TORONTO — B’nai Brith Canada thinks that getting an early start and the introduction of Bill C-51 might give it a real shot this year at persuading the Ontario Legislative Assembly to prohibit an Al-Quds Day anti-Israel rally from taking place at Queen’s Park this summer.
In association with a number of partner organizations, B’nai Brith launched its first “Stop Al-Quds Day” online petition March 25, and by April 1, it had collected more than 1,200 signatures.
TORONTO — Temple Emanu-El, the Reform congregation located in a leafy upscale neighbourhood in north Toronto, is selling off 1.5 acres of prime real estate at the eastern edge of the synagogue property.
The imminent sale of the land, which has been subdivided into three residential lots, is expected to raise $6 million. The funds will go toward an endowment fund that will ensure the synagogue’s financial viability for decades to come, said president Pekka Sinervo.
TORONTO — With the release of the Toronto Police Service’s annual Hate/Bias Crime Statistical Report, members of the Jewish community might well ask themselves, is the glass half full or half empty?
The 2014 report found that hate crimes reported to police went up by 11 per cent over 2013 and that Jews were the single most targeted group in Toronto, followed by blacks and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. The total number of occurrences affecting all groups was 146 – in a city of 2.7 million people.
I was not born in a time when day schools as we know them existed. My Jewish learning was delivered by a kindly, well-meaning European melamed. What I learned was rudimentary, and what I didn’t learn was monumental. My Jewish education was supplemented in my home and from Habonim, the Zionist Youth Movement. How I wish I had the opportunity of attending day school. Three hours a week – even three hours a few times per week – does not give one the kind of Jewish literacy I have so craved in my adult life.
In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, and facing both economic instability and resurgent anti-Semitism across the continent, Europe’s Jews have made it official: they’re moving to Canada.
The choice has come as a surprise to pundits and xenophobes worldwide, and disappointed Jewish communities in Israel and the United States, which had been widely considered the two leading candidate nations.
TORONTO — A wave of acts of kindness is sweeping across the GTA.
Some 7,000 students, including kids from six local Jewish day schools, will be participating in the second annual Human Kindness Project event, Kindness Week, to be held March 1 to 6.
The Human Kindness Project is a non-profit organization that provides educational programs to develop positive social skills, compassion, resiliency and leadership in children and young people to affect change through acts of deliberate kindness.
TORONTO — A fundraising initiative by the Kehilla Residential Programme will enable more Torontonians to enjoy affordable housing.
Kehilla, Toronto’s non-profit housing agency, runs a rental assistance program that provides up to $300 per month to help families in need meet rental costs.
Kehilla currently supports 26 households that are forced to pay more than 35 per cent of their gross incomes on rent.
TORONTO — Moishe House, an international organization that seeks to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults, opened in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood earlier this month.
The residents of all 74 international houses are primarily post-college young adults who, in exchange for subsidized living accommodations, are given a budget to organize and host seven or more programs and volunteer opportunities a month in their respective communities.