Popular Articles

Former journalist Yaron Deckel cites the need to give Canadian communities “ammunition to combat false claims, dishonest arguments, and lies.”

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

The Jewish Agency for Israel appointed a new regional director for Canada last October. Yaron Deckel says antisemitism “does have its new format and aggressiveness, and we should deal with it seriously.” (Photo: Supplied)

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Yaron Deckel, a former news anchor and radio host in Israel, sees a link between his journalism career and his new role as The Jewish Agency for Israel’s regional director for Canada.

“I was exposed to the beautiful, rich, and complex Jewish world in North America, and filmed a number of TV stories in different parts of the world relating to Jewish life in the Diaspora,” he says. “I think journalism is one way to try to make a change and make the world a better place. I believe there is a similarity between what I was doing then, and my current position. I’ll try to use all my experience, expertise, and knowledge to make a change.”

Toronto-based Deckel, who assumed the position with The Jewish Agency in October 2021, previously served as a commentator and reporter for leading Israeli news outlets — most recently as head of IDF Radio. He was previously based in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Among other priorities, Deckel is currently focused on boosting young generations’ engagement with Israel and on countering rising antisemitism in Canada. He describes that work in the following interview.

Q: Declining engagement with Israel among younger generations has been a pressing issue in recent years for Jewish communities worldwide. How does that challenge apply to Canada in particular, and what are some potential solutions?

A: “We know that the young generation is looking sometimes for a different type of connection to their heritage, to Judaism, and they approach these from a different angle than their predecessors.

“There is a decline in their engagement with the Zionist state. In my opinion, it is all connected. I’ve learned, in my short time in Canada, that these issues do concern Jewish leaders in the country, coast to coast. It is too early — and presumptuous — for me to draw conclusions and offer potential solutions. However, from my experience, in order to find a solution, we must first define the problem. From what I see, Jewish Federations in the country are well aware of the challenge. I will do all I can to assist and help find the solutions.”

Q: Rising antisemitism is also a global Jewish problem. What are your thoughts on the current state of antisemitism in Canada, and how to combat it?

A: “The rise of antisemitism is a fact, and communities in Canada felt it after the ‘Guardian of the Walls’ operation in Gaza. It’s not always physical, but it exists. Antisemitism is not a new phenomenon and exists since the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, it does have its new format and aggressiveness, and we should deal with it seriously.

“One of the tasks, as I see it, is to supply communities — mainly people who are active on social networks — with information. Make the correct and relevant information easily accessible; give them ammunition to combat false claims, dishonest arguments, and lies. I believe this is the first step.

I also think Canadian authorities should be constantly under pressure to deal with the problem and not sweep it under the carpet. Toronto Federation President and CEO, Adam Minsky, made an important move recently in that direction. He nominated Steven Farber to be a Senior Vice-President, Countering Antisemitism and Hate. This is a new position in the federation. It’s part of our efforts to lead UJA’s need to empower the community to rise to the on-going challenge of antisemitism. I’m very impressed with the serious approach of Steven and understand the burden on his shoulders.”

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

Q: What is the most interesting or important lesson that you learned from your time covering Jewish life around the world?

A: “Being a Jew and giving expression to Jewish life is not an easy task. It requires real, concerted efforts. In Israel, surrounded by fellow Jews, you don’t need to exercise your energy to feel Jewish. For instance, you know when Friday is coming simply by entering the grocery store and seeing the Challah bread. You feel the Yom Kippur atmosphere even without going to the synagogue due to the fact no car is driving in the streets. In world Jewry, every step to feel and maintain your Jewish identity is a challenge, and you need to constantly work to preserve it. I commend and appreciate the efforts people here are making. I’m not sure the Israelis are aware of it.”

Q: Do you think the Canadian Jewish community is sometimes overlooked within the broader context of North American Jewry? If so, what can be done about that?

A: “I think the Canadian Jewish community has some similarities, and some differences from the US Jewish community. Canadian Jewry is a great community with an honorable past, a respected present, and I believe, a bright future. It’s a Zionist community, whose members love and are committed to the state of Israel. It deserves the right place in our heart and mind, and we should invest our energy, time, and resources to keep it vibrant and supporting. I think each of the communities — the American and Canadian — has its own character and nature, customs, interests, and needs. We must embrace them both.”

Q: The Jewish Agency is known for strengthening engagement to Israel through community Shlichim (Israeli emissaries), including young emissaries known as Shinshinim. What are your plans for expanding the impact of Shinshinim and other Shlichim in Canada?

A: “The young energetic Shinshinim bring Israel’s spirit to every school, synagogue, or community they work with. If we talk about the wish to engage the young generation to Judaism, Zionism, and Israel, I think Shinshinim is definitely one way to do it. Following the tough pandemic year here in Canada and all over the world, we must increase our efforts. This year there are new Shinshinim in Toronto and Montreal. I do intend to assist other communities in Canada to get on the bandwagon.”

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved