Community Intelligence Brief: October 29, 2018

October 29, 2018

Intelligence Brief

Quote of the Day

“We turn to the leaders of our country...We've got to stop hate and it can’t just be to say we need to stop hate. We need to do, we need to act, to tone down rhetoric. Hate is not welcome here in Pittsburgh. It should not be welcome in our borders at all.”

- Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

Community Vigil to Honour Jewish Victims

Join us at 7 p.m. at Mel Lastman Square for a community vigil in memory of the 11 lives lost in Saturday's senseless shooting. Members of the Jewish community along with politicians and other leaders will stand in solidarity against antisemitism and hatred while honouring the victims.

What to Know About the Victims of Pittsburgh's Synagogue Shooting

Authorities have identified the 11 victims of Saturday's tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a horrific hate crime that shocked Jewish communities around the world. One of the victims, Joyce Feinberg, was a Canadian native who grew up in Toronto.

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Canadian Politicians, Police Respond to Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

Canadian politicians and police joined in expressing sympathy for the victims and condemning the shooter following Saturday's attack in Pittsburgh. "We are working with the authorities in the US and provide support as needed. We will always stand against antisemitism, hatred and violence," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during Question Period, while Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the force "stands with our Jewish community condemning the senseless violence against those in Pittsburgh."

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FSWC Statement on Pittsburgh Tragedy

"The peace and tranquility of Shabbat was shattered today by a shooting attack at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh," wrote FSWC's Avi Benlolo in a statement issued on Saturday. "We should not let this moment pass without thinking about the victims and standing shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, with our American neighbours and all those who strive to make the world a better place." Following the attack, FSWC worked with police services across Canada to raise the level of vigilance around Jewish institutions and synagogues and ensure increased security.

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FSWC's Avi Benlolo Reacts to Synagogue Shooting

FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo speaks with CTV News about the Canadian Jewish community's reaction to Saturday's synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

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While you are here, take a moment to learn about us

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center education team works tirelessly ever day to inspire young people to take action against hatred and intolerance. Through workshops and the Tour for Humanity, we bring Holocaust and human rights education to students of all ages across Ontario and beyond to help make our communities safer and more accepting. Support these importance programs and initiatives today.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs to Visit Israel This Week

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be visiting Israel, Jordan and the West Bank this week. Her visit to Israel will include a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, other political leaders and representatives of civil society organizations. She will also address the Israel Council on Foreign Relations.

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Alberta Holocaust Denier Convicted in Germany for 'Incitement to Hatred'

Canadian-German Holocaust denier Monika Schaefer and her brother Alfred Schaefer were convicted and sentenced on Friday after being arrested in Germany on "incitement to hatred" charges. Monika was sentenced to 10 months but was later released because she has been in prison since January when charges were laid. Alfred received a prison sentence of three years and two months.

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Palestinians Schoolbooks Still Promote Terror and the Demise of Israel

A four-year study recently released by the Israel-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that after examining 364 Palestinian Authority schoolbooks for grades 1-12 from 2013 to 2018, Palestinian children are still learning that a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not an option. The material also included incitement against Jews and Israel.

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Denmark Won’t Fund Groups That Promote BDS, Question Israel’s Legitimacy

Denmark's Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced a policy that mandates the defunding of organizations that have ties to terrorists, engage in attempts to boycott Israel or question its right to exist. The new policy was announced earlier this month in a document titled "Explanations about the conditions for Danish support for Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations," which states, “The use of Danish funds for political purposes, including BDS activities, is unacceptable.”

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Next Week: State of the Union

Join us next week for a thought-provoking and inspiring State of the Union dinner. Members of the community will join FSWC in hearing the story of Stuart and Robbi Force - who campaigned to pass the Taylor Force Act following the death of their son - and honouring them for their incredible work.

To register, contact us at and 416-864-9735 ext. 21.

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

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