Last Tuesday, click the entire Jewish world fasted for 24 hours to commemorate the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, stomach the 9th of Av, a day when both our Holy Temples were destroyed in Jerusalem, and countless other calamities took place throughout our history.

With the current war in Gaza, a prayer service in solidarity with Israel was organized by seven Montreal Synagogues at the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Cote St Luc.

The event opened with the Mincha prayer service, for which Tefillin are worn. Chabad representatives had several pairs of Tefillin in the back and put Tefillin on many attendees.

The Synagogue soon filled until there was standing room only, and Adam Stotland opened with the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.

Several chapters of psalms were then read, led by Rabbi Ron Aigen of Congregation Dorshei Emet and Rabbi Moshe New of the Montreal Torah Centre.

Joel Lion, Consul Generalof the State of Israel in Montreal, spoke about his relationship with his son who is currently serving in the IDF. He shared his fears and worries, and thanked G-d that his son is alive and healthy. He also reiterated his position that Hamas is 100% responsible for the suffering in Israel and Gaza. They’ve instigated every battle and Israel has retaliated. “This is not a war Israel chose to fight,” he noted.

Jonathan Lieber of the IDF reserves and Ali Veres, who is moving to Israel this week, read the names of the fallen soldiers in the current war, and Cantor Yehuda Abittan sang the Kel Maleh Rachamim prayer in their memory.

Rabbi Reuven Poupko spoke about the support citizens of Israel and Jews worldwide have been giving to the soldiers on the front lines. He shared the tale of a young soldier headed to the front who stopped in at a cafe to purchase a shawarma. When the owner of the cafe discovered that he was serving a soldier on the way to Gaza, he shut the store and prepared 70 shawarmas for the soldier to bring to the rest of his unit. Rabbi Poupko thanked the Montreal community for the spiritual and physical support, and then called out the media for their one sided reporting. “Everyone seems to forget history,” he said. “They rewrite history to make it seem like we’re on equal moral ground.”

A prayer for the soldiers of Israel followed, and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz then spoke out against members of the media who are currently in Gaza. “Are there any Hamas soldiers?” he asked. “We have yet to see a Hamas soldier holding a gun!” He called out those in Gaza for being intimidated and failing to report the terror Hamas unleashes on their own Palestinian neighbours and on the citizens of Israel.

The event closed with the singing of several songs of hope, including Hamalach Hagoel and Acheinu, led by Adam Stotland. The final song was the Israeli National Anthem, Hatikva.

By Zvi Hershcovich, with special thanks to David Hamaoui – Bill613.com

Photos by Adam Spiro

Over 3000 rally for Israel

The Gelber Conference Centre was packed with over 1000 Jews Monday evening, case and the crowds spilled out into the hallways, pharm outdoor garden, and the entrance to the Jewish Public Library building as 3000 members the Jewish community of Montreal rallied in support of Israel.

The rally, organized by Federation CJA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, was the first solidarity rally for Israel since the tiny Jewish country launched Operation Protective Edge to keep their citizens safe from Hamas rocket attacks in Gaza.

All of Montreal’s communities were well represented, and pamphlets were handed out separating myth from reality and answering many questions about Operation Protective Edge. Lubavitchers stood by putting Tefillin on passers-by and many young Jews from Cote St Luc and de Vimy peacefully demonstrated on the street, singing songs like “Am Yisrael Chai” and waving Israeli flags.

The event opened with the singing of O Canada, led by Cantor Gideon Zelermyer, accompanied by Stephen Glass.

Susan Laxer, President of Federation CJA, spoke about the purpose of the gathering in her opening remarks. “This war is a war on Hamas and its terrorist infrastructure, not a war on Gaza and its citizens,” she said. “Tonight together as a community we pray for lasting peace in our historic homeland of Israel.”

She also thanked the Canadian government led by Stephen Harper as well as the Liberal party led by Justin Trudeau for taking a strong stance in supporting Israel, and introduced the Israel Relief Fund, which to date has built four new shelters in Israel.

Joel Lion, Consul General for Israel to Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, expressed the appreciation of the government of Israel for the community’s support. He also spoke about the Israeli army’s concern for civilians, and how it operates like no other army in history, warning its enemy in advance of its exact moves. “You know, on Pesach we don’t say the full Hallel because non-Jews were killed for us to be free,” he said. “It is a Jewish value to also mourn our enemies.”

