Tonight, as the sun sets and we usher in the 10th day of Tishrei, hundreds of thousands of Jews across Canada and the world will mark Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement.
Yom Kippur is a time when Jews repent for our sins, when we seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam l'Makom), other human beings (bein adam l'chavero), and ourselves (bein adam l'atzmo).
It is also a time of reflection, where we look back at our actions in order to learn from our mistakes – and grow stronger as a community.
Like years past, the vitriolic campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel and foster antisemitism continued to take shape in 5776. But it also saw our community band together like never before to say no to hate and discrimination in all its forms.
Here at B’nai Brith Canada, we work tirelessly to expose and confront racism and antisemitism before it starts to spread, ensure that human rights for all Canadians are protected, and seek justice for victims of hatred. We stand united with Canadians to banish bigotry and discrimination from the public sphere.
As an organization that advocates on behalf of beleaguered Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora, provides affordable housing to the most vulnerable members of our community, and operates the Jewish community’s only 24-hour anti-hate hotline, B’nai Brith serves as the voice of grassroots Canadian Jewry, offering a lifeline to those who need it most.
On Yom Kippur, as we atone and repent for our sins of the past, we must also look to our future so that we’re prepared to continue our fight against those who direct hate towards our community, so that never again will we, or any other group, be victims of intolerance.
Today, a toxic atmosphere of hatred continues to threaten Canada, Israel and the world. By contributing to B’nai Brith, you allow us to fight on behalf of our community so that bigotry, injustice and discrimination become problems of the past. An even stronger B’nai Brith makes for a stronger Jewish community and a stronger Canada.
From all of us at B’nai Brith Canada, have an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur. G’mar Chatimah Tova!