A security expert says this isn’t the time to take your mezuzahs down

York Region Police command post at The Promenada
York Regional Police set up a command post at the Promenade Mall in October "to engage citizens, take reports and discuss community concerns". (Ellin Bessner photo)

Toronto police have arrested and charged a 32-year-old Toronto man after he allegedly tried to stop someone from putting up posters of missing Israeli hostages along Yonge Street. Police say further hate-related charges could be laid. Meanwhile late Monday, Ottawa police announced they have laid various charges against a 29-year-old man after death threats were made during a phone call with Rabbi Idan Scher, of Congregation Machzikei Hadas last Friday.

The charges brings the total so far to 12 people who have been charged in Canada since Oct 7, when the barbarous Hamas attack on southern Israel killed 1,400 people and prompted Israel’s declaration of war against Hamas in Gaza.

Jewish communities from Vancouver, Regina, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton have been targeted with antisemitic incidents. These have included damaged mezuzot; a bomb threat made to an elementary school; a weapon fired in the dead of night through the front door of a Jewish home; restaurant patrons being harassed; and got death threats made against Canadian Jews. All this to say nothing of Hamas and ISIS flags being waved in the streets–even swastikas.

Meanwhile, Canada just announced a one-time pot of $5 million for security guards and equipment to protect Jewish and other religious or minority groups’ offices and day care centres. But can the police do more? Should Canadian Jews stay away from schools and synagogues and events? CIJA’s director of community security, Gerry Almendrades, tells The CJN Daily host Ellin Bessner that’s actually the worst thing Jews can do: give into the fear.

What we talked about


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.