$10,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest of beating suspect

As more information about the beating of a Chassidic man is released, an anonymous donor has come forward offering $10,000 to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of a suspect. Continue reading $10,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest of beating suspect

Nothing to suggest attack on Chassidic Jew racially motivated, say community leaders

Following a horrific attack that sent a Chassidic man to the hospital after being beaten, choked and doused with gasoline, community leaders are notifying the community that the attack did not appear to be racially motivated and the police are treating it as criminal in nature.

““Last night, a member of Montreal’s Chassidic Jewish community was severely beaten in the Cote des Neiges district; as of Friday morning, the attacker was still at large,” wrote the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “Montreal police are treating the incident with the utmost seriousness, and are investigating all possible motives for the attack.  However, we stress that at this time there is nothing to suggest that this was a hate crime, and no conclusions should be drawn until the police investigation is complete. CIJA’s Director of Community Security, Adam Cohen, is in close communication with senior police officials. CIJA will advise the community of any significant developments.”

Rabbi Reuven Poupko told CBC News that he was informed by police that the attack did not appear to be a hate crime, yet it was “criminal in nature.”

Constable Andre Leclerc told CTV News that there is nothing yet that indicates that the victim was attacked because of his religion. “We did not conclude, we did not confirm the reason of this crime, if it’s a hate crime or not,” he said. “We’re going to wait for the work done by the investigators.”

The suspect is described as a man in his twenties wearing light coloured clothing. After beating, choking (for over a minute) and dousing the victim with gasoline, he was chased off and ran west along Van Horne. Police investigators searched the surrounding area for the bottle from which the gasoline had been poured, used sniffer dogs to try and locate the attacker, but were unsuccessful.

Constable Leclerc said that the victim was conscious when police arrived but his condition worsened in the hospital and he was sedated. Chaverim Shomrim reported that the victim was taken off the respirator Friday morning and has no broken bones. Nonetheless, they urged the community to continue praying and saying Tehillim (Psalms) for Shlomo Zalmen Ben Sheva.

By Zvi Hershcovich

Montrealers gear up to Bike 4 Chai

Avi Iczkovits and I first spoke in August 2013, days after he completed his first Bike 4 Chai: the two day, 180 mile ride that raises money for the children of Chai Lifeline and for their special summer camp, dubbed Camp Simcha.

As Chai Lifeline was beginning to make their mark in Montreal at the time, the camp was also relatively unknown. Their mission is simple: bring children back to a point in their lives before they were diagnosed with their life-threatening conditions. Offering children the best of camp activities, from sports, to arts and crafts as well as swimming, boating and special events, the children, all of whom are in the midst of treatment or post-treatment, are immersed in an environment where they can simply be kids.

While Bike 4 Chai and Camp Simcha were both compelling stories on their own, the dedication of Avi and his fellow riders Morty Stern and Arie Rangott took the story to a whole other level.

As the only Montrealers participating at the time, they were not willing to compromise on any part of their journey. As such, the three riders upped the ante and pedalled a total of 500 miles from Montreal, 300 miles of which were on their own, before meeting up with their fellow Bike 4 Chai riders. Together, the group rode through New York State and Connecticut and into the camp, located in Glen Spey, New York.

Two years later, the three left on Sunday to once again hit the road. Leading the charge with them this time is Warren Roll, a first time rider who set a personal goal of raising $100,000. The Donald Berman Chai Lifeline holds a special place for Warren and his family, as the organization was by their side throughout his daughter Jayden’s battle with cancer.

“Chai Lifeline is dear to our family,” said Warren. “They provide unparalleled support to kids going through life threatening illnesses. When Jayden got sick with cancer in 2013, Chai Lifeline supported us from the week she was admitted and still to this day.”

Jayden’s diagnosis and subsequent search for a bone marrow donor in 2013 went viral throughout Montreal as the community rallied to save her life. After a successful treatment, she is 21 months in remission and will be just one of the faces Warren sees as he rides into Camp Simcha next week.

