FSWC Commends Alberta for Adopting IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism Amid Disturbing Rise in Jew-Hatred

September 25, 2022

Media Release

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

More than 850 entities worldwide, including many countries, now officially recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Toronto, September 25, 2022 – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) congratulates the Alberta government for adopting the internationally recognized IHRA definition of antisemitism as part of efforts to step up the fight against rising Jew-hatred.

Following the announcement in Calgary by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his Justice Minister Tyler Shandro just ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), Alberta is now the fifth Canadian province to have adopted the IHRA definition after Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick. IHRA came into being in 2016, based on decades of research and deliberation by leading experts and organizations fighting antisemitism, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Canada is one of more than three-dozen countries and more than 850 entities worldwide to officially endorse the IHRA definition as an effective tool to better identify and address antisemitism.

Along with other Jewish organizations in Canada, FSWC has long advocated for governments on all levels – federal, provincial and municipal – to adopt the IHRA definition amid a disturbing increase in antisemitic incidents nationwide. According to a recent report by Statistics Canada, Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes in 2021, making up nearly half of all reported cases.

The main aim of the IHRA definition is to provide a framework for public institutions, community leaders and lawmakers to recognize, understand and combat modern forms of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace and in the religious sphere.

“We appreciate the decision of the Alberta government to adopt the IHRA definition, both for its practical significance and symbolic message,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Moving forward, it will prove a valuable tool, helping to inform policy makers and other public and private bodies in the fight against antisemitism. It also underlines the commitment of Alberta to address this issue in a meaningful way and its solidarity with the Jewish community as it’s targeted with new and old forms of this ancient hatred.”

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