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Beyond the ‘Day of Hate’: The best strategy to keep American Jews safe over the long term

(JTA) — My synagogue sent out a cautiously anxious email yesterday about an event coming this Shabbat, a neo-Nazi “Day of Hate.” The email triggered fuzzy memories of one of the strangest episodes that I can remember from my childhood.

Sometime around 1990, in response to local neo-Nazi activity, some Jews from my community decided to “fight back.” I don’t know whether they were members of the militant Jewish Defense League, or perhaps just sympathetic to a JDL-style approach. When our local Jewish newspaper covered the story, it ran on its front cover a full-page photo of a kid from my Orthodox Jewish high school. The photo showed a teenage boy from behind, wearing a kippah and carrying a baseball bat that was leaning threateningly on his shoulder.

As it happens, “Danny” was not a member of the JDL, he was a kid on his way to play baseball. Sometimes, a baseball bat is just a baseball bat. But not for us anxious Jews in America: We want to see ourselves as protagonists taking control of our destiny, responding to antisemites with agency, with power, with a plan. I’m sorry to say that as I look around our community today, it seems to me that we have agency, and we have power — but we certainly don’t seem to have a plan. 

The tactics that the American Jewish community uses to fight back against antisemitism are often ineffective on their own and do not constitute a meaningful strategy in the composite. One is that American Jews join in a partisan chorus that erodes our politics and fixates on the antisemitism in the party they don’t vote for. This exacerbates the partisan divide, which weakens democratic culture, and turns the weaponizing of antisemitism into merely a partisan electoral tactic for both sides. 

Another tactic comes from a wide set of organizations who have declared themselves the referees on the subject and take to Twitter to name and shame antisemites. This seems to amplify and popularize antisemitism more than it does to suppress it. 

A third common tactic is to pour more and more dollars into protecting our institutions with robust security measures, which no one thinks will defeat antisemitism, but at least seeks to protect those inside those institutions from violence, though it does little to protect Jews down the street. Richer Jewish institutions will be safer than poorer ones, but Jews will continue to suffer either way. 

A fourth tactic our communal organizations use to fight antisemitism is to try to exact apologies or even fines from antisemites to get them to retract their beliefs and get in line, as the Anti-Defamation League did with Kyrie Irving, an approach that Yair Rosenberg has wisely argued is a no-win proposition. Yet another tactic is the insistence by some that the best way to fight antisemitism is to be proud Jews, which has the perverse effect of making our commitment to Jewishness dependent on antisemitism as a motivator. 

And finally, the most perverse tactic is that some on both the right and the left fight antisemitism by attacking the ADL itself. Since it is so hard to defeat our opponents, we have started beating up on those that are trying to protect us. What could go wrong?

Steadily, like a drumbeat, these tactics fail, demonstrating themselves to be not a strategy at all, and the statistics continue to show a rise in antisemitism. 

Perhaps we are too fixated on the idea that antisemitism is continuous throughout Jewish history, proving only that there is no effective strategy for combating this most persistent of hatreds.

Instead, we would do well to recall how we responded to a critical moment in American Jewish history in the early 20th century. In the aftermath of the Leo Frank lynching in 1915 – the murder of a Jewish man amid an atmosphere of intense antisemitism — Jewish leaders formed what would become the ADL by building a relationship with law enforcement and the American legal and political establishment. The ADL recognized that the best strategy to keep American Jews safe over the long term, in ways that would transcend and withstand the political winds of change, was to embed in the police and criminal justice system the idea that antisemitism was their problem to defeat. These Jewish leaders flipped the script of previous diasporic experiences; not only did they become “insiders,” they made antisemitism anathema to America itself. (And yes, it was the Leo Frank incident that inspired “Parade,” the forthcoming Broadway musical that this week attracted white supremacist protesters.)

For Jews, the high-water mark of this strategy came in the aftermath of the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh. It was the low point in many ways of the American Jewish experience, the most violent act against Jews on American soil, but it was followed by a mourning process that was shared across the greater Pittsburgh community. The words of the Kaddish appeared above the fold of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That is inconceivable at most other times of Jewish oppression and persecution. It tells the story of when we are successful – when antisemitism is repudiated by the general public. It is the most likely indicator that we will be collectively safe in the long run. 

We were lucky that this move to partner with the establishment was successful. I felt this deeply on a recent trip to Montgomery, Alabama. Seeing the memorials to Black Americans persecuted and lynched by and under the very system that should have been protecting them from the worst elements of society is a reminder that not all minorities in America could then — or today — win over the elements of American society that control criminal justice. 

Visitors view items left by well-wishers along the fence at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on the first anniversary of the attack there, Oct. 27, 2019. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

A strategic plan to defeat antisemitism that must be collectively embraced by American Jews would build on this earlier success and invest in the infrastructure of American democracy as the framework for Jewish thriving and surviving, and continue the historic relationship-building that changed the Jews’ position in America. It would stop the counterproductive internecine and partisan battle that is undermining the possibility of Jewish collective mobilization. 

It means more investment, across partisan divides, in relationships with local governments and law enforcement, using the imperfect “definitions of antisemitism” as they are intended — not for boundary policing, but to inform and help law enforcement to monitor and prevent violent extremism. It means supporting lawsuits and other creative legal strategies, like Integrity First for America’s groundbreaking efforts against the Unite the Right rally organizers, which stymie such movements in legal gridlock and can help bankrupt them. 

It means practicing the lost art of consensus Jewish collective politics which recognize that there must be some baseline agreement that antisemitism is a collective threat, even if any “unity” we imagine for the Jewish community is always going to be be instrumental and short-lived. 

It means supporting institutions like the ADL, even as they remain imperfect, even as they sometimes get stuck in some of the failed strategies I decried above, because they have the relationships with powerful current and would-be allies in the American political and civic marketplace, and because they are fighting against antisemitism while trying to stay above the partisan fray. 

It means real education and relationship-building with other ethnic and faith communities that is neither purely instrumental nor performative — enough public relations visits to Holocaust museums! — so that we have the allies we need when we need them, and so that we can partner for our collective betterment.  

And most importantly, it means investing in the plodding, unsexy work of supporting vibrant American democracy — free and fair elections, voting rights, the rule of law, peaceful transitions of power — because stable liberal democracies have been the safest homes for minorities, Jews included. 

I doubt we will ever be able to “end” individual antisemitic acts, much less eradicate antisemitic hate. “Shver tzu zayn a Yid” (it’s hard to be a Jew). We join with our fellow Americans who live in fear of the lone wolves and the hatemongers who periodically terrorize us. But we are much more capable than we are currently behaving to fight back against the collective threats against us. Instead, let’s be the smart Americans we once were. 

The real work right now is not baseball bats or billboards, it is not Jewish pride banalities or Twitter refereeing: It is quiet and powerful and, if done right, as American Jews demonstrated in the last century, it will serve us for the long term.

The post Beyond the ‘Day of Hate’: The best strategy to keep American Jews safe over the long term 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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