“This is a big physical challenge for me as I just started biking recently, but still, it’s a small feat compared to my daughter Jayden’s cancer battle and what others are faced with as they fight too,” added Warren. “We are doing this to help other kids and families get the support, services and special needs, and let them go to camp so they can still be kids and have fun like Jayden did while they’re faced with terrible life threatening diseases.”

Overall, the Montreal contingent of participating riders has ballooned to a team of 10 riders. More importantly though, they have succeeded in raising well over $200,000 for the cause.

“As our organization continues to grow, so has our budget due to the growing needs of our existing families as we well as the 16 additional new families this past year that are now sadly receiving our services,” said Avi. “Three years ago, my wife and I pioneered the formation of what is now the Donald Berman Chai lifeline Montreal chapter. We have 68 families that have become part of our extended family: that is 68 sick children.”

The group of 4 riders from Montreal will meet up on Tuesday with the 400 other riders from North America, collectively raising over $5 million in order to provide 420 children with the summer of a lifetime.

“I cannot say enough about all of our riders from Montreal and how fortunate we are,” said Stu Guttman, Director of the Donald Berman Chai Lifeline Montreal chapter. “These are people who are truly riding for our Kids. They put in such a tremendous amount of time and effort into this endeavour and their reward is waiting for them at the world’s greatest finish line at Camp, where hundreds of elated children are waiting for them to celebrate and show their appreciation as only Camp Simcha can.”

“Whilst I pedal kilometre after kilometre, and climb meter after meter, I will be thinking of Raphael and Laura, Jake and Moishe, Avi and Jayden, Rebecca and Jake and Hillel and Sarah. They are the true warriors!” added Avi. “Camp Simcha gives them a two week window to be normal kids again and to forget the pain and suffering that has become their everyday lives. To replace the needles with a paintbrush and the chemo with a pie in the face, to restore their spirit and their determination to kick cancers butt!”

There is still time to support our Montreal Riders by going to: http://www.chailifeline.org/events/Bike4Chai/

To learn more about how you can get involved in the Donald Berman Chai Lifeline, please send Stu Guttman a message Sguttman@chailifeline.org or visit https://www.chailifelinecanada.org.

By Daniel Smajovits

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Around the city: 2 August, 2015

Here’s a list of activities for Jewish families to do in and around Montreal, courtesy of bill613.com. Feel free to add to the list by commenting below.

Montreal Highland games: These Scottish games are always fun to watch and extremely crowd friendly. This year kids can try out some of the games, plus bouncy castles, face painting, medieval battles, band competitions, lots of cool acts. Here’s an events schedule.

Location: Arthur Therrien Park in Verdun, 3750 Gaetan Laberge Blvd

Time: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM

Cost: Free for children ages 12 and under, $15 at the gate

Laval Nature Centre activities: A large park with lots of open space, several playgrounds, a lake, a very popular farm with many animals inside (horses, cows, ducks, chickens, sheep etc), walking trails and a cool greenhouse full of exotic birds and fish.

Location: 901 du Park Ave in Laval

Time: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

Cost: Free entry to the park but parking costs $7 for the day

Hudson street festival: To celebrate 150 years of Hudson, the city organized a street fair with bouncy castles and lots of fun activities.

Location: Benson Parc in Hudson

Time: 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Cost: FREE!

Archaeological excavations workshop: Kids can partake in a simulated “archaeological excavation” and learn all about it.

Location: Maison Nivard-de-St-Dizier, 7244 LaSalle Blvd in Verdun

Time: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Cost: FREE!

Family weekends at the Museum of Fine Arts: Lots of exciting workshops and fun stuff to do with your kids. Various activities are listed on the site, linked above. Note that you need a pass for all workshops and activities, available free at the Family Lounge in the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière of the Museum

Location: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Sherbrooke St West

Time: Various times. See website for details

Cost: FREE!

