FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON – Today, Toronto Mayor John Tory reiterated his commitment to confronting antisemitism. Following a meeting with leadership of Toronto’s Jewish community, Mayor Tory announced that the Toronto For All public education initiative this year will target antisemitism.
The announcement comes after more than 50 antisemitic incidents in the Greater Toronto Area were reported in May – five times the previous monthly average for 2021 – according to a new report by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. This five-fold spike in reported antisemitic incidents in the GTA was linked to recent, renewed hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and the resulting demonization of Jewish communities across Canada.
Disturbing examples of these recent antisemitic incidents include:
- Hateful graffiti targeting the parking lot of a synagogue and Jewish daycare;
- A Jewish customer verbally harassed and chased out of a retail business for being Jewish;
- A Jewish father and his young child verbally harassed on the street with antisemitic slurs, including comments that they should have been “gassed” and “burned”;
- Mock eviction notices posted on the doors of multiple Jewish homes, as part of an anti-Israel boycott campaign;
- A family verbally harassed by occupants of a vehicle flying a Palestinian flag, calling the family “baby killers”.
In response, Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA, CIJA, issued the following:
“In recent weeks our community has faced a shocking wave of hostility and hate. The targeting of Jews with harassment and violence, for any reason, including their affinity for the Jewish community in Israel, is completely unacceptable.
“CIJA welcomes Mayor Tory’s strong condemnation of antisemitism, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Mayor and Council to root out hate against the Jewish community in all of its forms.
“Our community is calling on the Government of Canada to convene an emergency summit on antisemitism to bring together all levels of government to address this troubling situation. We need a true all-of-government effort to establish a comprehensive program to combat Jew-hatred – the oldest and most enduring hate the world has ever experienced.”
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Canada’s Jewish Federations, including UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
- The full report by UJA Community Security may be accessed here. In response to reported incidents, UJA Community Security follows up with witnesses and victims to verify details, provide security advice, and ensure proper criminal reporting.
- Toronto Hate Crime Report – 2020 Police reported a 51% increase in reported hate crimes, with the Jewish community disproportionately targeted.