May 18, 2021
Troubling incidents in our community during Shavuot
We hope you and your family are safe and well during these very challenging times. While our thoughts and prayers remain with our extended family in Israel, we want to bring to your attention a number of concerning antisemitic incidents in Montreal following the Israel Rally, which took place on Sunday on the eve of Shavuot.
Over the past couple of days, through our Director of Security Jacques Bisson, we have been providing the Hate Crimes Unit of the SPVM with ample social media antisemitic incitement and, at the same time, working with the appropriate police stations to ensure the security of our neighbourhoods. Under the Direction of David Zarfati, heading up our Community Security Network, we have deployed volunteers to be the eyes and ears of our community. Together, these actions have led to the successful arrests of a number of "antisemitic inciters/activists" and we continue to assist law enforcement to pursue others.
Federation CJA leadership is taking the situation very seriously. This is a time for caution, calm, and careful action.
While we have no reason to believe that our communal institutions are under any threat of imminent danger, over the next ten days we will be increasing our volunteer presence throughout the Jewish community in and around institutions as well as providing additional paid security for our schools.
Our community strength and resilience rest in our ability to come together and to stand together in moments like these. Every one of us can take meaningful action in response to the antisemitism we have seen over the last few days.
Here are some actions you can take:
- If you see something, say something. If you are harassed, or witness harassment, call the police immediately. If it is safe to do so, photograph the anti-Israel activists who are perpetrating the harassment, and share those images with police. Relay that information to David Zarfati ([email protected]) or Jacques Bisson ([email protected]).
- Visit www.cija.ca/israelunderfire where you will find information about what is happening in Israel, points to consider, and content you can share on social media. Use care in sharing material on social media. If you are unsure of the source or accuracy, consider if passing the information along helps or hinders the situation.
- Contact your local media. You can use the resources pertaining to the conflict in Israel found here.
We will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date, reliable information concerning events as they unfold. Despite very real and unacceptable social media threats and aggression, once again we have no reason to believe that there is an imminent threat or danger to our Jewish community.
Chief Executive Officer