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What We Can Do About the Growing Canada-Israel Divide

There’s a widening chasm in values between Canada and Israel. Is it irreversible?

Israel’s political map is presently deeply divided – nearly 50/50 split between left and right political perspectives. Yet solid majorities still confess to support the two-state solution, gender equality, religious pluralism, minority rights, freedom of the press, and minority rights. Continue reading

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Tamar Rechnitz, Education Director of Tag Meir

If all of Am Yisrael (the Jewish people) could display the same tolerance and ahavat chinam (causeless love) as Tamar Rechnitz’s family, we’d be a step closer to the Messianic age. 

Tamar, 37, is education director of Tag Meir (Light Tag), a coalition of 48 organizations that immediately responds to racist “Price Tag” actions in Israel. She grew up in an Orthodox, right-wing family in the West Bank town of Efrat, and attended a religious girls’ high school founded by former American Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Two of her brothers, one of whom is a religious court judge, are “on the very conservative end of the right.” But the family remains close, with frequent visits and respectful discussions. Continue reading

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Shmuel Shattach, Director of Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah

Shmuel Shattach was all set to follow in his banker’s family’s footsteps when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Shmuel was nearing the end of his army service as a commander in the paratroopers and it was time to apply to university. 

“The assassination grabbed me and made a switch,” says Shmuel. “I felt I had to go into education and try to make a difference in the religious sector. Continue reading

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Dr. Mushira Aboo Dia, Chair of PHRI

Dr. Mushira Aboo Dia, 40, is an Israeli Palestinian whose Hebrew is better than her Arabic. Five of her of 14 siblings converted to Judaism and six of them served in the IDF. That may sound unusual to you and me, but to Mushira it’s the natural outcome of growing up in Jewish schools and neighbourhoods. She and her siblings lit Chanukah candles, dressed up for Purim and welcomed the Sabbath Queen at school, like all the other kids. Mushira considered serving in the army herself.

“It’s not easy to straddle the fence your whole life, being neither here nor there, knowing that I never really belonged to any group. I can understand their [her siblings’] choice,” Mushira told Haaretz in February. Continue reading

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