Dear Community Members,
The Atlantic Jewish Council remains committed to our Jewish values of Pikuach Nefesh and Tikkun Olam, and our shared responsibility to combat all forms of hate and discrimination. We stand steadfast with our friends and neighbours of the Black Community of Atlantic Canada in both denouncing anti-Black racism and urgently supporting collective efforts to combat it. We will continue to support those in our community who identify as Black Jews, bi-racial Jews, and Jews of colour. You are an integral part of our community, and we recommit ourselves to ensuring you feel safe and secure.
We encourage all members of our community to educate themselves on these important issues and the organizations addressing them in our community, and we commit to doing the same. We have posted on our website some resources which can act as a starting point for this education, as well as a list of relevant initiatives in our Jewish community, both local and national.
While these are not easy times, we remain firm in our belief that together we are stronger.
Note: CIJA is short for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the AJC’s national partner and national advocacy agent.
Sign A Letter Supporting the Black Community in Canada
We have been listening to members of the Black community in Canada, learning about the hatred and racism that exists against their community.
Listening is important. But it must be paired with action.
The Federation of Black Canadians have four policy priorities, impacting all levels of government, to help combat anti-Black racism across our country.
They are advocating for better data collection, economic support for the Black community, and police reform, including a move towards community-based policing.
Your voice matters. And it can make all the difference in the world. Join us and show your support for the Black community in Canada.
Jewish Community Webinar with the Federation of Black Canadians
On Tuesday June 15th, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs was pleased to hear from Dahabo, Robert, Chris and Athena, from the Federation of Black Canadians, who spoke to our community about who their organization represents, what anti-Black racism is, and what we can do to help support their cause. The discussion was both informative and eye-opening, and we thank the speakers and all participants for their time. If you were unable to join and would like to watch the webinar, you can do so here.
CIJA’s “We are listening Initiative”
Over the last two weeks, CIJA has has invited leaders from the Black community in Canada to share their lived experiences with the Jewish community. Their videos are powerful, and we encourage you to view them here.
Anti-Racist Resources Prepared by Dr. Yolana Wassersug
Click here to see a list of Anti-Racism books, recordings, podcasts, films, and non-profit organizations compiled for the Shaar Shalom Congregation by Dr. Yolana Wassersug.
“On anti-Black racism Canada can do better, be better” Op-Ed
This op-ed, published Tuesday in the Toronto Star, is co-authored Perry Bellegarde (National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations), Asif Khan (public relations director of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada), Queenie Choo (CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.), Tejinder Singh Sidhu (president of the World Sikh Organization), and Shimon Koffler Fogel (president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs). It calls for meaningful policy changes to help combat anti-Black Racism in Canada. Click here to read the op-ed.
Hear from Canadian Jews Yoni & Gideon Belete in Episode 4 of Canadian Jewish Views
Episode 4 of Canadian Jewish Views features Yoni and Gideon Belete. Extraordinary individuals, they share a powerful and important message we should all listen to. Click here watch the episode.
Recording of “An Evening of Deep Listening: Facing and Combating Racism with/in the Jewish Community”
ews often pride themselves on past alliances with the Black community in social justice pursuits. But where are we now? How can we go further? A Jewish community-wide dialogue with Jews of Colour—Canada in response to the reality of racism both within and outside our community.
Panelists: Rivka Campbell (Co-Founder, Jews of Colour—Canada), Tema Smith, and Tyler Samuels
Moderator: Emery Warner
Halifax “Shiva Delivers” Initiative
A Message from Aviv (Caitlin) O’Neill & Ben Hammer
This is a time of collective reflection. For many in the Black, Afro-Indigenous and Indigenous communities of Halifax, this is also a time of collective mourning for many whose lives have been lost – may their memories be a blessing.
In times of mourning, we as Jews attend Shiva and bring food to loved ones to alleviate stress and to show support. Shiva Delivers, an effort started in Vancouver, Canada, is an initiative where Jewish individuals cook food that is delivered to families of in the Black, Afro-Indigenous, and Indigenous communities to lighten their loads and hopefully bring a small bit of comfort.
We, Aviv (Caitlin) O’Neill and Ben Hammer, have decided to spearhead this initiative in Kjipuktuk for the week of June 15th – 21st. We are looking for volunteers to cook meals to be delivered to members of these communities (we will take care of the delivery!). You can sign up here: https://form.jotform.com/201584442180046. Note that we have some funding available for people who are able to cook but don’t have the means to provide the groceries.
We are also looking for spare take-out containers or Tupperware, and for people to spread the word to any friends and loved ones in these communities who might like to receive a meal, including members of our Jewish community who are also a part of Black and Indigenous communities. The meal sign-up is here: https://form.jotform.com/201584768192060. People can also sign up by contacting Aviv directly by phone: 902-844-1470. If you’re outside of Halifax and interested in organizing this in your community, Shiva Delivers Vancouver has written a guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LaMDZl2hOWebKpKk1yh052AOD92UgbuxEUTQom-01Ss/edit