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Meet the real Jewish Republican of color being floated to replace George Santos, the fake one

(JTA) — Last Friday, as George Santos completed his second week in Congress, Mazi Melesa Pilip was contemplating the relief Shabbat would bring — and also the sting of the betrayal she felt by her fellow Long Island lawmaker.

Among the welter of falsehoods that Santos scattered throughout  the byways of the Great Neck area in northern Long Island he and Pilip both represent — Santos in Congress, Pilip as a Nassau County legislator — Santos has pitched himself as a Jewish and Black Republican who overcame hardship to earn multiple degrees.

All lies, but as it happens those descriptors apply to Pilip, an Ethiopian Jew who won’t count out a run for Congress if Santos ever accedes to demands, including from fellow Republicans, to resign. (Santos says he intends to serve out his two-year term.)

“I’m not going to lie to you, people are definitely asking me to run,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an interview as she drove while shopping for Shabbat. “That doesn’t mean nothing.”

Pilip said her journey into American politics was propelled by her experience advocating for fellow Ethiopian immigrants in Israel — where she moved as a child through the Operation Solomon airlift and lived until marrying her American husband — and by her children’s experience with antisemitism in their Long Island schools. 

“I am a strong believer, if you see something’s not working well for your community, or for yourself, you have to be involved,” she said. “You can’t just complain from outside.” 

A Politico reporter, Olivia Beavers, reported on Twitter last week that Pilip was one of two Republicans the Nassau County Party is considering running should Santos step down. (The other is Jack Martins, a state senator; both he and Pilip ousted Democrats in a recent Republican sweep of Nassau County.)

Right now, Pilip said, she is focusing on serving her constituents through the Nassau County legislature. Any decision about replacing Santos, she said, is up to Joseph Cairo, the GOP chairman in Nassau County.

“The only person who can make a decision on who’s going to run will be the chairman,” Pilip said. “Time will show — it’s too early to say anything to be honest. I will continue to serve my residents and I love serving the people. I want to be a voice for the people, and anything I can do to help more people, I will definitely consider it.”

Cairo has not said yet who he would like to run to replace Santos, but two things are clear: He wants Santos to go, and he likes Pilip, a lot.

Cairo convened a press conference last week of leading Nassau County Republicans calling on Santos to step down because of the multiple lies he told while running and because he faces multiple criminal investigations. In unrelenting reporting since last month, reporters have detailed how Santos lied about his education, his job experience, his charitable giving and his family background.

“Today, on behalf of the Nassau County Republican Committee, I’m calling for his immediate resignation,” Cairo said at the press conference.

Cairo had led an effort to diversify GOP candidates on the island, and a year ago, at Pilip’s swearing-in ceremony, he explained why: He was an Italian American whose parents favored Republican ideals but felt unwelcome in the GOP until they helped integrate it themselves, in New Jersey and then on Long Island. It had become his mission to bring more minority candidates into the fold, and he recruited several of them to run in the 2021 local elections.

Pedram Bal, a Persian Jew and the mayor of Great Neck, told Cairo he should look at Pilip, an Ethiopian-Jewish immigrant who was active in efforts to revitalize Great Neck, and who had been vice president of her synagogue, Kol Yisrael Achim. It was an easy sell, Cairo said, and it paid off.

“An Orthodox Jewish woman, a religious refugee from Ethiopia is elected as a Republican to the Nassau County legislature!” he marveled at the inauguration.

Of the many lies Santos has told about himself, the Nassau County Republicans at the press conference seemed especially offended by his claims of descent from Holocaust survivors.

“For him to make up this story, that his parents were Holocaust survivors is beyond the pale. It is simply tragic and outrageous, and disgusting,” said Bruce Blakeman, the Nassau County executive who is the first Jew elected to the position. “He is a stain on the House of Representatives. He’s a stain on the Third Congressional District.”

Pilip calls for the prosecution of the alleged assailant in the violent attack on a Jewish New Yorker in 2021, at a press conference, in Mineola, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2023. (Office of Mazi Melesa Pilip)

Jewish Republicans have been at pains to call on Santos to quit: The Republican Jewish Coalition said he will not be welcome at its events. With much fanfare, the RJC had presented Santos and Max Miller, a freshman Republican from Ohio, as the next generation of Republican Jewish leaders at its annual conference in Las Vegas in November. Miller last week also called on Santos to resign, saying in a statement that Santos sought to “benefit from the murder of millions of Jewish people.”

