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Mayor Adams meets with interfaith leaders to discuss fighting hate crimes



(New York Jewish Week) — As he prepares to head to Greece for a conference on antisemitism, Mayor Eric Adams met with Jewish and other interfaith leaders on Monday to discuss fighting hate in New York City.

Adams gave remarks at an Interfaith Security Council meeting, held over Zoom, to a group comprising of more than 20 faith-based organizations that share best practices on communal security, speak out against extremism and monitor the safety of faith-based communities.  

The meeting came a week after two men were arrested and charged with hate crimes for planning an attack on New York synagogues, and days after members of the Black Hebrew Israelite sect marched in Brooklyn chanting antisemitic slogans.  

The council was created last year by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council and the Community Security Service.  

Adams “doubled down on his pledge to make sure there are resources” for communities to fight hate, Rabbi Bob Kaplan, executive director of the JCRC’s Center for Community Leadership, told the New York Jewish Week.

“He spoke about making sure that we all know how to effectively work together because this is an issue that everyone is affected by,” Kaplan said. 

Kaplan said the mayor brought up an initiative called “Breaking Bread,” created in 2020, that brings together leaders and community members for community meals.

“He was doing this as [Brooklyn] borough president,” Kaplan said. “He wants to have hundreds of them around the city.” 

Kaplan added that “the full breadth of faith leaders” took part in the call, including representatives from the Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.  

“We had people who are often not represented at these kinds of meetings,” Kaplan said. “It’s not just one community’s responsibility. I think that was the main mantra to come out of this.” 

A portion of the meeting was dedicated to training houses of worship in applying for new security grants from the city and state.  

Earlier this month, the state made $50 million available to strengthen security measures at organizations at risk of hate crimes, as well as $46 million in federal funding for 240 such organizations across the state. 

“These grants are extremely important,” Kaplan said. “They can harden the necessary equipment you need, like bulletproof glass, make sure you have the right locks on the doors or equipment for surveillance to make your place safer. In some cases, paying for guards to be on duty.”

“These grants have really helped many synagogues and many houses of worships upgrade to the kinds of secure methodology that they need,” he said. 

UJA-Federation of New York also announced at the meeting that it will be offering micro grants of up to $5,000 to New York organizations that are interested in fostering interfaith and intergroup relations, according to a UJA spokesperson. 

Evan Bernstein, CEO of the Community Security Service, who attended the meeting, told the New York Jewish Week that the meeting shows how far the Interfaith Security Council has come since it was created in 2021. Similar groups “are created in the moment and they just meet once for the optics,” he said. “We really were serious about making this something that was consistent, ongoing and beneficial for the members. We have accomplished that.”  

He added that having the mayor on the call was “a huge win” for the group. “It was a really big moment for us,” Bernstein said. “It was great that people had a chance to hear directly from the mayor in a semi-intimate setting, not just at a press conference.” 

The mayor is heading to Greece Wednesday for the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism. The second annual event is organized by the Combat Antisemitism Movement, a global coalition of 65 Jewish and interfaith organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League counted 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the country last year, a 34% increase from the previous year, and the highest since it began tracking in 1979.

The post Mayor Adams meets with interfaith leaders to discuss fighting hate crimes 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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