Collected by Zvi Hershcovich

When You Get Angry Take A Breath and Count to 10. Throw a punch at 8. No one expects that. Hehehehe

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Seems that baggage handlers, security and wheelchair people are going on strike tomorrow night at 10:00 pm at both La Guardia and JFK airports. These people make $15 per hour and want more more money and other perks. No Blanche, they are not unionized so we are guessing they could all be fired and replaced. They are part of British Airways, United and a few other big airlines.

Whatever happens, check your airline before going there.

Donald Trump looks like a train wreck waiting to happen. Everyday he drops yet another ‘pearl’ of wisdom. Today was very special when he gave out the private cell number of a US Senator (Lindsay Graham) who he obviously doesn’t like. One of the best quotes we read so far? “I love Mexico, and I love the Mexican people. I’ve had thousands of Mexicans working for me. I sell apartments for millions of dollars to people from Mexico. They love me. They love me.”

Now get this: He’s leading in the polls of presidential contenders. Ya know why? One word. People are ‘angry’. They are sick and tired of lying, cheating, ineffectual politicians. Say what you want about Trump, shake your head at his idiotic statements but never say he’s an indecisive leader. And the $10 billion he has doesn’t hurt.

There is no doubt that if the Republican party has not yet put out a hit on him they are thinking about it. In fact, they may call the Clintons who have a history of making people they don’t like disappear. Ok, let’s word that another way. The Clintons have a history of people they know who disappear.

Some people think he will crash and burn. Others are not sure he can sustain his ‘shock and awe’ game for long. Remember – no one thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would ever be Governor of California either.

A&P is filing for bankruptcy. How the mighty fall.

Drones are all the rage these days. A couple of them found their way hovering over the White House. Well today in Connecticut an 18 year-old, together with his genius father, devised a drone with a gun attached that shot live bullets. As opposed to dead ones that are fakes.

Everyone had their shorts in a uproar trying to decide if he was legally allowed to fire a gun on his property. How about getting your shorts in a tizzy over the fact that anyone sitting in their basement in their underwear can create the same drone with a gun and shoot it, oh say in Manhattan. Go try and catch it. We ask you – do Americans just act dumb or are they really that stupid?

Here’s a story to watch. Authorities arrested four people in Israel and Florida for something called a pump and dump scheme.

What’s the definition of a pump and dump scheme? It is a form of stock fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price. Once the operators of the scheme “dump” sell their overvalued shares, the price falls and investors lose their money. Stocks that are the subject of pump and dump schemes are sometimes called “chop stocks”.

While fraudsters in the past relied on cold calls, the Internet now offers a cheaper and easier way of reaching large numbers of potential investors. Nice, eh?

One of the dudes involved had a nice name: Joshua Aaron. He was in Russia this past Sunday (doing some ‘laundry’) with his wife Alona when the arrests took place. Now guess what happened? He didn’t return to Israel where he lives. Ya know why? Because there is no extradition between Russia and the US who are the ones doing the arresting. In Israel they can nab him, not in Russia. Can you guess the rest of the story? Ok we’ll tell you. Watch him hook up with Edward Snowden.

We’ll talk…

By Joannie Tansky

Around the city: 19 July, 2015

Here’s a list of activities for Jewish families to do in and around Montreal, courtesy of bill613.com. Feel free to add to the list by commenting below.

Laval Nature Centre activities: A large park with lots of open space, several playgrounds, a lake, a very popular farm with many animals inside (horses, cows, ducks, chickens, sheep etc), walking trails and a cool greenhouse full of exotic birds and fish.

Location: 901 du Park Ave in Laval

Time: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

Cost: Free entry to the park but parking costs $7 for the day

Jackalope!: An international festival with competitions on skateboarding, wakeskating, motocross, climbing and lots of other cool and fun to watch events.

Location: Esplanade Financiere Sun Life, 2700 Pie IX near the Olympic Stadium

Time: 12:00 PM-11:00 PM

Cost: FREE!

Just for laughs festival: Go to this festival later in the day, as nothing exciting really happens until around 5:00. However, the kids section includes several amusement park rides, shows, fun workshops and a large maze. Here are the shows for July 19th.