Pierre Poilievre, MP from Ottawa, presented words from Ottawa. He shared that when Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power he promised that no longer would the Canadian government say one thing to one crowd and another thing to another crowd, and he also promised that no longer would there be a false moral equivalence between terrorists hellbent on homicidal destruction and liberal democracies that share our values. Poilievre told the crowd that the Canadian government holds Hamas 100% responsible for the current war.

MP Irwin Cotler spoke about Israel’s willingness to ceasefire even with rockets raining down on civilians. He explained how Israel had no other choice but to enter Gaza. “Hamas doesn’t only want to killus,” he said. “They want us to also kill innocent Palestinian civilians.”

Cotler pointed out that Hamas is guilty of crimes against humanity for targeting civilians, forcing Palestinian civilians as human shields, launching terrorists attacks from civilian enclaves and structures, misappropiating and misrepresenting International symbols by transferring terrorists in UN ambulances, kidnapping Israeli citizens and boasting about it, and inciting and calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people (read the Hamas charter for yourself).

Deborah Corber, CEO of Federation CJA, had recently returned from Israel and spoke about her experiences. “Israelis treat the madness as if it is something normal,” she said. “But there is nothing normal about living in the shadow of rockets.”

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Congregation TBDJ, was also in Israel recently, on a solidarity trip together with Rabbi Reuven Poupko of Beth Israel Beth Aaron. He spoke about Muslims and Christians being killed in Syria, Iraq, and other countries and how the world is silent about those atrocities. He also explained why Hamas is to blame for the conflict. “People sometimes ask ‘what if we opened the border crossings? No one would come in as suicide bombers,’” he noted. “You have to reverse the question. What if since 2005 Hamas concentrated on economic development? What if all the concrete used to build tunnels was used to build buildings? What if all the iron and metal that’s being used to assemble rockets were used to build factories? What if Hamas had chosen peace? What would Gaza look like now?”

Rabbi Steinmetz also spoke about the difference between Israel and Hamas, and how Hamas values death while Israel values life. “When Israel is not at war, what is she doing? She’s curing diabetes! She’s bringing life to this world!” said Rabbi Steinmetz. “Yes Israel loves life and that is why I love Israel!”

Cantor Zelermyer closed the event with several moving songs, including Lo Teida Milchama and Hatikvah. As people left, many joined in the singing and cheering of the crowd outside.

By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com

Photos by Zvi Hershcovich and Shalom Serraf

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At a meeting Thursday night with Mr Toby, see the owner of the Shell gas station, click he apologized for an unfortunate event that had taken place at the station. He immediately dismissed the employee who was involved in this incident.

“I am very happy with how Toby dealt with the situation and stood up for what’s right, buy ” said one of the Lubavitchers. “I will once again support his gas station and I urge others to do the same.”

Mr. Toby has been serving the community for over 17 years and has always treated all of his customers as family and always provided them with friendly services. He hopes that this incident does not undo 17 years of living together and respecting each other.

Earlier in the week, two Lubavitchers were harassed by a gas station employee over the events taking place in Israel.

By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com

A photo of President Obama’s half-brother, viagra 100mg Malik, who served as the best man at his brother’s wedding, has surfaced showing him wearing a special scarf emblazoned with anti-Israel slogans used by the terror group Hamas. One saying on the scarf: “WE ARE COMING,” the Daily Mail reported. And the other: “From the river to the sea.” That reference is to Palestinians’ beliefs that land currently occupied by Israel — from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — actually belongs to them.

The photo was taken in 2010 at an event in Yemen and posted on the website of the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a group founded by Malik that is unaffiliated with the president. The name of the foundation actually is in honor of the father that Malik and the president share, the Mail reported.

A former Muslim Brotherhood member named Walid Shoebat pointed out the photo on his blog earlier this week.

The White House has tried to distance the president from his brother. But a few months ago, Malik said in an interview with GQ that the two actually talk on a regular basis.

“Of course we’re close,” he told the magazine. “I’m the one who brought him here to Kogelo in 1988. I thought it was important for him to come home and see from whence his family came, you know, his roots.”

He also said in an interview with the Mail in 2013 that his brother is “always at the end of a phone line if I want to talk.”

Aside from its famous name, the Barack H. Obama Foundation garnered national attention in recent months due to the IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups. While some tea party groups reported the IRS took up to three years to process their nonprofit permit applications, Malik’s foundation was able to receive its tax exempt approval in 28 days. The organization’s final approval was signed by Lois Lerner, the IRS official who was pressured into resigning over the tea party application scandal.

