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Orthodox NBA prospect Ryan Turell returns to New York for a game on Purim



(New York Jewish Week) — The Jewish month of Adar has, in recent years, been a time of excitement for fans of Yeshiva University’s basketball team, when its supporters fill the bleachers and sing a traditional Jewish song at the tops of their lungs.

In addition to being the month of Purim, the Jewish festival that concluded yesterday, Adar usually coincides with March and the NCAA basketball tournament. And until this past year, Y.U. fans enjoyed an added treat for what they called “Adar Madness”: Watching their standout small forward, Ryan Turell, dominate the court. 

This year, Turell, 24, is out of college and playing professionally, and on Tuesday, his New York-area fans once again had an opportunity to watch him play during Adar — though relatively few Orthodox Jewish fans made it to the game. 

Instead of starting for the Yeshiva Maccabees at their athletic complex in Washington Heights, Turell is a reserve player for the Motor City Cruise, a Detroit team in the NBA’s minor league, the G League. The Cruise, who sit in the bottom half of their conference, faced the powerhouse Long Island Nets at a stadium in Uniondale, New York.

Ryan Turell played 16 minutes of the game on Tuesday, where his kippah could be seen on the court at all times. (Jacob Henry)

The stands at the 11 a.m. game were filled with screaming kids, but the 5,000 or so attendees were mostly not wearing kippahs. Speaking to the New York Jewish Week after Turell’s first game in Uniondale about a month ago, his father had hoped that there would be a sizeable Jewish turnout and said the timing of the Purim game showed that “Hashem was looking down upon this situation.”

Instead, the seats were largely populated by local students who arrived on dozens of school buses for the Long Island Nets’ “Education Day.” During a break in the game, the spectators answered a few trivia questions from the loudspeaker in the style of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

Turell did draw his share of fans, including a gaggle of about a dozen friends and family who sat courtside. “My friends and family, and the Jewish community as a whole, have been amazing,” he told the New York Jewish Week. 

Turell played 16 minutes, mostly in the second half, ending with four points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. The score was tight between the two teams for most of the game, with the Cruise trailing by three at the half, but the Nets pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning the game 114 to 102. 

“It’s nerve-racking because you want Ryan to do great,” said Turell’s father, Brad. “I think he’s proven that he can play at this level, and he’ll do even better next year, with more playing time and more experience.” 

The fans who traveled to Uniondale also included Turell’s former Y.U. coach, Elliot Steinmetz, who said that “it’s awesome” watching Turell play in an NBA G League jersey. 

“He increased his game dramatically,” Steinmetz said. “It was really on his own. We’re getting to see it at the next level.” 

Ben Hamer, one of Turell’s friends from Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, told the New York Jewish Week that “it’s definitely a good feeling to see someone who put in so much effort as a kid.”

“He still has a way to go, but to see the milestones every year is very cool from the perspective of someone who’s been there from the beginning,” Hamer said.

Ryan Turell is getting rebounds and taking shots on Purim at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

— Jacob Henry (@jhenrynews) March 7, 2023

One kippah that remained prominently visible throughout the game was Turell’s red one, pinned onto his shaggy curls. Turell’s father sees the head covering as a statement and a source of pride. 

“He’s willing to wear a yarmulke and say: ‘I’m proudly Jewish,’” Brad Turell said. “Here’s a kid who doesn’t have to do this. There’s a lot of antisemitism and a lot of bad things going on, but he’s inspiring a lot of people. The symbol is the kippah and that makes a huge difference.” 

Turell said wearing his kippah also makes the game more meaningful for him. 

“It’s amazing to be able to inspire people through the game that I love, and show people it doesn’t matter where you come from,” Turell said. “What you believe in, you can succeed, as long as you put in the work.” 

After the game, he said, he was headed to a Purim celebration — but not before taking some time to sign autographs for the handful of admirers who came out to see him.

“New York is his second home,” said Brad Turell, who is from Los Angeles. “It’s always wonderful to come back.” 

The post Orthodox NBA prospect Ryan Turell returns to New York for a game on Purim 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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