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Merger brings together leading lawyers with storied volunteer careers in community service

(l-r): Gordon Pullan, Sam Wilder, Joe Wilder

The recent merger of Wilder, Wilder and Langtrey with Pullan Frohlinger Kammerloch brings together some of our Jewish community’s most high profile legal practitioners.

With almost 70 years of experience, Gordon Pullan, QC has been practicing law longer than anyone else in Manitoba. (Only the late Harry Walsh was in practice longer.) He was honored by the Law Society of Manitoba as a senior member of the Bar with more than 50 years of practice almost 19 years ago. At 94, he is still working full time.

Joel Lazer taking charge as new Jewish Federation of Winnipeg president

Joel Lazer

At a time in his life when most of his contemporaries have already retired - or are looking to transition to a more leisurely life- Joel Lazer is going against the grain and taking on more responsibility.
As of the most recent Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Annual General Meeting in mid-December, Lazer has assumed the role of our community’s new president. At the same time, the co-founder in 1982 of Lazer Grant LLP continues to shoulder a full work load helping business clients to become more productive.

Leo Lowy’s story of survival centrepiece of annual remembrance program

Richard Lowy

Since the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2005 designated January 27 – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – as the date for the annual commemoration of the Holocaust, communities around the world have been planning events on or around that date to continue to raise awareness of the greatest evil of the 20th century and remember the victims.
The centerpiece of this year’s commemoration - in Winnipeg – of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz - was the story of Holocaust survivor Leo Lowy. Roughly 500 people gathered at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on the afternoon of Sunday, January 26, to hear his story.

John Diamond Named New CEO of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba

John Diamond

In a press release issued Thursday, January 30, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba announced the appointment of John Diamond as its new CEO. DIiamond is scheduled to begin his new role on Monday, February 10, 2020.
A lifelong resident of Winnipeg, Diamond’s appointment follows a period of more than a year in which the Foundation had no CEO. The previous CEO, Tara Fainstein, had been fired from her position in October 2018, after less than a year on the job. Fainstein had been hired following the retirement of Marsha Cowan as Foundation CEO.
Despite not having a CEO, the Foundation managed to continue operating successfully - having received $7.5 million in new contributions in the 2018 fiscal year, and having allocated a record $4,558,794 in grants during that period - up $13,055 from the previous year.

Sale of Town Island averted - for now

town islandBy BERNIE BELLAN
Originally published in the Feb. 5 issue of the JP&N

The one story that has preoccupied me most in recent weeks has been the impending sale of the portion of Town Island that is not owned by BB Camp, but which is owned by the City of Kenora. I am now glad to report that, at least for the time being, the sale of Town Island has been averted – not because the City of Kenora dropped the idea of selling it; rather, it was because Kenora did not receive one single “expression of interest” in buying the island, according to an email I received from Kenora’s Manager of Development Service, Adam Smith.

Fifth annual Shabbat Unplugged leadership retreat draws record number of participants

130 university students and young adults attended this year’s “Shabbat Unplugged” at the Hecla Island Resort the weekend of January 10-12.

The fifth annual Shabbat Unplugged Leadership Retreat – which took place on the weekend of January 10-12 – was the most successful to date. Asper School of Business student Einat Livni, who assisted Hillel Winnipeg director Hartley Mendelsohn, reports that this year’s retreat at Hecla attracted 130 university students and young adults, including eight from UBC in Vancouver and seven from the University of Calgary.

Israeli-Canadian mentalist wows audience in Winnipeg debut

Mentalist Haim Goldenberg

Haim Goldenberg believes that when confronted with a problem you are having trouble solving, looking at the problem from different angles can lead to a solution.
It is a philosophy that the Israeli-Canadian mentalist uses in his stage show – with sometimes surprising results.

Billed as a “real life” mentalist (whatever that means), Goldenberg made his Winnipeg premiere at the Berney Theatre on Saturday, January 11, with two shows – the first in English and the second in Hebrew.

Former high profile “White Supremacist” to speak at Limmud

Former White Supremacist Elisa Hategan in a 2018 photo (left); and as a White Supremacist at a meeting of the neo-Nazi Heritage Front in June 1992


Once upon a time, Elisa Hategan was a protégé of noted Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel and White Supremacist leader and Canadian Heritage Front founder Wolfgang Droege.
Today, she is a member in good standing of Canada’s Jewish community and a frequent voice against the very concepts with which she was formerly identified.
On the weekend of February 29-March 1, Hategan will be in Winnipeg – for the first time – at Limmud (at the Asper Jewish Community Centre) speaking about her journey from the dark to the light and her path to Judaism.

Long time friends Ben Carr & Kevin Freedman cheering each other on in school trustee by-election campaigns

Ben Carr (left) and Kevin Freedman

Long time friends Ben Carr and Kevin Freedman are hoping to be working together come March 21 as fellow members of Winnipeg School Division No. 1’s Board of Trustees.
The pair are running in two separate byelections – in Wards 3 and 4, where the previously elected school trustees, Mark Wasyliw and Lisa Naylor, quit their positions after winning seats in the Manitoba legislature in last fall’s provincial election.

Rabbis taking a leading role in discussion of addiction in Jewish community

Rabbi Allan Finkel

According to Rabbi Allan Finkel, there has been a long-standing pattern of denying the existence of addiction within the established Jewish community.
As recently as 1995, Temple Shalom’s new spiritual leader reported, a study of addiction in England’s Jewish community concluded that the problem didn’t exist in the community. It has only been within the past 25 years that Jewish communities in North America have taken the problem seriously and been making efforts to help community members struggling with addiction.
Finkel addressed the issue at a presentation on Tuesday, January 14, at the Asper Campus Adult Lounge as part of a series of Rady JCC-initiated monthly talks featuring local rabbis speaking about contemporary issues.

New documentary by Winnipeg filmmaker Yolanda Papini-Pollock exposes horrors of Falun Gong persecution in China

At the premiere of “Painful Truth: The Falun Gong Genocide”, Jan. 9, in the Berney Theatre (l-r): Ran Ukashi, National Director, B'nai Brith League for Human Rights; lawyer David Matas, longtime crusader for members of Falun Gong; Adriana Glickman, National Program Coordinator, B’nai Brith Canada; filmmaker Yolanda Papini-Pollock (standing behind Adriana); Prof Maria Cheung (Associate Professor in the U of M Faculty of Social Work, and herself a Falun Gong practitioner and survivor of the Chinese gulag); and Erol Meryl (a survivor of the Rwandan genocide)

Genocide can take different forms. The Holocaust, for example, and the more recent Rwandan genocide were condensed in a frenzy of killing. For the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia, the killing and attempted erasure of their cultures transpired over several hundred years.
Then, there is the matter of the Falun Gong.
Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa and Qi Gong) is a practice combining simple exercises with meditation based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.Of ancient Chinese origin, the practice – with the encouragement of the Chinese Communist government – developed a very large following in modern China. In 1999, however, Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, decided that practicing Falun Gong was a threat to the Chinese Communist government. He initiated a thoroughgoing campaign to demonize the practice and eradicate anyone who continued to practice the tradition.