‘Put two menorahs up in every public square’: Parliament Hill rally urges all Canadians to support the Jewish community

Ottawa rally for the Jewish people
Despite a wind chill of -4 degrees and a dump of snow that snarled traffic in Ottawa, Canadian Jews gathered on Parliament Hill on Dec. 4, 2023, in the community's largest show of solidarity yet since Oct. 7 (Irv Osterer photo)

An estimated 20,000 people, mostly members of Canada’s Jewish community, gathered in Ottawa on Dec. 4 to rally in support of Israel, call for the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas, and fight back against antisemitism.

The event was, by far, the largest single demonstration of unity held by Canada’s Jewish community since the terrorist attack that happened on Oct. 7 in Israel, in which 1,200 people were killed and 240 more kidnapped.

Coming just three days before the start of Hanukkah, the rally featured many speakers who pointed to the Jewish festival of light as a concrete example of what steps Canadians should take—including political leaders—to fight against evil and fight for religious freedom. On today’s The CJN Daily, you’ll hear what it sounded like at the rally, as host Ellin Bessner speaks with several Canadians who made the trip: Myrna Yazer of Halifax; Montrealers Julie Kristof, Judy Litvack and Lucy Shapiro; and Toronto high school students Galit Bell and Jaclyn Charlat.

What we talked about

  • Watch the Rally for Israel on YouTube
  • Read Jonathan Rothman’s on-the-ground coverage of the rally in The CJN
  • Learn more about Moncton city council reversing its menorah ban 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.