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Facing rising anti-semitism

New toolkit created to counter antisemitism


A few days ago, a Vancouver synagogue experienced an arson attack.

Molotov cocktails, gunshots, vandalism, threats and other attacks on Jewish institutions and people in Canada have skyrocketed and we should all be concerned.

Jews, who make up about one per cent of the population, are the objects of about 50 per cent of hate crimes.

Too often, we dismiss the seriousness of antisemitism because we assume it is a “spillover” from overseas conflicts.

But other international conflicts do not create this level of hate, vandalism, threats and violence here at home. Why does this one?

Antisemitism exists in Canada and is a problem always looking for a spark to ignite it.

While the sorts of destructive and violent acts of antisemitism we are seeing in the news recently are serious and dangerous, other forms of antisemitism are even more widespread – and hold the potential for longer-term impacts on our body politic.

Many of us carry unconscious stereotypes about Jews that we are not even aware of.

Our reactions to what we see in the news are coloured by inherent biases, like assumptions of a Jewish “persecution complex,” or the idea that something specific about Jews brings hate crimes upon them (a form of victim-blaming people of goodwill do not subscribe to in the case of any other group).

The first step in addressing rising antisemitism is recognizing it in ourselves and challenging it our circles of influence.

On June 23, Upstanders Canada is releasing a major, practical, new toolkit, Be An Upstander: How Allies Can Recognize and Counter Antisemitism.

We invite all Canadians to join us for the virtual event releasing and explaining this invaluable new resource. Find out more and register at

Pat Johnson


Upstanders Canada