Support Efforts to Speak Out Against Antisemitism

September 5, 2018

Letter

Over the past year, you’ve been a staunch champion for the Jewish people and the State of Israel through your support of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC).

As our valued partner, you’ve helped us increase our activities on the ground across Canada and around the world as antisemitism and anti-Israel hatred threaten and challenge our people at levels not seen in a generation.

That is why I’m so concerned that you have yet to renew your support of FSWC for 2018.

Our work has never been so critical. In fact, you may have heard that a recent shocking study from the Peel Regional police found that the number of hate crimes rose dramatically in the last year, an echo of the Toronto Police Service report showing a 28% increase in hate crimes in 2017.

These numbers are reflected in the rising antisemitism and hatred here in Canada and worldwide. Racist graffiti, antisemitic flyers and vandalism of synagogues have become increasingly common.

And the situation is much worse in Europe, where Jews are the targets of vicious antisemitic rhetoric and violence. A recent report published by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University found that “expressions of traditional antisemitism are back” and that antisemitic abuse and harassment are on the rise worldwide, particularly in Europe.

You and I must do more to stem the tide of hatred washing across the world. Your annual support is urgently needed to help FSWC meet these and other critical global challenges head-on, so please renew today.

Your support will help us teach the lessons of the Holocaust. At a time when the facts of the Shoah are being denied or forgotten around the world and antisemitism is growing, there is an ongoing need for Holocaust education not only for students, but adults as well.

You have helped FSWC’s innovative Tour for Humanity travel to more communities across Ontario and reach more students. Thanks to you, this state-of-the-art mobile human rights education center is teaching students, educators, community leaders and front-line professionals about diversity, democracy and Canadian civic rights and responsibilities. With your continued help, we can take Tour for Humanity even further, providing our acclaimed educational opportunities to groups across Ontario and beyond.

FSWC also helped spread the message of Never Again to Toronto students by hosting two days of workshops with Holocaust survivors. Many of the students were not aware of the day Yom Hashoah and what it stands for, so we and the Holocaust survivors who joined us incorporated the important day into the Holocaust education.

Your renewal will also support our efforts to speak out against antisemitism in Canada. Most recently, FSWC declared its opposition to financial support being provided to hate groups by the Canadian government. Specifically, we objected to a Canada Summer Jobs grant being awarded to Islamic Humanitarian Service. The group’s leader, Sheikh Shafiq Hudda called for the “eradication” of Israelis and Zionists in his Al Quds Day speech in Toronto.

We are calling on the Canadian government to end the hate-filled Al Quds Day rally. But we also are urging them to put in place stronger vetting practices to ensure that groups and individuals with a history of expressing any type of hatred are not being financed by Canada.

Your renewed support will help us accomplish more in the coming year. Indeed, when you renew today…

…You’ll support our work to bring the powerful legacy of Israel and the Jewish people to the world through our Academy Award®-winning Moriah Films division. Our newest film is about the life of the late Israeli President Shimon Peres and features interviews with several luminaries, including former Presidents Obama, Clinton, George W. Bush, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

…You will help us send our historical exhibition People, Book, Land: the 3,500-Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Holy Land worldwide, including to university campuses across North America, where Israel and her history are under unprecedented attack.

…You ensured that FSWC could continue to monitor and influence events here in Canada.

Without a doubt, the generosity of people like you is the cornerstone of these vital efforts. So please take this opportunity to reaffirm your commitment by renewing your much-needed support right away. We really need you by our side in the coming year.

Sincerely,

Avi Benlolo
President and CEO

 

If you’ve already renewed, thank you so much for your support!

Be sure to check our website at www.fswc.ca for updates on issues critical to the future of Canadian Jews, the Jewish State and her people.

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