An Israeli high schooler was beaten up in Fredericton. Her family believes it was a hate crime

Injured teenaged girl
Shaked Tsurkan suffered black eyes, scratches, cuts and bruises after being attacked near her Fredericton high school on April 30, 2024, in what the family claims was an antisemitic assault sparked by the Israel-Gaza war. (Photo courtesy of the Tsurkan family)

On April 30, Shaked Tsurkan, a 14-year-old Israeli girl attending high school in New Brunswick, was followed and beaten up by an older student. It happened off school grounds during the lunch hour and other classmates gathered to watch—someone even filmed the whole thing on their phone, later posted to social media, where you can see Tsurkan getting jumped from behind, thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly.

According to Shaked, her assailant is an older female Muslim student who also attends her school, Leo Hayes High School, in Fredericton. It appears the physical assault came after months of being targeted for being Israeli after she started Grade 9 in September 2023, just weeks before the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack.

The altercation left Tsurkan with cuts, bruises and black eyes. While the school declined to share details about the incident to protect the privacy of its students, Tsurkan says her assailant was suspended from school for a week; she also says when she returned to school, she was advised to use the teachers’ private washroom for her own safety, not to walk alone and to stay inside the building between classes.

Tsurkan’s parents are frustrated, because they feel local authorities are ignoring the antisemitic overtones to their daughter’s beating. On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Shaked Tsurkan and her parents, Eli and Michal, share their side of the story, detailing how the war in the Middle East is playing out in their corner of Atlantic Canada.

What we talked about:

  • Learn more about the antisemitic vandalism that resulted in broken windows on the Fredericton synagogue early on Jan, 27, 2024, in The CJN.
  • Read why Fredericton’s police force has now called in the Major Crimes Unit to investigate the student’s attack, in The CJN.
  • Why Canadian Jewish students are feeling afraid in public school classrooms, after Oct. 7, in The CJN


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. Hear why The CJN is important to me.