By The Washington Times

Judy Gross, healing wife of Alan Gross, stomach the Jewish U.S. government subcontractor in the fifth year of a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba, health was in Havana on Wednesday where she urged Washington to rescue her husband who she fears may be considering suicide after the death of his mother from cancer, according to The New York Post on Thursday.

In a statement, she said: “I am extremely worried that Alan is going to do something drastic now that his mother is gone. My husband and I need President Obama to do everything in his power to end this nightmare and bring Alan home from Cuba now.”

In April, Gross began a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment and draw attention to his case. He ended the hunger strike nine days later, on the request of his mother, Evelyn Gross. She died on June 18 in Texas.

Their lawyer, Scott Gilbert, said, “I am extremely worried that Alan is becoming more despondent every day. Both governments need to know that Alan plans to end his life in an effort to end this agony.”

Gross was arrested in 2009 for setting up unauthorized internet networks for Cuba’s Jewish community, while being employed on a contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Havana convicted him of crimes against the state.

According to the Post, Cuba may be willing to swap three of its intelligence agents serving long prison terms in the U.S. on spy-related charges for the Jewish contractor, but Washington has said that the two cases should not be related.

Judy Gross raised the example of the five Guantanamo detainees recently exchanged for a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan: “If we can trade five members of the Taliban to bring home one American soldier, surely we can figure out a path forward to bring home one American citizen from a Cuban prison.”

By The Algameiner

Ninety-year-old Sonia Anger survived the Nazis by fleeing Romania after the Germans invaded in 1941 and taking refuge in the Ural Mountains. Today, decease the brown-haired, 5-foot-6-inch widow struggles to survive in New York City on a monthly Social Security check of $1,130, or $14,000 a year.

“I’m sweeping the floor, and have little to eat, and I have no new clothes,” she said.

It’s a different kind of struggle to be sure. Anger receives some help in the form of social services funded by German government reparations. This includes the meal and musical entertainment she was enjoying at a Brooklyn coffee house program sponsored by Selfhelp Community Services while speaking to this Forward reporter. German reparations are a crucial means of support for many survivors in America living below the poverty line.

In the New York region — where at least one-third of all Holocaust survivors in America live — “55% of Holocaust survivors (approximately 40,000) can be considered ‘poor’ because they live below 150% of the federal poverty thresholds,” according to Pearl Beck, director of Geographic Studies for the UJA-Federation Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.

On July 8, board members of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the organization that distributes the German government’s reparations payments to survivors, will gather in Midtown Manhattan for their annual meeting, just a 45-minute subway ride away from the Brooklyn Selfhelp center Anger attends.

A major point of debate at their gathering will be the Claims Conference’s own future. Two special review committees appointed by the board are due to deliver reports meant to follow up on findings of corporate misgovernance last year by the organization’s own ombudsman. According to a JTA report, the two committees will recommend that the Claims Conference negotiate with the German government for further funds in the future, even after the last survivor dies, to be used for continuing Holocaust education and commemoration.

But what about the disproportionate poverty in which Holocaust survivors are living now?

The Claims Conference did not respond to a request by the Forward for the board meeting’s agenda, making it impossible to report how much of the meeting will be devoted to this problem. But interviews with several of the Claims Conference’s present and past board members reveal disparate views on how the group should deploy its assets to better mitigate the high poverty rates among its prime constituents.

One thing on which all appear to agree is the futility of raiding the Claims Conference’s own standing assets, valued at more than $500 million. These assets, much of them in the form of European real estate formerly owned by Jews or Jewish institutions, are held separately from the ongoing revenue stream the group receives from the German government to make reparation payments. The organization obtained most of these assets through negotiations with the German government after East Germany and West Germany reunited.

Max Liebmann, a former board member, defended the Claims Conference’s determination to hold on to these reserves even though the German government and the governments of several other countries continue to channel some $250 million on average per year to the organization for the continued support of survivors. Among other things, the survivors’ needs in the coming years will only escalate as their frailty increases with the passage of time, Liebmann said.

“The Claims Conference really doesn’t know how long it will need the money for,” he said.

In an email correspondence, a Claims Conference spokeswoman wrote that spending its assets too quickly would force organizations receiving support to cut services.

“To spend all the money now would increase services in the very short term and then result in no money left, leaving the neediest Nazi victims — who will be older and more frail — desperate and with no possibilities,” wrote the spokeswoman, Hillary Kessler-Godin.

