Herut Canada expects several hundred people to attend “A Day of Jewish Pride” motorcycle and car rally in Toronto on June 25.
The 11 a.m. event, which is to include speakers, a Krav Maga demonstration and class, Israeli music and food—is to commence at Earl Bales Park in North York. According to recent data, Jews, who make up 3.4% of the Toronto population, are the victims of 26% of the Ontario capital’s crimes. (A retooled Holocaust museum opened last week in Toronto.)
“Antisemitism is very much alive both here and the rest of the world. Jews need to come out, be tough and show our pride,” Aaron Hadida, national director of the local chapter of Herut, a pro-Israel nonprofit, told JNS.
Organizers anticipate a line of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles “coming out and showing that we are not afraid,” Hadida, who hosts a podcast called “Tough Jews,” told JNS. Herut will also hand out Israeli flags and T-shirts.
No one should have to endure discrimination based on the culture or community into which one is born, according to Hadida.
“But I think that the Jewish community has to show more pride because the hostility we get is disproportionate,” he said. “It should not be ‘open season’ for Jew-bashers simply because the Jewish community is quiet about it. We are usually very peaceful people.”
He noted that most news consumers probably would expect Jews to number much more than about 15 million worldwide, given the disproportionate coverage that Jews receive and the large number of antisemitic hate crimes.
About 400,000 Jews live in Canada, mainly in Toronto and Montreal with smaller communities throughout the rest of the country, including Vancouver, Ottawa and Winnipeg according to the World Jewish Congress.
“We are very concerned about Canada. There is antisemitism, anti-Zionism and many Jews don’t know what to do,” Karma Feinstein-Cohen, executive director of World Herut and of its youth wing Magshimey Herut, told JNS.
Extremists on the political left and right, and of religious extremes, target Jews in Canada with racism, according to Feinstein-Cohen. She also noted the recent trend in anti-Israel sentiment at Canadian universities.
“Our job is to speak up against all these different forms of antisemitism,” she told JNS.