Articles and Columns

This is a selection of articles and columns that Robert Sarner has written for newspapers and magazines in various countries. Covering a wide gamut of topics, they are presented here chronologically, starting with the most recent.


FROM LATKES TO LAFFAS: THE EVOLUTION OF THE TORONTO DELI
New exhibition showcases 120 years of nosh in display dedicated to the city’s dozens of Jewish eateries of yesterday and today
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2017


IN MONTREAL, LEGACY OF ‘PATRON SAINT’ LEONARD COHEN LOOMS LARGER THAN LIFE
A year after native-son’s death, the city venerates its Jewish icon with concerts, virtual reality exhibits… and a 22-story-high portrait
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Nov. 17, 2017


STAR-STUDDED MONTREAL MEMORIAL CONCERT CELEBRATES LIFE AND WORK OF LEONARD COHEN
PM Trudeau’s wife reminds 17,000-strong hometown event that Canada’s most famous Jew ‘belongs to the world’
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Nov. 7, 2017


ALLEY-OOP TO THE HOLY LAND: 40 YEARS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HOOPSTERS IN ISRAEL
A new book by author David Goldstein explores some of the 800 black Americans who have come to play professional basketball in the Jewish state since the 1970s
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Oct. 8, 2017


TAKE A BITE OUT OF MONTREAL’S RICH HISTORY — AND BURN SOME CALORIES, TOO
Best to come on an empty stomach to Beyond the Bagel walking tour, which opens a window into how vital Jews are to the city’s culinary offerings, past and present
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Sept. 23, 2017


THE NON-JEWISH MEZUZAH MASTER WHOSE CUSTOM CASES ARE AFFIXED TO DOOR POSTS AROUND THE GLOBE 
Far removed from any Jewish community, Ric von Neumann makes some of the world’s most creative scroll holders — in the middle of a remote Canadian wilderness
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, Aug. 25, 2017


MEDIA MOGUL EXERCISES ‘WORLD DOMINATION THROUGH ANIMATION’

Michael Hirsh, children’s TV magnate and son of Holocaust survivors, credits his success to a simple motto: ‘Don’t look down’
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, July 20, 2017


WHEN TASTE IS NOT ENOUGH
Camp Tamakwa’s Margot Perlmutter publishes new book in her quest to make camp food healthier while still pleasing the palate
BY ROBERT SARNER, Detroit Jewish News, July 19, 2017


69 REASONS TO APPLAUD ISRAEL ON ITS 69th BIRTHDAY
What a difference a year makes when it involves Israel doing what it does best
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, May 1, 2017


THE CANADIAN DENTIST WHO BRINGS SMILES TO JAMAICA
Toronto root canal specialist Gary Glassman sets his sights on Israel after demonstrating his strong philanthropic commitment at home and further afield
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, March 30, 2017


CAPTURING ISRAEL ON SCREEN
Igal Hecht’s recent documentary on Israel’s non-Jewish minorities is the latest in his prolific body of work exploring the country’s multi-layered reality
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, February 19, 2017


HOCKEY-DEPRIVED ISRAELI ARTIST MAKES THE SPORT COME ALIVE ON CANADIAN POSTAGE STAMPS
Toronto-based graphic designer Avi Dunkelman plays key role in Canada’s’s major tribute to the legends of the game.
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, January 1, 2017

THE ISRAELI CONTENDER IN TORONTO’S COFFEE WARS SMELLS SWEET SUCCESS
Aroma Espresso Bar is one of the fastest-growing coffee chains in Canada — and another sabra-owned cafe is set to follow suit
BY ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, December 11, 2016

LIFE AS A PROUDLY JEWISH, LESBIAN, RIGHTWING JOURNALISTIC AGITATOR
Pugnacious Toronto reporter and unabashed Zionist Sue-Ann Levy takes no prisoners in her new book.
Times of Israel, Oct. 16, 2016

JEWS DOMINATE FRESH ACCOUNT OF 1930s SHANGHAI
Montreal writer’s new book spotlights strong Jewish connection behind Chinese city’s dramatic bygone era.
Times of Israel, Sept. 17, 2016
A TALE OF TWO CAFES
On the east side of Montreal, two almost neighboring coffee shops, each with its own fiercely loyal customers, exemplify the city at its best
BY ROBERT SARNER, August 20, 2016

