Connect with us
Seder Passover
Israel Bonds RRSP
JNF Canada


NYC’s Celebrate Israel Parade set to draw big crowds — and protests — amid Israel’s political turmoil

(New York Jewish Week) — For the first time in a dozen years, Ameinu, the former Labor Zionist Alliance, will be marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade, the annual gathering that draws tens of thousands of marchers and spectators along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

“It was becoming harder to identify with the overall vibe of the march,” Kenneth Bob, the national president of the liberal organization, said about why the group stopped participating. “It didn’t reflect our more nuanced values about Israel. And because of restrictions on what we could put on our signs, it made it difficult for us to express our brand of Zionism.”

But this year, Ameinu will be back, wearing T-shirts that read in Hebrew on the front, “Zionism = Democracy,” and on the back in English, “Marching for Democracy.” At a time of turmoil in Israel, when hundreds of thousands of Israelis are taking to the streets in protest of efforts by Israel’s right-wing government to transform its judiciary, Ameinu’s participation — and objections voiced by at least one pro-Israel activist group — are signs of the political currents swirling around the largest Zionist solidarity event outside of Israel.

“We will be reminding other participants and those watching the parade that we are marching in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world who are fighting for the future of the state,” the organization said on its website.

Despite or perhaps because of those political currents, Jewish organizations across the political spectrum are gearing up for what organizers say will be one of the largest Celebrate Israel parades ever on Sunday, June 4, to mark Israel’s 75th birthday. Several groups are marching for the first time, and Long Island has the most marchers in a decade.

Organizers says more than 40,000 people are expected to march — some in sympathy with the Israeli protesters, others who support the government’s proposed overhaul, and still others who say the 75th anniversary of the Jewish state should be an occasion for Jewish solidarity no matter who heads its government or the policies they promote.

To underscore that last message, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the parade’s sponsor, generated, for the second year, a letter signed by area rabbis from all denominations urging participation in the parade.

“Events like the parade bridge the divide between us, whether political, religious, or cultural,” the letter reads. “It’s a chance for us to gather as Jews and walk together, showing the world that we are one community even when we disagree.”

Plans by Israel’s acting consul general in New York, Israel Nitzan, may test that proposition. Nitzan will lead an Israeli delegation of as many as 18 cabinet ministers and other Knesset members, which would be the most ever to attend the parade. They include the minister of economy and industry, Nir Barkat, and the minister of Diaspora affairs, Amichai Chikli, as well as Simcha Rothman, the chair of the law and justice committee who is an architect of the judicial reforms and has been pressing the case for them with U.S. Jews. The two most controversial members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, the far-right ideologues Betzalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, are not scheduled to attend.

Israeli New Yorkers who have been protesting the government’s judicial overhaul plans have already objected to the government officials’ inclusion. Shany Granot-Lubaton, the organizer of the UnXeptable-Saving Israeli Democracy activist group, said they expect more than 400 of their supporters to follow the Israeli ministers and Simcha Rothman, a member of the Knesset for the far-right Religious Zionist Party, as they travel throughout the city in the coming days for the parade and a conference the same day organized by the nationalist news agency Arutz Sheva.

UnXeptable issued an open letter urging the organizers “to refrain from allowing Israeli government ministers to march at the head of the parade,” saying the lawmakers “have not earned the respect of your allies and friends in Israel, and many of your own community members, here in America.”

“They will not have a peaceful vacation in New York City,” Granot-Lubaton told the New York Jewish Week. “We served our time in the army and are fighting for Israel because we love it and care for it and not for any other reason. Nobody loves Israel more than us.”

Protesters attend a massive demonstration against proposed judicial reforms in front of the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, Feb. 13, 2023. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Rabbi Rachel Ain, the rabbi of the Conservative Sutton Place Synagogue, was one of the 15 rabbis who signed the letter urging participation in the parade. Her synagogue has presented programs to explain the complexities of the political struggle in Israel today, but she said the unrest has “not affected our support for Israel; my synagogue is happy to participate in the parade.”

Ain added, “You can love and support the Jewish state and also understand that things are complicated.”

Ammiel Hirsch, rabbi of the Reform Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and former head of ARZA, the Reform movement’s Zionist organization, also signed the statement.

“It is more important than ever to participate in the Celebrate Israel Parade because it represents our commitment not to elements of this government but to our relationship with the people, the state of Israel, and the Zionist ideal,” said Hirsch. “The best response is not to walk away but to double down with those in Israel who are as distressed as we are and want to see a more representative Israeli government.”

