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A Jewish initiative aims to support Asian New Yorkers following Monterey Park shooting

(New York Jewish Week) — After Saturday’s mass shooting that took the lives of mostly older Asian Americans in Monterey Park, California over the weekend, a Jewish organization in New York is seeing renewed interest in an initiative that focuses on solidarity between the Asian and Jewish communities.  

That initiative, called Jews For Asians, is gearing up for numerous vigils in New York this week as the Asian American community processes yet another tragedy. Just two days after a gunman opened fire on a Lunar New Year celebration and murdered 11 people, on Monday, yet another gunman killed seven people in two separate incidents in the California coastal town of Half Moon Bay. 

Jews For Asians brings volunteers to vigils and solidarity events to help mourners feel safe in a public spaces. “This horrible incident on Lunar New Year drove a bunch of interest in Jews For Asians,” Carlyn Cowen, a co-founder of the group, told the New York Jewish Week. “We’re now plugging people in. We train people to offer solidarity support and then we connect people where that support is needed.” 

Cowen started Jews For Asians with Rafael Shimunov after the Atlanta spa shooting spree in March 2021, when a gunman killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent. The group is a project of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, a progressive group.

“People just wanted to help,” Shimunov told the New York Jewish Week. “We wanted to use that energy. We saw hundreds of volunteers sign up.”  

Cowen, a Filipnx JFREJ member, said that Jews For Asians also provides security for other communities. In addition, the group offeres trainings on de-escalation, situational awareness, how to interact with the police and more.  

Sadly our Asian siblings in New York are marking lunar New Year with vigils after hate and violence in Monterey Park, California.

If you’d like to join the now 500 #JewsForAsians volunteer list ready to secure those events, sign up here. We’ll train u.

— Rafael Shimunov (@rafaelshimunov) January 22, 2023

Hailie Kim, a Korean American who is holding a vigil this Thursday in Sunnyside, Queens, told the New York Jewish Week that Jews For Asians will send volunteers to the gathering. 

“It is really touching to me that Rafael reached out,” Kim said. “We should all be working together in moments like this and beyond. We shouldn’t only be working together when things like this happen. It should be used as a model for how we behave in our daily lives.” 

JFREJ also used solidarity support tactics in combatting antisemitism with the Haredi community in 2020, and again in 2021 when a mosque was attacked in Brooklyn.

Kim, who is running for City Council in District 26, which encompasses Sunnyside, also said that she is worried about an increase in police presence at such events, and would prefer Jews For Asians volunteers to provide security at her vigil this week.  

“When we ask people what makes them feel unsafe, it’s never that there are not enough police around,” Kim said. “I think having more police presence at events like this isn’t necessarily going to prevent anything.” 

Asian New Yorkers are noticing an increase in the number of NYPD officers in lower Manhattan this week after the tragedy that took place last weekend. The NYPD told Gothamist it had shifted counterterrorism and patrol resources at Lunar New Year events across the city, but had not identified any threats in New York.  

Shimunov, who is a Bukharian Jew and a member of JFREJ, said Jews For Asians shares a wariness about policing; JFREJ maintains that increased police presence and security can “militarize our community spaces” and make “communal spaces less safe for Jews of color, trans Jews, Jews with disabilities” and others.

“When we say we don’t need policing for things like this, or maybe for everything, how do we not just preach that, but even in a small way, how do we demonstrate to the world what that can look like and why it’s better,” Shimunov said.

He added that people in Los Angeles have reached out to Jews For Asians and asked if there was a similar program in California.  

“We are looking to see if there is any group there that wants to take our model and replicate it,” Shimunov said. 

We must stand together in love to protect our neighbors and reject the forces that try to divide us. Join us for a community vigil this Thursday, 1/26, 6:30 pm, at 46st St-Bliss St Plaza in Sunnyside.  RSVP here:

— Hailie Kim (@hailieforqueens) January 23, 2023

Rabbi Mira Rivera, the first Filipina-American rabbi to be ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, who also provides support through Jews For Asians, told the New York Jewish Week that she will be attending this Thursday’s vigil to provide support.  

“We come together for celebrations, but now we have to come together for mourning again,” Rivera said. “The sense of duty is huge. It’s somehow deep within our interwoven cultures: Jews, Asians and Americans.” 

She referred to a Talmud teaching that talks about how it is “our duty in Judaism to mourn with people from other nations.”

“Meaning the people of other cultures, in the same [way] that we mourn for our own people,” Rivera explained. “It is our duty to bury the dead of other nations in the same way as to bury the dead of our own. That’s the moment right now. It’s not just that they’re Asian. It’s all of us.” 

Rivera is also leading a “learning and processing” event on Wednesday with the Asian Jewish organization Lunar Collective. 

“We have different traditions, but not necessarily that different,” said Cowen, who described their father as a “Chicago Jew” and their mom as from the Philippines.  “As a Jewish Asian, I’ve been watching both of my communities experience an increase in hate violence over the last few years. It is very much rooted in white supremacy and white nationalism.” 

“It’s awesome that Jews For Asians is getting more attention,” Cowen added, “but I also don’t want to distract from the fact that it’s my Asian American community that needs support.”

Shimunov said that Jews For Asians is part of a “bigger picture” of building a multi-ethnic, multi-faith coalition that is used to combat against what he calls “the opposition,” which he views as government power, police presence with guns and white supremacy. 

“If we can maintain this coalition, we can win anything,” Shimunov said. “We have all the numbers. It’s such a precarious thing that is always being tested. This is just one of the ways to keep that coalition together.” 

Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 339% between 2020 and 2021, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.  

The post A Jewish initiative aims to support Asian New Yorkers following Monterey Park shooting 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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