Your morning spiel for Tuesday, Jan. 12

Scene from 'Schitt's Creek'
Scene from 'Schitt's Creek'

News – Diaspora

Rabbi Lila Kagedan, a Canadian, has been making headlines since she became the first Yeshivat Maharat graduate to refer to herself as rabbi. Shortly after she penned a piece for The CJN on why Orthodox Judaism needs female rabbis, news emerged that she got a job at an Orthodox shul in the U.S. Today, Mount Freedom Jewish Center, in Randolph, New Jersey confirmed it hired Rabbi Kagedan in a historic decision that will hopefully open the door for other female graduates who wish to go by the same title.

A 73-year-old French Jewish politician was found dead this morning, his body riddled with stab wounds. Police believe that Alain Ghozland was murdered in his apartment just outside of Paris. As of this point, they have no leads.

A Uruguayan store is being investigated for selling Nazi-related memorabilia, including a prisoner’s concentration camp uniform.

According to a new book, Dark Money by Jane Mayer, the father of billionaires Charles and David Koch constructed an oil refinery in Nazi Germany with the personal approval of Adolf Hitler. Fred C. Koch, who died in 1967, started an empire that remains one of the largest privately-held companies in the United States.

Following news that a machete-wielding 15-year-old stabbed a French Jew in Marseille, the victim’s lawyer told reporters today that he used his Torah to fend off the attacker. The teen, who was likely radicalized on the Internet, said he attacked the identifiably Jewish man for Daesh (Arabic for “ISIS”).

News – Israel

A Haaretz report claims that Hamas might have just as many operational terror tunnels as it had leading up to the 50-day war against IDF soldiers in the summer of 2014.

Hamas terror tunnel
Hamas terror tunnel

While the IDF is believed to have destroyed most of the infrastructure during the war, the report claims that the terrorist group has rebuilt the tunnels, and is “investing considerable effort and immense amounts of money” into the tunnel project. Because building terror tunnels is so much more important than, you know, building schools or hospitals. But let’s blame Israel for the rubble in Gaza anyways.

In a deal worth millions of dollars, the German Defence Ministry has announced its decision to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. According to reports, the Germans picked the Israeli model over its American competitor.

Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, a lover and defender of Israel, called for an investigation to determine if Israel is guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the recent wave of violence, during which the bulk of Palestinians killed have been terrorists attempting to stab, shoot or injure innocent civilians. Wallstrom, who in the past has accused Israel of “executing” terrorists and likened the Paris terror attacks in November to Palestinian “frustration,” recently defended herself against criticism that she’s anti-Israel and strongly biased toward Palestinians. Good luck with that, Margot.

Milky products
Milky products

ISRAEL21c has unveiled its list of 9 of the best Israeli snacks from Bamba to Milky. If you’ve been to Israel, and chances are you have, this will bring your nostalgia into overdrive.

While No Pants Day is an international phenomenon, taking place on subways across the world, it’s always more interesting when it goes down in communities with a larger religious presence, like Jerusalem. As the capital of a democratic country like Israel (let’s see it happen elsewhere in the Middle East), Sunday’s event went off without a hitch. Check out Haaretz for some awesome photos that perfectly capture the modest-meets-immodest attire that was worn on this particular subway ride.

Four men have been indicted in the beating of an Eritrean migrant mistaken for a terrorist, including an IDF soldier and a prison guard.


“Sababa” has just been introduced into Siri’s vocabulary as Apple’s voice-activated personal assistant now speaks Hebrew. While Hebrew Siri is currently available as a beta version, it will be officially available to the public next month.

In 2015, Israeli high-tech exits amounted to a whopping US$9 billion (nearly $13 billion CAD). There were some 104 exits by Israeli high-tech companies last year.


George Jonas, who emigrated to Canada in 1956 from Hungary, died on Sunday at the age of 80. Jonas, a novelist, TV producer and journalist, penned the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, which inspired Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed film, Munich. May his memory be a blessing.

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s

Jewish co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen, has announced his possible plan for an ice cream flavour modelled after Jewish presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s Yearning would feature a “big disk of chocolate on top, covering the entire top and below it is just plain mint ice cream. The disc of chocolate represents 90 per cent of the wealth that’s gone to the top 10 per cent over the last 10 years.” The way you would eat it, Cohen continued, is by taking “your spoon and you whack that big chocolate disc into little pieces and mix it around,” symbolic of a country where the wealth is equally distributed. I don’t usually mix ice cream with politics, but in this case, I’d be happy to make an exception.

The entire world paid tribute to David Bowie yesterday after the news that he passed away at 69. Here’s some Jewish facts about the icon you may not have heard of before.

A book about an 8-year-old boy living in the Warsaw ghetto, The Book of Aron: A Novel by Jim Shepard, has won the 2016 Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature. Mazels, Jim.

Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek, starring Canadian Jews Eugene Levy and his son Daniel, is kicking off its second season tonight. To learn more, check out our interview with the father-son duo here.


It’s -2 C and pretty much a snow day in Toronto! Enjoy the day off.

Click here for yesterday’s edition of Your Morning Spiel