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Toronto Shul Zoombombed With Shout of ‘More of You Should Have Been Killed’

[additional-authors]
June 12, 2020
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: People pass walk by the Nasdaq building as the screen shows the logo of the video-conferencing software company Zoom after the opening bell ceremony on April 18, 2019 in New York City. The video-conferencing software company announced it’s IPO priced at $36 per share, at an estimated value of $9.2 billion. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

A Toronto shul’s virtual Kiddush on June 5 was disrupted with an individual shouting that Adolf Hitler should have killed more Jews.

Toronto Village Shul Rabbi Tzvi Sytner said in a June 9 Facebook video the Zoombombing happened at around 1 p.m. EDT during the shul’s pre-Shabbos Kiddush; several individuals began shouting anti-Semitic, racist and lewd remarks, including the N-word and people yelling “Hitler!” and “more of you should have been killed!”

“It was a disgraceful, cowardly act of hatred that I hope we will never, ever experience again,” Sytner said. “It was especially disheartening seeing this taking place while the world around us is all focused on equality.”

He added: “It wasn’t only emotionally disturbing but it was a critical reminder to all of us that if you don’t stand up against racism and hatred when it’s someone else’s race, then don’t be surprised when it comes your way next.”

https://www.facebook.com/villageshul/posts/3640783085936260

 

According to the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), 150 people were on the virtual Kiddush at the time of the Zoombombing. The FSWC has reached out to the Toronto Police’s Hate Crime Unit about the matter.

“As the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take our community events online, we have seen a growing and disturbing effort by anti-Semites to target the Jewish community with online expressions of hate and Zoombombing attacks,” FSWC Director of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism Jaime Kirzner-Roberts said in a statement. “We ask Jewish community organizations to implement all possible precautions to ensure the online security of their members, and we urge police to take appropriate actions when online anti-Semitic attacks occur in order to bring perpetrators to justice.”

“Zoombombing” is the term used to describe video conferences being disrupted by anti-Semitic and racial slurs as well as pornographic imagery. In April, the Toronto synagogue Shaarei Shomayim was Zoombombed with anti-Semitic messages such as “Hitler was right!” A Holocaust survivor was on that Zoom call.

According to B’nai Brith Canada, there was an 8% increase of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada from 2018 to 2019.

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