Glimmers of hope shine through the surfacing hate

Dear Community, 

Yesterday was the commemoration of Kristallnacht, a time that many are comparing world events of today. While the rise in antisemitism, through words and actions, is alarming, there is one difference—that is the support of our provincial government. It was not lost on me as a few of us sat in the Alberta Legislature when the Government Whip, Shayne Getson, declared powerful support for our community in the face of rising antisemitism. Watch the video now.  

The Holocaust Education Committee organized the commemoration where Minister Demetrios Nicolaides announced the inclusion of Holocaust Education in the upcoming curriculum. This is something we have asked of successive governments and appreciate that ‘Never Again’ is now. Combatting hate starts with education, and we look forward to working with the Calgary Jewish Federation to consult with the government as the new curriculum is being developed.  

I will not sugarcoat the hate incidents we see across Canada, and most particularly in my former hometown of Montreal recently. Local rallies and protests frequently feature open chants of "From the River to the Sea", glorify Intifada, and equate Zionism with Nazism through the use of swastikas.  

Where are the glimmers of hope?

Yesterday morning, shortly after I found out about the events in Montreal, I received a call from the Edmonton Police Service making us aware and informing me of their increased patrols and vigilance by our many institutions out of an abundance of caution.

As I sat to write this message, I came across a tweet describing the Nova Festival organizers’ initiative to support the survivors for a year, including therapeutic activities, counselling, and togetherness. There is a sense of unity and community permeating throughout Israel. Meytal Novidomsky, our Partnership2Gether director, emailed me with an update about our region, and the many initiatives to put a normal routine in place for the children regarding schooling and therapeutic activities. You can read more about this and watch a video. This is the direct impact of the funds we are raising, to support the people on the ground.  

This weekend is Remembrance Day, when we honour Canadian veterans for their service. Please take a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m. on Saturday. Come to the old cemetery on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for the Chevra Kadisha ceremony. We honour the memory of those who have sacrificed and those who still serve. 

Shabbat shalom,