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National Library of Israel, CBC offering important documentaries for viewing

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The Balfour Branch Royal Canadian Legion beret of the late Harry Furer of Windsor, Ontario – who enlisted at 18 years of age in Winnipeg to serve in World War ll - is a prized possession of his family (Photo: Reah Bocknek)

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A virtual crowd gathered at 10:50 am EST on Remembrance Day for an online commemoration for our Jewish soldiers in the Canadian Armed Forces, both the fallen and those who survived. B’nai Brith Canada hosted the event, in conjunction with the Jewish War Veterans of Canada. The moment of silence was observed at 11 AM, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Prominent speakers from across Canada included Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Lawrence MacAuley, and Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole, himself a former member of the RCAF.

Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith, opened the broadcast and noted the unbroken and ongoing history of service of Jewish citizens in the defence of our country. Norman Gardner, Post Commander of the Toronto Jewish War veterans of Canada, noted that 39% of Jewish males served in the armed forces in WWll, “the highest one of any ethnic group at the time.” Four hundred perished in defence of our way of life.

Daniel Benlolo of Montreal’s Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue performed Oh Canada; Cantor Gordon Lindsay of Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto davened El Malei Rachamim; and Rabbi Anibal Mass of Winnipeg’s Shaarey Zedek Synagogue led the Mourner’s Kaddish.

The senior Jewish chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces, Captain (Rabbi) Bryan Bowley, remarked that “Remembrance Day, for me, is about honoring the memory of all military personnel who came before us. Thanks to their heroism and selflessness, we live in a free and democratic country. This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War by paying homage to those valiant Canadians who fought and fell to defend the freedom and livelihood of our allies.” Prof. Ellin Bessner hosted a video report from the Jewish war memorial section of Mount Sinai Cemetery in Toronto, profiling many brave Jewish Canadians, from across the land, who “went to fight for King and Country, but also, to save their own people from Hitler’s Final Solution.”

Families posted their own tributes and personal stories online about their loved ones and the sacrifices made. Many of the WWll soldiers as described by Bessner were celebrated by their descendants, such as the family of the late Harry Furer. He enlisted at age 18 in Winnipeg in 1944, and was one of the youngest veterans of that campaign against the Nazis. Harry raised a family of five with wife Gertie in Windsor, Ontario, always carrying the flag on the November 11 march with his children to the cenotaph. Harry passed away in 2011. His youngest, Reah Bocknek, posted a photo of his beret on Facebook in tribute to his service, describing it as “one of my most treasured pieces from my dad’s life and history.”

NLI presents parallel online film festivals starting November 15

International audiences will be able to participate for the first time, enjoying award-winning films and an array of special events from the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Due to the pandemic, the Sixth Annual Docu.Text Film Festival is going global, from November 15 – 25.

Two parallel online festivals will be held November 15-25: one for international audiences and one for audiences in Israel, both of them featuring award-winning documentary films, Q&A sessions, and an array of special events.

The Israeli festival will feature both Israeli and international documentary films, with a number of films and talks related to cultural and political protests, including: Meet the Censors, a first-hand look at censorship from Iran to China; and Four Mothers, about the struggle of four women to get Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in the 1990s.

The international festival will highlight some of the best Israeli documentary films from years past, including The Jerusalem Dream, a personal story of Ethiopian immigration to Israel; The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev, a colorful look at the internal life of one of Tajikistan’s most famous musical families, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker;  and Golda, the story of Golda Meir’s term as prime minister, followed by a talk with Dr. Michal Asaf Kremer.

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The Docu.Text Film Festival is produced in collaboration with the Docaviv Film Festival. International Docu.Text is part of “Gesher L’Europa”, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to share stories and connect with people, institutions and communities in Europe and beyond.

All of the events are free of charge and open to the local and global public, Zoom registration required. Film screenings are available for streaming by purchase only; based on the user IP address, viewers will only have access to films from the Israeli festival or the international festival. For more information and tickets, please visit: https://docutext.nli.org.il/english

Timely documentary Kids Vs Screens Airing On CBC Friday Night

Screen time is a hot topic and the cause of family battles everywhere. Even before the pandemic, parents were struggling to manage their children’s obsession with YouTube videos, TikTok, Instagram, and video games.

During the pandemic, with kids staying home and parents trying to get work done and get dinner on the table, screen time for children and teenagers has skyrocketed. Not just because of virtual school lessons – because kids need something to do and have been isolated from their friends.

Kids Vs. Screens is debuting on The Nature of Things 9 p.m. (ET) on Friday, November 13. The documentary, hosted by Edmonton born and raised biologist, Dan Riskin, explores the impact of screens on childhood and what we can do about it. Screens sometimes act as digital babysitters, but can lead in some cases to a loss of control as well as screen addiction.

“As a society, we’re more addicted to our screens than cocaine. It’s having a major effect on our kids.” Dr. Michael Cheng, child psychiatrist, CHEO (Photo supplied)

The science of screen time is in its infancy – after all, the iPhone just came out in 2007, the iPad in 2010. It’s also a difficult area to research, because much of the data is based on self-reported surveys.

Kids vs. Screens offers interesting new research, including a study that shows how excessive screen time is linked to weaker brain structure and learning, preliminary research that suggests facetiming with grandma can be beneficial, and Riskin’s own experience as a parent raising a family in Toronto. He is best known as the former host of Daily Planet on Discovery, and as the author of the bestselling book Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You. 

The documentary is also produced, written and directed by award winning producer and documentarian, Leora Eisen of Toronto. “Parents are deeply concerned and fighting with their kids about it,” said Eisen. “Instead of making parents feel guilty, I wanted to arm them with information.”

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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