Hamilton, Ontario Rabbis Declare Support for Black Woman Councillor Targeted With Racist Messages

Hamilton City Hall in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo credit: Montrealais / Wikimedia Commons.

A group of rabbis in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario have issued a statement of solidarity with a local councillor who received two racist, threatening phone calls in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Nrinder Nann — a councillor representing Hamilton’s Ward 3 — told her colleagues on Wednesday that a “disgruntled white resident” had left the offending voicemails warning that the violence witnessed in the US would erupt in Canada.

The caller threatened to incarcerate Black people, whom he labeled as “criminals,” in a container with the aid of handcuffs, zip ties and a machete.

“I share this today to anyone in our city who is willfully ignorant of how deep hate runs in our city and in our country, founded on colonialism,” Nann said, in remarks reported by Canadian broadcaster CBC.

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January 22, 2021 8:27 am

In their message of solidarity with Nann, four Hamilton rabbis stepped up to offer “our unequivocal condemnation of the act, and our steadfast solidarity with the Black community.”

Addressing local political leaders, the rabbis said, “our eyes are upon you to diligently support all affected minority communities and place combating hate and racism as your primary concern.”

The statement was signed by Rabbis Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli of Beth Jacob Synagogue, Jordan Cohen of Temple Anshe Sholom, Daniel Green of Congregation Adas Israel and Aaron Selevan of Shalom Village.

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