Tag Archive for Israel

Ottawa prof wins Yad Vashem prize for Holocaust research

Ottawa history professor Jan Grabowski used the recently accessible records of thousands of wartime trials of Nazi collaborators while researching his book, “Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland,” which earned him the 2014 Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research. Some 40,000 to 50,000 collaborator trials occurred in Poland after…

Review of Fields of Exile, by Nora Gold

Judith, a thirtyish Canadian who has been in Israel for ten years, returns to Toronto because her father is dying, and promises to stay long enough to earn a degree in social work. Enrolled in a fictitious college outside of Toronto, she becomes immersed in the inescapable political culture of modern academia — a simmering…

A visit to Jerusalem Archaeological Park

From Canadian Jewish News, 2002 Below the southwestern corner of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, near the archaeological feature known as Robinson’s Arch, lies a random assortment of massive stone building blocks. Though you might not realize it at first, these blocks help bring history to life. They were once part of a parapet wall along the…

An 1839 travelogue through the Jewish world

In the year 1839, had you been a traveller along the road from Rzeszov to Cracow, you would have been obliged to show a passport in Podgorze, the suburb of Cracow on the Austrian side of the Vistula (“Weichsel”) River. After submitting to a cursory inspection from Austrian officials, your vehicle would have crossed the…

‘The Best Place on Earth’: Israeli-Canadian Writer Ayelet Tsabari

From The Canadian Jewish News, January 2014 Canadian, Israeli-born writer Ayelet Tsabari, whose first book of short stories The Best Place on Earth was recently published by HarperCollins of Toronto, writes with amazing intensity not only about modern Israelis, but also about the small Mizrachi (“Eastern”) Jewish minority in Israel; her grandparents came from Yemen.…

Editorial: Ganging Up on Israel (Tely, 1969)

From The Toronto Telegram, Tuesday December 23, 1969 ◊ Note: this editorial from 45 years ago is notable for several reasons. First, it reminds us that the perennial Western impulse towards “even-handedness” (and being an “honest broker”) is as faulty as the impulse of a parent to treat two sons identically, though one be well-behaved and…

Baron de Hirsch: the ‘Moses of the New World’

Millions of Diaspora Jews owe a huge debt of gratitude to Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the Jewish magnate, banker and philanthropist who built the Orient Express railroad from Vienna to Constantinople, for assisting our Russian ancestors to reach the United States, Canada, Argentina and other hospitable shores. According to his biographer, Samuel J. Lee, Hirsch…

Book reviews: Holocaust memoir & near-future fiction

From the Canadian Jewish News, April 2013 Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler, by Trudi Kanter In a voice as fresh, direct and charming as Sylvia Plath’s, the late writer Trudi Kanter tells the story of her journey through war-torn Europe, seeking safe haven for herself and her beloved Walter, two Austrian Jews hoping to…

How not to cross the Allenby Bridge

From the Canadian Jewish News, 1989 Since the recent declaration of peace between Jordan and Israel, and the opening of the Arava border-crossing point between Eilat and Aqaba, it is now a simple matter for visitors to cross freely between these two spectacular Middle Eastern countries. Until these most welcome innovations, tourists frequently faced considerable…