Your daily spiel for Thursday, April 7

Kevin Costner in 'Criminal' YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT
Kevin Costner in 'Criminal' YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Your Daily Spiel is The CJN‘s daily roundup of trending stories in the Jewish world


Premier Kathleen Wynne detailed her upcoming inaugural mission to Israel and the West Bank this week, which will focus on developing Canada and Israel’s mutual areas in high-tech, life sciences and information technology.

Anti-Semitism in Laval SCREENSHOT
Anti-Semitic graffiti spraypainted in Laval SCREENSHOT

Following a wave of anti-Semitic graffiti in the Quebec city of Laval (at least 13 locations were hit with swastikas, and other such symbols), B’nai Brith Canada is urging police to investigate it as a hate crime. Thus far, police are reportedly operating on the theory that a minor or minors are responsible for the graffiti.


The Anti-Defamation League has called out presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders for his incorrect statement regarding the Palestinian death toll in the 2014 Gaza war. “Even the highest number of casualties claimed by Palestinian sources that include Hamas members engaged in attacking Israel is five times less than the number cited by Bernie Sanders,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

A 92-year-old Holocaust survivor in Florida hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) this week, admitting he had no prior knowledge of the popular online platform. “Most people are never happy and complain too much. It’s too hot out, it’s too cold out. Life is beautiful, no need to complain so much,” Henry Flescher wrote.

Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a lecture by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at San Francisco State University yesterday, chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and other slogans. “Whoever thinks that calls to violence and wild incitement will succeed in silencing us or deflecting us from our positions is seriously mistaken,” said Barkat.


Israeli doctors and security forces have united to save the life of a five-year-old Syrian girl who arrived in Haifa weeks ago after suffering wounds she sustained during a firefight between rival militias. However, after doctors were able to heal her, they learned she was also suffering from cancer. A search for a bone marrow donor is underway.

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has asked Russian president Vladimir Putin to use his country’s military presence in Syria to discover and bring back the remains of famous spy Eli Cohen to Israel for a proper burial. Putin apparently promised to look into the matter.


Vicky Escobar, left, and Romi Charur will be married at a synagogue in Argentina FACEBOOK PHOTO
Vicky Escobar, left, and Romi Charur will be married at a synagogue in Argentina FACEBOOK PHOTO

The first-ever same-sex Jewish marriage to be held at a Latin America synagogue has been approved, and will take place soon, according to reports. The approval “is another major step in the full recognition of all religious rights for all members of the community,” said a spokesperson for both the synagogue and the Jewish community centre organizing the event.

Muslim mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, of the U.K. Labour party, has criticized his party’s failure to address its alleged anti-Semitism problem. Khan, who is running against Jewish Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn needs to be “trained about what anti-Semitism is.”

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, a fugitive in Israel over suspicions of sexual assault, was finally arrested in South Africa, where he was hiding out, on Thursday. Israel is soon expected to request his extradition.


A new drug developed by Israeli researchers has made Alzheimer’s symptoms completely disappear in mice, on whom they were conducting clinical trials. While the doctors are optimistic, Ha’aretz notes that some 99 per cent of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s research result in failure.

NASA is collaborating with Israeli artist Eyal Gever to develop the first-ever art sculpture in space. The sculpture, which represents human laughter, will be sent as a digital image to a special 3D printer that can (somehow) work in zero-gravity environments.

Eyal Gever's digital representation of human laughter
Eyal Gever’s digital representation of human laughter


I’ll admit that there’s a fair share of stories that cover Drake news, but none as interesting as the recent helicopter fiasco where an amateur photographer says he was “bullied” by the Canadian-Jewish rapper to delete a few photos he took. The Toronto Star has more on the story.

Barry Manilow announced on his Facebook page that he’ll be bringing the Copacabana to Israel this summer. Manilow joins Wiz Khalifa, Tame Impala, Die Antwoord, and several other musicians performing in 2016.

A daugher of a Holocaust survivor spotted her teenage mother in a YouTube trailer for a documentary that aims to track down survivors. The doc, titled Every Face Has A Name, will see its Canadian premiere at the closing of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on May 15.

Kevin Costner is currently in Israel for the screening of his new film Criminal, which also stars Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot. Gadot isn’t the only Israeli involved though: the film’s director is Ariel Vromen and its producer is Avi Lerner.

“This time I’m here [in Israel] to support Ariel [Vromen]….This is his country, his parents are here, and I’m very proud of him. He’s a young man who is truly doing well,” Costner said. Asked about if he was pressured by anti-Israel activists he said, “I don’t ask anyone’s permission to travel. I’ve received lots of love here. I wouldn’t have missed that.”

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