Reporting antisemitism is more important than ever

By Jordan Gregory
The Ottawa Jewish community has been bombarded by antisemitic incidents since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7. In addition to the visual and verbal attacks around the community, we have had to contend with social media spreading misinformation and hateful messaging, elementary school students facing hate in their classrooms, university encampments, and disruptions at convocations.  The ripple effects of the Hamas attack and ongoing war are far-ranging
According to the B'nai Brith Canada 2023 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents ,there were on average almost 16 antisemitic incidents daily in Canada in 2023. We can predict this number has only increased in 2024 due to the university encampments set up nationally throughout the month of May and continuing into June. Even the ongoing protests are growing angrier and the calls for peace in Gaza have turned to looking for ongoing violence against Israel.
In 2023, hate crimes against the Jewish community in Ottawa accounted for 34% of all identity related hate crimes reported for the year, with a spike following the Oct. 7 attack. Moving into 2024, many of us are acclimating to increased hate and choosing not to report due to inconvenience, the feeling that it won’t be handled well, or have reporting fatigue, but it is more important than ever to report to Federation and the police. We must ensure Ottawa Police Services (OPS) are fully aware of the situation we are experiencing.
“For our authorities to fight hate, they need to hear about it. The more they hear from us, the more likely they are to act. Every report of hate is real advocacy, and a critical part of this fight. It raises awareness outside the Jewish community and illustrates how we are impacted by each and every incident - even if OPS can’t take action on every case. Reporting also generates statistics, which are vital tools to make anti-hate funding available, raise awareness, and highlight the needs of our community.” says David Sachs, Advocacy and Antisemitism Specialist at the Federation
Federation is committed to supporting all members of the community combating and dealing with antisemitism. The first step is to report it. There are several ways to make sure your voice is heard, and your struggle is counted. We have created a resource page to guide you through the reporting process and it is outlined below.
  1. Report it on the Federation's webpage on the Federation’s webpage. This will ensure that someone from the Federation advocacy team can contact you and support you through the process, make sure you feel safe, and refer you to other resources as needed. This tool can be used for community incidents, elementary and high school incidents, and college or university incidents. 
  2. Report it to the Ottawa Police Service. This is the only way to ensure that the incident is investigated and counted in the statistics. OPS uses these statistics to determine how to allocate resources. By reporting the incident, you work to make Ottawa a safer place for our Jewish community. 
  3. If the incident happened in a school, college, or university, report it to the proper administrators. 
Although these past few months have been hard, the Federation has marvelled at our communal strength and resilience. Our community has swelled with Jewish pride, and we see that love of Israel is shining through all of us. 
If you experience antisemitism, please let us help you by reporting the incident
- Jordan Gregory is the Social media and Communications Intern at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. She can be reached at