It is an actuarial fact that survivors, with their increasing needs, will continue to live for many years to come. Demographic projections anticipate they will continue to need support through 2030.

Much of the German money used to assist them comes not from the Claims Conference itself but from other organizations that it funds. In 2012, in addition to some $345 million in direct compensation the organization distributed as cash payments to survivors, $330 million went out as grants to other Jewish organizations. Most of these groups provide social services directly to survivors. A significantly smaller portion was devoted to education and commemoration ($18 million in the current year according to JTA). If the board agrees at its coming meeting to refocus its long-term efforts on education, that smaller portion will likely grow as a percentage of expenditures as the last survivors die.

Sidney Zoltak, a board member who is co-president of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors Association, said he and other survivors are disappointed that affluent local communities don’t provide more support for Holocaust commemoration and education. “As far as I’m concerned, they should be paying the whole bill” for that, he said.

Another board member, Sam Bloch, disagreed, and said that cultural funding also supports survivors.

The friction on the board is evident.

“It’s a debate we continually have — to use it all for social services or to use some to preserve the memory,” said Raymond Schrag, another board member and president of Selfhelp.

While the debate continues, survivors like Anger remain in need.

“Do they get enough assistance? If they didn’t have the Claims Conference they wouldn’t get any at all,” Zoltak said.

By The Jewish Daily Forward

To no one’s surprise – except perhaps for befuddled child protection officials and a judge in rural Ontario, Canada – the leader of the haredi Lev Tahor cult and many of his followers have fled child abuse allegations in two separate Canadian provinces for the far less regulated backwater of rural Guatemala.The villagers in San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala, did not know what to make of it when the devout newcomers appeared, the men in long black coats, the women and girls in dark chadors despite the tropical heat.

Their arrival sparked fear among some people in the indigenous community, who were taken aback by their clothing, customs and Yiddish speech. “There were even people who believed that their presence signalled the second coming of Christ,” Salvador Loarca, an assistant attorney in the local human rights office, said in a telephone interview last week.

In fact, what appears to be occurring in the lakeside region about 80 kilometres west of the capital Guatemala City is the latest coming of the nomadic, ultra-orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor. Founded by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans in Jerusalem in the 1980s, the group spent close to a decade in New York state and more than a decade in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., before fleeing to Chatham, Ont., in the middle of the night last fall as Quebec child-protection authorities prepared to intervene.

With Canadian authorities scrutinizing the members’ immigration status (the adults were mostly born outside Canada) and Ontario children’s aid officials seeking protection orders, Lev Tahor leaders have decided they have no future in Canada. A well-connected source inside Montreal’s Hassidic community said Mr. Helbrans left Canada last week and Lev Tahor members were told to pray for his safe arrival in Guatemala.

“There is no future for this community in Canada,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann, who is representing community members in various immigration and child-protection files. “There is none …. Generally speaking, these people want to be together, and that’s going to be impossible here in Canada. They have some very bad memories here.”

Mr. Mamann said “several” Lev Tahor families have already left for Guatemala, including a mother and six children who were subject to a court order to remain in the Chatham area. Mr. Mamann dismissed concerns that the children would be at even greater risk in the impoverished Central American country. “The children are fine in Guatemala. There are millions of children in Guatemala,” he said.

“It’s obviously a country that is a bit poorer than Canada …. It’s a lot poorer, but children live there.”

In Quebec, an investigation by child-protection officials last year revealed that children were suffering from poor dental health and fungal infections. They were not bathing on a regular basis, were not being schooled according to any Canadian curriculum and only spoke Yiddish and Hebrew. Girls are required from the age of three to wear the chador, which only reveals their faces. Youth protection officials also told a court that the community practised arranged marriages with girls as young as 14.

After community members hurriedly left Ste-Agathe for Chatham during the night of Nov. 17, a Quebec judge ordered that 13 children belonging to three families be placed in foster care. An Ontario Superior Court justice ruled last April that Ontario had no jurisdiction to enforce the Quebec order, and since then Quebec authorities have been left on the sidelines.

A spokeswoman for Quebec youth protection, Isabelle Dugré, said her organization “remains very worried about the situation of children who are currently in Ontario and Guatemala” and is prepared to provide any help Ontario requires.

It appears, though, that once again the Lev Tahor children are slipping through the safety net, bound for a country where community leaders will not be hounded about following a specific school curriculum and where girls can marry at age 14.

