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Still Remembering: November 11, 2022 

In this November edition of my "Double Threat" newsletter, we are paying tribute to Jewish Canadians who served our country during wartime, and also to those who didn't come back — plus you'll hear from those who continue to teach us to remember.

She Also Serves

A Toronto artist Alysa Engel created a special print to pay tribute to my great-Aunt, Cpl. Celia "Daisy" Lazare Friedberg, who served as a Jewish member of the CWACs during the Second World War.

Her stunning, limited-edition print was done as part of an art installation for the "She Also Serves" project. which was on display at The Military Museums in Calgary.

I was honoured to help Engel showcase our courageous Aunty Daisy, one of the first group of women trained as Military Police officers: she could do jiu-jitsu and was posted on security duty at the Ottawa train station.

Read more about Daisy. The prints are also available for purchase directly from the artist.


Why a stranger gave me Fl./Sgt. Joseph Rabiner's Jewish book and mezuzah

I believe in fate. 

Especially when it comes to telling the stories of the 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith who served our country in the Second World War.

I feel fate has been at work on this mission since 2011, when I first stepped foot in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Normandy. There, something drew me to the grave of Bdr. George Meltz of Toronto.

Fast forward to today: nearly a dozen years later with a book "Double Threat" published by U of T Press to tell their stories, a lecture tour around the world, and this newsletter. Plus, I am still working with Jewish veterans and their families and others to honour the commitments and sacrifices of Canada's Jewish was heroes.

I am sure fate was at work again in this next story. It is a story that has been waiting to be told since before the pandemic began — perhaps since 1945.

And now, it's here, thanks to a surreal personal connection to my own family from Quebec, plus the persistence of John Chisling to honour the memory of Fl. Sgt. Joseph Rabiner. Click on the image to read, or click the button below.

Read Joseph Rabiner's story here/see his prayer book and mezuzah live

Why Sgt. Harry Bochner's grave in Holten, the Netherlands now has a bit of Jerusalem and Toronto on it (these brothers put it there to honour him).


Jonathan and Elliott Shiff set out to walk in the footsteps of their grandmother's baby brother, Harry, from Guelph, Ontario, who was one of the last casualties of the Second World War. 

In memoriam:

George Nashen
Alex Polowin
Morris Polansky
Norman Cash
Nathan Isaacs 


  • Sunday Nov. 13, Jewish Canadian Remembrance Day Service: Toronto. 11 a.m. Cenotaph @ Mount Sinai Memorial Park, 986 Wilson Avenue. By the Yids on Wheels and the Riders of the Covenant motorcycle clubs.
  • Sunday Nov. 13: Ellin interviews Canadian-born author Deborah Levison, live, about her new book Nest of Snakes and about Levison's debut Holocaust true-crime thriller The Crate. Beit Rayim Synagogue, Vaughan, Ontario. 12 noon. Registration is required.
  • Tuesday Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. Ellin speaks to the Port Perry Probus Club.
If you missed it, watch B'nai Brith's 2022 Remembrance Day commemoration here on YouTube.
Copyright © 2022 Ellin Bessner, All rights reserved.

Ellin Bessner · 951 Carlaw Avenue · Suite 149b · Toronto, Ontario, Ontario M4K3M2 · Canada

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