B’nai Brith recognizes Cote Saint-Luc in fight against racism, anti-semtism, discrimination

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Bnai Brith senior leadership present a certificate recognizing Cote Saint-Luc’s Public Safety and Police efforts

“I am honoured to present a B’nai Brith Certificate of Recognition to the City of Cote Saint-Luc at the City Council meeting for their fight against racism, antisemitism and discrimination,” said Quebec Region Director Harvey Levine at last Monday night’s public council meeting.

Levine, brother of CSL Councillor Allan J. Levine, was accompanied by BBC leaders Eric Bissell and Ted Greenfield and made the presentation to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and me, Police Commander Jean O’Malley, Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and senior officers of the CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol group.

The citation was a result of the B’nai Brith Canada and the League for Human Rights Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. The Audit has been conducted every year since 1982, and is the result of close cooperation with the public, local police forces and other community organizations across the country. The Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents is more than just a snapshot of the intensity of incidents against the Jewish community; it serves as the barometer of the level of racism in Canada as a whole.

Levine stated that Cote Saint-Luc is the second largest Jewish community in Canada, after Thornhill, Ontario. Remarkably, Cote Saint-Luc did not register a single anti-semitic act in 2016, out of the 1728 incidents reported across Canada. Levine, singled out Cote Saint-Luc Public Security and vCOP along with Police Station 9 for their vigilance, surveillance and prevention work.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Harvey Levine congratulated me for my leadership in Public Safety in Cote Saint-Luc, namely in creating and leading the vCOP group. This presentation was a total surprise and a great honour for me. I salute all of the great volunteers in vCOP along with the professionals in Public Security and Montreal Police Station 9. Thank you to our mayor, council and administration for their continued support of my public safety ideas and initiatives. And my utmost respect and appreciation goes to Harvey Levine and B’nai Brith Canada for their outstanding work on behalf of all Canadians.

Meet the candidates of District 7

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District 7 candidates Mitch Kujavsky, David Tordjman, Sidney Benizri and Lloyd Pedvis with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein in the Council Chambers. Who will be the successful candidate?

District 7 candidates Mitch Kujavsky, David Tordjman, Sidney Benizri and Lloyd Pedvis with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein in the Council Chambers. Who will be the successful candidate?

The four candidates for Côte Saint-Luc District 7 will meet the public on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Blvd.) in Meet-the-Candidates event hosted by B’nai Brith Canada, Quebec.

 

The by-election to elect a new councillor in District 7 takes place on April 10. The seat was left vacant by Mitchell Brownstein who resigned his seat before being acclaimed as Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc.

 

The four candidates in contention for a council seat are, in alphabetical order: Sidney Benizri, Mitch Kujavsky, Lloyd Pedvis, and David Tordjman. The candidates will make opening and closing remarks and each will answer questions from the moderator on relevant issues of concern to the district residents.

 

“The event will be co-moderated by myself” stated Harvey Levine, Executive Director, B’nai Brith Quebec, “and Steve Slimovitch, who is a criminal lawyer, President of the Lord Reading Law Society and board member of B’nai Brith Canada, League for Human Rights. Mr. Slimovitch is a former resident of Côte Saint-Luc and his parents still reside there.”

 

Mayor Brownstein will open the event. There will be closing remarks from Côte Saint-Luc resident Gerry Weinstein, who is Past President, B’nai Brith Canada and President of Residence B’nai Brith House and the soon to be built Chateau B’nai Brith — both in Côte Saint-Luc.

 

Levine also stated “as an important part of the fabric of Côte Saint-Luc, B’nai Brith are happy to host this event. Our mission is to bring Canadian Jewry of all ages and backgrounds together by promoting human rights throughout the world, advocating for the security of the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide and providing local services through volunteer activities, cultivation of leadership and charitable work focusing on seniors and the less fortunate.”

 

Candidates debate in the Mount Royal riding

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The City of Côte Saint-Luc, B’nai Brith Canada-Quebec, and Congregation Beth Zion are co-sponsoring a debate on Thursday, April 28, 2011 between candidates wishing to represent the Mount Royal riding in the House of Commons.

The debate takes place that evening from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Congregation Beth Zion, 5740 Hudson Avenue, corner Kildare Avenue.

The candidates participating in the debate are: Irwin Cotler, Liberal Party of Canada; Jeff Itcush, New Democratic Party of Canada; Brian Sarwer-Foner, Green Party of Canada; and Saulie Zajdel, Conservative Party of Canada.

