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A rabbi went down with his torpedoed warship in 1943. Today, his cousin ensures his story is not forgotten.

(JTA) — Mark Auerbach was not yet 5 years old when he noticed an unusual stamp in his father’s dresser. The well-worn three-cent stamp featured a drawing of a small group of men and a sinking ship, with the words “The Immortal Chaplains… Interfaith in action.” It piqued his interest, so he asked his father about it.

“Our cousin is on that,” Auerbach, who grew up in Brooklyn, recalls him saying, searching for an age-appropriate explanation. “He said he was a rabbi who died during World War II when his boat was torpedoed by the Germans. He made me promise to make sure that the story is never forgotten.”

It’s a promise that Auerbach, 75, who now lives in Passaic, New Jersey, has taken to heart. He’s made it his life’s mission to keep alive the story of the “Four Chaplains” — who included Auerbach’s third cousin, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, along with Rev. George Fox, Rev. Clark Poling and Father John Washington. Eighty years ago today, they made the ultimate sacrifice when their ship, U.S.A.T. Dorchester, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the North Atlantic in the pre-dawn hours.

Over the decades, Auerbach has amassed a trove of photos, clippings and memorabilia dedicated to the bravery and faith of these four clergymen — including preserving countless copies of that three-cent stamp, which was issued in May 1948. “It’s an amazing story,” said Auerbach of the chaplains’ heroism. “It just happens to be my family.”

The sinking of the Dorchester is considered one of the country’s worst World War II-era sea disasters: Of the 902 men on board, only 203 survived. As survivors and historians attest, the four clergy — all relatively new soldiers who had befriended one another at the Army Chaplains School at Harvard University — stood out for their calming presence throughout the pandemonium that occurred during the 18 minutes it took for the ship to go under. As the tragedy rapidly unfolded, survivors reported that the chaplains offered prayers, helped distribute lifejackets and, once those ran out, they selflessly gave up their own.

The three-cent stamp dedicated to the Four Chaplains was issued in 1948 and sparked Auerbach’s interest in the story. (Courtesy Mark Auerbach)

“The altruistic action of the four chaplains constitutes one of the purest spiritual and ethical acts a person can make,” reads materials from Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation, whose mission is “to promote Interfaith Cooperation and Selfless Service,” according to their web site. “When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life jackets to the next man in line.”

But that’s not all they did. As the ship went down, survivors have said that they saw the four chaplains on deck, linked arm in arm together in prayer. “I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,” Private William B. Bednar, who was floating among the bodies of his shipmates in the freezing water, is quoted as saying in foundation reports. “I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.”

The four men became friends at chaplains school at Harvard. (Courtesy Mark Auerbach)

According to Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, the author of “Rabbi Alexander Goode: The Story of the Rabbi and His Three Fellow Chaplains Who Went Down with the USAT Dorchester” in November 2022, the clergy were heard saying their respective prayers as the ship sank: Goode said the Shema; the Catholic priest the Ave Maria, while the two ministers said the Lord’s Prayer. (Exactly how survivors might have heard this is unclear, though Elkins confirmed that the Shema is the last thing a Jew is supposed to say before death.)

Goode was born in Brooklyn in 1911; his father, Hyman Goodekowitz, was also a rabbi. When his parents divorced, he moved to Washington, D.C. with his mother and siblings. Goode was a good student and excellent athlete, and “believed that it was God’s plan for him to pursue a religious calling,” Elkins said.

Goode graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1934 and Hebrew Union College in 1937; in 1940, he got a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. “Education was very important to him,” said Auerbach. In 1935, he married Teresa Flax, who happened to be a niece of Al Jolson; the couple had a daughter, Rosalie, in 1939.

As a rabbi, his first assignment was at a synagogue in Marion, Indiana in 1936; in 1937, he transferred to Beth Israel in York, Pennsylvania, where he remained until he enlisted in July 1942. “He excelled in ecumenicalism — his congregation really praised him and loved him specifically for that,” Elkins said. “He had a wonderful reputation as a scholar, a beloved rabbi and ecumenical person.”

As Elkins writes in his book: “In his new community, Alex made great efforts to spread interfaith understanding. He presented a regular radio program on religious matters. When one of the local churches burned down, he offered to host the congregation’s religious services.”

“He was an extraordinary person, [in addition to] what he did on the Dorchester,” Elkins added.

According to an account from a Dorchester survivor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, courtesy the Four Chaplains Foundation, Goode acted selflessly at least one more time that awful morning: He thwarted Mahoney from a foolhardy attempt to return to his cabin for his gloves. Instead, Goode gave Mahoney his gloves, assuring him he had two pairs.

In retrospect, “Mahoney realized that Rabbi Goode was not conveniently carrying two pairs of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester.”

For a time in the postwar era, the story of the chaplains’ bravery was a popular one, including among children. (Courtesy Mark Auerbach)

During the postwar era, for a while, at least, the story of the Four Chaplains was a popular one. In addition to laudatory articles and the commemorative stamp — plus assorted memorabilia designed to draw the attention of children — memorials were constructed “in nearly every state,” according to Elkins; stained-glass tributes can be found at the Pentagon, the National Cathedral and elsewhere. In Philadelphia, President Harry Truman dedicated a memorial chapel to the Four Chaplains on Feb. 4, 1951. According to a JTA report at the time, some 10,000 “Americans of all faiths” raised $300,000 for the chapel’s construction and furnishings; at the ceremony, Goode’s father read Psalm 96 in Hebrew.

On Dec. 19, 1944, each of the chaplains was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1998, the 55th anniversary of the Dorchester disaster, Feb. 3 was deemed Four Chaplains Day by Congress. And yet, as World War II fades into distant memory, few people today seem to be familiar with the heroism of these men.

“It’s such an important story, such an inspiring story, it needs to be better known,” said Elkins on the impetus for his book.

“This guy certainly was a great role model,” Elkins said of Goode in particular. “We need more Alexander Goode type of people for our youth to look up to, to say, ‘I can be honest, intellectual, committed to my faith and my people, the heritage of Judaism, and I can do honorable things.’”

On Sunday, as he does every year on the Sunday closest to Feb. 3, Auerbach and other chaplains’ family members will attend a memorial mass at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Kearny, New Jersey, where he’ll also display his collection of photographs and memorabilia. “The story is so ecumenical that it crosses all kinds of barriers,” he said. “It’s the ‘Golden Rule’ in reality. Every clergy person worth their salt — whatever day their religious observance is, whether its Saturday or Sunday — every one of them is preaching be kind to your brother, your sister. Everyone talks about it, few know about it. This is something for people to grab onto.”

Elkins concurs. “These guys are role models for all of us,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you have to give up your life. There are all kinds of ways people can do great things.”


The post A rabbi went down with his torpedoed warship in 1943. Today, his cousin ensures his story is not forgotten. 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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Obituaries

Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN

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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