When Pilip spoke at the press conference, she did not address his lies about his heritage. “I’m also paying for the lies told by Congressman George Santos,” she said. “People trusted him, people campaigned for him, including me, as a county legislator. At this point, the trust is no longer there. Therefore, he should resign.”

In her interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Pilip said she found the fact of Santos’s compulsive lying more offensive than the lies themselves, including about his heritage. She had put her reputation on the line campaigning for him last year.

“I trusted him and I told people to vote for him. I campaigned with him. And so when you do something like this, and then keep every day there’s something new coming about him,” she said. “It’s making you feel uncomfortable because people asking, you know, what’s, what’s going on, Mazi, what happened with this guy?”

Pilip campaigning for the legislative seat in 2021 had bonded with her constituents. Speaking to local media she described how much she enjoyed the hustle of campaigning.

“I was going from synagogue to synagogue, bringing out the vote,” she told Five Towns Jewish Home last year. 

“Sometimes I would leave Friday night to go to a shul and I would sleep at someone’s house on Friday night because I’m shomer Shabbat and I couldn’t walk back home,” she told the local magazine for Orthodox Jews. “And then I would go to another synagogue the next day, on Shabbat, to spend time there and talk to people. Only when Shabbat was over would I go home. I did this for two months. It was intense but it was worth it. I met a lot of people. I would go to train stations and park events — any event, large or small, I was there.”

She became a local celebrity, giving birth to twin daughters — her sixth and seventh children — just weeks before the election.

Pilipl, 43, said in her interview with JTA that her involvement in politics was almost inevitable, after she had migrated to Israel on Operation Solomon, the 1991 airlift, when she was 12.

“I have always been very active, even as a child in Israel,” advocating for the opportunities she saw that Israelis just a few years older than her were enjoying. Over her father’s objections, she enlisted in the paratroop division of the Israel Defense Forces (she says he is now proud of her service). While at university, she led the Ethiopian Student Union for two years. She has a degree in occupational therapy from the University of Haifa and a degree in diplomacy and security from Tel Aviv University.

“I was a voice of so many young kids who wanted equal opportunity and really my main focus was especially education, because I do believe through education, you can achieve a lot and you can integrate into the society,” she said. “So we were encouraging younger-generation [Ethiopian immigrants] my age to go to higher education. Because we came, you know, from nothing, and we came without any education.”

She met her husband, an American medical student at the Technion, while she was at the University of Haifa. They moved to the United States, where she became active speaking about Israel for Jewish federations and other Jewish groups. Her Instagram handle couples the U.S. and Israeli flags. Her husband, Adalbert, who was born in Ukraine, and whose mother is the child of Holocaust survivors, was especially offended by Santos’s Holocaust lies, Pilip said.

“Why would you use this painful history and create something like this and tell people that his grandparents survived just for the political benefit of it?” she said.

Pilip said her political interests were revived two years ago when her oldest son was preparing for bar mitzvah and he told her about antisemitic comments he endured from a classmate in the Great Neck Public Schools system. “He said, ‘Mom, you know, this child told me, I wish Hitler would kill you all,’” she recalled. She said that perhaps the child had been bullied, and was acting out against others, but it rattled her that he was resorting to antisemitism. “That a 12-year-old child would talk like this? It’s bad.”

So when Bal, the Great Neck mayor, approached her about running for elected office, she was game.

She campaigned on reviving Great Neck’s downtown, but also acting as a bridge in troubled times among the multiple minority communities in the area.

“Promoting understanding, education of cultures, religions and systemic hate has to be addressed from our young people on up,” she said in a candidate’s statement before her election.

 Last Friday, however, she was looking forward to a little respite from the Santos follies.

“I’m going to pick up a couple of things from the grocery,” she said “I have to cook for my kids for Shabbat. Shabbat is starting early. So I think I’ll just spend time with my family, my kids. Just a very relaxing time.”

The post Meet the real Jewish Republican of color being floated to replace George Santos, the fake one 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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