A portion of the debate will be devoted to written questions from audience members. The debate is being moderated by Anthony Housefather, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc, and Beryl Wajsman, editor of The Suburban newspaper.

The federal general election takes place on Monday, May 2, 2011. Visit http://www.elections.ca or call 1-800-463-6868 for information on voting eligibility.

Le débat des candidats de la circonscription de Mont-Royal

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La Ville de Côte Saint-Luc, B’nai Brith Canada-Québec et la Congrégation Beth Zion coparrainent le débat qui aura lieu le jeudi 28 avril 2011 et auquel prendront part les candidats souhaitant représenter la circonscription de Mont-Royal à la Chambre des communes.

Le débat se déroulera de 19 h à 20 h 30 à la Congrégation Beth Zion, située au 5740, avenue Hudson, à l’intersection du chemin Kildare.

Les candidats participant au débat sont les suivants : Irwin Cotler (Parti libéral du Canada), Jeff Itcush (Nouveau Parti démocratique du Canada), Brian Sarwer-Foner (Parti Vert du Canada) et Saulie Zajdel (Parti conservateur du Canada).

Une partie du débat, qui sera présidé par Anthony Housefather, maire de la Ville de Côte Saint Luc, et Beryl Wajsman, rédacteur en chef du journal The Suburban, sera consacrée aux questions écrites des membres de l’auditoire.

L’élection générale fédérale aura lieu le lundi 2 mai 2011. Pour obtenir des renseignements sur l’admissibilité à voter, rendez-vous à l’adresse http://www.elections.ca ou composez le 1-800-463-6868.

Montreal picking up the pieces following recent wave of vandalism

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Montreal picking up the pieces following recent wave of vandalism

Written by Daniel Smajovits

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

MONTREAL – The Jewish communities of Cote St. Luc and Hampstead are slowly picking up the pieces following the wave of coordinated vandalism which targeted four synagogues, a daycare centre and a school in the early hours of Sunday, Jan. 16.

As of Monday, the Montreal Police Department had no further leads.

“It’s just broken windows; it was not like someone painted a Swastika or slogan saying ‘We hate Jews’ on the buildings. It’s very difficult to work off these acts of mischief,” said Daniel Lacoursière, a spokesperson for the Montreal Police hampDepartment.

However, the picture might be much worse than reported. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post by Canadian journalist Rhonda Spivak, other serious incidents in Montreal are going unreported as part of a concerted effort to downplay how bad things are in Montreal.

As for the recent Montreal incidents, Rabbi Chaim Steimetz of the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem thinks the attacks are more than what officers are making them out to be, saying that it’s clear they were not random acts of violence.

“This set of attacks showed a certain amount of sophistication. A guy had to plan and hit six different places in the very same night…this was not your average teenagers on a Saturday night,” he said. “When someone can be that motivated, you have to be a little bit nervous that they can do something on a much grander scale. We’re telling people to be much more wary and careful and to keep their eyes open.”

Evidence from Yeshiva Yavne further confirms this sophistication.

According to a spokesperson, the damage occurred behind the school, which is enclosed by a fence and is directly adjacent to train tracks. They believe that the individual must have scaled at least one portion of the fence to hit the school.

Nearly two weeks later, the reaction of the community has run the gamut of emotions.

“Things have been overall very calm. However, I think people are indignant and worried that such a thing could happen in this day and age,” said Rabbi Ron Aigen of the Dorshei Emet Congregation. “While there was minimal damage, the message is unacceptable. Our congregants will continue to be more vigilant and concerned. Personally, it hurts that your synagogue was attacked.”

“Our congregation was shocked,” said Rabbi Alan Bright of the Shaare Zedek Congregation. “I’ve received calls and support from all over the place. It’s been very gratifying that people care on this level, when they hear that theirsynagogue was also attacked. Everyone is dumbstruck.”

While the community is moving forward, B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights is urging that these incidents are taken as a clear sign that action must be taken to combat future events, which if the trend continues, are inevitable.

“We deplore these incidents, which have specifically targetted Jewish institutions in the community,” said Allan Adel, national chair of the league. “As the organization that tracks and documents antisemitism in this country, we see all the hallmarks of antisemitic activity. Looking back at the league’s data for 2010, we note that these types of incidents are not new experiences for Quebec, and that they mirror incidents that have targetted the Jewish community both elsewhere in Canada and globally…. Communities need to stand together when facing hate of this nature.”

Growing up in England, Rabbi Bright has seen the escalation of violence before and fears the worst.

