The Author


An anti-Semitic attack made us ask ourselves: Why are we not living in Israel?

On Wednesday morning, the news was reported about a ‘No Jews’ sign posted in a Toronto condominium building. Anti-Semitic notes were found on doors of several units.

Reading the article, memories surfaced of September 1993, a week or so before Rosh Hashana, when my family faced an anti Semitic act.

We were living in Hamilton, Ontario, a city about 45 minutes from Toronto. It was 7:30 a.m. when I told my 12-year-old son to go and wait for me at the car to go to school. I worked in the same school that he attended.

Eli-Chaim opened the door and screamed “Mommy”! The mat outside the apartment was soaked with smelly rotten eggs. On the front door, the apartment walls and on the exit door to the stairs were large swastikas.

My husband called the police, the superintendent in our building, and we took pictures.

I can’t start to post how scared my son was. The Hamilton police were wonderful and very understanding. They took a report, spoke with my son to calm him and asked if they could have the pictures when I developed them.

The building manager took his own pictures and told us he would have everything cleaned up, which he did.

Two days before Yom Kippur, we had another attack. This one was more serious. Along with swastikas everywhere, on the front door with black spray paint we had a death threat… DIE JEW! Once again, we called the police and the building manager. We suspected it was the superintendent’s son, who was a neo-Nazi.

The police questioned him, and the building manager installed a hidden camera facing our door, hoping to be able to catch whoever was doing this.

We told the police that Yom Kippur was two days away, and I was scared we would have trouble again.

The police agreed with me and said they would give us protection. A patrol car passed our apartment building every half hour and checked our front door.

Unfortunately, the hidden camera didn’t catch the person doing this. I think that after the police questioned the super’s son, he got the message, because we had no more trouble.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Our two older daughters and three grandchildren lived in Israel. My husband and I talked about making aliyah (immigration to Israel) for years, but we could never find the right time. We always had an excuse.

The anti Semitic attack made us ask ourselves: Why are we living in Canada, when the majority of our family lives in Israel. Eli-Chaim only wanted to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel (Western Wall).

After Sukkot, I called the Aliyah office in Toronto and made an appointment.

We met with a shaliach (emissary), who told us he was leaving at the end of the month and that the new representative would arrive in December. He gave us the forms to fill out, but asked if would wait until the new shaliach arrived to hand them in.

We had heard complaints about making aliyah with the Jewish Agency, but our experience was terrific. The new shaliach, a Navy Commander, went out of his way to help us and make sure everything went smoothly.

Five months later, May 31, 1994, we came home.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment and share.

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Article by Miriam Goodman

Miriam Goodman made Aliyah from Canada with her family in 1994. She lives in the Negev. She is the mother of three, the safta of 13 precious Sabra grandchildren and a great-grandmother. She is known for her 'Safta Cookies'. Writing is a hobby and she has a blog called Miriam's Words.