still like to do things with cash, though. You can also buy Paysafecard codes with cash at your favorite Paysafecard vendor and add those cards to your account.

One of the major benefits of having an account is that you can also ‘buy’ debit card details from them (they use Mastercard), which makes it easier to use your Paysafecard funds when a platform doesn’t accept Paysafecard, and not all of them do.

You can top up your account whenever you want. It takes only a few minutes (unless you’re using bank transfer, when it could take a few working days).

Spending cash on your Paysafecard

Now your Paysafecard is topped up, let’s get to spending it, shall we? This part is simple!

It is quite easy to spot online casinos that accept Paysafecard. If a site has a Paysafecard logo, you can make a payment using your Paysafecard 16-digit code, or your account details.

So, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Select Paysafecard as your payment method.
  2. Enter the amount you wish to pay.
  3. Select whether to pay by code or login.
  4. If you’re paying by code, enter your 16-digit code now. You’ll need enough on that card to cover the full amount needed for the transaction.
  5. If you are paying using your Paysafecard account, log in using your details. If you don’t have enough funds to cover the transaction, you can top your account up.
  6. The money should be sent instantly.

Yes! Using your Paysafecard online really is that simple. Now you are free to bet at online casinos, place bets on sports like athletics or simply do some shopping online.

The monthly maintenance fee

There is a monthly maintenance fee for having a Paysafecard. The fee will be determined by your location and how long you’ve had the card for, so make sure that you check the details on the website. Maintenance fees will start at different times:

  • If you have a 16-digit code, you’ll start paying fees in the second month.
  • If you have an online account for Paysafecard, those fees won’t start until the 13th month.

So, if you want to save money, it is best to get an online account for your Paysafecard.

Use a Paysafecard today

So, now you know how to use Paysafecard online (which isn’t that hard), you can go out and find top online stores that accept it. More stores than ever let you use Paysafecard online, so this part shouldn’t be too tricky.

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New website for Israelis interested in moving to Canada

By BERNIE BELLAN (May 21, 2024) 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.

(Updated May 28)

We contacted Ms. Harel to ask whether she’s aware whether there has been an increase in the number of Israelis deciding to emigrate from Israel since October 7. (We want to make clear that we’re not advocating for Israelis to emigrate; we’re simply wanting to learn more about emigration figures – and whether there has been a change in the number of Israelis wanting to leave the country.)
Ms. Harel referred us to a website titled “Globes”: https://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1001471862
The website is in Hebrew, but we were able to translate it into English. There is a graph on the website showing both numbers of immigrants to Israel and emigrants.
The graph shows a fairly steady rate of emigration from 2015-2022, hovering in the 40,000 range, then in 2023 there’s a sudden increase in the number of emigrants to 60,000.
According to the website, the increase in emigrants is due more to a change in the methodology that Israel has been using to count immigrants and emigrants than it is to any sudden upsurge in emigration. (Apparently individuals who had formerly been living in Israel but who may have returned to Israel just once a year were being counted as having immigrated back to Israel. Now that they are no longer being counted as immigrants and instead are being treated as emigrants, the numbers have shifted radically.)
Yet, the website adds this warning: “The figures do not take into account the effects of the war, since it is still not possible to identify those who chose to emigrate following it. It is also difficult to estimate what Yalad Yom will produce – on the one hand, anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israelis around the world reminds everyone where the Jewish home is. On the other hand, the bitter truth we discovered in October is that it was precisely in Israel, the safe fortress of the Jewish people, that a massacre took place reminding us of the horrors of the Holocaust. And if that’s not enough, the explosive social atmosphere and the difference in the state budget deficit, which will inevitably lead to a heavy burden of taxes and a reduction in public services, may convince Zionist Israelis that they don’t belong here.”
Thus, as much as many of us would be disappointed to learn that there is now an upsurge in Israelis wanting to move out of the country, once reliable figures begin to be produced for 2024, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that is the case – which helps to explain the tremendous popularity of Ms. Harel’s website.

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