CIJA’s work comprises three areas of focus: Canada, Israel, and Community. From fighting discrimination, to building support for the people and land of Israel, to improving community security, there are many ways we strive to improve the quality of Canadian Jewish life.
Recently we hosted grassroots community consultations in nine cities across the country. The objective was to hear directly from our community about the issues and concerns that should guide CIJA’s work.
For me, the most significant takeaway was a reminder of the healthy diversity of opinion that exists within our community. We’re committed to engaging directly with the grassroots frequently to ensure our work reflects their priorities.
Today I invite you to participate directly in our work. Here are three ways you can make a difference:
1. Fight Genetic Discrimination. A long-awaited bill to end genetic discrimination in Canada must overcome just one more hurdle before it becomes law. We’ve already asked you to take action on this issue a number of times – and, each time, your response has been overwhelming. Our collective efforts have not been in vain: this bill is on the cusp of becoming law.
2. Vote for your top priority in Canadian Jewish Advocacy. Our in-person consultations were a meaningful way to engage community members face-to-face and gather crucial feedback. But this process is not complete – please take a moment to cast your vote and tell us about the issues that matter most to you.
If you didn’t get to attend an in-person consultation, this is your opportunity to have your say. And, if you did attend in person, you now have a chance to add to the discussions that took place in other cities.
3. Stronger Hate Crime laws. Today MPs are voting on a bill that will close a crucial gap in Canada’s Criminal Code. Currently, vandalism and other hate mischief against a religious site, such as a synagogue, mosque, temple, or cemetery, is a specific offence with significant penalties. But this designation does not extend to schools or community centres connected to an identifiable group. With your help, this could soon change.
I want to thank you again for your commitment and dedication. I’m proud of CIJA’s accomplishments for the Jewish community, but the truth is we couldn’t do any of it with out you.
David J. Cape