The parade has received an endorsement from Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who in March warned that political divides in Israel could lead to “a real civil war.”

The parade, he said in a video message shared by the JCRC, “promises to be a powerful reminder of everything that holds us together as one proud people. … I marched myself as a student in Ramaz [High School] and it was a terrific experience.”

The largest funder of the parade is UJA-Federation of New York, which contributes $200,000. (UJA-Federation is also a funder of 70 Faces Media, the New York Jewish Week’s parent company.) This year for the first time it is contributing an additional $75,000 to sponsor a Celebrate Israel “Block Party” on 63rd Street that will run during the day. Vendors will sell kosher food, and there will be Jewish and Israeli crafts and various children’s activities.

There will be participation from “every part of the Jewish community,” according to Howard Pollack, director of the parade. “I’ve been getting emails from people asking how they can march and where can they sit to enjoy the parade. The enthusiasm is like nothing I have ever seen before. We normally have groups from out-of-state, but this year for the 75th anniversary, we have a lot more. They are coming from Florida, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut.”

The parade will include 20 floats, 13 marching bands and the same number of dance groups. Musicians Matisyahu, the Maccabeats and Harel Skaat will each be performing from different floats.

Mindy Perlmutter, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council-Long island, said 22 groups with about 500 marchers will take part under the JCRC-LI banner — what she called the largest number in at least a decade.

Ameinu will be marching under the banner of the American Zionist Movement. They are among about a dozen of AZM’s 41 affiliated organizations, including Hadassah and Young Judaea, that will be marching together. Other affiliates will march under their own banners, according to Herbert Block, AZM’s executive director.

A contingent on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue during the Celebrate Israel Parade, June 2, 2019. (Courtesy JCRC-NY)

Also marching under the AZM banner for the first time will be the Baltimore Zionist District, which heeded the AZM’s call for members to make a special effort to join the parade to celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday. Also coming for the first time will be representatives from the Druze Zionist Organization in Israel, representing a non-Jewish minority living primarily in Israel’s north.

“There will be one or two from Israel and a couple who live in New York,” Block said. “They will march with the Druze flag in our contingent.”

Members of the Givati Brigade Association, which supports the elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces, will also marching for the first time. Some members of the unit were among the hundreds of Israeli reservists who announced they would boycott reserve duty before the judicial reforms were suspended this spring.

“We hope people will understand how important it is to support not only the Givati Brigade but the IDF in general,” said Itzhak Levit, chair of the GBA. “The Givati Brigade has been involved in all military operations since 1948. Former members of the brigade who live in New York will join us in the parade; we expect around 25.”

Over the decades some have noted that the parade, launched in 1964, gradually drew less grassroots support than it did large contingents of children bused in from various Jewish day schools. And there have been political disputes: In 2015, in addition to guidelines saying that all groups marching must “recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” parade organizers banned groups that advocate for the boycott against Israel. A decade ago there were calls from the right to ban the New Israel Fund and other left-wing groups from marching. And in 2012, LGBTQ Jews marched for the first time under the banner of Manhattan’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, after decades in which LGBTQ Jews were prevented from marching with signage identifying them as gay and lesbian.

Gideon Taylor, CEO of JCRC-NY, the UJA-Federation agency that runs the parade, said there were no new guidelines issued this year concerning the unrest in Israel or any other topic.

The parade has also attracted small groups of pro-Palestinian protesters, as well as a small contingent from Neturei Karta, the anti-Zionist Hasidic sect.

Kenneth Bob, the Ameinu president, told the New York Jewish Week that this “is an important year to be marching. Israel is celebrating its 75th birthday and with all that is going on in Israel we thought this is the time to march for Israel and in support of the protestors. Once we came up with the idea to combine our love for Israel with support for the demonstrators [in Israel], it was a quick and easy decision to decide to march; it’s a good fit for us.”

The Celebrate Israel Parade kicks off on Sunday, June 4, at 11:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street and will march to 74th Street. The Celebrate Israel Block Party will take place on 63rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The parade will be televised on Channel 9 in New York and livestreamed on the website

The post NYC’s Celebrate Israel Parade set to draw big crowds — and protests — amid Israel’s political turmoil appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


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.

Continue Reading


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.  

Continue Reading



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.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News