Mr. Mamann said the choice of Guatemala as a destination was last-minute, but a similar ultra-orthodox sect called Toiras Jesed has also been putting down roots in San Juan la Laguna.

The new arrivals have sparked some recent tension, leading to reports on Israeli web sites that anti-Semitism had broken out in Guatemala. But Misael Santos, a member of Toiras Jesed, said the only violence involved some rock throwing and insults by a group of drunken youth.

“It’s past. The young people came and asked for forgiveness,” he said.

“What happened was a lack of information about how a Jewish man lives. Some people thought we were part of a satanic sect.”

Mr. Loarca, the human-rights attorney, said rumours spread that the newcomers wanted to buy land and populate the town, at a time when the municipality was encouraging locals to have fewer children as a way to manage poverty. One woman at a community meeting called for their expulsion, he said.

“This is a town of peace and tranquility. Here, no one is discriminated against,” Rodolfo Perez, the mayor of San Juan La Laguna, said. “They called us racists, but we have never had problems with these people. ” He said the municipality, at the request of the community, asked the group to provide a list of its members in order to protect them. Mr. Loarca said the list was compiled “in order to gain some control, for their own safety.”
Angelyn Smolders for National Post

A spokesman for Guatemala’s General Directorate of Migration said he is aware of one Lev Tahor family  — ­ the mother and six children who fled the Canadian court order — that has settled in San Juan la Laguna. Fernando Lucero said that upon arrival in Guatemala in March, the family presented themselves in front of a judge, who said they could remain free because they are not accused of any crime in Guatemala.

“In terms of the laws of Guatemala, they have not committed any offence. They are here legally,” Mr. Lucero said. He said 90-day tourist visas like the one on which they entered can be renewed.

Shelley Thibert, a spokeswoman for Chatham-Kent Children’s Services (CKCS), said there is little her agency can do once families leave the province. “We are aware of the families in Guatemala and have had discussions with Canadian Foreign Affairs as CKCS has no jurisdiction outside of Ontario,” she said.

A Foreign Affairs spokesman would say only that consular officials are providing assistance to the families in Guatemala. He said further details on the case could not be released for privacy reasons.

Back in Quebec, where a Jewish social services agency had been preparing to find foster homes for the allegedly neglected Lev Tahor children, the prospect that they will be beyond the reach of Canadian law has been met with disappointment.

“We continue to be extremely concerned for the sake of these children,” said David Ouellette, public affairs director at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Montreal. “I would hope that everything is done for them to be protected.”

By Failedmessiah.com

When three young Yeshiva students were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists last Thursday night, drugs the news hit Montreal several hours before Shabbos and the incident featured in every Rabbi’s Shabbos sermon. Extra Tehillim (psalms) and special Mi Shebeirachs (prayers) were said in Synagogues across Montreal, patient from Cote St Luc to Outremont.When Shabbos went out, generic community leaders rallied together and an evening of solidarity was organized for Sunday night at Beth Israel Beth Aaron. Word spread, and over 500 people ultimately attended the rally, which opened with the saying of several chapters of Tehillim, led by Chazzan Moishe Shur.The ceremony was solemn. “It’s comforting to be with each other and to pray together,” noted Rabbi Reuven Poupko, who hosted the event.

Joel Lion, Israel’s Consul General to Montreal, pointed out that “we like the fingers of a hand. We may be different but we are all connected.” He also shared his amazement at 500 people gathering in a Cote St Luc Shul on such short notice and then spoke about the kidnapping. “One person is responsible for the kidnapping,” he announced. “Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.”

Lion asked everyone present to do whatever they possibly could, to write to influential people and to keep praying to Hashem to “bring back our boys.”

Lion closed his speech by thanking the community. He will be leaving his post at the end of the summer, and he cherishes his time spent in Montreal.

Susan Laxer, President of Federation CJA, also spoke, noting the large crowd gathered to show solidarity and to strengthen the families of the kidnapped teens in Israel. A Cote St Luc resident then read a message from the family of Gilad Shaar, who lives one block from her sister in Talmon. Another resident is the cousin of Naftali Frankel. She spoke about him as a person, his kindness, his humour, his personality.

Rabbi Poupko read a letter from the Mont-Royal MP Irwin Cotler, and shared his feelings on the kidnapping and the silence of most of the world when three innocent Yeshiva students are kidnapped. He particularly voiced his anger at Ken Roth of Human Right’s Watch, who had tweeted the following: “Attending school at illegal settlement doesn’t legitimize apparent kidnapping of #Israel teens.” When pressed about the tweet, Roth had responded, “Kidnapping 3 Israeli boys is wrong. So is killing 2 Palest’n boys posing no imminent threat.”

