Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Becomes Founding Member Among Seven Large Diaspora Jewish Communities to Create New Initiative to Coordinate Efforts and Maximize Impact Against Jew-Hate
OTTAWA, ON – July 25, 2023 – Today, in response to increasing rates of antisemitism around the world, major Jewish organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Argentina, and Australia announced the formation of the J7, The Large Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism.
Modeled after similarly structured informal groupings to discuss coordinated responses to global crises, the J7 global task force comes at a time when data from around the world indicate a rise in antisemitic incidents and attitudes and led to growing concern within the Jewish communities confronting this rise. Representing the world’s largest diaspora communities, J7 members will meet to discuss common challenges, develop coordinated strategies, and share best practices to fight antisemitism and protect the quality of Jewish life around the world.
J7 founding members include the following nations and organizations:
- Canada: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
- Argentina: Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA)
- Australia: Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)
- France: Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF)
- Germany: Zentralrat de Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany)
- United Kingdom: Board of Deputies of British Jews
- United States: Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
The J7 leadership will meet periodically, virtually and in person, including at ADL’s 2024 Never is Now Summit on March 4-7, 2024.
In addition to top-level consultations, the J7 will organize working groups comprising subject matter experts from each community to develop strategies and action plans within areas such as policy and advocacy, technology, security, extremism, and education to combat antisemitism.
Leaders of these seven communities shared their perspectives about the importance of this collaboration:
Canada – Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and Chief Executive Officer, CIJA: “What starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. There is a global imperative to confront antisemitism, and drawing on the expertise and strength of the J7 coalition is an important catalyst for universal action.”
Argentina – Jorge Knoblovits, President, DAIA: “To be part of J7 represents for the DAIA a great responsibility as one of the world’s largest Jewish communities and the only one in Latin America. J7 will allow us to have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by world Jewry in the areas of antisemitism, Holocaust remembrance, and other hate-related topics. To be part of J7, led by ADL, ensures that the perspective of Latin American Jews will have a global reach.”
Australia – Peter Wertheim, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Executive Council of Australian Jewry: “Antisemitism is a disease of the human spirit that eats away at the foundations of civilization everywhere. It is not limited by geographical borders, ideology, or creed. It is a global phenomenon that requires a global response. As the elected peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community, we are pleased to join our colleagues from organizations representing other major Jewish communities in the diaspora to coordinate our efforts to combat antisemitism and maximize our impact.”
France – Robert J. Ejnes, Executive Director, CRIF: “If antisemitism exists everywhere in the world, it is in Europe that it has been brought to its climax. Together with the J7 task force, we will look at the resurgence of antisemitism in all its forms, whether Islamist, conspiratorial, hatred of Israel or Holocaust denial, from wherever it originates. Together, we will monitor the expressions of hate and fight for a better tomorrow.”
Germany – Dr. Josef Schuster, President, Zentralrat de Juden in Deutschland: “The internet, as a means of fast and easy communication, increasingly blurs national borders. Similarly, antisemitic networks, tactics, and developments don’t stop at national borders either. We endorse this additional opportunity for exchange in the J7 format, which will facilitate interaction between representatives of Jewish communities at this level. Together we will approach globally operating institutions or companies and unite our efforts in combating antisemitism.”
U.K. – Marie van der Zyl OBE, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews: “Antisemitism knows no geographic boundaries. The Board of Deputies looks forward to being part of this international coalition of leading Jewish organizations, each at the forefront of the fight against the challenges posed by the rise of this global hatred. By working together, we strengthen our ability to tackle antisemitism wherever it emerges.”
U.S. – William C. Daroff, Chief Executive Officer, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “Antisemitism, which is the world’s oldest hatred, no longer looks or spreads the way it did in the past. The vitriol once felt for individual Jews or Jewish practice has metastasized into blaming the Jewish people and the Jewish state for the ills of the world. Social media enables antisemitic hate to cross borders, where it spreads faster than ever before. It is therefore imperative for the largest diaspora Jewish communities to engage in regular conversation to develop strategies to combat the pernicious spread of antisemitism. Including our Conference of Presidents member organizations that are engaged in combating antisemitism will bring great synergies to this effort. What impacts one community impacts us all.”
U.S. – Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Chief Executive Officer, ADL: “Antisemitism is rising around the world, especially in countries where there are large Jewish populations. And threats to our communities are not contained by continents and borders. We needed to meet these challenges through coordinated action. This new coalition of major organizations representing seven large Jewish diaspora communities in liberal democracies will provide a formal framework for coordination, consultation, and formulating global responses to antisemitic threats against the Jewish people.”
Statistics Canada police-reported hate crime data for 2021 revealed, once again, Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority for hate crime and second overall.
- In 2021, Jews in Canada represented only one percent of the population yet were victims of 14 percent of all reported hate crime.
- In 2021, Jewish Canadians were the target of 55 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes.
- There are ten times more hate crimes against Jews reported than against any other religious group across the country.
- In Canada, according to Statistics Canada, on average, more than one hate incident targeted Canada’s Jewish community every single day in 2021. That’s more than nine per week or 40 per month.
- Not all hate crimes or incidents of antisemitism are reported or recorded. Not all incidents meet the threshold of a crime, especially in schools, so national hate-crime statistics do not accurately reflect the total number of antisemitic incidents.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of 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.
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