FSWC Expresses Support for Establishing Task Force Aimed at Improving Security and Safety at Places of Worship

July 31, 2019

Media Statement

Toronto (July 31, 2019) - Today, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center was in attendance and spoke at the Toronto Police Services Board meeting to express support for the establishment of a Places of Worship Security Task Force, which was presented by Toronto City Councillor Mike Colle.

In May, City Council adopted the Places of Worship Security Task Force motion, which requests the Toronto Police Services Board to consider and report on the “feasibility of establishing a Task Force to examine issues related to security, safety and public safety in places of worship” and “the role a Task Force might play in creating a security plan for the City of Toronto's places of worship.”

“Recent incidents such as the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue and a drive-by shooting outside a synagogue in Miami earlier this week has left the Jewish community in Toronto and throughout the country more concerned for their safety than ever before,”said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo in a letter of support. “There is an urgent need for governments and police to support initiatives intended to counter antisemitism and hate and ensure safety in places of worship.”

A report from Chief Mark Saunders on what measures are currently in place to address security and safety issues and whether a task force would enhance the current approach will be forwarded to the city’s executive committee for further examination.

Media Contact:

Avital Borisovsky
Communications Associate
416-864-9735 ext. 29

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