October 16-17, 2023 | Shaw Centre, Ottawa
Media interested in applying for accreditation may do so through the conference press centre. Accreditation closes on Monday, October 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.
Ottawa, ON – October 3, 2023 – On October 16 and 17, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), JFC-UIA, and Canada’s Jewish Federations will host Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It, the first-ever wide-scale convening of Jewish Canadians and community allies to face, fight, and push back against antisemitism.
The groundbreaking conference will present a comprehensive agenda exploring two content streams centred on antisemitism – how to Face It and how to Fight It – integrating advocacy training, seminars featuring more than 30 Canadian and international experts, and face-to-face meetings with decision-makers, all with the goal of empowering, educating, and uniting Canadians in the fight against hate and antisemitism.
SCHEDULE OF OPEN COVERAGE EVENTS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16
United Against Antisemitism: Confronting the Challenge…Together (13:15-14:30)
Modern antisemitism is complex but it’s not just up to Jewish Canadians to fight it. We know what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. International experts and multi-faith allies explain why they have devoted their careers to ensuring their local Jewish community is respected fully within society and supported to practice their faith safely and securely in any way they choose.
Featuring: Michael Levitt, President and CEO, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center; Lord John Mann, Independent Adviser on Antisemitism to UK Government; Farah Pandith, Senior Advisor at the ADL, Author, Foreign Policy Strategist, and Former Diplomat; and a video address from Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life.
Online Hate: Breaking out and Breaking down the Echo Chambers (14:30-15:30)
Hate flourishes online as algorithms segment people into silos where they see and hear only their own worldviews without being challenged by differing perspectives.
Featuring: Minister Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Joel Finkelstein, Co-Founder and Director, The Network Contagion Research Institute; and Kasim Hafeez, Middle East Analyst, Christians United for Israel.
Countering Antisemitism: Hate Vs. the Law (15:30-16:30)
What is a hate crime? What hate crimes against the Jewish community are law enforcement officers witnessing? What can citizens do to help our law enforcement in the field fulfill their mandate to make our society safer? There are options that will encourage us to prevent, respond, and recover from incidents of hate. Get the answers you need and find out what legislative actions we can ask elected officials to take to counter antisemitism.
Featuring: Stephen Camp, Retired Staff Sergeant, Edmonton Police Service – Hate Crime Unit; Jacqueline Edwards, President, Association of Black Law Enforcers; Akiva Geller, Detective Constable, Ottawa Police Service; Sheryl Saperia, Chief Executive, Secure Canada; and Sgt. Ali Tohgrol, Sergeant, Ottawa Police Service.
Turning Sideline Passion to Frontline Action: Finding your Voice in the Political World (16:30-17:30)
There are many ways to engage in political life. For some, it’s putting your name on a ballot. For others, it’s volunteering on, or even managing, political campaigns. It starts with joining a party that reflects your personal values and working with them from the inside to ensure those values remain steadfast.
Featuring: Shai Deluca, Interior Designer, Media Personality, and Advocate; Alexandra Lulka Rotman, School Board Trustee and Community Advocate; Joanna Mirsky Wexler, Community Builder, Educator, and Jewish and Interfaith Advocate; Emile Scheffel, Strategic Communications and Corporate Affairs Consultant; Yaffa Tegegne, Community Leader and Activist; and Noah Tepperman, Community Leader and Political Activist.
Dinner Program (18:30-20:30)
The history of the National Holocaust Monument with Tim Uppal, MP
Join Member of Parliament, the Hon. Tim Uppal as he walks us through the history and story of the National Holocaust Monument, how it came to be, and the importance of its construction to Canada and all Canadians.
Facing Reality: Making a Difference and Being the Difference
What happens when we get off our phones and take on antisemitism? Have you experienced Jew-hatred, been marginalized, or felt you needed to hide your identity simply because you’re Jewish? Community advocates and activists will share their stories of how they didn’t just face antisemitism but fought it. From students to CEOs, the panel will share their experiences that led to their becoming activists in their own right.
Featuring: Hannah Alper, Activist, Student, Journalist, Author and Changemaker, Western University; Heidi Berger, Founder and President, The Foundation for Genocide Education; Hannah Bugas, Social Media Content Creator; Josie Coutain-Segall, Student, University of Alberta; Mike Fegelman, Executive Director, Honest Reporting Canada; Dr. Cary Kogan, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa; Dr. Ayelet Kuper, Physician and Interdisciplinary Scholar; and Lisa Levitan, Recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17
Harnessing Social Media for Good: Done with the Doomscroll (10:15-11:30)
We all use it; in fact, we often spend hours a day “scrolling.” We see disturbing and untrue posts regularly. We know how they make us feel. Social media has a powerful impact on all our lives. How do we harness that power? Hear from some of the top influencers (IRL) – some of whom you may already know and follow – to learn how you can be the power!
Featuring: William Daroff, CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Hen Mazzig, Israeli Writer, Speaker, and Activist; Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO, The International Legal Forum; and Emily Schrader, Digital Strategist and Senior Correspondent, Ynet News.