WHAT A PLACE
On Israel’s 68th birthday, an unabashed tribute to one of the most disliked and badly misunderstood countries in the world.
(Published in the Jerusalem Post and The Forward) May 10, 2016

FROM DEXTER AND LINWOOD TO ALGONQUIN PARK
As Camp Tamakwa prepares to celebrate its 80th anniversary, it continues to transform the lives of Detroit-area Jewish youth, staying true to the vision of founder Lou Handler.
Detroit Jewish News, February 2015

SOLACE FOR THE URBAN SOUL
An easy weekend escape from Toronto’s concrete jungle for nature-deficient urbanites requires little advance planning or preparation.
The Globe and Mail, Oct. 4, 2013

THE DIFFERENCE OF A MINUTE 40 YEARS LATER
The IOC’s position on the murdered Israeli athletes is a travesty of the values it purports to uphold and consistent with its time-honored hypocrisy.
The Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2012

NIRVANA ON WHEELS
Pedaling through a wilderness paradise on Quebec’s P’tit Train du Nord
The Globe and Mail, May 3, 2012

ALGONQUIN PARK INSTITUTION CELEBRATES MILESTONE IN MICHIGAN
Several generations of Tamakwans mark camp’s 75th anniversary
The National Post, Oct. 23, 2010

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
There’s only one place in the world where Tamakwa’s rich heritage is on view in such a captivating manner
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2009

THE RIGHT TOUCH
In bringing a winning way with people to her work with customers, Bethany Peckham reflects the importance Roots attaches to quality service
The Source, Aug. 2009

WHY ROOTS CARES
True to the core values of the company, Roots launches a new program for employees to benefit the community at large
The Source, June 2009

CAPTURED BY THE VIEW
Reflections on the sense of timelessness at camp
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2008
FULL COURT PRESS
Tamakwans wrestle with pressing matters of justice in new evening program
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2008

