Recently, our city has witnessed an abhorrent rise in antisemitic violence and attacks. To me, this is not just a community safety issue, but also one that I experience and understand on a personal level as a member of Toronto’s Jewish community. I will always stand up to hatred of any kind and work to ensure that everyone has the ability to safely go about their lives as a member of a religious and/or cultural community. While individuals may have their personal beliefs about what happens between Israelis and Palestinians, no one has a right to be antisemitic, in any context.
The data speaks for itself. There were 77 occurrences of antisemitic hate crimes in 2020 according to the Toronto Police’s 2020 Annual Hate Crime Report. While we currently don’t have the data for this year as of yet, I’m sure that many of you have either experienced or witnessed antisemitic harassment or violence in the last month.
These figures are simply intolerable for our community and our city as a whole. I have always been an ardent voice against antisemitism, and have not hesitated to call out the current situation with harassment and violence. This recent uptick in antisemitic violence has been harder than ever to weather as we are all still isolated and unable to seek the communal support that is integral to the Jewish community. Nonetheless, I am steadfastly committed to working with the Jewish community of Toronto – St Paul’s in making sure that everyone feels safe practicing their religion living with their Jewish identity.
I recently attended a meeting with Mayor John Tory, Chief of Police John Ramer, Councillors Mike Colle and James Pasternak along with community leaders within the Jewish community, the discussion from which produced a motion at city council on June 8th condemning Antisemitism in any form and implementing concrete actions to address this violence. Moving forward, I will be hosting roundtable discussions with members from across the Jewish community of St-Paul’s as an outlet to voice their concerns and fears and to hear about responses they would like to see. Please feel free to contact my office at email@example.com if you would like to participate or have any questions about what we can do to make sure you feel safe and comfortable being a Jewish Torontonian.
Please do not hesitate to reach out about any further concerns or fears regarding the safety of yourself, family, friends, and fellow community members. If you experience or witness a hate crime, please call 416-808-3500 to connect with the Hate Crime Unit.