Taking a stand on Jewish community safety

As you may be aware, social media posts are circulating calling for violent resistance against Jewish communities worldwide tomorrow, October 13, 2023. There is no specific information that these threats are real, and this may be part of a Hamas disinformation campaign. Despite that, we appreciate how upsetting and disturbing this is.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa has been coordinating with Ottawa Police Services at the highest levels regarding these reports. Law enforcement has been very supportive and has increased patrols around our institutions, including the Jewish Community Campus, our Jewish schools, and synagogues, and will continue to do so. To compliment their efforts, we have hired extra security and enhanced all security protocols on the Jewish community campus.

As further reassurance, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Intergovernmental Affairs and Democratic Institutions published a statement on Twitter, in support of the Jewish community:

“Canada stands in solidarity with Jewish communities across the country, who are feeling especially vulnerable ahead of the Hamas-led call for mobilization around the world. We have been and will continue to remain in close contact with Jewish community leaders from across the country.”

Meanwhile, CIJA Vice President of the Greater Toronto Area, Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, met with the directors of all school boards in Ontario. She asked them to be unequivocal in their messaging in denouncing the horrors occurring in Israel and standing with the Jewish community in rejecting antisemitism. Zero tolerance

Kirzner-Roberts also asked them to make sure staff were equipped with proper protocol to make sure antisemitic incidents are properly reported and followed up on and that staff are practicing vigilance with respect to these incidents. She offered resources and told them CIJA is available to support them in helping their students.

In addition, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa has been working with the Ottawa-Carleton School District Board (OCDSB) to urge them to issue a statement to denounce violence of any type on school grounds. A letter was sent to all OCDSB parents at 6pm today (Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023).

Although in the past, calls by terrorist organizations for global jihad have not resulted in physical attacks against Canada’s Jewish community, we must not become lax. While there is no specific intelligence, vigilance is our No. 1 ally. Out of an abundance of caution, we ask all Jewish community members to be extra vigilant on Friday around Jewish institutions and to continue to do so throughout Shabbat. 

Please remember, security is all our responsibility. If you see something, say something! In case of an emergency, your first call should always be 9-1-1. For non-emergent threats, please call the OPS non-emergency line at (613) 236-1222 or open an online case here.

We continue to pray and support our family in Israel and locally. 

Am Yisrael Chai