Safety First

by Josh Kerr | Dec 15, 2023


The global Jewish community is currently facing an unprecedented moment in its history, precipitated by the tragic events that unfolded on October 7, 2023, sending shockwaves around the world. The resulting images, videos, and stories depicted a horrifying reality that is difficult to comprehend.

In the aftermath of the attack, violence has persisted in Israel, prompting the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg to take action. With the support of 855 donors, including many Jewish Foundation of Manitoba donors, the Federation raised $3.5 million for their Israel Emergency Fund. This fund aims to provide crucial support to the affected people in Israel.

The repercussions of the attack have extended far beyond the borders of Israel. It fueled a rise in antisemitism worldwide, touching communities in every city and leaving many with a deep sense of unease.

In response, the JFM has sent an initial $29,000 emergency grant to the Jewish Federation to address security issues and needs for Jewish organizations in Manitoba. This grant is not exclusive to Federation agencies but is a source of aid for any Jewish organization facing security concerns.

"We are seeing the fallout from the atrocities that took place reach all over the world. Our community in Winnipeg is no different," explains John Diamond, JFM CEO. "It is incumbent upon the JFM to aid in the safety of those around us. There is no room in our community for people to feel unsafe in their homes, offices, and schools."

In the past month, we have seen increased police presence and additional security measures being taken by Jewish organizations in our province to maintain a safe living situation.

"This first grant looked at the immediate needs of Jewish people around us. Our friends and our families need to feel safe," explains Diamond. "Next, we will examine what issues arise as we move forward. This is not a week-long issue; this is not a month-long issue. We have to look at the future and plan long-term."

Looking ahead, the Jewish community in Manitoba, as well as in Israel, will continue to assess the evolving situation. Plans are being made to address the community's most pressing needs, both in the short and long term, recognizing the ongoing challenges and uncertainties Jewish people face at home and abroad.