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Rosensweig: Questioning our response to anti-Semitism

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The Jewish world must be deeply introspective at this time, to determine if we are really prepared to respond to anti-Semitism.

The Canadian Jewish community must know if we, as a collective and as individuals, are stepping up at a time when Jew hatred, as well as other forms of racism, is rising dramatically. Is our leadership responding in the way we need them to? Are they bringing us together to ensure that men, women and children are involved in the plan to fight anti-Semitism using the unbending and powerful spirit of our people?

Are our rabbis and the heads of Jewish organizations acting courageously, aggressively, even brazenly, in order to ensure the safety of our beautiful community? Are our shuls becoming a place where our people can talk about anti-Semitism, share their fears and develop plans to battle those who want us to destroy us?

We must ask ourselves what we have taken from our Holocaust education. Did it encourage us to become active in the struggle to protect all Jews, to make our world a better place by transforming ourselves into agents of courage?

Is there a plan to fight the rising tide of anti-Semitism? Is it comprehensive? And if there is a plan to fight, and fight fiercely, with all the resources our brilliant community has, where do you  and I fit in? Is there a plan to befriend the non-Jews who support us and will help protect us?

Are Israeli Jews involved in bringing this plan to fruition and ensuring its successful implementation? Is the Knesset looking at Diaspora Jewry and recognizing that we are one nation? Is it using its know-how, together with the millions of dollars our affluent community is able to contribute to this plan, to strategically and tactically fight those who are intent on frightening and hurting us?

Where is that shared plan? Where is that treasury? How can I contribute? Where are those meetings taking place and when should we show up with our battle gear, ready to live up to our promise not to walk like sheep to our slaughter?

The Jewish community has no choice but to ask these very difficult questions. Every one of us must contribute to the answers. We must listen to the Holocaust survivors who are still with us and questioning why we hear silence when unending acts of violence are perpetrated against us, over and over and over again.

They want to know. Many have told me so. They are surprised at the cavalier nature of our people and our response to anti-Semitism, especially after billions of dollars have been invested in Holocaust memorials, programs, books, lectures, trips, meetings, edifices and more.

Our Holocaust survivors fear for us. I know this. Ask them yourself and hear what they have to say. Ask them if we’re doing enough.


Be afraid, as that is the appropriate response to those who harbour stereotypes about our people and despise us. Be worried when your answer to the questions “What is the plan” and “Where do I fit in” is simply “I don’t know.”

My Jewish brothers and sisters, our esteemed leadership, where are you? Wake up and say, “Never Again!”

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