Racism, bigotry, and intolerance plague our world and, when left unchallenged, result in serious consequences for all who aspire to live in a free and secure society.
Anti-Black racism, a particularly pernicious form of hatred, has once again been thrust violently into our collective consciousness. At CIJA, combating hate in all its forms is central to our mission. We have, therefore, established partnerships with many in civil society who share our goals. Over the last two weeks, we have invited leaders from the Black community to share their lived experiences with us. Their videos are powerful, and we encourage you to view them here.
As Jews, our tradition compels us to act when we see persecution of others, a sentiment reciprocated when our community is devastated by an act of antisemitism, as was the case following the tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. We were overwhelmed by the expressions of solidarity and support we received from every corner of Canadian civil society.
What we and our partners on the front lines of combating hatred know is that the battle against hatred is not binary: engaging in action supportive of one community does not come at the expense of the ongoing fight against other forms of bigotry. Indeed, standing for what is right, regardless of the community involved, is part of the same overall struggle to overcome hate, oppose racism and discrimination, and build sensitivity to the lived experiences of others.
We will proudly continue to support and stand with the Black community. On June 17th from 2:00-3:00pm EST, we will host a webinar featuring representatives from the Federation of Black Canadians, which will provide another opportunity for us to learn from our neighbours. If you would like to participate, please RSVP here.
Though listening and understanding are necessary, they are not enough. To fight hatred – including antisemitism – we need act, which is why, in collaboration with our partners, we are calling for the meaningful policy changes clearly outlined in this op-ed, published Tuesday in the Toronto Star. In the coming days, you will have an opportunity to help advance this agenda, and we’ll follow up shortly with more information on how you can Take Action.
As always, we want to hear from you, so please share your thoughts on this topic or any other of concern to you.
We hope you and your families remain safe and well during these difficult times.
|Joel Reitman||Jeffrey Rosenthal|
|Co-Chair, CIJA Board||Co-Chair, CIJA Board|