Ellin speaks at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Saturday May 9, 2020 about V-E Day in WWII

As the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, author and journalist Ellin Bessner brings her new book “Double Threat” to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. As Hamilton and indeed, the world marked the end of the fighting, hundreds of Canadian airmen and soldiers were still hard at work overseas with a new humanitarian mission: rescuing the survivors of the Holocaust,  including in Germany at the site of the notorious Nazi death camp Bergen-Belsen.

Continue Reading →

Ellin speaks to Rose Reisman’s monthly lecture series ‘Rosebuds’ in Toronto, on Monday Nov. 18, 2019

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 front lines, overseas.

Continue Reading →

One of last remaining Canadian Jewish women WWll army veterans has died

Esther Thorley’s brother Meyer Bubis, who was eleven years older than her, had enlisted in the Toronto-based Royal Regiment of Canada on Sept. 7, 1939, mere days after Hitler’s Nazi forces had invaded Poland to start WWll.  Bubis would eventually be part of the ill-fated Allied raid on Dieppe, France in August 1942. After he was killed, Thorley waited for her eighteenth birthday in June 1943, and enlisted. She was one of only 270 Canadian Jewish women to wear a uniform for Canada in WWll. Thorley, an Ajax, Ontario resident, died suddenly on Feb. 13, 2018.

Continue Reading →

Ellin speaks at “Ignite: Chanuka Adult Jewish Learning Night at the Prosserman JCC in Toronto

Ignite: Chanukah Adult Learning Night. Light Up Your Mind! 
Join us for a special adult learning event on the 4th night of Chanukah!
When? Saturday, December 16, 6:30 – 10:00 Where? Prosserman JCC


Registration opens at 6:30

7:00 Candle Lighting

Special Candle lighting ceremony with Song Shul’s Cantor Simon Spiro and the Toronto Festival Singers! Chanukah refreshments provided. 
Choose two from the featured sessions:

7:30 – 8:30 Session 1
Rabbi Howard Morrison “Not the famous story from Hebrew School – The real story of Chanukah and its lessons for today”

Ruthie Ladovsky “United Bakers: the story behind Toronto’s beloved oldest Jewish restaurant”

Ellin Bessner “Fighting Amalek: the 17,000 Canadian Jews who fought Hitler in WWll”*sponsored by OJA*

Batik workshop: discover the art of fabric dye using wax and special dyes

Ceramics workshop: make your own Chanukah Judaica! 


Continue Reading →