B’nai Brith Canada hosted on Thursday the second of its symposium series on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in Edmonton, Alberta.
The events, which are partly funded by the Canadian government through its Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives program, are designed to promote the importance of adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism by government bodies, jurisdictions and organizations.
According to B’nai Brith, the symposium series offers “opportunities for community members and stakeholders to gather and discuss strategies for combating hate across Canada.” Besides B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn and Abe Silverman, B’nai Brith’s Manager of Public Affairs for Alberta, the event was attended by numerous community leaders concerned with antisemitism in Alberta.
At the symposium, B’nai Brith leaders spoke with participants about the history of antisemitism, the ability of the IHRA definition to combat and identify hate and the definition’s practical applications. Participants were encouraged to ask questions, make recommendations and collaborate in pursuit of constructive solutions.
Noting that B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights has found that antisemitic incidents have decreased in jurisdictions that have adopted the IHRA definition, the organization urged its adoption across Canada at all levels as a “practical tool for institutions to use in fulfilling their mandates as they pertain to antisemitism in Canada.”
“We were pleased to have brought our IHRA symposium to Alberta as it gave us a critical opportunity to engage in regional dialogue, rooted in the latest research, on practical tools to effectively combat antisemitism,” Mostyn said. “We appreciate the government of Canada’s support of this project and consider it a prime example of non-profits collaborating with governments to effect positive change.
Mostyn applauded the Alberta legislature for passing a motion endorsing the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and calling for its implementation across the province.
“Last week, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta voted for a motion, introduced by MLA Richard Gotfried, to endorse the IHRA definition of antisemitism, calling for its implementation further to the province’s formal adoption last fall,” Mostyn said. “We are most pleased to bring our symposium to Alberta’s capital at this opportune time, and hope it adds to the positive momentum taking place in the province.”
Earlier in the month, B’nai Brith began the IHRA symposium series in Vancouver, British Columbia where it shared its message with community leaders concerned about antisemitism.
More B’nai Brith IHRA symposiums will take place in the coming weeks and months across Canada.