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September 2019

Ellin brings ‘Double Threat’ to the Probus Club of Bradford-West Gwillimbury

September 18 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2490 10th Sideroad
Bradford, Ontario L3Z2A8 Canada
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For the tiny wartime Jewish community of Canada, the Second World War was what the prime minister of the day, Mackenzie King, called a “Double Threat”: he said Hitler was not only dangerous to freedom and democracy, but was a threat to the very survival of the Jewish people as a race.  And for the 17,000 Canadian Jewish soldiers who went to help fight Hitler, the war posed a great personal danger, should the Nazis capture them. York Region resident,…

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Ellin interviews two Jewish WWII heroes at Fort York’s: A City Mobilizes event Friday Sept. 20, 2019

September 20 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
Fort York, 250 Fort York Boulevard
Toronto, ON M5V3K9 Canada
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Toronto high school students are spending the day at Fort York to learn about the start of the Second World War eighty years ago in September 1939. They will get the chance to talk with two living Canadian war heroes, who are both now in their 90s. When the war started, these two veterans were just about the same age as these Toronto public school students, and they had to make the most dangerous decision of their lives: to sign…

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How Canada’s Jewish community mobilized for World War II: Ellin speaks at Fort York, Toronto

September 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
Fort York, 250 Fort York Boulevard
Toronto, ON M5V3K9 Canada
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Although Canada's Jewish community was a tiny minority in 1939 when Canada declared war in 1939, the Jewish community of 168,000 mobilized men, money and even kosher salamis to help fight Hitler. Among the million Canadians who donned a military uniform were nearly 17,000 Canadian men and women of Jewish faith, or about 40 per cent of the eligible population. As part of Fort York's commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War ll, A City Mobilizes, …

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Ellin speaks at Beth David Synagogue in Toronto’s Adult Education Lunch and Learn Sept. 22, 2019

September 22 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm EDT
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Road
Toronto,
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Fresh from her 2019 summer D-Day 75 anniversary trip to France with Canadian Jewish veterans and military officials, author Ellin Bessner brings tales from the beaches of Normandy to Beth David synagogue's Adult Education members (in a joint event with the Brotherhood). Lunch begins 11:30 a.m. and Ellin's lively, interactive talk begins at 12.  

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Ellin brings ‘Double Threat’ to the Probus Club in Whitby, Sept. 25, 2019

September 25 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Westminster United Church, 1850 Rossland Road E
Whitby, Ontario Canada
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The PROBUS Club of Whitby Brooklin meets from 10:00 AM to noon, on the 4th Wednesday of every month (except December), in the auditorium of Westminster United Church, Rossland and Garrard Rds., Whitby. We have a large membership of intelligent, dynamic seniors who love to learn, and approximately 120-160 people attend our monthly meetings. https://www.whitbybrooklinprobus.com/speakers.html

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October 2019

Ellin speaks to Yiddish Vinkl on College Street October 3.

October 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
Free Times Cafe, 320 College Street
Toronto,
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My Uncle Al, an American who lived in Pennsylvania,  never talked much about his service in the Second World War, except to tell his nephews and nieces about the  times when he spoke Yiddish to arrest some Germans and take them prisoner. Toronto's Norman Gulko also used his knowledge of Yiddish on the battlefield: once to try to flush out some Germans from a wooded area, and the second time to scream abuse at a long line of captured German…

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Ellin speaks about ‘Jewish women in the Canadian military in WWII’ to the P.A.L. Group in Toronto

October 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
Earl Bales Community Centre, 4169 Bathurst
Toronto,
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Esther Thorley (nee Bubis) of Toronto enlisted in the Canadian Army in the Second World War after her brother Meyer was killed at Dieppe. Rose Goodman of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia enlisted in the fall of 1941, as soon as Canada allowed women to put on a uniform and serve their country in the RCAF Women's Division. In all, some 270 Canadian Jewish women served during WWII, and although they earned less than the men, had to wear skirts, no…

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Ellin speaks about D-Day75 anniversary at the North York Historical Society Oct. 16, 2019

October 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario Canada
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Fresh back from her voyage to Normandy, France to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Canadian author and journalist Ellin Bessner shares some unforgettable tales of following in the footsteps of the 14,000 Canadian soldiers who stormed the beaches on June 6, 1944. That historic invasion helped turn the tide of the Second World War, and brought it to an end eleven months later. In the process, thousands of Canadian and Allied troops lost their lives, including over 70 Canadians…

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November 2019

Ellin speaks at the Edmonton Holocaust Education Week community commemoration event Nov. 7, 2019

November 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
Beth Shalom Synagogue, 11916 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K0N9 Canada
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Seventy-five years ago, thousands of Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Normandy and began the year long fight to liberate Europe from Hitler's Nazis. Among the volunteers in a Canadian uniform, were 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith including many from Edmonton, who joined their comrades in arms in the trenches, in tanks, aboard planes and on ships.  Among them was Rabbi Jacob Eisen, of Edmonton's historic Beth Shalom Synagogue, who served as an RCAF Squadron Leader overseas as chaplain. Author…

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Ellin speaks to the United Jewish Peoples’ Order about the soldiers from Canada’s Jewish Left who fought against Hitler in WWII

November 8 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Winchevsky Centre, 585 Cranbrooke Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6A2X9 Canada
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Grave of Muni Erlich, high profile Canadian Jewish communist leader from Montreal, killed during WWII in Normandy, in late August, 1944. (Ellin Bessner photo) The Jewish Left in Canada and WWll: From Outlaws Behind Bars to the Front Lines. While Canada's 17,000 Jewish fighters who served in the Second World War faced great personal risk should they be captured by the Nazis and identified as Jewish, a small group from Canada's labour movement and the Left first had to fight…

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