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Israel’s historic U-20 World Cup soccer run comes to an end with loss to Uruguay



LA PLATA, Argentina (JTA) — The most successful run in Israeli soccer history came to an end on Thursday, as the country’s under-20 team lost in the semifinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup to Uruguay.

The 1-0 loss means Israel will play the winner of the other semifinal match between Italy and South Korea in a third place game.

Local Jews and Israeli visitors made up a large portion of the crowd of over 27,000 at the stadium in La Plata, Argentina, a city about 40 miles outside of Buenos Aires. They chanted in Hebrew and waved Israeli flags while rooting for a team that repeatedly came from behind for a series of stunning underdog wins en route to the semifinal.

“The support from the Jewish community really helped us,” midfielder El Yam Kancepolsly told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the match. “Soccer in Israel is improving, we have a good generation, and the people understand what we can do.”

The lone goal Thursday was scored by Anderson Duarte in the 61st minute. Israel had previously qualified for one World Cup, the general edition in 1970, at which they scored one goal and did not make it past the first round. In this tournament, the under-20 team scored eight times in beating teams such as Japan and Brazil.

The competition was originally slated to be played in Indonesia, which protested Israel’s participation. FIFA objected to the protest and moved the tournament to Argentina, home to a Jewish community of close to 200,000.

“It’s shocking, we have a very good future in Israeli soccer. This is something new in the history of the country,” said Ilan Zarfati, father of Israeli team’s goalkeeper, Tomer Zarfati.

Fans root for Israel at La Plata Stadium, June 8, 2023. (Juan Melamed)

But beyond showcasing a new generation of talent, Israel’s first-ever appearance in the under-20 tournament brought together South American Jewish fans, highlighting the strong pro-Israel sentiment in their communities. Jewish groups and community centers held watch parties, and thousands showed up to the team’s games.

On Thursday, Israeli fans brought 500 t-shirts emblazoned with Stars of David that they gave away to fellow supporters in the stands. Members of the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch movement brought tefillin to Jewish fans in the stands and outside the stadium in La Plata. 

Fans show a banner with the Uruguayan and Israeli flags. Some Uruguayan Jews went into the match torn over who to root for. (Juan Melamed)

Fabian Zaidenberg, the rabbi of the Jewish community in Mendoza — a city over 600 miles west of Buenos Aires — said the tournament brought him mixed emotions. 

“On Shavuot here, we can’t get a minyan, we were seven people … and last Shabbat we were exactly 10, just at a minyan,” he told JTA last week, after the match between Israel and Japan held in Mendoza. A minyan is a prayer quorum of 10 men. “It is incomparable how attractive an Israeli match is… 500 from our community were at the field.

“I was there with families of the community, it was a big joy, it was a party of sports and identity. What is a kind of contradiction, or in fact what hurts me, is the big difference in the appeal of a soccer match in comparison with an activity on Shavuot or an activity in a synagogue,” he added. “I want this in the synagogue.”

The post Israel’s historic U-20 World Cup soccer run comes to an end with loss to Uruguay appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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