Grassroots human rights advocacy and a lifeline for our community

Frequently Asked Questions

What is B'nai Brith Canada?

B’nai Brith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel and global Jewry, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in combatting antisemitism & racism. We operate the country's only 24-Hour Anti-Hate Hotline combatting antisemitism and racism and annually produce The Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, recognized internationally as Canada's definitive report on antisemitism. We are the grassroots voice of the Jewish Community.

How is B'nai Brith Canada different?

Unlike many other groups, we are completely self-funded, and we rely entirely on the generosity of supporters like you to allow us to succeed. B'nai Brith has ties to all parts of Canadian society and is a champion of democracy and freedom for all.

We are the country's oldest Jewish advocacy organization, with roots going back to 1875. We have been tracking antisemitism trends in Canada for more than thirty years, and have decades of experience and volumes of work behind us. We make decisions based on regular consultations with the community, informed by our experience and expertise. Because of our close ties with the community, it is hard to find a single Jewish family in Canada that does not have a direct connection with our historical legacy. 

Do I have to be Jewish to be a member of B'nai Brith?

If you identify as a member of the Jewish faith, we invite you to become a member of B'nai Brith. We are a secular organization and welcome Jews from all walks of life. We are known as an organization that unites all segments of the Jewish community, regardless of affiliation. 

If you aren't Jewish but still want to be a part of the B'nai Brith family, there are many ways that you can get actively involved. You can volunteer on one of our many community initiatives or advocacy campaigns, take part in our programming, join one of our interfaith outreach committees, support our mission financially, or join our mailing list to keep informed.

Although B'nai Brith is well-known as the voice of the grassroots Jewish community, we are very thankful for the strong support that our organization receives from the broader Canadian community, who recognize B'nai Brith as a Canadian thought leader in defending the Human Rights of all oppressed people.

I've been the victim of an antisemitic incident. Can B'nai Brith sue the perpetrator for me?

If you have been the victim of an antisemitic incident, we encourage you to submit a confidential online report here, or call our 24-hour anti-hate hotline at 1-800-892-2624. You can also find more information about what happens when you file a report here.

While B'nai Brith and the League for Human Rights does not directly offer legal advice or services to the public, in appropriate circumstances we are able to connect you with a lawyer referral service which can recommend an experienced representative for you to speak with that is well suited to your particular case. We can also direct you to alternative forums or resources that may be relevant to your particular circumstances.

As a charitable institution, B'nai Brith is unable to prosecute any cases before the courts. If you feel that you are the victim of an offense of a criminal nature, please make sure that you speak to the police as soon as possible, prior to calling our hotline.

While we do not generally provide individual legal assistance, B'nai Brith will regularly intervene before the courts to defend human rights as a matter of public policy for all Canadians. For example, B'nai Brith launched a court action against the Federal Government of Canada for failing to recognize the entirety of Hezbollah as the terrorist organization that it is. B'nai Brith has also intervened all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada in prominent cases such as R. v. Zundel, Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem and Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. William Whatcott

No matter the nature of your incident, we encourage you to contact us via our confidential online report form or the anti-hate hotline today, to discuss how we can help. Rest assured that any and all personal information provided to B'nai Brith through your calls and reports is kept strictly confidential to respect your privacy; our Annual Report will only include aggregate statistical information that will never personally identify any victims of antisemitism. 

What can you do if I've been the victim of antisemitism?

We can do a number of things to assist you.

We can help you to understand the steps necessary in filing a complaint with the police (and in many cases, connect you with hate crimes units in your area), assist you in filing a complaint with other agencies (e.g., the Human Rights Commission), or help you find legal representation or other professional services (e.g., counselling, security consultations, etc.). We may also act as an advocate on your behalf, writing letters of support or offering expert statements to proceedings. In some cases, we offer educational resources to employers, schools or other agencies. Finally, we maintain detailed aggregate statistics on the rates and types of antisemitism being experienced in Canada, which we use to make recommendations to policy makers, governments and officials. Simply adding your story and sharing your experience uniquely positions B'nai Brith in its advocacy efforts on behalf of victims of racism, discrimination and bigotry. 

When does B'nai Brith intervene in the court?

B'nai Brith will regularly intervene before the courts to defend human rights as a matter of public policy for all Canadians. In recent years we have intervened in a number of cases, some all the way to the Supreme Court. Some of the most notable cases with which we have been involved in recent years have been R v Keegstra, McCorkell v Streed, The Air India Trial, and B'nai Brith's lawsuit against the Federal Government of Canada regarding the failure to list of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. 

How is B'nai Brith in Canada related to B'nai B'rith International and the Anti-Defamation League?

B'nai Brith Canada is the Canadian affiliate of B'nai B'rith International (BBI). B'nai B'rith International, with members in more than 50 countries around the world, is the world's oldest Jewish service organization. While B'nai Brith is an independent Canadian organization, we work closely with B'nai B'rith International. For example, B'nai Brith Canada participates in the annual B'nai B'rith International delegation to meet world leaders in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly.  We also regularly participate in numerous international functions cooperatively with BBI, in places such as Geneva, Jerusalem and Washington.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the U.S. and abroad through information, education, legislation and advocacy. They serve as a resource for government, media, law enforcement, educators and the public, with a network of 27 Regional and Satellite Offices in the United States and an office in Israel. B'nai Brith Canada is the sister agency of the Anti-Defamation League and The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith fulfills the same mandate in Canada.

The League for Human Rights is the authoritative voice on issues of antisemitism in Canada, operates the Jewish Community's only 24/7 Anti-Hate Hotline, and publishes The Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, the premier Canadian study of its kind, recognized by entities such as The US State Department, Statistics Canada, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Roth Centre as the authoritative document reflecting antisemitic trends in Canada.


Have you experienced antisemitism, racism or discrimination? Report an Incident