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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Music ‘N’ Mavens kicks off 22nd season

singer Jennifer Hanson kicked off this year's edition of Music 'n Mavens

The Rady JCC’s popular Music ‘N’ Mavens kicked off its 22nd season on Tuesday, January 14, with a bravura performance by the incomparable Jennifer Hanson. Accompanied by Gilles Fournier on base and Murray Pulver on guitar (both of whom are also fixtures on the local music scene) – and still getting over a cold, one of Winnipeg’s leading ladies of song delivered a range of numbers beginning with long ago hits from Cole Porter and encompassing the Turtles, the Beatles, the Pointer Sisters, Linda Ronstadt and more (including a song of her own composition) while between songs chatting comfortably with her audience of nearly 200 who filled the Berney Theatre.

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.

Bermax Caffé case takes new twist


Bermax Caffé the day after the alleged break-in & vandalism- April 19


As reported on the CBC website on January 16, two of the three lawyers who had been representing different members of the Berent family, which owned Bermax Caffé & Bistro, “are no longer defending” two members of the Berent family – Alexander and Oksana Berent, following a” ‘breakdown in the solicitor-client relationship,’ Crown prosecutor Mike Himmelman told the court.”
Both James Lowry, who had been defending Alexander Berent, and Martin Glazer, who had been defending Oksana Berent, have resigned as counsel for the accused, according to the CBC report.

Lifesaving Israeli training coming to Winnipeg

Magen David Adom paramedic Don Sharpe will be offering training for emergencies on Feb. 5 at the Rady JCC


In 2016, when Magen David Adom (MDA) introduced the Life Guardian Program, thousands of Israelis with no medical training jumped at the opportunity to participate.
The Life Guardian Program added another layer of responders to emergencies to potentially save more lives with faster response time, by certifying or recertifying everyday Israeli citizens. Many participants had learned CPR as part of their army service or teacher certification, and others took first-aid basics for the first time.

Situation re possible sale of Town Island gets even murkier

The situation regarding the possible sale of Town Island took a somewhat confusing twist these past two weeks when an online publication known as Kenora Online reported on Monday, January 13, that Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford (who is also Ontario’s Northern Development Minister) said “he’s working with the City of Kenora on a possible Town Island land swap.”