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.

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VIDEO: How a Jewish soldier fought for religious freedom in the Canadian Army during WW2

Manny Rubinoff of Toronto served as a sapper after he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army in the Second World War. When he refused to attend Catholic or Protestant church services on his army base in Ontario, he was”paraded” or brought up in front of the colonel to be disciplined. Instead, Rubinoff unbuttoned his uniform, showed the officer the Jewish daily prayer garment known as “Arba Kanfot” that he wore under his clothes, and pulled out his pocket-sized prayer book, handed it to the colonel, and waited. He tells “Double Threat” author and journalist Ellin Bessner what happened next.

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“Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II: Double Threat”. My new book about the 17,000 Jewish Canadians who defeated the Nazis

Double Threat is a journalistic look at the untold stories of the Jewish Canadian men and women who served in uniform during the dark years of the last great war.

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