Monday, 25 June 2012

Teaching Bullies to Care

By Avi Benlolo in the Huffington Post
Bravo to Torontonian Max Sidorov for standing up to the bus bullies of Greece, New York and for not being a bystander, despite the distance and the ease of looking the other way. As has been widely reported in the past 24 hours, 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein suffered a malicious verbal attack by a group of grade seven students on a school bus, experiencing the sort of fear and shame that many of us have gone through at some point in our lives. Because of Sidorov, the response to her victimization has been overwhelmingly compassionate.
Although Sidorov was simply hoping to raise a few thousand dollars to send Klein on a special vacation following her ordeal, his campaign raised more than $500,000 (and counting) in just two days, exceeding all expectations and demonstrating that people are profoundly tired of the intolerance and disrespect so prevalent in society today. There seems to be an increasing level of contempt for older adults and much of that is due to the breakdown of values and lack of education about compassion, caring, empathy and simple respect for one another.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mess with Israel and You're Messing With Canada

By Avi Benlolo in the Huffington Post

Peter MacKay does Canada proud
In a chaotic world where conflict and war is increasing, it is vital that allies who share the same values and belief systems stand shoulder to shoulder in mutual support. Nations rely on this system of friendship, an ideal which is often lost in the realpolitik of everyday governance.
Wednesday's revelation of Peter MacKay's supportfor the state of Israel demonstrates the strength of this principle of friendship among nations. His statement to Israel's top military commander that a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada was a powerful declaration to a friend -- and to the world -- that Canada can be counted on.
Critics of Canada's policy to stand by Israel may have lost sight of the meaning of friendship.
On a micro-level friends are people who support one another, have each other's back, care about one another and stand together in good times and in bad. Mackay is therefore doing exactly what is expected of a friend, particularly in the case of another western democracy that shares the same ideals and values as Canada.

Monday, 18 June 2012


Toronto's first ever celebration of 2,000 years of Jewish life in Morocco, sponsored in part by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), included a rare opportunity for FSWC Board Members to meet with Andre Azoulay,
Avi, Azoulay & Munk - 6.11.12
Avi Benlolo, Andre Azoulay & Anthony Munk, Managing Director, Onex
Senior Advisor to His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco - one of the only (if not THE only) Jews to hold such a position in the Muslim world.

The intimate luncheon, held at the office of FSWC Chair Gerry Schwartz, included a wide-ranging discussion by Mr. Azoulay focused mainly on the prospects for peace in the Middle East, and on the long and mainly positive history of the Jewish community in Morocco.

In describing why Moroccan Jews continue to regard Moroccan royalty with such esteem, Mr. Azoulay explained how His Majesty Mohammed V protected the Jewish community from the Nazis during WWII. "I don't have Jews or Muslims- I just have citizens," the king is said to have told the Vichy government, adding that his own family would be the first to wear the yellow star of David should the Jews be forced to do so.

"It was a unique gesture and we still are so proud of it," Mr. Azoulay explained.
Azoulay Luncheon - Boudra & Salomons
Felicia & Gloria Salomon with Elmedhi Boudra
As part of the week-long festivities FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo had the honour of introducing Mr. Azoulay at a Gala Tribute Dinner, and of thanking Mr. Elmehdi Boudra, a Muslim member of Mr. Azoulay's Moroccan delegation who is working to further Muslim-Jewish relations and Holocaust education in Morocco, to a Youth Conference.

"This wonderful week not only achieved the goal of bringing together the 18,000 members of the city's Moroccan community in a fantastic celebration of its distinctive culture and history, but also succeeded in highlighting the obvious: that peace between Jews and Muslims is possible and achievable," Mr. Benlolo stated.

CLICK HERE to see Andre Azoulay discussing His Majesty Mohammed V's support for Moroccan Jews

Friday, 1 June 2012

2012 Spirit of Hope YouTube Video Just released - CHECK IT OUT!

The amazing images of the incredible 2012 Spirit of Hope event captured in a short YouTube video. Take a look!

                                                                      CLICK HERE to view