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November 2018

Ellin delivers Nov. 11 Remembrance Day address at Tarbut: Winnipeg Jewish Book Fair

November 11, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST
Rady Jewish Community Centre, 123 Doncaster Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3N2B3 Canada
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Grave of Samuel Jacob Donen, Ghana. Brother of Norman Donen, Winnipeg. (Photo courtesy Maylene Ludwig) Winnipeg's tiny wartime Jewish community played a major role in why Canada helped defeat Hitler in WWII. Despite the small size of the Jewish population, and widespread antisemitism they faced in academic, political and business circles, Jewish men and women from Winnipeg flocked to the recruiting centres when the war broke out in September 1939. Many prominent families sent their sons, daughters and husbands to…

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Ellin brings “Double Threat” to the Port Hope Public Library on Queen Street on Monday Nov. 12 @ 7 p.m.

November 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Port Hope Public Library, 31 Queen Street
Port Hope, Ontario L1A 2Y8 Canada
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Did you know that the late Port Hope literary icon, Farley Mowat had shrapnel plucked out of his behind by a brave Canadian Jewish army doctor in Italy in WWII?  Captain Charles Krakauer of Toronto so impressed Mowat, then a lieutenant with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment during the Italian campaign in WWII in 1943, (spoiler alert) that Mowat later wrote about him in his famous book "And No Birds Sang"? This is just one of the stories in…

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Ellin brings ‘Double Threat’ to the East York Rotary Club monthly meeting Nov. 15, 2018

November 15, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 8:30 am EST
Watt’s Restaurant, 30 Eglinton Square
Toronto, Ontario M1L2K1 Canada
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Join Ellin at the East York Rotary's breakfast club, held at Watt's Restaurant, in Toronto. During this Remembrance month, hear how Canada's 17,000 Jewish soldiers served during WWII, including some from East York. Despite widespread anti Semitism and real personal danger should they be captured and their faith discovered, these brave Jewish troops also managed to find ways to follow their religious and dietary beliefs during the global conflict to defeat Hitler.

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Ellin speaks for Remembrance Week at Bathurst Clark Library in Vaughan Nov. 18

November 18, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST
Bathurst Clark Resource Centre, 900 Clark Avenue West
Thornhill, Ontario L4J 8C1
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How Canada's Jewish community honours those 17,000 Canadian Jewish men and women who served in WWII and also those 450, who didn't come back. On this Remembrance Week, hear the stories in Ellin's new book "Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and WWII" at the Bathurst Clark Resource Centre in Thornhill. Special guest: Howard Isenberg, son of Flying Officer Mel Isenberg, DFC. WWII veteran and medal winner. Isenberg is on the right inspecting a bomb load. (Courtesy 434 Squadron).

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Jewish Canadian WWII military veterans and PTSD: Ellin speaks at the Survivor Series for the Military Family Resource Centre in Toronto

November 19, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Military Family Resource Centre, 5 Yukon Lane
Toronto, Ontario M3K0A1 Canada
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(Courtesy Thomas Markowitz) During Remembrance Month, much attention gets paid to the veterans of Canada's military, and their service to the country. There are marches, wreath laying at cenotaphs, and solemn ceremonies, among other commemorative events. However, what often isn't discussed is how the veterans spend the rest of the year out of the spotlight, dealing with the fallout from what they lived through while in uniform. Author and journalist Ellin Bessner has recently published a new book "Double Threat"…

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How Canada’s Jewish Women in Uniform helped defeat Hitler and win WWII: Ellin speaks to the NCJW International Branch in Toronto Nov 20, 2018

November 20, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
Woman in uniform

Esther Thorley, shown here in her Canadian Women's Army Corps uniform. (Ellin Bessner photo)   Although the Second World War was a man's war, and 17,000 Canadian Jewish men served, a tiny but important group of 270 Canadian Jewish women dared to overcome their family and community's disapproval, the lower pay, and sexual harassment, and joined the Canadian forces after 1941. (That is when the government allowed women to enlist). They served in many jobs at home and behind the…

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December 2018

Ellin brings ‘Double Threat’ to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax May 1, 2019

December 5, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EST

Just a few days before V-E Day, on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe in 1945, Canadian journalist and author Ellin Bessner shares the stories of the 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith who served in the Canadian military in WWII, helped defeat Hitler, and rescued the survivors of the Holocaust. They served at great personal risk, should their identities be discovered by the Nazis, and they had to overcome widespread antisemitism at home, in…

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Ellin brings ‘Double Threat’ to Adath Israel Lunch and Learn in Toronto Dec. 13

December 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm EST
Adath Israel Congregation, 37 Southbourne Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M3H1A4 Canada
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Jewish soldier and baby

Not only were they fighting for King and Country, but they were also fighting as Jews to liberate their European relatives from Hitler’s Final Solution. Hear how they kept their faith in the barracks and on the battlefield and how they dealt with anti-Semitism at home and abroad.

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January 2019

How Jewish jewellers in uniform helped defeat Hitler and win WWII: an interactive lecture for the Canadian Jewellers 24K Club

January 15 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm EST
Albany Club, 91 King Street East
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How Jewish jewellers in uniform helped defeat Hitler and win WWII: an interactive lecture for the Canadian 24K Club.

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Ellin and Holocaust Survivor Max Eisen speak at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto

January 15 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Canadian Forces College Armour Heights Officers Mess, 215 Yonge Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario M5M3H9 Canada

On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day,  author and journalist Ellin Bessner will bring the story of the Canadian Jewish military personnel who fought for Canada in WWII, helped defeat Hitler and, rescued the survivors of the Holocaust. These 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith were serving not only for King and Country, but also on a sacred mission to try to stop the Holocaust and save the Jewish people of Europe. Sadly, they arrived too late, for the most…

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