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New York protestors yell ‘shame’ at Israeli judicial reform architect Moshe Koppel



(New York Jewish Week) — More than 200 American and Israeli Jews gathered on the Upper West Side on Wednesday to protest a private event featuring Moshe Koppel, the cofounder of the Kohelet Forum, the conservative think tank whose ideas undergird the judicial overhaul being advanced by Israel’s government. 

As people walked into a building on 86th Street for an event hosted by Aish New York, an Orthodox outreach organization, protestors surrounded attendees and shouted “shame” in Hebrew.  The event began late and the protest was audible inside.

The protest was the latest in a series organized by Israelis living in New York City who oppose the judicial overhaul legislation, which would sap the Israeli Supreme Court of much of its independence, and which has led to raucous and widespread street protests in Israel. 

“Moshe Koppel is the person behind the judicial coup that’s going on in Israel these days,” said Shany Granot-Lubaton, a leader of the local protest movement. “They are trying to make Israel a dictatorship.” 

Some of the protesters were dressed in red robes with their faces covered by white bonnets in the style of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a Margaret Atwood book and Hulu television series about a misogynist Christian dystopia. The costumes have become a popular mode of protest in Israel and have elicited comment from Atwood herself, who called one of the displays “astonishing.” 

Granot-Lubaton, who also works at J Street, the liberal pro-Israel lobby, she believes Koppel entered the building through a side door to avoid the protesters. Koppel and Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg did not respond to a request for comment. 

In a video posted by News Israel 13 journalist Neria Kraus, Koppel can be seen attempting to speak over the protesters, whose cries could be heard inside the walls of the building.  

A source who was in the audience for Koppel’s speech, and asked to remain anonymous because the event was supposed to be private, said Koppel was late because of the protests and discussed the judicial reform only during the final third of the speech, which lasted more than 90 minutes. He said Koppel said, as he has for at least a month, that he opposes pieces of the package of legislation currently advancing in Israel. Koppel predicted that a measure allowing Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to override court decisions with a bare majority would not pass.

The audience member said Koppel spoke to a friendly audience and came off as “a very educated man who holds very strong views on this topic” but who was “very distracted” by the protests. 

היו״ר והמייסד של פורום קהלת משה קופל מנסה לדבר בכנס בניו יורק – אבל המפגינים הישראלים עושים כל כך הרבה רעש בחוץ שזה כמעט בלתי אפשרי.

— נריה קראוס Neria Kraus (@NeriaKraus) March 23, 2023

In a 2019 interview with Ami magazine, an Orthodox publication, Koppel described Kohelet as “the brains of the Israeli right wing,” and conservative politicians in Israel and the United States have thanked the think tank for its work. They include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is one of the officials spearheading the overhaul.

But according to the audience member, Koppel acknowledged feeling conflicted about the legislation. At one point, when an audience member asked him about how he feels regarding the seismic changes happening in Israel, Koppel responded, “I don’t sleep at night.” 

“Obviously he feels the weight on his shoulders,” the audience member said. “There’s a lot of pressure on him from many different angles.” 

Outside the building, Granot-Lubaton said that she felt the protests “had an impact.” 

“We showed him that Israelis and Jewish Americans who love Israel are not giving up that easily on democracy,” Granot-Lubaton said. “It was a very important event. We’re going to continue to chase these people who are trying to fund and take down our democracy.”

The post New York protestors yell ‘shame’ at Israeli judicial reform architect Moshe Koppel 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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Local News

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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