Bill Gladstone

Herman Wouk (1915 – 2019)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) ◊  Note: This review of Herman Wouk’s memoir was first published in 2016. Herman Wouk died on May 17, 2018, age 103. This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in…

Jordan Peterson offers ‘constructive wisdom’

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2019 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson (Random House Canada) Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology, most recently at the University of Toronto, with a thorough grounding in scientific literature, particularly in the biological sciences, psychology, and the nature of the human…

Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World

In his book Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World, Montreal author Marc Raboy points out that Guglielmo Marconi was the Bill Gates or Steven Jobs of his day, and was the world’s first champion of and visionary for not just global wireless communications, but two-way global wireless communications. Although associated primarily with the development…

Profile: Dorothy Dworkin, nurse & Mount Sinai founder

Dorothy Goldstick (later Dworkin) donned the modest white cap of a maternity nurse in 1909, but her accomplishments ranged into charitable work and philanthropy, business, newspaper publishing, and institution building on a scale that benefitted the entire city of Toronto. A driving force behind the establishment of Toronto’s world-famous Mount Sinai Hospital, Dworkin (1889-1976) was…

Incident in Opatow (Poland)

August 2018 We arrived in Opatow in early evening and I took my bags upstairs to my hotel room, which directly overlooked the city gate. The next day as we looked around, I thought of the many Torontonians whose parents and grandparents had left the town before the war, and the many more Jews from “Apt” (at least 7,000) who perished…

My return to Konin (Poland)

August 2018 The moment I stepped out of the car, I realized that this was the first time a member of my family had been back in our ancestral town in more than 130 years. I was in Konin, in the Lodz district of Poland, the town where my paternal ancestors had lived for generations…

M.J. Nurenberger founded the CJN

Although his name may be little known even within the Canadian Jewish community, Meyer Joshua Nurenberger was an internationally-known Jewish writer and publisher who founded the Canadian Jewish News. During a journalistic career that stretched from the 1930s into the 1990s, Nurenberger interviewed Albert Einstein, covered the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, and was editor of…

A Second Look at Harari’s ‘Sapiens’ (2018)

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has proven to be one of the most thought-provoking non-fiction books published in recent years. It’s such a stimulating book that I reread it recently. Originally written in Hebrew, the English-language version of Sapiens appeared in 2014 and quickly became a publishing sensation. Having dominated the…

Rhea Clyman chronicled Soviet famine

Rhea Clyman, an accomplished journalist born to a Jewish family in Toronto in 1904, wrote many front-page newspaper stories in the late 1920s and 1930s about political events and their tragic human consequences in Russia, Ukaine and Germany, but died in near-obscurity in New York in 1981. Clyman wrote rare and chilling eyewitness accounts of…

Mary Berg and the Warsaw Ghetto

Four years ago, a Pennsylvanian antiques collector purchased a trove of old scrapbooks and photo albums at an estate sale in the town of Red Lion, Pa. The cache, which included hundreds of photographs including some taken in the Warsaw Ghetto between 1940 and 1943, cost only $10. Discovering that the material was related to…