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4 Hanukkah recipes from across Asia that meld local cultures with Diaspora traditions

TAIPEI (JTA) — Asian-Jewish cuisine is a complex tapestry.

Jewish communities have existed across Asia for longer than many might assume, especially near major historical trade routes in places such as India, Singapore and Indonesia. Other communities developed during and after World War II. Some were part of or assimilated into local cultures, while others blended culinary traditions from other lands with the cuisines of their new homes.

So what do Jews in various parts of Asia eat on Hanukkah? Jews hailing from India, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan spoke to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about some of their go-to holiday recipes.

Jeremy Freeman’s negi latkes use a type of onion native to China and grown across East Asia. (Jeremy Freeman)

Tokyo, Japan: Negi latkes

Before moving to Japan with his wife, Maiko, five years ago, Jeremy Freeman was selling vintage Jamaican records in New York City. In fact, Maiko was the one with the restaurant  — Oni Sauce, a Japanese home-style food stand in Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg market.

But when the two made the move to Tokyo with their kids, they decided to switch it up. Freeman’s Jewish background takes the stage at their Tokyo restaurant, Freeman’s Shokudo — specifically, the smoky side: Freeman’s specializes in smoked fish and meats with a rotating seasonal menu. They often dabble in Japanese-Jewish fusion, with offerings like the bialy (made on request by a local Japanese bakery) with whitefish salad made from smoked saba (mackerel), smoked daikon pickles and tobiko, or flying fish roe.

On Hanukkah, Freeman whips up these potato latkes made with negi, a type of onion native to China and grown across East Asia, that falls somewhere between a scallion and a leek. Negi has a stronger flavor than white onions typically used in latkes, and they also produce a lot less water, creating a batter that’s cleaner and easier to work with. At Freeman’s Shokudo, they’re topped with creme fraiche, tobiko, and ikura or salmon roe. 



2 large potatoes

2 negis (Japanese leeks)

2 eggs

1/2 cup matzah meal


Ikura (salmon roe)


Sour cream


Grate potatoes with the large hole side of a box grater. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. 
Chop negi into thin slices as you would with scallion. Mix with potatoes and add the two eggs (beaten) and matzah meal. Season with salt and black pepper. 
Heat skillet or cast iron pan with safflower oil. Add a drop of the potato mixture to test oil temperature. When it sizzles, the oil is ready. In batches, so as to not crowd the pan, add potato mixture in a thin layer for pancakes about the size of a palm. When browned on one side, flip the pancake. Make sure the pan does not get too hot. 
To serve, add a dollop of sourcream and top with ikura and tobiko and a sprig of dill.

Rosita Goldstein says Indonesian and Jewish cooking go hand in hand. (Rosita Goldstein)

Singapore/Indonesia: Deep-fried corn fritters 

Rosita Goldstein’s Saturday morning Shabbat meals have become something of a local legend among Singapore’s Jewish community. Twice a month for a decade, she hosted anywhere from 30 to 100 community members at her home, where she prepared abundant spreads of Jewish and Indonesian classics now memorialized in a cookbook.

Goldstein, who is originally from Indonesia and converted to Judaism after meeting her husband, Harvey, in Singapore, says culinary traditions from Indonesia meld easily with kashrut, or Jewish culinary rules. 

“A lot of recipes don’t use pork,” she said. “And then second of all, in the Jewish tradition, we don’t mix meat and dairy, and it’s very easy, because in most of Indonesian food, we use coconut milk.”

Life is a little slower now for the Goldsteins, who recently moved to Virginia and hope to split their time between the United States and Singapore. On Hanukkah, these deep-fried Indonesian corn fritters, served best with sour cream and sweet chili sauce, are a family favorite. In Indonesia, they’re a popular street food, but they are also a nod to the Hanukkah custom of frying in lots of oil.



2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onion

1/4 cup chopped celery leaves

1 large egg

1 cup water 

Oil, enough to deep fry the corn fritters.

White ground pepper, and salt to taste.


In a mixing bowl, mix the ingredients together until the flour, baking soda, garlic powder, white pepper, salt, egg and water are all well combined. 
Add the corn kernels, spring onions, and celery. Mix it well. 
Heat the oil in the pan. Using a spoon or small ladle, spoon portions of batter into the hot oil and fry. . Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook both sides of the corn fritters until golden brown. 
Serve with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. 

Esther David serves her vegetable patties with coriander chutney on Hanukkah. (Esther David)

Gujarat, India: Vegetable patties with coriander chutney

According to legend, the Bene Israel trace their beginnings in India to a shipwreck on the country’s west coast over 2,000 years ago. When British rule began in 1858, they came to Gujarat, a state on the coast and embraced local life there while maintaining their Jewish identity, leading to the formation of unique customs and culinary traditions.

Esther David is a Bene Israel Jew who grew up in Gujarat and writes about the Jewish Indian experience in her novels. Her most recent book, “Bene Appetit,” recounts the diverse traditions and cuisines of India’s five Jewish groups — traditions she says are quickly being forgotten due to modernization and immigration.

