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Weinstein approached me ‘Jew to Jew’: Jodi Kantor opens up on the ‘She Said’ movie’s Jewish moments

(JTA) — When the New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor was reporting the 2017 Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story that earned her a Pulitzer prize, the powerful Hollywood producer and his team tried to influence her by using something they had in common: They are both Jewish. 

“Weinstein put [Jewishness] on the table and seemed to expect that I was going to have some sort of tribal loyalty to him,” Kantor told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on a video call from the New York Times newsroom. “And that was just not going to be the case.”

Now, that exchange has been immortalized in “She Said,” a new film adaptation of the nonfiction book of the same name by Kantor and her collaborator Megan Twohey that details their investigation into Weinstein’s conduct, which helped launch the #MeToo movement.

The film, directed by Maria Schrader with stars Zoe Kazan as Kantor and Carey Mulligan as Twohey, is an understated thriller that has drawn comparisons to “All the President’s Men” — and multiple subtle but powerful Jewish-themed subplots reveal the way Kantor’s Jewishness arose during and at times intersected with the investigation. 

In one scene, the Kantor character notes that a Jewish member of Weinstein’s team tried to appeal to her “Jew to Jew.” In another, Kantor shares a moving moment with Weinstein’s longtime accountant, the child of Holocaust survivors, as they discuss the importance of speaking up about wrongdoing.

Kantor, 47, grew up between New York and New Jersey, the first grandchild of Holocaust survivors — born “almost 30 years to the day after my grandparents were liberated,” she notes. She calls her grandmother Hana Kantor, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor, her “lodestar.” Kantor — who doesn’t often speak publicly about her personal life, including her Jewish background, which involved some education in Jewish schools — led a segment for CBS in May 2021 on her grandmother and their relationship. Before her journalism career, she spent a year in Israel on a Dorot Fellowship, working with Israeli and Palestinian organizations. She’s now a “proud member” of a Reform synagogue in Brooklyn.

Kantor spoke with JTA about the film’s Jewish threads, the portrayal of the New York Times newsroom and what Zoe Kazan’s performance captures about journalism. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. 

JTA: How did you feel having Zoe Kazan, who is not Jewish, play you? Kazan has played some notably Jewish characters before, for example in the HBO miniseries “The Plot Against America.” 

JK: I feel Zoe’s performance is so sensitive and so layered. What I really appreciate about her performance is that she captures so many of the emotions I was feeling under the surface in the investigation. You know, when you’re a reporter and especially a reporter handling that sensitive a story, it’s your responsibility to present a really smooth professional exterior to the world. At the end of the investigation, I had the job of reading Harvey Weinstein some of the allegations and really confronting him. And in dealing with the victims, I wanted to be a rock for them and it was my job to get them to believe in the investigation. And so on the one hand, you have that smooth, professional exterior, but then below that, of course you’re feeling all the feelings. You’re feeling the power of the material, you’re feeling the urgency of getting the story, you’re feeling the fear that Weinstein could hurt somebody else. You’re feeling the loss that these women are expressing, including over their careers. And so I think Zoe’s performance just communicates that so beautifully. 

What Zoe says about the character is that there are elements of me, there are elements of herself, and then there are elements of pure invention because she’s an artist, and that’s what she does. 

I think the screenplay gets at a small but significant line of Jewish sub-drama that ran through the investigation. It went like this: Harvey Weinstein and his representatives were constantly trying to approach me as a Jew. And they’ve done this more recently, as well. There have been times when Harvey Weinstein was trying to approach me “Jew to Jew,” like almost in a tone of “you and I are the same, we understand each other.” We found dossiers later that they had compiled on me and it was clear that they knew that I was the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and they tried to sort of deploy that. So speaking of keeping things under the surface, I privately thought that was offensive, that he was citing that. But your job as a reporter is to be completely professional. And I wasn’t looking to get into a fight with Weinstein. I just wanted to find out the truth and I actually wanted to be fair to the guy. Anyway, even as he was approaching me “Jew to Jew” in private, he was hiring Black Cube — sort of Israeli private intelligence agents — to try to dupe me. And they actually sent an agent to me, and she posed as a women’s rights advocate. And she was intimating that they were going to pay me a lot of money to appear at a conference in London. Luckily I shooed her away. 

To some degree I can’t explain why private Israeli intelligence agents were hired to try to dupe the Hebrew speaking, yeshiva-educated, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. But it’s not my job to explain that! It’s their job to explain why they did that. 

Then the theme reappeared with Irwin Reiter, Weinstein’s accountant of 30 years, who kind of became the Deep Throat of the investigation. I quickly figured out that Irwin and I were from the same small world. He was the child of survivors, and had also spent his summers at bungalow colonies in the Catskills just down the road from mine. I don’t bring up the Holocaust a lot. It’s a sacred matter for me, and I didn’t do it lightly. But once I discovered that we did in fact have this really powerful connection in our backgrounds, I did gently sound it with him – I felt that was sincere and real. Because he was making such a critical decision: Weinstein’s accountant of 30 years is still working for the guy by day and he’s meeting with me at night. And I felt like I did need to go to that place with him, saying, “Okay, Irwin, we both know that there are people who talk and there are people who don’t. And we both grew up around that mix of people and what do we think is the difference? And also if you know if you have the chance to act and intervene in a bad situation, are you going to take it?”

We didn’t talk a lot about it, because I raised it and he didn’t want to fully engage. But I always felt like that was under the surface of our conversations, and he made a very brave decision to help us. 

