Manitoba

Stand with Jewish community in wake of hate message, Winnipeggers urged

Winnipeggers are being urged to support the city's Jewish community, which has been left shaken by a rare anti-Semitic attack in the city.

'Obviously, the community's feeling pretty targeted,' B'nai Brith director says

A Winnipeg family arrived home on New Year's Eve to find a gift bag on their doorstep with a large rock covered in anti-Semitic slurs. (Submitted)

Winnipeggers are being urged to support the city's Jewish community, which has been left shaken by a rare anti-Semitic attack in the city.

"Obviously, the community's feeling pretty targeted," said Amanda Hohmann, national director of the League for Human Rights for B'nai Brith Canada.

Amanda Hohmann, national director of the League for Human Rights for B'nai Brith Canada. (Amanda Hohmann/LinkedIn)
A family arrived at their home in the Wolseley neighbourhood on New Year's Eve to find a gift bag on their doorstep. Inside was a large rock covered in anti-Semitic slurs.

Written on a ribbon tied around the rock were the words, "Jude bitch get out of the nighberhood."

"It's a very disturbing incident, particularly for Winnipeg. This is not typical [there] at all," Hohmann said.

"I was shocked when I heard about it. 'Winnipeg? Really?'"

Winnipeg police "are treating it very seriously and are investigating fully," Hohmann said, noting the incident left the victims "very concerned, very shocked."

"As far as they knew, there were no problems with neighbours."

Hohmann said the incident is unusual due to the forethought and planning that went into it. Graffiti is a common way to convey hate messages, but painting an object and delivering it to a home is not, she said.

The rock found by a Winnipeg family on their doorstep. B'nai Brith's Amanda Hohmann says such incidents are rare in Winnipeg, but urges Winnipeggers to show solidarity with the Jewish community. (Submitted)
Even so, Hohmann says people should not be alarmed. She doesn't believe the incident suggests there is a bigger problem in the city.

While anti-Semitic hate crimes are not uncommon in Canada — every year for the past decade, B'nai Brith has logged 1,200-1,500 incidents — that is not the case in Winnipeg, Hohmann said.

"Winnipeggers should feel very proud about the fact that this rarely happens there," she said. "There is an excellent relationship between the Jewish community and the overall Winnipeg community."

Hohmann called on people to strengthen that bond right now.

"I would encourage people to be vigilant and show some solidarity to the Jewish community at this particular moment. That's something Winnipeggers do well."

Winnipeggers are being urged to support the city's Jewish community, which has been left shaken by a rare anti-Semitic attack in the city. 1:37