La’ad Canada Announces Public Launch of CARE Project to Help Combat Antisemitism

·3 min read

TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- La’ad Canada officially announced today the public launch of its CARE Project — Combatting Antisemitism through Research and Education. The project, which is being undertaken thanks to generous funding from the Government of Canada, is focused on offering training to first responders and public sector workers on how to recognize and combat antisemitism, and respond to hate crimes and incidents both on the job and in the community.

“The CARE Project is focused on providing practical, job-relevant information to police, first responders and other public sector workers, to help them recognize and combat antisemitism,” said Sam Eskenasi, Director of Advocacy for La’ad Canada. “To date, we have been working with a number of police forces and school boards in Ontario as well as directly with many teachers, medical professionals and other public sector workers to create specifically tailored programming and materials.”

“Many of the groups and organizations we have reached out to as part of this project have expressed to us their belief that the recent rise in antisemitism has been partly due to misconceptions Canadians have about Jews and Judaism. These misconceptions can fuel racism, discrimination and antisemitism, even unintentionally. This is why it is critical that public sector workers and those most likely to come into contact with Canadian Jews are given a background on relevant cultural sensitivities and practices they may encounter.

“We want to also thank the Government of Canada for its support of this project and specifically highlight the role that MPs Ya’ara Saks and Bardish Chagger played in helping bring this program to reality. It is our hope that together we can help combat antisemitism by focusing on research and education where it matters most.”

La’ad Canada’s CARE Project and related training program has been designed to provide public sector employees with relevant knowledge and information on how to identify and combat antisemitism, both in the workplace and when interacting with the public at large.

The training program focuses on three main areas:

  • Overview of Jewish culture and practice as relevant to first responders and public sector workers.

  • Hate crimes legislation / How to identify hate in a legal context.

  • Identifying and dispelling commonly held beliefs which may or may not be antisemitic.

Data from police agencies and Statistics Canada shows that the Jewish community is the most targeted group for hate crimes incidents in the city of Toronto, and consistently one of the highest in Canada (Toronto Police Statistics, Statistics Canada). Further, according to statistics gathered by other Jewish community organizations, many Jewish Canadians face systemic and widespread discrimination and antisemitism at school, work, and while accessing public services, even if the incidents themselves do not rise to the level of hate crimes.

The CARE Project seeks to ensure that those public employees who are most likely to interact with the Jewish community understand not only what constitutes antisemitism and how to prevent it, but also how to accommodate their Jewish clients, patients and students in a way that is culturally appropriate.

For more information about the CARE Program or La'ad Canada, please contact:

Sam Eskenasi
Director of Advocacy