Last week I asked the question, in the face of surging antisemitism, where are our allies? And I am still asking this question now.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge the strong statement Toronto's Mayor John Tory released on Wednesday, in which he recognized the virulent rise in Jew-hatred in the city as well declared that the city is committed to confronting antisemitism in all its forms, including by ensuring Toronto Police are supported in the pursuit of hate crimes and the city's Toronto For All education initiative this year will target antisemitism. The statement came after the mayor's meeting with members of the Jewish community, including myself, during which we discussed concerns over the surge in antisemitism and its impact on Jews in Toronto. We commend the mayor for working with the community and speaking out - but this is just a start, and more needs to be said and done by all leaders across all levels of government.
Sadly, the voices of support for our community are too quiet and too few. Where are the thousands of federal, provincial and municipal leaders who could use their platforms to make a real difference in the fight against antisemitism? Where are the allies who stood up for human rights in the past but who have remained silent this past month?
That is why this week, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center joined more than 200 other Jewish organizations and synagogues from across Canada in signing a community statement appealing to Canadians to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community as it remains the target of ongoing, hateful attacks. It's truly inspiring to see Canada's Jewish community united in the common cause of combatting antisemitism and working together to ensure the safety of all Jews in this country. While others are silent, our small community is standing strong and making sure our voices are heard - and our hope is others will, too, be inspired to stand up and speak out.
If you haven't already done so, consider registering for the upcoming Spirit of Hope Benefit, FSWC's annual fundraiser to support our vital work. Just a few days away, the event is an opportunity for the Jewish community and our friends to come together in hope and unity, in a celebration of human rights and freedom.
We hope you will join us.