Community Intelligence Brief: December 20, 2017

December 20, 2017

Intelligence Brief

Memorial Service for Honey and Barry Sherman

A memorial service for Honey and Barry Sherman will be held tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017
11 a.m. (Seating will commence at 9 a.m.)
The International Centre (Entrance 5), 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga

Synagogues Across Canada Targeted with Antisemitic Mail

Numerous synagogues across Canada have been targeted with disturbing and threatening antisemitic mailings - including in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, Kingston and, most recently revealed, Calgary, Victoria and Ottawa. Received during Chanukah, the unmarked letters depicted in graphic style a swastika embedded in a yellow Jewish star dripping with blood accompanied by the words "Jewry Must Perish." FSWC has been in communication with police, who continue to investigate the incidents.

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Canadian Politicians Speak Out Against Antisemitism

After numerous synagogues reported the receipt of antisemitic mail, politicians across the country - including federal, provincial and municipal leaders - spoke out against and condemned the recent incidents. "Sending my full support to the Canadian Jewish community. These recent acts of hatred & anti-Semitism have no place in our country and we will not tolerate it," tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted, "Anti-Semitism has absolutely no place in Toronto or anywhere else in Canada. We must all stand with our city's Jewish community as it stands up to this hatred."

Holocaust Workshop Reminds Students the Importance of Tolerance

Yesterday, FSWC's Education Department presented a Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust workshop at a York Region public school. Holocaust survivor Vera Schiff came along to share her testimony and spoke with the group about her experiences at Theresienstadt. A teacher had contacted FSWC because the school was experiencing some intolerant attitudes and behaviours from students in the intermediate grades, as well as questions surrounding Holocaust denial, so the school wanted us to work with the classes as soon as possible. The workshop finished with a reminder to students that they have a responsibility to be tolerant of one another and of other cultures in order to ensure something like the Holocaust does not happen again.

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If you haven't done so already, don't forget to make your yearly charitable contribution! Provide your support to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center today. All donations made by the end of the year will receive a 2017 tax receipt.  

Click here to donate.

Puslinch Council to Vote on Changing Swastika Trail Street Name Tonight

Tonight Puslinch councillors will debate and vote on whether Swastika Trail should remain a street name or be changed. FSWC has been urging the town's mayor and councillors to vote in favour of changing the street name. "It's already a national shame that residents of your community are beholden to a name representing a symbol that was utilized in the murder of nearly 10 million people in concentration camps and more than 40,000 Canadian soldiers who went to fight the Nazis," said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo in a recent letter sent to the mayor and councillors. "It would be a shame if Puslinch maintains the name, disregarding everything that Canada truly stands for."

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US Will Take Names of Countries That Vote to Reject Trump's Jerusalem Decision at UN: Nikki Haley

On Tuesday evening, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley took to social media to warn that the "US will be taking names" of the countries who vote in favour of a UN resolution that condemns the country's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. On Monday, the US vetoed a Security Council resolution that criticized the move after 14 members voted in favour of it. The resolution is now set to be voted on at the General Assembly tomorrow.  

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From the Arab World

According to the Associated Press, between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians were killed during the nine-month battle to liberate the city of Mosul in Iraq from the Islamic State. This casualty rate is 10 times higher than previously reported. The investigation revealed that a third of the casualties died in bombardment by the US-led coalition or Iraqi forces.

Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League stated that there has been an increase in antisemitic cartoons appearing in Arab media ever since US President Donald Trump announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Countries that published antisemitic cartoons - which suggest "Jewish and Israeli domination of the United States" - include Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Iran.

National Policy Conference on Holocaust Education Is Next Month!

Starting on January 27, 2018 - in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day - FSWC will be hosting the third annual National Policy Conference on Holocaust Education. Join us for an innovative and impactful conference experience featuring renowned Holocaust and human rights educators and experts. To register or for more information, please email or call 416-864-9735 ext. 40. 

Learn more about the National Policy Conference

FSWC Wants to Hear from You

Passionate about an issue in the news or your community? Does it align with FSWC's mandate? Then we want to hear from you! FSWC is inviting you to submit reflections on issues that matter to you and the community. While we won't be publishing anything just yet, we will be taking all submissions into consideration for future projects.

Submit reflections to

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