Ontario is fortunate to be home to a diverse mix of cultures, religions and identities from across the world. As we witnessed the terrible conflict and violence that took place recently in the Middle East, we know it has had a direct impact on many living here. As a provincial association that counts among its members three faith-based child welfare agencies, one of which is Jewish Family & Child Service (JF&CS), we want to recognize the difficulties recent conflict abroad has caused communities in this province. Specifically, in the GTA, around Ontario, and in other provinces, we have seen disturbing examples of anti-Semitic behaviours such as Swastika flags hanging from cars, hate inspired graffiti on buildings, anti-Semitic remarks, and physical aggression. We also recognize that Arab and Muslim communities continue to face acts of Islamophobia, discrimination and hate.
OACAS stands with JF&CS in firmly condemning all violence, discrimination and hate regardless of who initiates and to whom it is directed. We are allies with those who want peace and safety for all. We support our members, all of whom stand for decency and compassion and work every day serving diverse and vulnerable populations to improve the lives of children, youth and families. We encourage our members and communities to be aware of those families who may be affected by actions of discrimination and hate and seek ways to support them during these challenging times.
Everyone has a role in community safety and security. If you encounter hate of any kind–vandalism, suspicious activity, or provocations targeting any specific community – please contact your local police department immediately.
In an emergency, your first call should be to 911.
If what you have experienced or witnessed is specifically anti-Semitic, you may also report this to: The UJA Community Security 24/7 Hotline at (416) 635-5600 OR use their digital portal at https://jewishtoronto.com/community-incident-report.