“I saw antisemitism evolve from an isolated skinhead to synagogues being firebombed. Do you know what it’s like to watch your synagogue and community centre burn to the ground? I was 14 years old when I witnessed that and it’s marked in my brain. I will never forget it.

“Yes, they only broke windows, but next time it’s going to be something else. The reality is that it’s happening; this was not minor and cannot be treated as minor. Jews, by and large, have learned to accept these sort of things – nobody got killed, nobody got hurt, but that’s not the right attitude.”

D’Arcy MNA Lawrence Bergman cites this event as well as the ongoing boycott of a local shoe store for its sale of Israeli goods that a rise in anti-Israeli and antisemitic sentiment is clear.

“This was an attack against a community and an attack against religious freedom. There’s no place in our society for demonization of groups of individuals. We have to be vigilant, leaders of our society have to speak up and take action,” he said. “It’s important to show that the leaders condemn these actions and that we will take all necessary steps to find those who caused these injustices and bring them to justice.”

After leading his congregation through a recent vandalism incident, Frank Cwillich, president of the Young Israel of Chomedey Synagogue immediately reached out to offer his support and guidance. In October 2010, 2,300 litres of oil contaminated the synagogue’s lawn, causing more than $100,000 in damage. If it were not for a stream of donations, the synagogue would have been left on the brink of bankruptcy.

“Having been the recipients ourselves of so much goodwill and kindness throughout the community, the least we could do is offer our support and we hope we can do something for them,” said Cwillich. “As a community, we cannot be intimidated. We’re here to stay, we’re proud of our identity and random acts of hatred will not do anything to our resolve and our will to thrive as a people.”

Following the attacks, all the institutions affected a plan to upgrade their security systems to include cameras, which will be capable of night-time filming.

Station 9 merger could add to hate crimes risk, says CSL official – World – The Monitor

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The Monitor, May 7, 2007

BY MARTIN C. BARRY

 

 

 

A proposed merger of the Montreal police force’s Station 9 in Côte St. Luc with Station 11 in NDG could compromise safety at a time of rising concern over hate crimes, says a Côte St. Luc official.

 

 

 

The consolidation of Station 9 with Station 11 is one of seven proposed neighbourhood police station mergers outlined in a plan for an island-wide reorganization. The strategy was submitted last Thursday by police chief Yvan Delorme to the Agglomeration Council’s public security commission.

 

 

 

Addressing the commission’s members at Montreal city hall, Councillor Ruth Kovac pointed out that Côte St. Luc has the highest proportion of senior citizens in Quebec — many of whom are Holocaust survivors — and that they currently benefit from a sense of security that is beyond measure. “With many religious institutions in Côte St. Luc often a target of threats, we need the police to know and understand the population,” she said, adding that “this cannot be achieved from a distance.”

 

 

 

Allan Adel, an official of B’nai Brith Canada who is co-chair of the Montreal Jewish Community Security Coordinating Committee, emphasized the increasing importance for the police force to create a specialized hate crimes unit. “It’s important that this is established, because all crimes are important, but many different crimes have different characteristics which require different expertise,” he said. “Many of the police are generalists and it’s important to have the expertise required that a hate crimes unit would entail.”

 

 

 

Councillor Glenn Nashen, Côte St. Luc’s commissioner for public safety, pointed out Delorme’s stated goal of avoiding a return to the mega-station concept that preceded the implementation of neighbourhood policing in the late 1990s. “We want to avoid a mega-poste … which would be created by this merger,” said Nashen.

 

 

 

Noting that “the pendulum seems to swing backwards and forwards” when new police administrations come into office, Côte St. Luc resident Sidney Margles said community policing had been successful over the past decade. “So why now make yet another change to create a larger, more centralized station, when it has been acknowledged decentralization to smaller units made it more efficient and more consumer friendly?” he asked. “I say leave Stations 9 and 11 alone.”

 

 

 

Predicting that the merger of the two stations will be “forced” if it is completed, Hampstead mayor William Steinberg said the residents of Hampstead, Côte St. Luc and Montreal West are overwhelmingly against losing Station 9. “Forced merger between our towns and Montreal did not work,” said Steinberg. “We’ve been there. Let’s not make the same mistake again.”

 

 

 

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather, who sits on the Agglomeration’s public security commission, was optimistic that those opposed to the Station 9 merger would get a fair hearing. “I have a right to vote and I have a right to make my points heard,” he told The Chronicle. “I believe that Mr. (Claude) Dauphin, as the chairman of this commission, will very respectfully listen to our comments.”

Station 9 merger could add to hate crimes risk, says CSL official – World – The Monitor.