LEADING THE WAY
Roots ambassador and world champion kayaker Adam van Koeverden goes for gold next month for Canada at the Summer Olympics in Beijing
The Source, July 2008
BEYOND THE NAME
New study highlights what goes into the making of a top brand, citing Roots as a prime example
The Source, August 2007
THE NATURE OF ROOTS
Roots is greener today than ever but its commitment to the environment dates back decades and is one of the core values of the company
The Source, May 2007
MAKING THE SCENE
Why Roots is the venue of choice for so many special events
The Source, Nov. 2006
A MAN NAMED JEFF
Tamakwa would be a much poorer place without Mr. Personality Plus
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2006
GREAT MOMENTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Roots and the Toronto International Film Festival continue their storied relationship more than 30 years after it first began
The Source, Sept. 8, 2006
THE JOURNEY AND THE DESTINATION
You can’t have one without the other when you want to reach nirvana
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2005
A JUST PURSUIT
Israel should be grateful Irwin Green thinks that at 94 he’s too old to retire
Detroit Jewish News, May 21, 2004
WHEN THE SIRENS WAIL…
They pierce ears and hearts, and can bring Israel to a halt
Canadian Jewish News, April 22, 2004
HIGH ON THE GOLAN
How it feels to be at the top of Israel
Detroit Jewish News, Jan. 30, 2004
THE WISDOM OF SAFTA MARCELLE
In praise of one extraordinary woman who refuses to point a finger
Detroit Jewish News, Dec. 26, 2003
DEALING WITH THE DEAL
The government grapples with a heart-wrenching quandary
Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 27, 2003
BOTH SIDES NOW
Loving and loathing Israel
Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 30, 2003
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION
How do you answer a friend who wants your opinion about whether to come to Israel amid such unsettling news?
Detroit Jewish News, Oct. 26, 2003
THE MAN BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
Less is more when it comes to Tamakwa’s Program Director
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2003
LISTEN UP!
Sounds like Tamakwa which can be a real earful
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2003
WHO WOULD’VE KNOWN?
Behind every object and tradition at camp, there’s a story, some more fortuitous than others
The South Tea Echo, Fall 2003
A DEFINING IMAGE
The plight of those who stand on guard for us
Detroit Jewish News, July 4, 2003
STATE OF DENIAL
Israeli blight, Turkish delight
Canadian Jewish News, June 5, 2003
DEAR MR. MAYOR
A helpful to-do list for the incoming new head of Jerusalem
Detroit Jewish News, May 6, 2003
HOW WORSE IT COULD BE…
If not for the IDF, GSS and the police, the situation would be far more dire
Canadian Jewish News, March 13, 2003
TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION
A rare commodity: Good news from Israel
Detroit Jewish News, April 4, 2003
LOST IN SPACE
Embodying the hopes, dreams and pride of an entire nation, Ilan Ramon’s death in the Columbia shuttle tragedy hit hard
Detroit Jewish News, Feb. 7, 2003
THE ‘P’ FACTOR IN ACTION
Israel’s election campaign takes the scourge of paka-paka to a new level
Detroit Jewish News, Jan. 24, 2003
ARE GAS MASKS PART OF LIFE?
Reflections on going to get my new army-issued civil defense gear
Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 13, 2003
PARENTAL PRIDE, PALESTINIAN STYLE
Glorifying a cult of death and murder, even at the cost of one’s children
Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 12, 2002
PASSING THE PLAQUES
It’s getting harder and harder to avoid them in Jerusalem
Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 17, 2002
IN DESPARATE NEED OF A SOLUTION
We want to believe it can be found, even if the reality seems to argue otherwise
Canadian Jewish News, June 20, 2002
MA NISHMA?
It may be better you didn’t ask
Canadian Jewish News, Feb. 28, 2002
SNOW JOB
It’s amazing what a little bit of white stuff can do to a holy city
Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 31, 2002
BEGGING TO DIFFER
Opinions on an opinionated people
Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 1, 2001
NERVES OF STEEL
In praise of unsung heroes
Canadian Jewish News, Oct. 4, 2001
ON THE DRY SIDE
How bad does the water situation have to become before the government finally takes serious action?
Canadian Jewish News, July 5, 2001
A SAD STATE
The country is depressed, with good reason
Canadian Jewish News, June 7, 2001
UNDER SIEGE
A Jerusalem neighborhood takes cover, especially after the sun sets
Canadian Jewish News, March 15, 2001
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Jerusalemites seek solace in Tel Aviv
Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 18, 2001
THE MEDIUM AND THE MESSAGE
Making sure your political causes and concerns don’t go unnoticed
Canadian Jewish News, Aug. 24, 2000
A ROLL OF THE DICE
Ramah bets that big gamble will pay off handsomely for its future.
Kol Ramah, August 2000
THE END IS NEAR
Ramah hunkers down for one of the toughest challenges of modern life – saying goodbye to camp for another year
Kol Ramah, August 2000
STUCK ON THE RAILS
When will the train finally leave the station?
Canadian Jewish News, June 22, 2000
SPACED OUT
The challenges of living in a tiny country that’s increasingly crowded
Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 2, 1999
ENSLAVED BY POLLS
Public opinion surveys rule the media and the country’s political class
Canadian Jewish News, March 18, 1999
LOOSE TONGUES
Intensity of verbal abuse stirs controversy at start of election campaign
Canadian Jewish News, January 21, 1999
DON’T LOOK AT ME
Lamenting the lack of personal accountability in Israel
Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 17, 1998
EXTRA, EXTRA
Is there too much news for such a small country?
Canadian Jewish News, November 19, 1998
MAKING SENSE OF ISRAELI LIFE
Or at least trying to…
Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, July 17, 1998
LEAVING JERUSALEM BEHIND
The capital’s growing Jewish exodus raises concern over city’s future
Canadian Jewish News, June 25, 1998
AT EVERY TURN
Disconnecting from the issues of the day not so simple in Israel
Canadian Jewish News, April 2, 1998
MIDDLE AGE BIRTHDAY BLUES
The bungling of Israel’s 50th anniversary plans
Canadian Jewish News, March 5, 1998
SOMETHING’S IN THE AIR
There used to be a time when Jerusalemites could breathe easy, assuming their city – unlike Tel Aviv and Haifa – was spared their scourge of air pollution. Not anymore as experts say it’s becoming a growing health hazard for the capital.
The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 19, 1997
TAKING A BEATING
The recent wave of Palestinian terrorism in Jerusalem has caused growing alarm and serious repercussions in the city’s business community.
The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 10, 1997
PRIVATE EYE IN THE PUBLIC SPOTLIGHT
Steve Rambam, the ex-JDL militant who exposed Canada’s Nazis, says his critics try to use his politics to discredit his work
The Jerusalem Report, March 20, 1997
UNDER THE MAPLE LEAF
During World War II, they committed atrocities in Europe. Then they sailed across the ocean, building new lives in North America and putting the past behind them. Now, more than half a century later, a private investigator is determined to expose them
The Jerusalem Post, November 22, 1996
TEL AVIV SETS ITS SIGHTS ON THE BIG LEAGUES
In anticipation of an auspicious future, Israel’s financial capital seeks a larger international role
America Israel Business magazine, Fall 1995
DIVERSIFY OR PERISH
Moving away from their agrarian roots, Israel’s fabled kibbutzes shed socialist principles for capitalist success
America Israel Business magazine, Fall 1995
BEHIND THE SCENES BEHIND THE SUCCESS
An interview with Pierre Bergé, the other half of Yves Saint Laurent, who since day one has been instrumental in creating the formidable YSL empire
Paris Passion, Oct. 1983
REGRETS MAKE YOU OLD
An interview with Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most erudite, creative and outspoken figures in the Paris fashion industry
Paris Passion, Oct. 1983
THE PASSION OF HELMUT NEWTON
An interview with Paris-based Helmut Newton, one of the most celebrated and vilified photographers in the world
Paris Passion, March 1982
FIRST, THE BAD NEWS…
Things are worse than you ever imagined. A year-end roundup for paranoids
Quest magazine, Dec. 1981
PETITS CANDIDATS, GRANDS ATOUTS
Merci à eux, il y avait des d’idées novatrices dans le discours politique pendant la récente campagne électorale. Taking stock of the so-called small candidates in the spring 1981 French presidential elections and their impact on France’s political scene.
Europe magazine, Juin 1981
GRETA, DIS-MOI QUE TU M’AIMES
Avec ses lois progressistes dans les années 60, la Suäde était baptisée la terre promise de l’érotisme. Aujourd’hui les Suédois découvrent une réalité beaucoup moins séduisante
Le Monde, le 4 avril, 1981
GOING THE DISTANCE
Far from home, away from the spotlight and not without risk, Canada’s diplomatic couriers traverse the globe to ensure confidential packages reach their destination.
Today magazine, March 1981
DISTRESS SIGNALS FROM THE PROMISED LAND OF EROTICISM
Sweden contends with fallout from the sexual revolution
Maclean’s, February 1981
CONSULTEZ VOTRE SANTE
Pourquoi la météo a une énorme influence sur votre santé et état d’espirit
A research institute in Holland delves into the huge impact (postive and negative) that weather has on your health and state of mind