At Hanukkah, fried vegetable patties or fritters are traditional, usually served alongside carrot halva. David likes to serve the fritters with coriander chutney.


Vegetable patty ingredients

6 potatoes

½ cup green peas

¼ teaspoon red chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Eggs, breadcrumbs, flour and oil for frying


Peel potatoes and shell green peas. Cook both until soft. 
Mash the potatoes and combine with peas. Add red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander leaves and salt to taste. Mix with oiled hands. Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape into round patties. (Optional: add 1 small grated carrot to the mixture of potatoes and peas.)
In another bowl, whisk eggs until frothy and dip each patty in the egg mixture. Then roll in a platter of flour and breadcrumbs and cover on both sides. 
Heat oil in a pan and fry patties on both sides until golden brown. Drain and serve hot. 

Coriander chutney ingredients

1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves

10 leaves fresh mint

1 medium green chili

½ cup grated coconut

¼ teaspoon sugar



Clean and finely chop the coriander, mint leaves and green chili. Mix with the grated coconut, sugar and salt. Process in a mixer and serve with the patties.

Brod goreng means “fried bread” in Indonesian. (Screenshot from YouTube/Beqs Kitchen)

North Sulawesi, Indonesia: Brod Goreng

The Jewish community in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, might be one of the smallest in all of Asia. Made up mostly of descendants of Dutch Jews who came to Indonesia with the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, the population has declined over time as Jews have attempted to assimilate amid an environment that is not always welcoming to them. In 2013, a historical Dutch synagogue in Surabaya, on the island of Java, was demolished by a real estate developer following protests by Islamic groups.

Yaakov Baruch, the rabbi for North Sulawesi’s community, is a descendant of both Dutch Jews and Holocaust survivors. He shared a recipe for brod goreng, a sweet fried bread for Hanukkah.

A Dutch-Indonesian culinary creation, brod goreng was only eaten in areas where Dutch Jews were living, Baruch said. “The Jews combined the culinary [traditions] between European and local Indonesian food, since this food is closer with sufgiyanot,” he said. “So the Jews in this country always prepare this ‘brod goreng’ next to our Menorah during Hanukkah.”



250g flour

1 egg

5 tbsp sugar (you can add more if you like it sweet)

1 tsp yeast

2 tbsp butter


Oil for frying


Beat sugar, eggs, butter until slightly white. Add flour & yeast, then add water little by little while stirring, until there are no lumps. Leave it for about 30 minutes, covered with a napkin. 
Heat enough oil to submerge the portions. Before frying, stir the mixture for a while, then use a tablespoon to spoon pieces one by one into the cooking oil. They will be sticky when taking them off of the spoon. Fry until golden brown. (Optional: serve with powdered sugar.)

The post 4 Hanukkah recipes from across Asia that meld local cultures with Diaspora traditions appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Canada’s economic growth projected to be about 1% in the first half of 2024

Canada is a country with a thriving Jewish community and has traditionally offered the security of a strong economy for residents. The national economic outlook is naturally something that everyone in Canada’s Jewish community keeps track of – especially those involved in business in the various provinces.

With this in mind, the July 2023 Monetary Policy Report from the Bank of Canada made for interesting reading, projecting a moderate economic growth figure of around 1% for the first half of 2024. This is in line with growth figures that had been forecast for the second half of 2023, and sees the country’s economy remain on a stable footing.

Steady projected growth for first half of 2024

Although projected economic growth of around 1% in early 2024 is not as impressive as figures of around 3.4% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, it is certainly no cause for alarm. But what might be behind it?

Higher interest rates are one major factor to consider and have had a negative impact on household spending nationally. This has effectively seen people with less spending power and businesses in Canada generating less revenue as a result.

Interest rate rises have also hit business investments nationally, and less money is being channelled into this area to fuel Canada’s economic growth. When you also factor in how the weak foreign demand for Canadian goods and services has hit export growth lately, the projected GDP growth figure for early 2024 is understandable.

Growth in second half of 2024 expected

Although the above may make for interesting reading for early 2024, the Bank of Canada’s report does show that economic growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. This is projected to be due to the decreasing effect of high interest rates on the Canadian economy and a stronger foreign demand for the country’s exports.

Moving forward from this period, it is predicted that inflation will remain at around 3% as we head into 2025, and hit the Bank of Canada’s inflation target of 2% come the middle of 2025. All of this should help the country’s financial status remain stable and prove encouraging for business leaders in the Jewish community.

Canada’s economic growth mirrors iGaming’s rise

When you take a look at the previous growth figures Canada has seen and also consider the growth predicted for 2024 (especially in the second half of the year), it is clear that the country has a vibrant, thriving economy.

This economic growth is something that can be compared with iGaming’s recent rise as an industry around the country. In the same way as Canada has steadily built a strong economy over time, iGaming has transformed itself into a powerful, flourishing sector.

