FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON – October 9, 2023 – In response to unprecedented acts of terror in Israel by the Iran-backed terrorist entity Hamas, coinciding with the Sabbath and the holy days of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, all Jewish federations across Canada, Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), released the following joint statement:
“Since early Saturday, the people of Israel have been subjected to the worst series of terror attacks in the country’s history – an unequivocal declaration of war by Iran-backed terror group Hamas against the people of Israel. Terrorists have indiscriminately murdered more than 800 innocent women, children, and men. More than 2,300 have been wounded, and many Israelis are missing and still unaccounted for, with an untold number taken hostage. The situation in Israel cannot be overstated: this is an unprovoked, unprecedented attack on the very existence of Israel, based on an antisemitic ideology with the singular focus of erasing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.
“The acts of depravity in evidence, including shooting seniors at point-blank range, hunting down young people running for their lives at a peace concert, celebrating human mutilation, and violently taking hostages to Gaza, shock the conscience of all Canadians who value human rights.
“Jews in our wonderful country are proud Canadians with a deep connection – central to our identity – to the land and people of Israel, with our roots tracing back more than 3,000 years. Canadian Jews have family and friends living and visiting Israel, including victims of these attacks. An attack on Israel is felt acutely by Jews across the world, especially here in Canada. Those murdered include Alex Look z”l, a Montrealer who was gunned down in cold blood in the Negev Desert while saving the lives of others. Two Canadians were abducted, and we pray for their safe return home to their families.
“Neither Canada nor any country in the world would allow such a mass terror event to go without a serious response to address the threat and protect their citizens. As representatives of Canada’s organized Jewish community, we say, clearly and loudly: We stand with Israel. We call on our fellow Canadians to do the same and are heartened by the response so far.
“At a time like this, standing in solidarity with Canadian Jews is vital. Jewish federations across Canada are organizing unity rallies and vigils for the people of Israel and encouraging all to attend. That, however, is just the beginning of this mobilization. Emergency fundraising campaigns by our Canadian Jewish federations are now underway because this is not just an Israeli issue. This was an attack on the Jewish people, on peace, on innocence, and on the shared values between Canadians and Israelis. There are thousands of victims of terror needing help, and we are committed to using all available resources to help the people of Israel during this devastating time.
“Let us be abundantly clear – this is a war started by terrorists bent on killing and torturing innocent Israeli civilians with a goal to destroy Israel. Terrorists will not prevail.
“We pray for the safety of Israelis. May the memory of those whose lives have been lost, be for a blessing.
“Am Yisrael Chai – The people of Israel live.”
About Canada’s Jewish Federations
Recognized among Canada’s most respected charities, Jewish Federations have been a cornerstone of Jewish life in our country for more than 100 years. Through a collective model that brings together the largest, most diverse cross-section of community members, Federations advance the shared mission of preserving and strengthening the quality of Jewish life in Canada, Israel, and around the world through philanthropic, volunteer, and professional leadership. This work includes caring for the most vulnerable, fostering Jewish identity and education, strengthening connections with Israel and Jews worldwide, and countering antisemitism and hate, while also creating programming and infrastructure that serve the Jewish community and broader society alike. Jewish Federations have been established in every area of Canada, home to the fourth largest Jewish community in the world, which today includes the Atlantic Jewish Council, Calgary Jewish Federation, Jewish Federation of Edmonton, Hamilton Jewish Federation, London Jewish Federation, Federation CJA (Montreal), Jewish Federation of Ottawa, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Jewish Federation Greater Vancouver, Jewish Federation Victoria and Vancouver Island, Windsor Jewish Federation, and Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
About the Jewish Federations Canada – UIA
Jewish Federations of Canada-United Israel Appeal (JFC-UIA) focuses on strengthening the Jewish communities of Canada. That work is centred on supporting the engagement of our local Jewish communities and federations with communities in Israel and overseas through opportunities for connection and increased philanthropy.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
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