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Canadiens coach hoping to add Maccabiah gold to Stanley Cup, victory over illiteracy

Canadiens coach hoping to add Maccabiah gold to Stanley Cup, victory over illiteracy

JERUSALEM — Of all the compelling stories of athletic achievement and challenges overcome that could be told by the 9,000 participants gathering in Israel for the 19th Maccabiah Games, it might be hard to find one to top Jacques Demers.

He’s a coaching legend, having led the Montreal Canadiens to the National Hockey League championship in 1993. He’s also a member of the Canadian Parliament.

And until about a decade ago, he would have been unable to read the words in this article.

Demers disclosed in his 2005 autobiography that he was functionally illiterate, a result of a traumatic childhood with an alcoholic father who beat him and his mother.

“I suffered from a tremendous amount of anxiety,” Demers told JTA in an interview last week from his home outside Montreal. “When you have that problem, people think you’re dumb and stupid.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:44 )

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How a man named Macabi helps bring 21 new countries to the Maccabiah Games

How a man named Macabi helps bring 21 new countries to the Maccabiah GamesBALTIMORE — The first arrows Roxana and Rafael Gonzalez launch at the upcoming 19th Maccabiah Games will take flight from their fingertips, but also from Jeffrey Sudikoff’s imagination. Roxana, 25, and Rafael, 24, are part of the first Cuban delegation to participate in the Maccabiah, a quadrennial sports competition that dates back to 1932. The siblings arrived July 3 in Israel from their native Cienfuegos to continue their archery training in advance of the games, which open July 18. The...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:44 )

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What ‘World War Z’ says about Israel

What ‘World War Z’ says about IsraelHOLLYWOOD, Fla. — “World War Z” gives us the basics of a summer blockbuster — a star actor (Brad Pitt) and a far-fetched action-packed plot (hero races to stop virus that is turning all of humanity into zombies). So can’t we all just buy some popcorn, suspend our disbelief and enjoy the show? Well, no. The movie features another equally well-known newsmaker, if in this case less publicized: Israel. The zombie plague is spreading like wildfire, and Pitt’s character, Gerry Lane, a f...
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Barocas puts lacrosse on map in Denver, Israel

Barocas puts lacrosse on map in Denver, IsraelDID you know that lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America? Rooted in Native American religion, lacrosse was often played to resolve conflicts, heal the sick and developed strong, virile men. Lacrosse is still referred to as “the Creator’s game.” The first women’s lacrosse game was played in 1890 at the St. Leonard’s School in Scotland. It was not until 1926 that Rosabelle Sinclair established the first women’s lacrosse team in the US at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. Fas...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 June 2013 11:57 )

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‘Jew jokes’ — laughing with or at Jews?

‘Jew jokes’ — laughing with or at Jews?The goal of a comedian is to either make the audience cry or laugh. And everyone knows that a good joke always warms up the crowd. It gets people in a good mood. But what about Jew jokes? Jokes about big noses? Jokes about money? Jokes about the Holocaust? Joan Rivers, Jewish, host of Fashion Police on E!, made a joke about the Holocaust on the show in late February of this year. She said, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens” when describ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 June 2013 12:01 )

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Israeli mosque entrance torched in suspected price tag attack

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Report: Lebanese man admits to targeting Israelis in Thailand

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