North America

  • Around the Jewish World in Ottawa, Program Helps Build Ties Between Jews and Somalis

    Ottawa’s Jewish Family Services is helping improve Muslim-Jewish relations in Canada’s capital by mentoring a Somali community organization. The partnership — which recently won an award from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation — also is helping shape Ottawa’s emerging ethnic mosaic. “North America is changing rapidly,” says Mark Zarecki, director of JFS. “It’s becoming more… More ▸

  • Canada’s New Justice Minister, Irwin Cotler, is No Shrinking Violet

    Irwin Cotler, Canada’s newly appointed justice minister and attorney general, is not shy when it comes to speaking his mind. Directed in support of Israel, that outspokenness has won the famed human rights lawyer accolades from Canada’s Jews, but it has not endeared Cotler to Canada’s pro-Arab camp. While Cotler has been applauded widely for… More ▸

  • Quebec Jews Upset As Paper Lists Arafat As Possible ‘man of the Year’ by Bram Eisenthal

    Outrage from Montreal Jews has prompted a French-language newspaper to withdraw a Person of the Year competition that included Yasser Arafat as a candidate. The competition in the daily La Presse — which also featured Canada’s new prime minister, Paul Martin, Quebec Premier Jean Charest, French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World in Mexico, Hebraic University Tries to Stem Crisis of Jewish Education

    Jewish education in Latin America is facing a crisis, and a small university here is trying to stem it. Mexico City’s Hebraic University, the only government-accredited Jewish university in Latin America, is positioning itself to serve communities thousands of miles away through Internet-based courses, traveling seminars and other international initiatives. “In 10 years, we want… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World Canadian Man’s Ties to Hamas Raise Calls for Greater Vigilance

    Canadian Jewish groups are calling for greater government vigilance against terrorist groups after a Palestinian-born Canadian reportedly told Israeli interrogators that Hamas recruited him to carry out attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets in North America. The ease with which Jamal Akal, 23, contacted Hamas and received military training from the Palestinian terrorist group indicates… More ▸

  • Incoming Canadian Prime Minister is Outspoken Critic of Anti-semitism

    Paul Martin Jr. will become Canada’s new prime minister in about four weeks, but he remains a mystery to many Canadians. Elected last weekend at the leadership convention of Canada’s Liberal Party, Martin will replace Jean Chretien when the prime minister retires Dec. 12. Martin, 65, is not well known among Canadian Jews, though he… More ▸

  • Despite Lack of Diplomatic Ties, Israeli Tourists Flocking to Cuba

    Israel and Cuba haven’t had diplomatic relations since 1973, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of Israelis from touring the Caribbean island anyway. “We assume that at least 10,000 Israelis have already visited Cuba,” said Daniel Faians, president and CEO of Polaris Group, a large travel wholesaler and airline agent based in Tel Aviv. Overall traffic… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World in Mexico, Jews Hail New Law Against Anti-semitic Discrimination

    Mexican Jews are pleased that the government has begun implementing a recent law that explicitly prohibits anti-Semitic discrimination. The Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination — which one government official called “one of the most advanced laws of its kind” — passed unanimously in both legislative chambers in April and was signed by President… More ▸