That was a very powerful scene in the film, and it felt like a turning point in the movie that kind of got at the ethical core of what was motivating your character. Was that a scene that was important to you personally to include in the film? 

What Megan and I want people to know overall is that a small number of brave sources can make an extraordinary difference. When you really look at the number of people who gave us the essential information about Weinstein, it’s a small conference room’s worth of people. Most of them are incredibly brave women, some of whom are depicted, I think, quite beautifully in the film. But there was also Irwin, Weinstein’s accountant of all these years, among them. It’s Megan and my job to build people’s confidence in telling the truth. And as we become custodians of this story for the long term, one of the things we really want people to know is that a tiny group of brave sources, sometimes one source, can make a massive difference. Look at the impact that these people had all around the world. 

Did you feel the film captured the New York Times newsroom? There’s a kind of great reverence to the toughness and professionalism in the newspaper business that really came through. 

Megan and I are so grateful for the sincerity and professionalism with which the journalism is displayed. There are a lot of on screen depictions of journalists in which we’re depicted as manipulative or doing things for the wrong reasons or sleeping with our sources! 

We [as journalists] feel incredible drama in what we do every day. And we’re so grateful to the filmmakers for finding it and sharing it with people. And I know the New York Times can look intimidating or remote as an institution. I hope people really consider this an invitation into the building and into our meetings, and into our way of working and our value system. 

And we’re also proud that it’s a vision of a really female New York Times, which was not traditionally the case at this institution for a long time. This is a book and a movie about women as narrators.

“Harvey Weinstein and his representatives were constantly trying to approach me as a Jew,” Kantor said. (The New York Times)

There have been comparisons made between this movie and “All the President’s Men.” One of the striking differences is that those journalists are two male bachelors running around D.C. And this film has scenes of motherhood, of the Shabbat table, of making lunches. What was it like seeing your personal lives reflected on screen?

It’s really true that the Weinstein investigation was kind of born in the crucible of motherhood and Megan and my attempt to combine work with parenting. On the one hand, it’s the most everyday thing in the world, but on the other hand, you don’t see it actually portrayed on screen that much. We’re really honored by the way that throughout the film you see motherhood and work mixing, I think in a way that is so natural despite our obviously pretty stressful circumstances.

I started out alone on the Weinstein investigation, and I called Megan because movie stars were telling me their secrets but they were very reluctant to go on the record. So I had gone some way in persuading and engaging them, but I was looking to make the absolute strongest case for them. So I called Megan. We had both done years of reporting on women and children. Mine involved the workplace more and hers involved sex crimes more, which is part of why everything melded together so well eventually. I wanted to talk to her about what she had said to female victims in the past. But when I reached her, I could hear that something was wrong. And she had just had a baby, and I had had postpartum depression myself. So we talked about it and I gave her the name of my doctor, who I had seen. Then she got treatment. And she not only gave very good advice on that [initial] phone call, but she joined me in the investigation. 

I think the theme is responsibility. Our relationship was forged in a sense of shared responsibility, primarily for the work – once we began to understand the truths about Weinstein, we couldn’t allow ourselves to fail. But also Megan was learning to shoulder the responsibility of being a parent, and I had two kids. And so we started this joint dialogue that was mostly about work, but also about motherhood. And I think throughout the film and throughout the real investigation, we felt those themes melding. It’s totally true that my daughter Tali was asking me about what I was doing. It’s very hard to keep secrets from your kid in a New York City apartment, even though I didn’t tell her everything. And Megan and I would go from discussing really critical matters with the investigation to talking about her daughter’s evolving nap schedule. It really felt like we had to get the story and get home to the kids. 

And also, we were reporting on our own cohort. A lot of Weinstein victims were and are women in their 40s. And so even though we were very professional with this and we tried to be very professional with the sources, there was an aspect of looking in the mirror. For example, with Laura Madden, who was so brave about going on the record, it was conversations with her own teenage daughters that helped her make her decision. 

We didn’t write about this in our book because it was hard to mix the motherhood stuff with this sort of serious reporter-detective story and all the important facts. And we didn’t want to talk about ourselves too much in the book. But the filmmakers captured something that I think is very true. It feels particular to us but also universal. When Zoe [Kazan] is pushing a stroller and taking a phone call at the same time, I suspect lots of people will identify with that. And what I also really like is the grace and dignity with which that’s portrayed. 

It must have been surreal, seeing a Hollywood movie about your investigation of Hollywood. 

I think part of the power of the film is that it returns the Weinstein investigation to the producer’s medium, but on vastly different terms, with the women in charge. Megan and I are particularly moved by the portrayals of Zelda Perkins, Laura Madden and Rowena Chiu — these former Weinstein assistants are in many ways at the core of the story. They’re everyday people who made the incredibly brave decision to help us, in spite of everything from breast cancer to legal barriers. 

Working with the filmmakers was really interesting. They were really committed to the integrity of the story, and they asked a ton of questions, both large and small. Ranging from the really big things about the investigation to these tiny details. Like in the scene where we go to Gwyneth Paltrow’s house and Megan and I discover we’re practically wearing the same dress — those were the actual white dresses that we wore that day. We had to send them in an envelope to the costume department, and they copied the dresses in Zoe and Carey’s sizes and that’s what they’re wearing. There was a strand of extreme fidelity, but they needed some artistic license because it’s a movie. And the movie plays out in the key of emotion.


The post Weinstein approached me ‘Jew to Jew’: Jodi Kantor opens up on the ‘She Said’ movie’s Jewish moments 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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Obituaries

Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN

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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