Run, hide, defend: This is the new approach to keep Canadian Jews safe over the High Holidays and beyond

An anti-Israel protester, left, disrupted a recent gala fundraiser by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto featuring speakers Stephen Harper and George Bush. (Screenshot from islamic_hr/TikTok)

As Canadian Jews debate whether to head back to in-person synagogue services for the High Holidays, and parents may fret about their kids’ safety at the onset of back-to-school season, security is top of mind for many. While security is not as big a concern as it is in the United States, where shooting and hostage situations in Jewish spaces have become distressingly common, for Canadian security professionals, the goal is to ensure Canada doesn’t get any worse in the face of rising waves of antisemitism.

The new head of community security for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Gerry Almendrades—who served in the Canadian Armed Forces with time in Afghanistan—has been holding training sessions and conducting site visits of Jewish buildings in some parts of the country. He’s teaching a new security protocol, called “Run Hide Defend”, which is used by police forces to educate the public about how to act in an active-shooter situation.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Almendrades joins to discuss his advice for Canadian Jews. After that, you’ll hear from Christopher Fernandes, a veteran police officer in the Toronto area: he’s now the vice president of community security for the UJA in Toronto. He’ll discuss what his reaction was to a protester who briefly disrupted a major UJA fundraising event that featured speakers former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

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. Production assistance by Gabrielle Nadler and YuZhu Mou. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.