Community Intelligence Brief: July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Intelligence Brief

Rising Antisemitism Prompts Funding for Anti-Hate Programs

Ontario is investing $327,000 in Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's summer learning programs to combat antisemitism and promote human rights, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Monday. The programs will provide professional development sessions to help educators learn about dismantling systems of oppression and antisemitism in homes, schools and communities, as well as help students learn about human rights, dealing with injustice, and encourage ideas for creating positive change.

We are thankful to the Ontario government, specifically the Ontario Ministry of Education, for supporting our incredibly important summer education programs that will help combat antisemitism in schools and communities across the province. Fighting hate starts with education, and with antisemitism on the rise, FSWC's educational programs are needed now more than ever.

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R.I.P. Mary Weinrib, Mother of Rush's Geddy Lee and Holocaust Survivor

Mary Weinrib — a Holocaust survivor and mother of Rush bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee — passed away on Friday, weeks shy of her 96th birthday. An obituary calls Weinrib's life "an inspiring story of perseverance, survival and triumph." We at FSWC are saddened by this news and extend our deepest condolences to Geddy and his family.

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Community Alert: Toronto Police Arrest Man Following Hateful Verbal Attack on Jewish Women, Reported Physical Assault

An extremely disturbing video was shared on Instagram yesterday showing a young man with a swastika on his chest walking in Toronto's Stanley Park, verbally attacking a Jewish woman. We have spoken with the victim, who said the man yelled "Heil Hitler" and called her a "dirty Jew," and we are in touch with the Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit about the incident.

The man was arrested after he reportedly physically assaulted another individual. FSWC will remain in communication with Toronto police and update the community once more information is available.

Inuk Leader Mary Simon Named Canada's 1st Indigenous Governor General

Inuk leader and former ambassador Mary Simon has been chosen as the next governor general — the first Indigenous person ever to be appointed to the role. Simon called the appointment a "historic and inspirational moment for Canada and an important step forward on the long path towards reconciliation."

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President Isaac Herzog Sworn In, Pledging to Be President for All

President Isaac Herzog was formally sworn in as the eleventh president of Israel on Wednesday at the Knesset, replacing Reuven Rivlin. Upon accepting the presidency, Herzog pledged to "lower the tone, reduce the flames, and calm things down" in Israel, despite the many divides in the Jewish, democratic state.

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French Court Orders Twitter to Reveal Anti-Hate Speech Efforts

Six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of "long-term and persistent" failures in blocking hateful comments from the site. The Paris court ordered Twitter to grant the campaign groups full access to all documents relating to the company's efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applies to Twitter's global operation, not just France.

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Adam Fox Named Hockey’s Top Defenseman, First Jewish Player to Win a Major NHL Award

It’s been seven decades since the New York Rangers had a star Jewish defenseman. This season they had the best defenseman in the National Hockey League, Jewish or otherwise.

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Report Antisemitism and News of Concern to FSWC

If you would like to report antisemitism or news of concern to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, please email jaime@fswc.ca.

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