Combating Antisemitism

Antisemitism and other forms of hate are on the rise in Ontario.

By protecting targeted communities, holding hate crime perpetrators accountable, and educating our population, we can take significant strides together in the fight against hate.

With just a few clicks you can write to your local candidates about Jewish community priority issues.

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Holocaust denial sign at protest

Screenshot of CBC article about antisemitic graffiti

Protecting Communities

Jewish houses of worship, schools, childcare facilities, and community centres have been vandalized or attacked around the globe, often with deadly consequences.

Ontario is not immune.

Jewish holidays and lifecycle events in our province are often celebrated with paid-duty police or security personnel guarding the doors.

Worshippers plan toward which exit they will run, or where they will hide, if an attacker enters the sanctuary.

Ensuring safety in the face of hatred is not a responsibility that should be borne by communities alone. It requires support from government.

Question For The Candidates

Will your party provide support for safety and security at community institutions such as houses of worship, community centres, schools, childcare facilities, and summer camps?

No Hate No Fear sign

Responding to Hate Crimes

Ontario is one of the best places in the world to be Jewish, but statistics show that the Jewish community nevertheless remains one of the province’s most frequent targets of hate crime.

Statistics Canada’s latest report on police-reported hate crime demonstrated that Jewish Canadians remain the country’s most frequently targeted religious minority. Jews are approximately 1% of Canada’s population but were victimized by 62% of hate crimes against a religious group.

Community safety requires active partnership with government and law enforcement to ensure timely information regarding threats, security developments, and best practices, and to respond promptly to emerging community concerns.

It is essential that, when a hate- or bias-motivated incident occurs, police, prosecutors, and judges handle it with seriousness, sensitivity, and skill. To so do, enhanced resources, training, and coordination, along with useful definitions and greater understanding of lived experience, are required.

Question For The Candidates

Will your party provide support, including enhanced training, to identify and respond to antisemitism, to improve the capacity of police, crown attorneys, and judges to address the unique features of hate-motivated crime and extremism?

Man speaking to crowd

Educating Against Hate

In a 2021 cross-Canada Jewish community town hall, education was identified as the top priority for Jewish Canadians for combating antisemitism. Much of the rising Jew-hatred our community experiences is rooted in ignorance, with hatemongers exploiting this fertile ground.

Many Ontarians do not recognize the most obvious examples of antisemitism, like the Nazi swastika, let alone more recent manifestations of Jew-hatred.

The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey conducted by the Claims Conference demonstrated that an alarming 62% of Canadian millennials were not aware that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and 22% have not heard, or are unsure if they have heard, of the Holocaust at all.

While educational institutions including schools and universities have taken steps to teach and promote diversity and inclusion, information pertaining to antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Jewish lived experience is too often omitted or, worse, dismissed.

According to a CIJA survey, 84% of those surveyed said they were concerned that Jewish students will be excluded at school because of their Jewish identity.

Question For The Candidates

Drawing on expert research and community input, will your party ensure that antisemitism and Holocaust education are systematically integrated within educational curriculum and anti-racism initiatives?

Person holding "Racism is a Virus" sign

Renewing Ontario’s Anti-Racism Strategy

Racism, hate, and discrimination are a significant concern in Ontario, targeting diverse communities in our province. Alongside other affected groups, this has a damaging impact on the Jewish community.

Anti-Jewish racism is a growing problem in the workplace, at school, at universities, in the arts, and other public spaces across Ontario.

It is vital that antisemitism be meaningfully included in future Anti-Racism Directorate initiatives to build a more inclusive Ontario for all.

In particular, the renewal of Ontario’s Anti-Racism Strategy should reflect the current impact of antisemitism and the lived experience of Jews in the province. The inclusion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism as a guiding resource is vital to this effort, as it has been, since 2019, for the Federal government’s national Anti-Racism Strategy.

Question For The Candidates

Will your party commit to including the current lived experience of Jewish Ontarians with antisemitism, along with the IHRA definition of antisemitism as a guide, in a renewed provincial anti-racism strategy?