Last month, Toronto Police released a report on hate crimes in the city during 2015, and for the tenth year in a row Jews topped the list of most targeted communities. The facts suggest that certain people are seriously misjudging the state of anti-Semitism in Canada today: It is, unfortunately, far from being an "abused" term.
"Anti-Semitism" may be the most abused term in Canada today. Almost entirely divorced from its dictionary definition -- "discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews" -- it is now primarily invoked to uphold Jewish/white privilege. Inward looking and affluent, the Jewish community is quick to claim victimhood. But, like an out of control child, the major Jewish organizations need to seriously reevaluate what they aim to represent in the public sphere.
I am an orthodox Jewish woman and it's something I'm proud of. I know I may seem different to you, strange even. We look different, we keep mostly to ourselves and basically live in our own little bubble. I understand you don't "get" us. But I don't understand why we deserve the hatred directed at us.
Trump's scapegoating of Muslims, Hispanics, blacks and other "others" for political gain is exposing a racist ugliness, and dangerously inflaming it. Who knows how big the fire might get? "Never forget" became a Jewish slogan in hopes our collective memory might prevent another Holocaust, but also because we can't forget. It defines us. So as hard as it is to hear Hitler's name all over the news, let it at least remind us why we must stop Trump and all leaders who traffic in racism and xenophobia before such hate defines anyone else.
According to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Toronto is home to Canada's largest Jewish population with approximately 200,000 Jews living in the Greater Toronto Area. If you want to be immersed in unique Jewish culture and explore all that Jewish Toronto has to offer, pack your bags and come on down!
Frequently underlying the purported threat Obama represents to his own country is innuendo about his 'true' identity accompanied by allegations about the hidden Islamist tendencies. Given the absence of any proof to support such ludicrous assertions, 'Obamabashers' conduct whisper campaigns often around dinner tables or other social gatherings.
The irony is that it seems to be some Christians themselves who, in an effort to show respect for non-Christians, often pre-emptively remove "Christmas" from their greetings, events, and public symbols. While the intention is laudable, the effort is largely unnecessary. I appreciate and welcome the deep connection Christians have to the symbols of their holidays.
This week, Canadians observed the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. For Sikh Canadians and Jewish Canadians alike, the Day of Remembrance has particular resonance. That our two communities have shared experience in facing terrorism was pointedly on display during the 2008 Mumbai attack.
The Metropolitan Opera recently announced it would cancel a planned worldwide cinema broadcast of John Adams' haunting opera, The Death of Klinghoffer. Indeed the whole opera has been criticized -- including by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, the daughters of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer -- as humanizing and even justifying acts of terrorism.
"You're Jew-ish?" my roommate awkwardly inquired, examining me so closely I could have sworn she was looking for horns. It was clear we had both grown up in completely diverse situations, practicing different religions in very dissimilar neighbourhoods. I quickly came to realize that I was now in fact the highly unwarranted representative of the entire Jewish population.
Sometimes the worst of times may be the best of times in disguise. I repeat the caveat: sometimes. Case in point, let's look at four very different mayors from across Canada: Gérald Tremblay, Rob Ford, Naheed Nenshi, and Colette Roy-Laroche. They all faced different types of crises this summer, and their responses defined them in the public eye.
Though we were both raised Catholic, my husband and I made a conscious decision to eschew religion when raising our son. I'm a big believer in love over rites and rituals. Like many parents, we want him to make an informed decision about his own spirituality when he is old and mature enough to do so. Yet part of me wonders if agnosticism is truly the right move.