(JTA) — Donald Trump earned vigorous applause while addressing a haredi Orthodox education group’s conference on Friday, weeks after earning criticism across the political spectrum of the Jewish community for dining with two prominent antisemitic figures.
As he often does at Jewish events, the former president listed the Israel-related policy moves he made during office, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and leaving the Iran nuclear deal. He ran through the points by reading from an article by one of his admirers, Rabbi Dov Fischer.
But Trump earned the most applause and a standing ovation when he mentioned he released Sholom Rubashkin from prison. Rubashkin, the chief executive of Agriprocessors, what was then the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the country, was in 2009 convicted of bank fraud and money laundering charges. His sentence of 27 years was much longer than others convicted of similar crimes, and there was at least one instance of prosecutors in the case making Jewishness an issue, calling him a flight risk to Israel although there was no indication Rubashkin had plans to flee there.
“That gets a bigger hand, think of that, that gets a bigger hand than Jerusalem?” Trump said, referring to his embassy decision.
“That’s bigger than Sholom, I love Sholom, but this is bigger than Sholom, for me that’s the most important,” he said later of leaving the Iran deal, which traded sanctions relief for Iran rolling back some of its nuclear activity.
Trump also repeated the lie that he won the 2020 election, to scattered applause, when he mentioned the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries he brokered in his last months in office. “If the election weren’t stolen we would have all of the countries signed,” he said.
The speech came a week after Trump drew further criticism for saying Jewish leaders “lacked loyalty” in the wake of his dinner last month with Kanye West, the rapper who has gone on antisemitic tirades for months, and Nick Fuentes, a prominent Holocaust denier whom the Anti-Defamation League deems a white supremacist.
Toward the end of his speech, Trump once again rebuked American Jews for not voting for him in larger numbers.
“I got 25% of the Jewish vote [in 2016] and the second time for all the things I did I got 26%,” he said. Democrats “wouldn’t have done Rubashkin, they wouldn’t have done anything and yet they automatically get 75% of the Jewish vote. It doesn’t make sense to me,” he said. In fact, in his commutation at the time, Trump emphasized Democratic support for the move.
“You have to treat your friends with respect, you have to treat your friends with dignity and you have to be loyal to those friends,” Trump said, to applause.
Trump’s remarks Friday at his National Doral property in Miami were first reported by COLlive, which reports on news pertaining to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. He spoke to a conference of Torah Umesorah, a group that promotes haredi Orthodox education, for under 30 minutes.
Torah Umesorah, which trains Jewish educators, has for a number of years held its annual Presidents Conference at the Trump property. Trump did much better electorally with Orthodox Jews than he did with the broader Jewish community.
This is not the first time Trump has addressed a Jewish group since his election to the presidency in 2016. He has spoken to the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Zionist Organization of America and to the Israeli-American Council.
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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