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A Jewish guide to Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, starting with his Trump and Kushner feuds

(JTA) — As he has launched his long-shot campaign for the Republican nomination, Chris Christie has taken aim squarely at the man he once enthusiastically endorsed: Donald Trump. 

But alongside portraying the former president as a danger to democracy, Christie has singled out another person for criticism who is not running for president, and who may not even work on a campaign: Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser. 

The Christie-Kushner feud goes back two decades, dating back to when Christie prosecuted a case that sent Kushner’s father to prison. The feud played a decisive role in freezing the former New Jersey governor out of the Trump administration and is making a reappearance as Christie tries again for the White House, following a news-making but unsuccessful 2016 run. 

It’s also one of the many ways Christie’s career, forged in a state with more than half a million Jews, has intersected with Jewish issues and public figures. Whether the Garden State candidate claims the nomination or plays the spoiler, as he did eight years ago, here’s what you need to know about Chris Christie and the Jews. 

He grew up in North Jersey with Jewish friends 

Christie was born in Newark, but raised in Livingston, a heavily Jewish town in northern New Jersey, where he made a lot of Jewish friends at high school.

Among them was Harlan Coben, the bestselling author of potboilers, who once told a Christie biographer, “If you were to ask who in our class would end up being governor, most people would tell you Chris Christie.”

Another was David Wildstein, a top aide whom Christie named to a senior position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and who pleaded guilty to involvement in what became known as “Bridgegate,” a scheme to shut down toll lanes for the George Washington Bridge. (Christie claimed no knowledge of the scheme.)

His brother Todd is married to a Jewish woman. A COVID-19 outbreak at their son’s bar mitzvah in 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, led to the temporary closure of a middle school. 

He also has intersected with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author, onetime Republican candidate and New Jersey denizen. In 2015, with Boteach looking on, Christie condemned the Iran nuclear deal spearheaded by President Barack Obama. 

He advanced Orthodox-friendly policies as governor

New Jersey has a substantial Orthodox Jewish population, and Christie advocated policies and put forward messages that have traditionally appealed to Orthodox voters. Like another Republican candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Christie advanced school vouchers and other changes that would drive public money to private Jewish schools, although Christie was unsuccessful in launching a voucher program in his state.

As governor, he traveled to Israel and signed a bill prohibiting the state from investing in companies that boycott Israel. But foreign policy has never been his focus or strength: Israel rates no mention at all in his 2019 autobiography, and in 2014, he apologized to the late Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson for using the term “occupied territories” in reference to the West Bank at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. Supporters of Israeli settlements dispute that Israel is occupying the area.

He clashed with Jared Kushner — and lost

In 2004, real estate mogul Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to tax fraud, witness retaliation and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, and spent 14 months in prison in Alabama. It was a victory for Christie, then a U.S. attorney.

But 12 years later, that victory would lead to a defeat.  Christie was the first among the primary candidates in 2016 to drop out and endorse Trump, and worked hard to secure him the nomination and the presidency. Trump wanted to reward Christie with a top job and named him transition chief. Almost immediately, however, Jared Kushner, Charles’ son, got Christie fired.

Christie saw it coming, he wrote in his 2019 book, where he described the younger Kushner’s initial attempt to talk Trump out of naming Christie transition chief. “It wasn’t fair,” Christie quoted Kushner telling Trump regarding his father’s imprisonment. “You don’t know what it was like for me. Almost every weekend, I flew to Alabama to visit. He didn’t deserve to be there.”

After he was fired, Christie wrote that he learned that a 30-binder transition plan he scripted for Trump had ended up in a dumpster.

Christie remains focused on the Kushners. They earned a place in the subtitle of his autobiography, “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the power of in-your-face politics.” An NPR review of the book says, “Christie’s main beef is with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump. Christie blames the young Kushner for ousting him from Trump’s inner circle.”

Kushner and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka, also occupied a dubious place in Christie’s campaign launch in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. 

“The grift from this family is breathtaking, it’s breathtaking! Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walked out of the White House, and months later he gets $2 billion from the Saudis,” Christie told the crowd. “You think it’s because he’s some kind of investing genius? Or do you think it’s because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years, doing favors for the Saudis? That’s your money. That’s your money he stole and gave it to his family. So that makes us a banana republic.”

He has drawn a parallel between Trump and an antisemitic right-wing movement

Christie has made no secret that his principal aim is to neutralize the man he was among the first to endorse in 2016, because he now sees Trump as a menace. Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference last year, he illustrated his criticism of Trump via a comparison to a foe of Israel — Iran. 

“Every day we need to stand with the only democracy in the Middle East with Israel and stand against the terrorism of Iran, all across the world,” he said.  “Because whether you’re talking about Iran, or whether you’re talking about those who aspire to this in our country, authoritarian dictators only want one thing — they just want one more chance to fool the crowd one more time.”

Reelecting Trump, he said, would diminish America’s standing in the world. “But if we’re not doing [democracy] here, we can’t stand up in those other countries and tell them to do it,” he said. “It’s time for us to get our house in order.”

Christie, who was cheered throughout much of his speech, knew the room, which was packed with donors and activists who appreciated Trump’s vehemently pro-Israel foreign policy, but who were wary of his mercurial personality and his flirtations with the far-right. Christie also drew a parallel between Trump and the right-wing John Birch Society of the mid-20th century. 

“It was a dangerous time where Republican politicians throughout the country were afraid. They were afraid to speak out. They were afraid to oppose these folks. Because what they were told was if you oppose them, you cannot win a Republican primary. You cannot be a nominee.”

He also was among the first and most outspoken Republican voices to condemn Trump last year for dining with antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.

Over the years, Christie has had plenty of Jewish donors, including veteran Virginia-based fund-raisers William and Bobbie Kilberg. It’s not clear yet whether past contributors, including hedge funder Steve Cohen and Nick Loeb, the innovator of Onion Crunch, will back him this time.

“Somebody has to directly take on Trump and make it clear that he’s a danger to the future of democracy and that we cannot have him as our nominee,” Bobbie Kilberg told The Philadelphia Inquirer last week. “Chris is running to do that directly and forcibly. Only time can tell whether he can succeed, but it’s exceedingly important to put yourself out there.”

The post A Jewish guide to Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, starting with his Trump and Kushner feuds 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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