Demonstrating allyship for our community and others

This morning CBC Edmonton AM invited me to speak about the commemoration we have planned leading into six months from October 7. I explained to host Mark Connolly the significance of the Shabbat table we will have set for the remaining hostages, signifying that we are waiting to welcome them home. Kol Israel Arevim Zeh L’Zeh—all the people of Israel care for one another; and when he asked me what I would think about when I am standing by this long Shabbat table, my immediate though was of two of the female hostages, Emily Damari and Doron Steinbrecher, who lived in Kibbutz Kfar Azza. I recalled standing and talking to their mothers, outside the remains of their daughters’ neighbouring bullet riddled homes, and the anguish they have known nothing about their condition but fearing the worst.  

I hope you can join us this afternoon, and you are bringing friends from across the city. We are hosting this installation and a brief ceremony in a public space to bring awareness and signify that we welcome people to stand with our community. Allies show up for one another, and we look forward to both warmly receiving and thanking allies this afternoon. This weekend, we are an ally ourselves.  

On Sunday, we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Rwandan community as they host a commemorative walk of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at noon at Churchill Square. They have stood with us at our commemorative Yom Hashoah events, understanding the need to remember what led to the genocide and the memories of those forever lost to us. They have honoured me with the opportunity to speak at this event, and I hope you will take the time to join me.

What is crucial to bear in mind as we continue to push back against antisemitism, reporting hate incidents and educating various groups and schools, is the need for Jewish joy and Jewish pride. To this end, we are pleased to help sponsor the Yes Kosher Friendship Circle event with Aleeza Ben Shalom, the Jewish Matchmaker from Netflix, this Sunday. I am certain it will be a lively time! 

As you prepare for Passover, the synagogues are hosting seders both nights and Catering by Eddy (via Beth Israel) has an extensive menu of food items for sale. You can find out more information here on our Passover event timeline.

Shabbat shalom,