Arielle Zelikovitz, a Grade 11 student at Sir Robert Borden High School, attended the sentencing hearing for the young Ottawa man convicted in the series of anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and racist graffiti attacks that shocked the city last November, and offers these thoughts.
It is quite upsetting to watch the news and, on a regular basis, see reports of anti-Semitic and racially motivated attacks taking place in Europe, Israel, and other parts of the world. In November 2016, this unfortunate reality hit all too close to home when a series of hate crimes took place in Ottawa, the majority of those attacks targeted the Ottawa Jewish community, but also our city’s Muslim and Christian communities.
I attended the defendant’s sentencing hearing last month, not only as a concerned member of the Jewish community, but as a student who has participated on the March of the Living. My journey to Poland and Israel in 2016, travelling with fellow students and a number of incredible Holocaust survivors, gave me a heightened sense of responsibility to speak out against others being persecuted. The Holocaust, as we all know, was one of the most horrific encounters of anti-Semitism that the Jewish people have ever faced. [Read more…]