Canada’s Green Party president quits after defending Israel


The president of Canada’s Green Party resigned his post a week after expressing pro-Israel views.
 
Paul Estrin stirred controversy last week when he posted a blog entry defending Israel on the party’s website. On Tuesday night, Estrin announced his resignation after the party leader, Elizabeth May, said his position was contrary to the Green Party’s position.
 
“I never intended to create confusion or have any of my actions negatively impact the party,” Estrin said wrote on the party website. “Therefore, I tender my resignation, effective immediately.”
 
According to a report  in the Times of Israel, Estrin said that at an Aug. 5 meeting called to deal with the matter, the party’s board asked him to resign and made it clear he would be fired if he refused. On Tuesday, Julian Morelli, the party’s communications director,  rejected suggestions that Estrin was forced to resign because of his pro-Israel views.
 
“He resigned because of the confusion caused,” Morelli said, according to the National Post.
 
In his post, entitled “Why Gaza makes me sad,” Estrin Palestinians in Gaza were made to be like “sheep to the slaughter.” The post has since been removed from the party website.
 
“Gazan officials tell their people to be killed while they hide in bomb shelters,” Estrin wrote. “This is worse than cowardice. It is vile and ugly and they should be put to shame. Instead, it is Israel who is put to shame.”
 
Writing on Twitter, May said she was unaware of Estrin’s views, which “are contrary to Green Party of Canada position. We support peace. We condemn violence.”
 
Last Friday, Estrin posted another statement on the party website. “Some have mistaken my personal views to be the perspective of the Party and our Leader. Neither is true. I apologize for not including a disclaimer to make it clear that the views expressed are my own and not the official position of the Green Party of Canada.”

Bloomberg declares May Birthright Israel month in N.Y.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared May Birthright Israel month.

Bloomberg will issue a formal proclamation at an event Wednesday evening in New York City set to be attended by more than 1,000 alumni of the free Israel trip for Jews aged 18 to 26.

The Taglit-Birthright Israel organization said May will feature events in cities across North America for trip alumni, special Birthright Shabbat celebrations at more than 100 synagogues, visits to communities by Israeli soldiers who participated in Birthright Israel trips and special donor functions.

The organization this month plans to publicize its goal of increasing participation from 30,000 a year to 51,000 a year by 2013, or one of every two young Jewish adults.

In January, the government of Israel announced that it would contribute $100 million to Taglit-Birthright Israel over the next three years. Birthright also plans to increase its fundraising this year by $10 million to $58.6 million, and then add another $20 million next year in order reach its participant goal for 2013.

Tribe Calendar: May 2011-June 2011


SUNDAY, MAY 1

UNITED BLOOD SERVICE BLOOD DRIVE
The community is invited to do a mitzvah, either by donating blood or holding the hand of someone who is. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call (805) 497-6891. Temple Etz Chaim, 1080 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. ” title=”mountsinaiparks.org” target=”_blank”>mountsinaiparks.org.

“THE FIRST MASSIVE JEWISH DEPORTATION: TO CAMP DE GURS IN 1940”
Werner Frank, a founding member of the JewishGen’s German Special Interest Group, recounts the story of this little-known tragedy. 1:30 p.m. Free. Co-sponsored by Temple Adat Elohim and the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. (818) 889-6616. ” title=”history.ucsb.edu” target=”_blank”>history.ucsb.edu.


FRIDAY, MAY 6

JCA FAMILY CAMP
Enjoy Shabbat, Havdalah, gourmet kosher food, yoga, arts and crafts, song sessions and more with your family in Malibu Canyon. Through May 8. $170-$205 (adults), $130 (children, 4 and older), free (children, 3 and younger). Camp JCA Shalom, Shalom Institute, 34342 Mulholland Highway, Malibu. RSVP to (818) 889-5500. ” title=”bigsunday.org” target=”_blank”>bigsunday.org.


SUNDAY, MAY 15

SANTA BARBARA JEWISH FESTIVAL

” title=”sbjf.org” target=”_blank”>sbjf.org.

A lack of funding has forced organizers to cancel this year’s Israel Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park.

SANTA CLARITA JEWISH FOOD AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Come hungry to the third annual festival that celebrates the best of Jewish food trucks from around Los Angeles and the Santa Clarita Valley, including Takosher, Canter’s, Yalla Falafel, Sweet E’s Bakery and more. Then stick around for Israeli dancing, a Mitzvah Alley, Mad Dog Gaming truck, face painting, bouncer and more. Sponsored by Temple Beth Ami. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 (door), free (children, 12 and younger). College of the Canyons, Lot 7, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. (805) 964-5577. ” title=”templeetzchaim.org” target=”_blank”>templeetzchaim.org.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 18

UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Psychiatrist Lance Steinberg will address the benefits and risks associated with medication for children with special needs. Sponsored by HaMercaz. 7 p.m. $10 (per person), $15 (for two). Milken JCC, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (866) 287-8030. ” title=”valleyperformingartscenter.org” target=”_blank”>valleyperformingartscenter.org.

CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Have a “berry” nice time with celebrity cooking demonstrations, musical performances, a Herzog-sponsored wine pavilion, food and art contests, arts and crafts booths, Strawberryland for Kids, special appearances and more. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. $12 (general), $8 (seniors, 62 and older), $5 (children, 5-12) free (children, 4 and younger). Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard. (888) 288-9242. ” title=”skirball.org” target=”_blank”>skirball.org.

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