Location: Place des Arts area, here’s a complete map

Time: 1:00 PM-10:00 PM

Cost: Lots of free stuff downtown but some shows cost

Family weekends at the Museum of Fine Arts: Lots of exciting workshops and fun stuff to do with your kids. Various activities are listed on the site, linked above. Note that you need a pass for all workshops and activities, available free at the Family Lounge in the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière of the Museum

Location: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Sherbrooke St West

Time: Various times. See website for details

Cost: FREE!

Musical swings at Place des Arts: While walking through Place des Arts, groups of swings are set up. Each time you swing, you create music. If you swing in unison you can create elaborate tunes!

Location: Place des Arts, downtown Montreal

Time: All day

Cost: FREE!

Collected by Zvi Hershcovich

The Blanche report: Here’s What the Greeks Really Want to Say to the World: We Feel Like Putting An ‘Out of Order’ Sticker on our Foreheads

Where does finishing a project ahead of schedule make the front pages of the papers and lead off the news? Why in la belle province of Quebec where such things are of historic proportions and virtually never happen in our lifetime.

Things here are so provincial and so corrupt here that finishing repairs early is an anomaly. Something is very wrong with this picture. We suggest that the office de la langue francais do a serious inspection where those repairs took place and make sure that no English was inadvertently used during the construction. Hey, at least it would keep them busy with something other than harassing people who just want to make a living.

So Muhammad got hold of a rapid fire automatic weapon, woke up this morning and decided to go kill some American Marines in Chattanooga, under the guise of the ‘peaceful’ religion of islam, all of  which he did successfully. We are beginning to think that it’s almost too late for the US to bring in any kind of gun control as there must be so many illegal weapons that anyone can get anything from anyone.

What a coincidence that this takes place on the day that another man, who shot and killed people sitting a watching a movie in a theater was found guilty on all counts of murder.

One thing we are learning from all of this: the grass is not really greener anywhere else. We may have the loser office de la langue francais but at least we still live in a relatively peaceful society, where the gun culture has not yet permeated our society. 

Although we never went to university for an economics degree, we do have some common sense. And here’s what we came up with: Greece will never pay its debt back. They just owe too much money. They will either go bankrupt or just never come up with the money. Yes Blanche, that’s what will happen after all the talks in Vienna, the useless yes or no referendum, the flipping back and forth of their socialist Prime Minister, the closure of the banks etc, zero money and the zero economic growth.

Honestly, does Angela Merkel really think that by forcing the Greeks to jump as high as she says they will change their ways? Their mindsets are polar opposites. It could be that Germany is the one of the only countries in Europe that does not close for the whole month of August. For sure the Italians and Greeks do. And that’s when the Greek people will sit and contemplate life…on the beach…with a nice glass of ouzo…under the umbrella listening to the waves hit the shore.

If have nothing to worry about, Blanche has something for you. Does anyone out there own a weather radio? Ah, you ask yourself, what’s that?

Well, just like smoke detectors detect smoke, weather radios detect weather. It seems that when bad weather is heading your way, an alarm goes off on the radio and wakes you up in the middle of the night. Now for us ‘folks’ in the north, nothing happens to us if we wake up in the morning to a foot of snow. But, if you live say in Oklahoma or anywhere in tornado alley and you go to sleep, chances are if a tornado hits in the middle of the night you’ll wind up with Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, minus the red sparkly shoes.

Transmitting from more than 1,000 antennas across the United States and its territories, each National Weather Service office operates its own radio station that sends out updated weather information on a constant loop, interrupting regular programming when they issue an urgent alert like a severe weather watch or warning.They sell between $25 and $40, most likely online. Blanche, you’re such a public service helper.

Seems disgraced bike rider Lance Armstrong is testing the waters to see if he would be accepted again in the Tour de France circles. He got his answer today. A loud, resounding no. Riders were incensed that he took away the limelight from those who ride honestly and drug-free. Some people need to have their egos deflated.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

By Joannie Tansky