4 More Questions

4 More Questions

In every generation, Canada’s Jewish community has had an extraordinary impact, defending the Jewish people worldwide and making our country a better place for all Canadians.

This year, as a national community and as a people, we are facing exceptional challenges. It has never been more important for us to work together to secure our collective future.

To inspire ideas and actions, this Passover discussion guide poses four thought-provoking questions pertaining to some of the most difficult advocacy issues facing Canada’s Jewish community today.

This Passover, there will be empty chairs at more than a thousand seder tables in Israel. As you gather with your loved ones in Canada, take time to honour the memory of those killed on October 7, and to pray for the return of all the hostages and for a return to peace in Israel.  

Chag Sameach – and next year in Jerusalem!

What can Canadians do to express the sentiments of “Let our people go” today?

Denial of Jewish History and Lived Experiences 

בכל דור ודור (Bechol Dor Vador)

In every generation, on Passover, we tell the story of our liberation from slavery, as we fulfil the obligation to see ourselves as if we left Egypt. Today, people continue to deny and distort Jewish history and lived experience, from biblical times to the October 7 massacre.

What can Canadians do to express the sentiments of “Let our people go” today?

We must:

  • Continue to call for the unconditional release of all hostages in Gaza.
  • Speak up and bear witness on behalf of the 1,200 Jews murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, to ensure that the truth is known. The denial and distortion of the massacre are alarming manifestations of antisemitism that hurt all Canadians.
  • Advocate for support for the people and the land of Israel. Hate is a seed that grows in ignorance, and education and information are the only antidotes.

Online Hate & Antisemitism

עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ (Avadim Hayinu)

We were once slaves in Egypt and, now that we are free, we must address oppression wherever it manifests and do what is necessary to ensure Canada remains one of the best countries in the world in which to be Jewish.

What can Canadians do to combat hatred of Jews online 

We can:

  • Equip ourselves with the critical skills needed to report online hate, including antisemitism, whenever we see it. Report comments to social media platforms and share pernicious examples with authorities and Jewish organizations so they can take appropriate action.
  • Support policies from governments and social media providers that reduce antisemitism online, which, like all hate, is a danger to all Canadians.
  • Urge our Members of Parliament to support the Online Harms Bill C-63 in the House of Commons to combat antisemitism, online hate, and terrorism content, to ensure its passage into law to help keep Canada’s Jews safe. 

What does a safe space for Jewish Canadians look like?

Community Security

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה (Vehi She’amda)

The story of Passover is just one example in the long history of Jewish survival. Over three millennia, in all corners of the world, there have been countless attempts to destroy us. Yet, here we are, a strong and united people. As Canadians, we are blessed to live in a country that is generally considered to be a safe and welcoming place, one that we must protect. However, our safety and security remain constant concerns.

What does a safe space for Jewish Canadians look like? 

As Canadian Jews, we should be able to live a full Jewish life, express our faith freely, and practice our customs and traditions without fear.

  • Across the globe, synagogues and Jewish centres have been targets of vandalism, violence, and disruptive demonstrations. The intimidation has spilled onto the streets with attacks against Jewish businesses, institutions, homes, and neighbourhoods.
  • Escalating incidents on university campuses endanger Jewish students’ safety, undermine our collective values, and threaten equal access to education.
  • Workplaces should be inclusive and supportive environments. Yet, since October 7, many Jewish employees have experienced harassment and antisemitism. All staff, regardless of faith, should feel valued and supported in the workplace.


לְשָׁנָה הַבָאָה בִּירוּשָלַיִם הַבְּנוּיָה L'Shana Haba'ah B'Yerushalayim

We end each Seder with a prayer to be together next year in Jerusalem, which recognizes the centrality of Israel in Jewish life and identity.  

How can we educate Canadians about the significant role the People and Land of Israel play in Jewish Canadian identity? 

For most Jews in the Diaspora, Israel is a core aspect of their Jewish identity because:

  • Israel, the Jewish homeland, holds its door open to all Jews. Since the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, more than 3 million Jews have made Aliyah. There has been a 150% increase in Aliyah applications from Canada since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel. With a continuous presence for 3,500 years, the Jewish connection to the land of Israel has always been central to Jewishness and Judaism, with Jews calling themselves Am Yisrael (the people of Israel).
  • Like Canada, the State of Israel is a vibrant, pluralistic democracy. Israel is home to many faith communities, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze.

Engaging throughout the year with your local Jewish Federation and CIJA offers opportunities to advocate for Israel and against antisemitism at programs and events. Find your federation here.