This week, we joined members of the Jewish and Italian communities and politicians from across the political spectrum at the Rally Against Racism commemorative baseball game to mark the anniversary of the Christie Pits riots. In Montreal, at the home of the Israeli Consul General, we celebrated the new government office in Tel Aviv, Quebec’s first in the Middle East.
Read on to learn more.
The CIJA Team
CIJA staff attended the Rally Against Racism commemorative baseball game to mark the 90th anniversary of the Christie Pits riots – bringing together members of Toronto’s Italian and Jewish communities. Organized by Deputy Mayor Mike Colle, the event was a great success, with many dignitaries attending, including Mayor Olivia Chow, who threw the ceremonial first pitch; Ontario Ministers Stephen Lecce and Michael Kerzner; and federal Minister Ya’ara Saks.
The Christie Pits Riot on August 16, 1933, remains one of the worst outbreaks of ethnic violence and the largest race riot in Canadian history with more than 10,000 participants and spectators. The event occurred during a period of increasing antisemitic and anti-immigrant tensions in pre-war Toronto and ignited during a playoff baseball game involving the predominantly Jewish Harbord Playground team. Members of a local Nazi club flew a homemade swastika banner to cries of “Heil Hitler.” Violence broke out as the Jewish players and fans battled members of the Swastika Club in order to seize the banner. The Italian players, who had been similarly persecuted as recent immigrants, answered the call to rally with the Jewish players and fight alongside them.
To read more about the Christie Pits Riot and its historic legacy of fighting intolerance and racism in Toronto, please visit the Ontario Jewish Archives website: https://www.christiepitsriot.org/
On August 14, with our partner, Federation CJA, CIJA had the pleasure of hosting a celebratory evening at the residence of the Consul General of Israel to mark the opening of the Quebec Office in Tel Aviv. This new office, Quebec’s first in the Middle East, demonstrates the enduring ties between Quebec and Israel and reflects the strength and potential growth of the relationship between the two. The official announcement was made on August 3 by Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie Martine Biron, who attended the event this week. Pictures of the event are above and more can be seen here.
This week, CIJA’s National Director of Community Security, Gerry Almendrades, was quoted in the CBC noting that issues of antisemitism affect everyone. You can read the full article here.
Lord John Mann, Independent Adviser on Antisemitism to the UK Government, is one of 30+ speakers at Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It in Ottawa October 16-17, which promises to be an unforgettable two-day conversation with Canada’s Jewish community about how, together, we can fight antisemitism.
Lord Mann is a former Labour Party Member of Parliament, now a British independent politician and Member of the House of Lords. As an MP, Mann served on the Treasury Select Committee and was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Tessa Jowell and Richard Caborn. Mann is also a prominent campaigner against antisemitism. In 2019, he stood down as an MP before the general election and took up a full-time role as the UK Government's independent adviser on antisemitism in the United Kingdom, at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Learn more at www.fightit.ca
CIJA in the News
September 4 | Labour Day (CIJA Offices closed nationwide)
September 15-17 | Rosh Hashanah
September 24-25 | Yom Kippur
October 16-17 | Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It
Executive Director, Hamilton Jewish Family Services