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P2G Israel trip makes strong impression on Gray Academy participants

Two weeks in Israel in late February and early March, compliments of the P2G (Partnership Together) program, has left a strong impression on the nine Gray Academy Grade 10 and 11 students who participated in the experience.

”P2G gave us the opportunity to develop a strong connection with Jews our age living similar lifestyles halfway across the world,” says Cari Slayen. This connection made the trip a unique and memorable experience and impacted my personal connection to Israel”
”P2G was such an amazing experience, and the friendships I made will last forever,” adds Bina Rubin. “Before we left Kiryat Shmonah, I called my parents and told them to book my flights because I want to go back in the summer.”
Shaked Karabelnicoff agrees that P2G was a very unique experience. “You are fully immersed and feel completely part of an Israeli family,” she says. “You eat Israeli food, listen to Israeli music and go to an Israeli school. Essentially, for two weeks, you live like an Israeli.”
 Gray Academy teacher Avi Posen, a P2G alumnus himself, who now coordinates P2G in the school and led the trip this time, observes that the most powerful aspect of P2G is that the experience provides the students with a personal connection to Israel. “Since the inception of the program, nearly every participant in P2G has returned to Israel after graduation” he points out. “Many have gone to university in Israel, have made aliyah and volunteered or served in the IDF.”
“And most of the others become involved in our Winnipeg Jewish community.”
He adds that many other communities look to the Gray Academy program as a model of what they can do.
Last fall, P2G celebrated its 18th anniversary. Originally called P2K (Partnership 2000), the program’s concept was to link Jewish schools and students in major Canadian cities (other than Toronto and Montreal) with schools and students in different parts of Israel. Thus, the Gray Academy is paired with Danciger High school in Kiryat Shemona in northern Israel. Once a year, a group of Gray Academy students visit Danciger and Kiryat Shemona and, once a year. Danciger students come here.
As well, Gray Academy’s elementary school is twinned with Nachshonei Hachula elementary school in Yesod Hamala in the Hula Valley, also in Northern Israel, while Brock Corydon School ( home to the Hebrew bilingual program) is partnered with Ramat Korazim elementary school, which is just north of Lake Kinneret.
At the same time that the Gray Academy group was in Kiryat Shemona, Gray Academy teacher Silvina Mohadeb was visiting Nachshonei Hachula as part of a teacher exchange program ,leading programs and workshops connecting the two schools and communities.
Posen notes that the group of Gray Academy students who went on this trip (including Federico Biderman, Josh Muyal, Jacqui Cohen, Brooke Lieberman, Michelle Marchtein and Liat Stitz, in addition to Shaked Karabelnicoff, Cari Slayen, and Bina Rubin) was one of the largest delegations to date from the school.
Among the highlights of the visit,, Posen notes, were a visit to a seniors’ home in Kiryat Shemona (where the students presented the home with a mixer, which they had bought with funds they raised before the trip); a stop at an army base, where the visitors presented PVRs to the soldiers so that they can watch TV during their down time; experiencing a music festival in Jerusalem’s Old City; touring northern Israel; and seeing how Purim is celebrated in Israel.
“The kids were amazed to see a citywide Purim parade,” he says.
On their last night in Kiryat Shemona, Posen says, the Danciger school community hosted a farewell party attended by the host families and large student council. Each of the Gray Academy students gave a speech in Hebrew.
“It was an emotional evening,” Posen says.
On their last night in Jerusalem, the Gray Academy students had a reunion with recent Gray Academy P2G alumni of the past two years currently living in Israel. “We sent out an email inviting them to meet us on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem,” Posen says. “They all came even though only one of them lives in Jerusalem. They explained the impact that P2G had on them and what they’re doing in Israel now.”

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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” ( has been receiving hundreds of thousands of visits, according to Michal Harel, operator of the website.
In an email sent to 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,, 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” ( 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”:
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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Message from a Palestinian in Gaza to protesters: “You’re hurting the Palestinian cause”

Protesters at McGill University

A very brave Palestinian who was willing to put his name to paper and write an article for Newsweek Magazine has exposed the utter hypocrisy of all those students – and others, who have been setting up encampments across the U.S. – and now Canada, too.

You can read the article at

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The Most Expensive Israeli Soccer Transfers

Eran Zahavi

Even if Israel isn’t known as a world soccer power, it has produced plenty of talented players who have made a living in top European leagues. On more than one occasion, an Israeli international has commanded a rather large transfer fee. But who are the most expensive players in Israel’s history? The answer could be a little surprising. We took a look back to find the most expensive Israeli soccer transfers of all time.

Tai Baribo

In 2023, Baribo made the move to MLS, signing with the Philadelphia Union. The reported fee was around $1.5 million, which is one of the highest transfer fees the Union has ever paid for a player.

Omer Atzili

Throughout his career, Atzili has played for a variety of clubs, including stops in Spain and Greece. In 2023, he joined Al Ain in the UAE for a transfer fee of $2.1 million.

Maor Buzaglo

Now retired, Buzaglo was briefly the holder of the richest transfer deal for an Israeli player. After a couple of successful seasons on loan, Maccabi Tel Aviv paid $2.7 million to rival Maccabi Haifa for Buzaglo in 2008.

Dia Saba

Saba made history in 2020 when he joined Al-Nasr, making him the first Israeli player to play for a club in the UAE. At the time, it was a big deal for relations between the two countries. Al-Nasr also paid an impressive $2.9 million transfer fee for the midfielder.

Tal Ben Haim

On multiple occasions, Ben Haim has been sold for more than $1 million. First, there was his move from Hapoel Tel Aviv to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2023 for close to $1.2 million. A few years later, Sparta Prague came calling for him, spending $3.1 million as a transfer fee for the winger.

Itay Shechter

During the prime of his career, Shechter was the type of player who warranted a seven-figure transfer fee. German club Kaiserslautern paid a little over $2.6 million in 2011 to bring Shechter to the Bundesliga from Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Daniel Peretz

When Peretz was sold to Bayern Munich, it wasn’t the most expensive deal involving an Israeli player, although it was arguably the most important. He became the first Israeli Jew to play at Bayern, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. The transfer fee for Peretz paid by Bayern Munich to Maccabi Tel Aviv was around $5.4 million.

Oscar Gloukh

Gloukh is one of the best young Israeli players right now. He already has three international goals in a dozen appearances to his name. Somehow, Gloukh is already one of the most expensive players in Israel’s history. After coming up with Maccabi Tel Aviv, he moved to Austrian giant Red Bull Salzburg in 2023 for a transfer fee of close to $7.5 million. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him top that number one day.

Liel Abada

Abada has been a part of two huge transfer deals in his young career. In 2021, Scottish club Celtic paid $4.8 million to acquire him from Maccabi Petah Tikva. However, that number was topped in 2024 when Charlotte FC of MLS paid a fee of $8 million for Abada.

With Charlotte FC, Abada competes in North America’s top league, facing teams from both Mexico and Canada. Throughout North America, sports betting has taken off in recent years. That includes betting in Canada, where there is a large collection of trusted sports betting platforms.

Eran Zahavi

To date, Zahavi holds the record for the most expensive transfer fee paid for an Israeli player. It’s fitting for Israel’s former captain and all-time leading scorer. In 2016, Chinese club Guangzhou City paid $12.5 million to get Zahavi from Maccabi Tel Aviv. That record was nearly broken later that year when another Chinese club offered $20 million for Zahavi, who turned it down and stayed with Guangzhou City.

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