About 100 people gathered on the basketball court behind Torah Talmud school on Aug. 7, 2018, after anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed in various parts of west Edmonton including the tarmac where kids play at the school on the previous weekend.
Shaughn Butts / Postmedia, file
A new report released Monday shows that while the number of anti-Semitic incidents across Canada is on the rise, incidents in the Alberta region have decreased by more than 20 per cent compared to 2017.B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy organization that tracks anti-Semitism and racism in Canada, has released an annual audit detailing anti-Semitic incidents across the country.For the first time since reporting began in 1982, country-wide there were more than 2,000 reported incidents of anti-Semitism in 2018.The report breaks down incidents by “region” rather than province or territory. Since data is gathered based on aggregating Jewish communities of different sizes, Alberta and the Northwest Territories are grouped together in the B’Nai Brith report.In 2018, the report states the Alberta region saw 135 incidents of harassments and 25 of vandalism. There were zero reported acts of anti-Semitic violence.The number of incidents last year decreased by 22.3 per cent, down from 206 in 2017.While the report does not detail incidents in Edmonton, in August last year a string of vandalism left multiple areas in the Lessard, South Collingwood and Gariepy neighbourhoods defaced with swastikas. One target was the basketball court of the Talmud Torah School.“We are experiencing a disturbing new normal when it comes to anti-Semitism in this country, with expressions of anti-Jewish hatred surfacing in regions that are typically less prone to such prejudices,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada in a news release. “Of particular concern is the rise of anti-Semitic harassment on social media, including death threats, threats of violence and malicious anti-Jewish comments and rhetoric.”The report states that while anti-Semitism is still a “marginal phenomenon,” it has established footholds in politics, academia, schools, workplaces and the public at large.It says more must be done by elected officials, police agencies, civil society, and the public at large to combat anti-Semitism, racism and firstname.lastname@example.org