Europe magazine, Fevrier 1981
LE SYNDROME DE L’ASCENSEUR
Robots familiers, les 270 000 ascenseurs de France font grimper nos ràves jusqu’ au septiäme ciel et plangent dans les sous-sols de notre inconscient
As the oldest of France’s elevators is about to be retired after nearly a century of service at the Eiffel Tower, elevators – and the things that go on in them – are an increasingly inescapable element of modern urban life.
L’Express, le 12 juillet 1980
CANADA RETURNS THE FAVOUR
Some of our best hockey players are European. Now some of theirs are Canadian
Today magazine, May 17, 1980
ADVENTURES GOING UP AND DOWN
Exploring the highs and lows of elevators that are increasingly ubiquitous and vital to modern life in France
L’Express, Spring 1980*
CLOBBERED AGAIN
At the end of the tunnel…darkness. No sooner is one modern scourge eliminated than two more takes its place.
Canadian Weekend magazine, Feb. 2, 1980
PAYING FOR HIS PAST
For some, FLQ member Pierre-Paul Geoffroy is an unrepentant terrorist, responsible for dozens of bomb attacks in Montreal. For others, he’s a political prisoner whose freedom is long overdue.
The Canadian*, November 1979

LOOKING FOR LAUGHS
Comedy clubs are sprouting all over Canada like bad jokes.
The Canadian magazine, Sept. 22, 1979
NEXT YEAR IN TORONTO? MAYBE
Most Jewish Montrealers have stayed put. But the many who have left are already missed.
The Canadian magazine, July 21, 1979
BLACKBEARD SAILS AGAIN
The new piracy on the Spanish main
The Canadian magazine, April 28, 1979
CITYSPAN: TALES OF TORONTO
A selection of unorthodox counsel, plausible fantasies and informative exotica to better deal with and appreciate big-city existence in Toronto
Cityspan, 1978-79