“Too often we are alone when it comes to defending basic human rights,” said Poupko. “When one Israeli is taken captive, we’re all taken captive.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=stH-o1ImEF8
Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of TBDJ also shared a few words. He noted that praying is an act of protest. “We turn to G-d tonight and tell Him you have to bring them home,” he declared. “Yirmiyahu HaNavi said ‘Yesh Sachar BiPeulasech’ – there will be a reward for our efforts. ‘Veshavu Banim LeGvulam’ – please bring them home.”

The event closed with Chazzan Shor leading the community in a Mi Shebeirach for the boys, and over 100 men and 50 women stayed for Mincha and Maariv.

Other gatherings have also been held. Chabad Houses received a special letter of request from the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, asking them to organize rallies that would coincide with the massive rally being held at the Kotel. On Sunday at noon, Montreal’s Chabad Rabbis held rallies in their Synagogues. Some, like Chabad of Cote St Luc, included a live video hookup to the Kotel, so the attendees could pray in unison with their brothers in Israel. 

In Outremont, de Vimy and Tosh, people also dropped what they were doing at 12:00 to say some Tehillim for the kidnapped teens. Small rallies were held in several Shtiebelach. At Hechal Shalom in Ville St Laurent, an evening of Tehillim was held on Monday night at 8:00.

Please continue to pray for 16 year old Naftali Frankel, 19 year old Eyal Yifrah, and 16 year old Gilad Shaar. Their names are:

Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim
Eyal ben Iris Teshurah

Chabad is organizing a campaign of Mitzvos one can take on for the kidnapped teens. If you would like to pledge a Mitzvah, please click here. And may the boys return home safely and unharmed.

By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Chazan Moishe Shur OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rabbi Reuven Poupko Joel Lion Susan Laxer OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rabbi Reuven Poupko Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG-20140615-WA0003(1)

Jim Keegstra, shop a holocaust denier and former high school teacher in Eckville, pills Alta., has died at the age of 80.

The Red Deer Advocate reported late Thursday that Keegstra died June 2.

In 1981, Keegstra was warned by a district school superintendent to stop teaching Jewish conspiracy theory as if it were fact.

But Keegstra was fired the following year, and in 1984, was charged with wilfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group.

Keegstra was convicted in 1985, but the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the conviction until it was restored by the Supreme Court of Canada in late 1990.

That set the stage for a retrial, and in 1992, a jury convicted Keegstra and he was fined $3,000.

Keegstra had told students in Eckville that the Holocaust was a fraud and described Jews as treacherous and evil.

By The Globe and Mail

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Former Cote St Luc Mayor Bernard Lang – Dead at 88

Former Cote St Luc Mayor Bernard Lang has died, he was 88 years old.

Lang served as mayor of Cote St. Luc from 1976-1998 and oversaw the expansion of the city from a small municipality to a booming 30,000 plus resident city.

Bernard Lang was born in 1925 in Montreal, he was an engineer by trade. After serving as a City Councillor for thirteen years, Lang threw his hat into the ring for Mayor and won the seat in 1976. He served as one of Cote St Luc’s longest standing mayors.

In 1994, Councillor Dida Berku challenged Lang’s Mayorship. The election was a bitter, dirty one which resulted in Lang winning by a small margin. Berku challenged the results and accused Lang of cheating. The case landed in court and Lang was found to have acted irregular during a campaign but was not removed from the Mayorship.

In 1998, Lang decided to retire and was replaced by Robert Libman. Lang’s wife, Miriam, however, ran for council against Dida Berku and lost.

In 2004, at 79 years old, Lang decided to come out of retirement and run for Cote St Luc’s Mayorship. Cote St Luc had just demerged from the Megacity Montreal and Lang said the city “needed him”. Lang’s opponent in the race was Anthony Housefather, who won the election by a large margin and is still serving as Cote St Luc’s Mayor.

During his tenure, Lang helped establish many of Cote St Luc’s integral services, such as the library and arena and worked to expand recreational and cultural programs. He served four terms as President of the Conference of Suburban Mayors and was an executive member of the Montreal Urban Community. He also served as President of the Cote St Luc’s Senior Men’s Club.

Bernard Lang’s funeral will take place on Sunday June 15, 2014. 2pm. check Paperman and Son’s website for more information.

By Howie Silbiger – Montreal Jewish News