This is a developing story.
(JTA) – The police bulletins have circulated among Jews on social media, in WhatsApp chats and via email: A white supremacist group is calling for a “National Day of Hate” this Saturday and encouraging antisemites to vandalize and deface Jewish institutions.
Information about the antisemitic campaign was first provided by the Chicago Police Department, and a “situational awareness alert” with NYPD insignia circulating online advises local Jewish communities to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
The NYPD did not comment on the authenticity of the bulletin but told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “While there are no identified threats to New York City, out of an abundance of caution, the Department will deploy additional resources to sensitive locations, including houses of worship, throughout the weekend.”
The NYPD bulletin also shared one of the hate group’s messages, which called for “MASS ANTI-SEMITIC ACTION.” The message urged followers to “shock the masses with banner drops, stickers, fliers, and graffiti,” and to film their activities.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the campaign is being pushed by a small white supremacist group in Iowa called Crew-319, in conjunction with other extremist groups. The ADL confirmed that the hate message in the NYPD bulletin is authentic and comes from Crew-319’s channel on the social network Telegram, which is popular with extremists.
In its memo, the Chicago Police Department’s Place of Worship Safety Advisory Team, which monitors threats to synagogues and other houses of worship, urged Jewish community members to “keep situationally aware and pay attention to your surroundings while out in the neighborhood, not just on Shabbos, but during the week as well.”
An alert from the Community Security Initiative, a New York City-area Jewish security agency, advised residents that “no specific details have been shared by New York-based extremists to indicate their exact plans for this weekend. We assess that propaganda-based activities are likely, as we have seen across New York in recent months.” The alert recommended “heightened situational awareness” and cautioned residents not to confront people spreading propaganda.
The Chicago Police Department said in a statement this week, “At this time, there is no actionable intelligence.” Chicago’s Jewish federation sent a message to synagogue rabbis and leadership in the area saying that there is no discernible concrete threat to the local Jewish community at this time. Chicago Alderman Deborah Silverstein, whose ward includes the heavily Orthodox West Rogers Park neighborhood, echoed that assessment.
“There has been no threat to Chicago. Chicago is not at the moment targeted in any way. But the police are very active,” Silverstein told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Unfortunately, because we have been targeted before, we have a very active police department.”
The messages from police and community leaders came alongside an outpouring of anxiety from Jews sharing the news of the threatened antisemitic action on social media.
The alert came roughly a week after two Jews exiting morning prayer services were shot on consecutive days in Los Angeles, allegedly by a man with antisemitic motives. Last fall, two men were arrested in Penn Station for threatening violence against New York City synagogues, and weeks earlier, police in New Jersey warned synagogues in the state about a “credible threat.”
“So being an American Jew in 2023 is choosing between 1) taking my kids to pray, anxiously looking at the exits worried about their safety or 2) staying home and letting the anti-Semites define my Jewishness,” tweeted Daniella Greenbaum Davis, a writer and former producer on the TV talk show “The View.”
Crew-319, the group behind the antisemitic initiative, is a “tiny Iowa-based neo-Nazi crew that distributes propaganda and engages in antisemitic stunts,” Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told JTA. Segal said that on Sept. 11, 2022, a member of the group drove a U-Haul truck hung with posters reading “Jews did 9/11” through Des Moines.
In recent months, hate groups have targeted Jews with fliers, graffiti and in-person protests. The Goyim Defense League, one of the country’s most visible hate groups, has distributed antisemitic fliers in Jewish communities across the country and unfurled hateful banners on highway overpasses; recently they also staged an antisemitic protest outside Chabad of South Orlando. Their propaganda reportedly inspired the suspect in the L.A. shootings.
The antisemitic activity also comes amid a national rise in extremist violence. An ADL study published Thursday found that the proportion of mass shootings tied to extremism has risen significantly over the last decade.
The Secure Community Network, a national group that coordinates security for Jewish institutions, told JTA it had been tracking extremist activity around the date for weeks and would be issuing a more detailed bulletin to its synagogue network. CEO Michael Masters said his team “is working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of our community.”
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.
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.”
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.)
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.
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