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The Jewish Sport Report: This Holocaust survivor threw out the first pitch on her 100th birthday

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Good morning!

Today is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. One popular Shavuot custom is to enjoy dairy products, like cheesecake.

So if you’re going to a game this weekend, or even just watching at home, enjoy an ice cream cone or slice of cake — it’s a mitzvah! And let us know by emailing us at sports@jta.orgWhat’s your favorite ballpark/stadium treat?

A 100th birthday for the ages

Helen Kahan, center, with her daughter Livia Wein and son Lucian Kahan. (Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

Holocaust survivor Helen Kahan celebrated her 100th birthday in just about the best way I could imagine: by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for her favorite baseball team, surrounded by her multi-generational family.

Is it misty in here?

Kahan, who survived multiple Nazi concentration camps, was joined by her two children, plus five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, on May 5 as the Tampa Bay Rays honored her before a matchup with the New York Yankees.

“I never could have imagined celebrating a birthday like this, let alone my 100th!” said Kahan. “I’m so grateful that I am here to tell my story and help the world remember why kindness and empathy are so important for us all.”

The Rays also announced a $10,000 partnership grant with the Florida Holocaust Museum, where Kahan volunteers. Kahan got a standing ovation, met several Rays players and coaches and had her story featured on the broadcast. Talk about a perfect game.

Read the story here.

Halftime report

RED FLAG. Israel lost 2-1 to Colombia in its first-ever U-20 World Cup match last weekend, and the drama was not confined to the pitch. After a Colombia goal, fans raised a Palestinian flag in the stands. Israeli fans responded by shouting, “This is not politics, this is soccer.” Police eventually intervened and expelled the Palestinian flag holders.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. The Denver Jewish Day School boys’ basketball team made history earlier this spring when it won the state championship — it was only the third time ever that a Jewish day school had won its state basketball championship. Along the way, they overcame antisemitism and pulled off a 15-point comeback.

CHAI-LIGHTS. Heichal Hatorah, a yeshiva in Teaneck, New Jersey, made it onto SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays this week, with this wild game-winning three-pointer in a JV basketball game.

Wild game winning shot from a kid in Heichal HaTorah in New Jersey makes @SportsCenter top 10

— jewboy media (@simmy_cohen) May 23, 2023

PUT ME IN, COACH. Friend of the Sport Report Justine Siegal, the first woman to coach a professional men’s baseball team, was recently a guest coach in the Mexican Baseball League. Siegal is a pioneer of women’s baseball and an advocate for the sport around the world.

SHIPPING (BACK) UP TO BOSTON. Jewish tight end and Harvard alum Anthony Firkser has signed with the New England Patriots. Check out our 2021 interview with Firkser here. Maybe he’ll have Shabbat dinner at Robert Kraft’s house?

A Jewish guide to the French Open

Camila Giorgi serves in the National Bank Open final at IGA Stadium in Montreal, Aug. 15, 2021. (David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The French Open, or Roland Garros, is underway, and there are numerous Jewish players and storylines to keep an eye on. Here’s your cheat sheet:

Madison Brengle

The 33-year-old Delaware native is ranked 94th in women’s singles and looks to make it past the second round in singles for the first time in her 10th French Open.

Taylor Fritz

Fritz does not identify as Jewish, but his maternal grandfather was Jewish, and his great-great-grandfather was David May — the German-Jewish immigrant who founded the May Department Stores, which merged with Macy’s. Fritz is the best player of this group, entering the French Open with a men’s singles world ranking of 9.

Camila Giorgi

The Italian star, who has said her favorite book is “The Diary of Anne Frank,” is ranked 36th in women’s singles and reached the fourth round last year.

Aslan Karatsev

Karatsev was born in Russia but moved to Israel at 3 years old and has said the country still feels like home. He’s currently ranked 62nd in men’s singles. This is his third French Open.

Diego Schwartzman

Schwartzman has struggled so far in 2023, dealing with a leg injury and some disappointing performances, dropping him down to 93rd in the rankings — the first time the Argentine is out of the top 30 since 2017. Schwartzman got his start at his local Jewish sports club near Buenos Aires, and has enjoyed the Roland Garros in the past — he reached the semifinals in 2020, the quarterfinals in 2021 and 2018 and the fourth round last year.

Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov, ranked 31st in men’s singles, was born in Tel Aviv to a Ukrainian Jewish mom and Russian Orthodox Christian dad. He often wears a cross when he plays, but his mom considers him Jewish. This is the 24-year-old’s fifth French Open.

Elina Svitolina

Svitolina, who had a Jewish grandmother, is back at Roland Garros for the first time since 2021. The Ukrainian star, who took a break from tennis in 2022 due to the war in her home country — and the birth of her first child last fall — has made it to the French Open quarterfinals three times.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Atlanta Braves rookie Jared Shuster, who earned his first MLB win on Monday, will take the mound Friday at 7:20 p.m. ET against Garrett StubbsDalton Guthrie and the Philadelphia Phillies. Dean Kremer toes the rubber for the Baltimore Orioles Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET against the Texas Rangers. Jewish stars Max Fried and Joc Pederson, both of whom are on the injured list, are making progress toward a return.


Manor Solomon and Fulham F.C. host Man United Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET. Over in the U-20 World Cup, Israel plays Japan Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. Israel lost to Colombia last weekend and finished with a 1-1 draw against Senegal on Wednesday. Jewish midfielder Daniel Edelman is representing the United States in the tournament — they play Slovakia this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.


Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will race in the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday at 9 a.m. ET. Stroll is currently eighth in the standings.

Flashback Friday

Twenty-one years ago this week, Shawn Green put together one of the most impressive single-game performances in baseball history, collecting a record 19 total bases — he went 6 for 6 with four home runs. A Jewish baseball legend!

On this day 21 years ago, Shawn Green set the MLB record with 1⃣9⃣ total bases in a game!

6-6 AB
4 HR

— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 23, 2023

The post The Jewish Sport Report: This Holocaust survivor threw out the first pitch on her 100th birthday appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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