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Rep. Dan Goldman: Holocaust education should celebrate Jewish life, too



(New York Jewish Week) — Nearly three months ago, Rep. Dan Goldman was one of dozens of cosponsors of a bipartisan bill to monitor Holocaust education across the country. Now, ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day — and in the wake of a report showing antisemitism rising in the United States — Goldman says Holocaust education needs to celebrate Jewish life in addition to combating hate.

“We are learning from experts around the world about different ways, not only of preventing antisemitism but promoting knowledge, education about Jewish life, Jewish history, Jewish culture, and personalizing Jews who have obviously, traditionally borne the brunt of persecution but also who are leaders in so many different aspects of society,” Goldman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a phone interview Friday. 

On Sunday, Goldman is set to speak at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Holocaust museum in his district in downtown Manhattan. The event will take place a day before Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Monday night. 

Goldman is a member of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism and was a cosponsor of the Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act, which directs the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to determine which states require Holocaust education, and what standards they use. 

His speech at the event on Sunday — where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will also speak — comes after a report by the Anti-Defamation League showed a spike in antisemitism in the United States last year. The report found that nearly half of the 111 assaults tallied across the United States took place in Brooklyn alone. Goldman, whose district includes the heavily Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park, called the assaults “unacceptable.”

“They bear the disproportionate brunt of anti-Semitic attacks because of their appearance,” Goldman said of visibly Orthodox Jews. “We need to be doing a lot more in making it clear that it’s unacceptable, holding people who do commit hate crimes to account and also, in my view, adding sentencing enhancements for those who do commit hate crimes.” 

Goldman said he has experienced antisemitism while in public life. Social media users, he said, have called him a “Jew” as a slur and said he has a big nose. During Trump’s first impeachment hearings, in which Goldman served as lead counsel, he recalled being referred to as a “New York lawyer” by Republicans, which some consider an antisemitic trope.

This is something that Jewish public officials deal with all the time,” Goldman said. “I’ve gained some pretty thick skin about it.”

He said former President Donald Trump’s dinner last year with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes — as well as Kanye West, the rapper who made a series of antisemitic comments — illustrates the importance of Holocaust education. He also called out Republican officials for rhetoric attributing Trump’s recent indictment to George Soros, the progressive megadonor at the center of a range of antisemitic conspiracy theories

“The urgency of continuing to educate the public about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust specifically has taken on greater meaning when the former president dines with a Holocaust denier,” Goldman said. “We cannot accept continuing to allow for antisemitic tropes, such as George Soros backing prosecutors, which have just very clearly become a euphemism for an antisemitic trope.” 

Goldman, 47, is not descended from Holocaust survivors, though he recalled a family story about his maternal grandmother needing to keep quiet as a baby while his ancestors fled persecution in Russia a century ago. But he said Holocaust remembrance is an imperative that links Jews more broadly. 

“We are all connected through anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews throughout history,” he said. “And there’s an undying bond among Jews because of our shared history. And so when we do commemorate the Holocaust, I do think we are commemorating all those who have suffered from persecution resulting from antisemitism around the world.”

The post Rep. Dan Goldman: Holocaust education should celebrate Jewish life, too 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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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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