This becomes even clearer when you consider that Canadian iGaming has been a major contributor to the sustained growth seen in the country’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which rose by around 1.9% in Q2 of 2023. The healthy state of online casino play in Canada is also evidenced by how many customers the most popular casino platforms attract and how the user experience these operators offer has enabled iGaming in the country to take off.

This, of course, is also something that translates to the world stage, where global iGaming revenues in 2023 hit an estimated $95 billion. iGaming’s global market volume is also pegged to rise to around $130 billion by 2027. These kinds of figures represent a sharp jump for iGaming worldwide and show how the sector is on the ascent.

Future economic outlook for Canada in line with global expectations

When considering the Canadian economic outlook for 2024, it is often useful to look at how this compares with global financial predictions. In addition to the rude health of iGaming in Canada being reflected in global online casino gaming, the positive economic outlook for the country is also broadly in line with expectations for many global economies.

Global growth is also predicted to rise steadily in the second half of 2024 before becoming stronger in 2025. This should be driven by the weakening effects of high interest rates on worldwide economic prosperity. With rate cuts in Canada already expected after Feb 2024’s inflation report, this could happen in the near future.

The performance of the US economy is always of interest in Canada, as this is the country’s biggest trading partner. Positive US Q2 performances in 2023, powered by a strong labor market, good consumer spending levels and robust business investments, were therefore a cause for optimism. As a US economy that continues to grow is something that Canadian businesses welcome, this can only be a healthy sign.

Canada set for further growth in 2024

Local news around Canada can cover many topics but the economy is arguably one of the most popular. A projected GDP growth figure of around 1% for Canada’s economy shows that the financial state of the country is heading in the right direction. An improved financial outlook heading into the latter half of 2024/2025 would make for even better reading, and the national economy should become even stronger.

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The Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling has grown in popularity around the globe in recent years. While many jurisdictions have legalized land-based gambling, it hasn’t applied to online platforms. Nonetheless, Canada is one nation that has legalized online gambling with their provinces’ licensing and regulating sites.

Nonetheless, Canadians of legal age can enjoy playing their favourite online games where available. So many games like slots, blackjack, and roulette still maintain their popularity even in the digital sense.  Want to learn about what’s legal in Canada for online gambling? Let’s take a look.

What is legal for online gambling in Canada?

What is the best online casino in Canada? The list we provide you here should be a good start. It’s also important to note that most Canadian provinces do not have laws that prohibit offshore online casinos.

Many provinces provide licensing to online casinos. They even regulate them as well. For example, Alberta and British Columbia have sites regulated by their respective governing bodies. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) allows legal online gambling and oversees the services it offers to Maritime provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there are some caveats to address. In Newfoundland and Labrador, online gambling that is not offered by the ALC is considered illegal. Therefore, it is the only Canadian province as of 2024 that prohibits offshore options.

In terms of the legal age, there are three provinces where the legal age is 18: Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The remaining provinces establish 19 as the legal age for gambling including online.

Who are the regulatory bodies for gambling in Canada?

At the Federal level, the Canadian Gaming Association is the regulatory body for gambling in Canada. Thus, they cover both land-based and online gambling in the country. There are also provincial and regional regulatory bodies such as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – which covers the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. A handful of provinces also have their regulatory bodies covering lottery and gaming.

Canada requires online casinos that wish to accept players from the country to adhere to regulations and licensing. These licenses are provided by provincial regulatory bodies. When licensed, online casinos must follow the regulations and security standards.

However, there is the belief that many of the laws about gambling in Canada may be outdated. This could be because these laws were created long before the advent of the Internet. Therefore, such laws may need to be modernized. Nonetheless, online gambling for the most part is legal, just dependent on the province.

Are there any legal grey areas to discuss?

The grey area that is considered a concern pertains to the use of offshore sites. As mentioned earlier, Newfoundland and Labrador is believed to be the only province that prohibits it. Even online casinos with no licensing by Canadian or provincial authorities accept residents of the country.

On the players’ end, many Canadians are allowed to play at online casinos. However, they may be restricted from certain platforms. This is to ensure that the players themselves are protected from unknowingly playing on platforms that may be illegal. 

What are the other laws and regulations about online gambling in Canada?

Online casinos have implemented measures for responsible gambling. This includes providing support and resources to problem gamblers on their site. They are also restricted regarding the marketing and advertising aspects of promoting their platform. 

One restriction of note is that marketing that is targeted at minors is prohibited. Another prohibits professional athletes from appearing in online casino ads in Ontario.

Even offshore casinos must adhere to these laws and regulations. Especially if they have obtained a license from the provincial bodies that allow them to operate.

Canada’s online gambling is legal – but will things change

As it stands right now, the legality of online gambling in Canada seems to fall under the purview of provincial laws and regulations. Canadian citizens must perform their due diligence further to see which online casinos are allowed by their respective provinces. Just because it may be legal in one province, it may not be the same in others.

Nonetheless, the question is: will any laws relax certain restrictions? Will Newfoundland and Labrador change their tune regarding offshore casinos? It’s unclear what the future holds – but watch this space for any changes about online gambling in Canada.  

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Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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