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North America

  • With New Community Leader, Mexico’s Jews Push for Reform

    In a time of increasing terrorism and rising anti-Semitism, many Jewish communities around the world have made security their No. 1 concern. But in Mexico, the country’s Jews have both the fortune and misfortune of having concerns about economic security atop the community agenda. The new president of Mexico’s Central Jewish Committee says he is… More ▸

  • Anti-semitism Report in Canada Finds Highest Levels in Two Decades

    Just days after B’nai Brith Canada released a report documenting a steep rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Canada, a rash of anti-Semitic vandalism took place in the Toronto area. Thirteen homes and cars were painted with swastikas and other racist messages Sunday night in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, leaving… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World As Haiti Burns, Its Few Jews Choose Business over Politics

    At the once-elegant El Rancho Hotel in the hills above Port-au-Prince, aggressive young men peddle exotic African sculptures next to the taxi stand, and colorful Haitian paintings decorate the reception area. Yet it’s hard not to notice the black, wrought-iron menorah smack in the middle of the lobby. “My father was Jewish,” explains manager Elizabeth… More ▸

  • 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 ▸