B.C. statement on Jewish Heritage Month during increased anti-Semitism

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      B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson and Rachna Singh, the parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives released the following statement for Jewish Heritage Month:

      "May is Jewish Heritage Month. It is a month to celebrate the culture, history, perseverance, faith, and contributions of B.C.'s Jewish community.

      "As a result of a long history of oppression, Jewish communities around the globe have developed a strong sense of community and resilience. Jews arrived in British Columbia over 160 years ago, building the first synagogue Emanu-El in Victoria in 1863. Their commitment to spiritual and communal ideals made possible the beginnings of Jewish life on the West Coast.

      "Since then, Jews have come to this province in search of a better life for themselves and their children. They have built lives here and played dynamic roles in our communities through their leadership and achievements in business, academics, politics, and the arts. David Oppenheimer moved to Vancouver in 1885, became the city's second mayor (1888-91) and was responsible for starting the city's fire department, streetcar system, and Stanley Park.

      "Over the last few years, there has been an increase in antisemitism and bigotry in B.C. The Jewish community is one of the most frequently targeted groups in police-reported hate crimes. This is why our government is committed to addressing racism and discrimination in all its forms. We will introduce B.C.'s first ever anti-racism act. We will also be introducing legislation to support race-based data collection to address systemic discrimination and modernize sectors like policing, health care, and education. These are important steps in building a province that is safe and inclusive for all communities.

      "Sadly, antisemitic acts against Jewish British Columbians are increasing, so it's important that we stand together united against hate. We need to recognize that people of all ethnicities, cultures and faiths add to the strength of B.C."

      For more information on the Jewish community in Canada, visit the Jewish Heritage Month website. 

      For more information about Jewish history in B.C., visit the Jewish Museum and Archives of B.C.

      For more information on local Jewish community organizations including schools, synagogues, cultural, and social service organizations, visit the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver website.

      For resources on Holocaust education, human rights, and anti-racism, visit the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre