John Tory
John ToryReuters

Toronto Mayor John Tory on Wednesday proclaimed the month of May to be Jewish Heritage Month.

In a statement, Tory said Jewish Heritage Month “is a time to celebrate the Jewish community’s significant contributions throughout Toronto’s history to our collective success, social welfare, cultural achievements, growth and prosperity. It is also an opportunity to recognize the richness of the Jewish culture and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Jewish heritage for future generations."

“The City of Toronto acknowledges the valued contributions that the multicultural communities of Toronto have made to strengthen our society and contribute to our city’s motto ‘Diversity Our Strength’. Diversity strengthens us socially, politically, culturally and economically, and as one of the world’s most multicultural cities, Toronto has become a model city where all religions, faiths and beliefs are respected and accepted,” he added.

Tory’s move was welcomed by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

“We commend Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council for recognizing the immense contribution of Jewish Torontonians to the past, present and future of one of the world’s finest cities,” said Noah Shack, CIJA Vice President, Greater Toronto Area.

“All three levels of government have recognized May as Jewish Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the Jewish community’s centuries-long participation in civic life and its integral role as part of Canada’s multicultural mosaic,” he added.

The Canadian Parliament recently approved similar legislation which makes every May Canadian Jewish Heritage Month.

The bill unanimously passed the House of Commons after previously having passed the Senate.

May is also Jewish Heritage Month in the United States. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump proclaimed the month to be Jewish American Heritage Month.

Trump called on Americans “to celebrate the heritage and contributions of American Jews and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.”

Former President George W. Bush first proclaimed the month of May to be Jewish American Heritage Month on April 20, 2006. Since then, annual proclamations have been made by Presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Trump.