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Barish honoured by B’nai Brith; Eitz Chayim welcomes new board members

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The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has still not explained why they remained silent for four days about a provincial ban on in-store sales of Chanukah candles and menorahs

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Jewish Federation CEO Keeps Chanukah Advocacy Details Vague

In our last edition, TheJ.ca provided extensive analysis about the reversal of course by the Brian Pallister government of Manitoba on December 8, after the in-store sale of Chanukah candles was deemed ‘not essential’ under pandemic health orders.

As the details unfolded it became apparent that religious liberties had been restricted by the Pallister government without any mention – until the Jews of Winnipeg discovered that their ability to openly purchase items for Chanukah observance had been curtailed.

The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg had been contacted for our story but failed to respond before deadline. Seemingly choosing to let the community fight their own battle, which was taken up directly with the Health Minister and Chief Public Officer of Health by River Heights MLA Dr. Jon Gerrard, the organization failed to make any public statement about the fiasco – which erupted on December 4 – until four hours after the provincial announcement, four days later.

The timing of the statement, a mere hour before the annual general meeting, was viewed with scepticism, as it claimed credit for the change in government policy.

Finally, on December 11 a response to our request for comment was received from JFW CEO Elaine Goldstine, who claimed, “Outside of the statement we posted on social media, there isn’t much to add.”

“Upon learning that some community members were unable to purchase Chanukah candles off the shelf without using curbside pickup, we immediately reached out to Heather Stefanson and Ron Schuler on behalf of the entire Jewish community.” 

The earlier Federation statement had mentioned Stefanson, the Deputy Premier of Manitoba, but had not mentioned any role of Schuler, the Minister for Infrastructure.

“We received a prompt response,” said Goldstine, “and our initial request to the government was to have them reinstated for purchase immediately. We were told this would not be possible but they would be able to be reinstated for purchase as of Saturday at 12:01.”

She concluded her email by stating, “We had many conversations over the course of the last several days which lead to this outcome.” Goldstine did not offer any details about who those conversations were held with.

Our follow-up questions to her email, asking about when Federation learned religious liberties – including the sale of menorahs – had been restricted by the Pallister government, when it learned of the decision to allow those in-store sales, and what steps Federation had taken to make sure a similar ban would not occur again, have not been answered by press time.

B’nai Brith gives international award to Earl Barish

At a recent virtual event, while featured expert speakers discussed antisemitism and other issues of concern to the Jewish community, Winnipeg business leader Earl Barish was one of 25 individuals selected from around the world to receive the International President’s Award for achievement in greatness in the name of B’nai B’rith International. He was one of two Canadians chosen.

Earl Barish is described by B’nai Brith as “one of the most active members of the Winnipeg Jewish community. His leadership and dedication have made a major difference for B’nai Brith and for so many others.” His decades of hard work has included overseeing a multitude of B’nai Brith events, committees and initiatives and serving as a national board member of B’nai Brith Canada.

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“Earl has made possible two of B’nai Brith’s most exciting annual programs,” the announcement noted, “Winnipeg’s popular “Afternoon with the Winnipeg Goldeyes” charity event for more than 1,500 community recipients, and the “Diverse Minds” creative writing competition for high school students across Canada.”

“There is no one more deserving of this award than Earl Barish,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “His devotion and impact are unparalleled. It is a privilege for our community to have someone as caring as him in it, and a privilege for me to call him a friend.”

North End congregation announces new board

Congregation Etz Chayim welcomed new board members for the upcoming year, with an accomplished and respected community leader and volunteer moving into the helm. Avrom Charach will serve as President for the next two years, succeeding Myron Schultz.

In his professional life, Charach holds a BA (major-theatre), a Certificate in Not For Profit Organizational Management, Professional Manager (P Mgr) and Chartered Manager (C Mgr) Designations and is a Fellow of Certified General Accounting (FCGA) and of Chartered Professional Accounting (FCPA).

His leadership has benefited the community through his roles as a board member of the Chesed Shel Emes Chevra Kadisha, as the President of Folklorama Inc. annual multicultural festival, and as spokesman and board member of the Professional Property Managers of Manitoba. Charach is a past recipient of the Max Nathanson Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.

Charach will be ably assisted by other members of the board including the duo of Treasurer Carlos Benesdra and his successor as Vice President, Sabrina Bokser. Both are emblematic of the ‘new generation’ of Jewish leadership in Winnipeg originally hailing from Argentina.

The Etz Chayim, located in the former Rosh Pina Synagogue in Scotia Heights, is an egalitarian Conservative congregation committed to prayer and spirituality, learning and tradition and acts of loving kindness.

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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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