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As day school educators gather, focus is on investing in leadership and creativity

When Rabbi Adam Englander arrived at a recent national gathering in Denver of Jewish day school and yeshiva educators, he had a good sense of what conference sessions he wanted to attend and whom he wanted to meet.

But it turns out that one of the most valuable benefits Englander experienced at the Prizmah educators conference were the serendipitous encounters he had with colleagues and the new opportunities for collaboration and creativity they presented.

As head of school at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, or HALB, in Woodmere, New York, Englander’s main focus usually is what’s happening at his school, not elsewhere. But at the conference he met with two colleagues with whom he shares a leadership coach, they created a WhatsApp group chat for sharing ideas, and Englander soon walked away with a new idea for a dynamic workshop to run with his leadership team this summer.

“Already just from this group I have an amazing idea,” Englander said. “That kind of good stuff can happen where you might meet someone who is like, ‘Oh, yeah. I have the same problem as you.’ Now you are connecting with some principal from San Francisco whom you’d never have met in a million years.”

He added, “Day school leaders really need to take the time and energy to invest in themselves, and their own growth.”

“Creative Spirit” was the theme of the conference in January organized by Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools, the national network organization that was created several years ago through a merger of five different day school organizations. The conference in Denver drew more than 1,000 professional and lay leaders from over 200 Jewish day schools and yeshivas across North America. It was the third-ever iteration of Prizmah’s national conference.

With tens of thousands of students spread out over hundreds of schools across the continent, day schools have become laboratories of creativity: for learning, for Jewish action, even for tackling societal challenges.

“Jewish day schools are inherently creative places,” said Prizmah CEO Paul Bernstein. “The exceptional level of shared optimism and imagination around the bright future of Jewish day schools was palpable at the conference. Day school leaders clearly share a belief and innovative determination in the opportunity to grow enrollment in the next decade — by promulgating the value proposition of Jewish day school, ensuring a pipeline of excellent educators and addressing the challenge of affordability.”

A salient example of creativity in action is how day schools adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic, not just adjusting to remote learning and figuring out how to return to classrooms safely, but in reconfiguring teaching approaches to suit different kinds of learning.

“Because of schools’ creativity, and because of the way that different stakeholders in schools — from administrators to teachers to parents to students — were able to work together, they solved these brand new problems we hadn’t seen before,” Bernstein observed.

Another area of tremendous creativity is how Jewish schools are managing the challenges of affordability: Day schools are almost entirely privately funded, tuition is a barrier for many families, and yet tuition fees alone are insufficient to cover costs. In recent years, some schools have adapted innovative and flexible fee models, from setting tuition based on a fixed percentage of a family’s income to using Jewish community grant funding to cap tuition for new families.

Much of the conference was devoted to ideas for the future of Jewish day school education, covering everything from curricula to leadership to finances. One main area of focus is recruiting and retaining quality educators and school leaders.

Debra Skolnick-Einhorn, head of school at the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School in Washington, D.C., who spoke on a conference panel about professional development, said she believes the key to better educator retention is improving compensation and benefits, providing more opportunities for professional growth, and expressing more gratitude toward staff.

Tal Ben-Shahar, an American-Israeli bestselling author who teaches about the psychology of leadership, spoke at the conference about the importance of investing in leaders.

“It’s important to focus on self-care for the teachers, invest in people in the field,” Ben-Shahar said. “It’s critical to treat teachers well, keep them involved, treat them as professionals, and value their opinions.”

“Jewish day schools are inherently creative places,” said Prizmah CEO Paul Bernstein at the organization’s biennial conference in Denver, January 2023. (Courtesy of Prizmah)

John D’Auria, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of four books on leadership, spoke about how great leaders focus on mutual learning — getting colleagues to share and learn from one another — rather than top-down leadership. It’s an approach embodied by many day school curricula, which focus on collaborative and experiential learning.

At the conference, Lisa Kay Solomon, Louie Montoya, and Ariel Raz from Stanford University’s K12 Futures team offered an art project dubbed Hall of Descendants where participants could create a portrait and message for future children and educators.

“While we can’t predict the future, we know it’s going to be filled with a lot of uncertainty, complexity and tensions that we can’t solve,” Solomon said. “The hall creates a relatability to that distant time travel and a sense of responsibility about what we might do today to serve that future descendant.”

Brad Phillipson, head of school for the Jewish Community Day School of Greater New Orleans, said he found the Hall “a powerful exercise in prioritizing the values with which I most closely identify, personally and professionally, and in contemplating the world I want to pass along to future generations — through our students, through my child, and, indirectly, through what my students, and my daughter, will teach their children.”

Tal Grinfas-David, who led a session at the conference on creative leadership and Israel, said it’s important for leaders to take risks. More often than not, she noted, leaders can be “risk averse to placate, to take safe pathways.”

Grinfas-David, who is vice president of outreach and pre-collegiate school management initiatives at the Atlanta-based Center for Israel Education, turned to Israeli history for examples of leadership that educators could emulate.

“What I wanted them to see was examples of courageous leadership and risk taking and where that could lead,” Grinfas-David said. “Hopefully, they see that leaders of Israel have had to strengthen the future of the state regardless of the circumstances, just as the school leaders need to leave behind a legacy of a stronger institution.”

Bernstein, Prizmah’s CEO, said that the recent gathering underscored how important collaboration is to Jewish education — and that regardless of location or denomination, colleagues have a lot to learn from each other.

“What we are seeing is that when Jewish day school leaders come together, whether you are Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, pluralistic, or nondenominational, whether you are from the Southwest or the Northeast, from the U.S. or Canada and beyond — there is so much more that unites than divides,” Bernstein said.

Prizmah’s next conference will be held in the winter of 2024.

The post As day school educators gather, focus is on investing in leadership and creativity 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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