ANTISEMITISM: FACE IT, FIGHT IT
First-Ever Wide-Scale Convening of the Jewish Community and Allies from Across Canada to Face, Fight, and Push Back Against Antisemitism
International Experts & Canadian Political Leaders to Participate
October 16-17, 2023 | Shaw Centre, Ottawa
Ottawa, ON – August 31, 2023 – On October 16 and 17, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Canada’s Jewish Federations will host Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It, the first-ever, wide-scale convening of the Jewish community from across Canada for a conference to face, fight, and push back against the single-most important challenge we confront today: antisemitism.
A two-day conference in Ottawa, Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It will present a comprehensive agenda including advocacy training, seminars featuring Canadian and international experts, and face-to-face meetings with decision-makers. The conference will mobilize hundreds of Jewish Canadians and community allies (ethnic and faith partners) to become empowered, educated, and united in the fight against hate and antisemitism.
“Jew-hate cannot be permitted to thrive unchecked in Canada; we cannot afford to be complacent,” said Gail Adelson-Marcovitz, Chair of the National Board of Directors of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This will be Canada’s most significant response to antisemitism ever.
“We are going to provide community members and friends with the skills and tools they need to speak up and push back. We must combine our voices, express solidarity, and stand united against hate and antisemitism.”
The groundbreaking event will gather Jewish community members from all provinces, political party leaders, parliamentarians, public officeholders, political staff, academics, public service professionals, law enforcement representatives, ethnic and faith leaders, advocacy professionals, and more than 100 student leaders from campuses across Canada to explore two content streams centred on antisemitism: how to Face It and how to Fight It.
Sessions will cover how to define and identify antisemitism; global best practices in fighting hate; how other ethnic and faith-based community allies can partner with the Jewish community to combat hate; hate crimes and the law; social media literacy and online hate; how to become an activist; how to advocate and engage elected officials; and how to maintain pride and love for Judaism and Israel in the face of anti-Jewish racism.
Programming highlights include a Parliamentary Gala with key elected officials and decision-makers; meetings on Parliament Hill with MPs and senators; an exclusive live taping of Curse of Politics: The Herle Burly Political Panel; and the highly anticipated release of a first-of-its-kind report on the relationship between hate crimes targeting the Jewish community in Canada and online antisemitism co-published by The Network Contagion Research Institute and CIJA.
Attendees will hear from a roster packed with experts from across the world including Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO, The International Legal Forum; Gil Troy, Author and Scholar; Farah Pandith, Senior Advisor, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Author, Foreign Policy Strategist, and Former Diplomat; Dr. Ayelet Kuper, Physician and Interdisciplinary Scholar; Stephen Camp, Retired Staff Sergeant, Edmonton Police Service Hate Crime Unit; Shai Deluca, Interior Designer, Media Personality, and Advocate; Jacqueline Edwards, President, Association of Black Law Enforcers (ABLE); Joel Finkelstein, Co-Founder and Director, The Network Contagion Research Institute; Lord John Mann, Independent Adviser on Antisemitism to the UK Government; Kasim Hafeez, Middle East Analyst, Christians United for Israel; and Canadian political party leaders.
Antisemitism is on the rise around the world, and Canada is not immune. Alarmingly, Statistics Canada reported that, while religiously motivated hate crimes in Canada in 2022 declined overall, Jew-hatred was the only religious category that showed an increase in the number of incidents reported.
Jews in Canada represent only one percent of the population yet are victims of 67 percent of all religiously motivated hate incidents and 14 percent of overall reported hate crimes.
(Statistics Canada, Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2022)
“Antisemitism isn’t just a real and present threat today, it’s a problem growing at a frightening rate,” said CIJA President and CEO, Shimon Koffler Fogel.
“And here’s why that should concern you: what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. Hate breeds more hate. So, we have a big choice to make about antisemitism and hate in Canada – ignore its impact and stay silent or come together to push back against it. We are choosing the latter.
“But Canadian Jews cannot conquer antisemitism on our own. It is the responsibility of each of us to combat hatred and antisemitism. We must all be changemakers, united as allies and partners to fight all hate.
“We’ve all seen enough, we’ve heard enough, and we’ve had enough. Face It, Fight It is a turning point, a catalyst for change in how this new wave of Jew-hatred will be addressed.”
Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It will kick off a comprehensive, national initiative to combat antisemitism in Canada. Following two days of discussion and education, participants will leave with a plan of action to ensure the political sector and the public understand the impacts of Jew-hate.
The conference is open to the public, with tickets available for Monday and Tuesday ($475 + tax), or Tuesday only ($300 + tax). For more information about Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It, including a comprehensive list of speakers, scheduled programming, and to purchase tickets, visit: fightit.ca.
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