Shalom Toronto profiles JDL Canada’s High Holiday patrols

JDL patrol at Sephardic Kehila Centre, Sept. 24, 2014From Shalom Toronto Weekly, October 1:

 As Jew-hatred on a scale not seen since WW11 metastasizes across the Western world, several Toronto synagogues have requested the professional protection services of The Jewish Defense League of Canada (JDL) for the High Holidays.

According to Meir Weinstein, JDL’s National Director, the JDL is the only Canadian organization that advocates and consistently provides protection services. “We believe recent threats to Canada made by ISIS have prompted Rabbis and community leaders to approach us to marshal and patrol throughout the holidays. We are honoured to serve, protect and keep our community safe from harm,” says Weinstein.

Zaza Tsitlishvili, JDL’s head of security says the response from grateful congregants has been heartwarming. His team, including right-hand man Ron Black, whom he credits for elevating security to a whole new level, also made rounds at synagogues they weren’t asked to patrol. “People have been very welcoming and warm to us. The response has been great,” says Tsitlishvili. Currently, his team is being courted by one synagogue to regularly patrol for Saturday services.

Canadians for Israel (CDNS4I), for example, a grassroots, community organization which formed in Toronto this past July has reaped the benefits of JDL protection at its events. CDNS4I founding member Vivienne Ziner is quick to praise the JDL for patrolling par excellence and working in tandem with Queen’s Park security.

For years, the JDL has been maligned, demonized, accused of homophobia, Islamophobia and of being vigilantes. None of it is true. They have openly gay members and support moderate Muslim groups. Their mission is to protect the Jewish people, physically, and they are the only ones doing it. The Jewish community owes them its thanks; we thank them for marshalling our CDNS4I rally and more,” says Ziner.

You can read the whole story here.