Being your Best Advocate 101: Persuading Decision-makers on Parliament Hill to Hear your Concerns (11:30-12:30)
Most of us have never been up close and personal with our elected officials; nor have we had the opportunity to visit the seat of government on Parliament Hill. How do we maximize this opportunity, and what do we talk about – and not talk about – when we are there? Learn how it’s done from one of Canada’s leading and most respected professionals.
Featuring: Chad Rogers, Founding Partner, Crestview Strategy
Jewish Pride from a Canadian Israeli Perspective | Video Remarks, President Isaac Herzog (12:30-14:00)
Gil Troy will lead a discussion that will help us rediscover and elevate our pride and love of Israel, Judaism, and being Canadian, and he will delve into how our shared values can guide each of us on our life journey. Ambassador-Designate Iddo Moed will be honoured to bring greetings and to introduce video remarks from Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Featuring: Gil Troy, distinguished scholar in North American History at McGill University, award-winning American presidential historian, and a leading Zionist activist; Israeli Ambassador-Designate Iddo Moed; and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Curse of Politics: The Herle Burly Political Panel (14:00-15:00)
Live recording of Curse of Politics, the political podcast you secretly hate to love — but love anyway — for unfiltered, unscripted, unmuzzled insights from the backroom campaign operatives who were in the room for the meeting after the meeting.
Featuring: David Herle, Owner, Gandalf Group, and Host, Curse of Politics and The Herle Burly podcasts; with guests Jordan Leichnitz, Canada Program Manager, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung; Scott Reid, Principal-Owner, Feschuk.Reid; and Kory Teneycke, CEO, Rubicon Strategy.
Keynote Address (19:15-20:30)
Antisemitism isn’t just a real and present threat today, it’s a problem growing at a frightening rate. Jews are just 1% of the Canadian population but the religious group most targeted by hate crimes. It’s time we unite our voices and empower ourselves to show up, speak up, and step up against Jew-hatred. Our keynote address will include in-person remarks by Leader of the Opposition Pierre Poilievre and Leader of the Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet, as well as video remarks from Robert Kraft, Founder, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, and a video greeting from World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. (**Additional guests/ keynote speakers may still be announced**)
We will present the Honourable Irwin Cotler, one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates, a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his enduring commitment to the pursuit of justice for all people and the advancement of human rights for the world’s most vulnerable and oppressed.
We will conclude our two-day event with a call to action from CIJA's National Chair, Gail-Adelson Marcovitz, and CIJA's President and CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel, who will explain how we embark on a strategic and coordinated response to antisemitism.
Journalists / photographers wishing to cover the conference or media outlets planning on assigning staff / freelancers for coverage must complete the media accreditation request form at https://www.fightit.ca/press_centre. Due to security, all media will be vetted in advance.
Advance Interviews: Interviews with Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, as well as with select speakers are available in advance of the conference.
Onsite Interviews: Please note that we will be scheduling all onsite interviews in advance of the conference to ensure we can accommodate as many requests as possible. Though we will do our very best, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate requests made onsite during the conference.
For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:
Director, Media Relations and GTA Communications
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Press Centre: https://www.fightit.ca/press_centre
About Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It
Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It is a two-day conference in Ottawa on October 16 and 17, 2023, organized by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), JFC-UIA, and Canada’s Jewish Federations. It will be the first-ever wide-scale convening of the Jewish community from across Canada focused on mobilizing Jewish Canadians and community allies – including elected officials and ethnic and faith partners – to unite, empower, and educate the community about how to face, fight, and push back against antisemitism.
Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It is presented by CIJA, JFC-UIA, and Canada’s Jewish Federations. It is sponsored by Fieldgate Families, Maspik! | JNF Canada, the Azrieli Foundation, the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, Sylvan Adams, Ronald Reuben, the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation, The Asper Foundation, Metropia, and the Posluns / Zagdanski family. The National Post is the official media partner of Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
About Canada’s Jewish Federations
Recognized among Canada’s most respected charities, Jewish Federations have been a cornerstone of Jewish life in our country for more than 100 years. Through a collective model that brings together the largest, most diverse cross-section of community members, Federations advance the shared mission of preserving and strengthening the quality of Jewish life in Canada, Israel, and around the world through philanthropic, volunteer, and professional leadership. This work includes caring for the most vulnerable, fostering Jewish identity and education, strengthening connections with Israel and Jews worldwide, and countering antisemitism and hate, while also creating programming and infrastructure that serve the Jewish community and broader society alike. Jewish Federations have been established in every area of Canada home to a large Jewish community, which today includes the Atlantic Jewish Council, Calgary Jewish Federation, Jewish Federation of Edmonton, Hamilton Jewish Federation, London Jewish Federation, Federation CJA (Montreal), Jewish Federation of Ottawa, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Jewish Federation Greater Vancouver, Jewish Federation Victoria and Vancouver Island, Windsor Jewish Federation, and Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
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