The Jewish Russian Community Centre (JRCC) is located in North Toronto. On several occasions recently, video surveillance indicated an individual was trying to break into the centre. While damaging the building, the individual was never able to actually break in. Perhaps the individual was motivated by antisemitism, or maybe it was just a garden variety thief.
But here’s the real story: When the director of the JRCC, Rabbi Shmuel Neft, attempted to report these incidents to the police, he was forced to wait hours upon hours before anyone would even lend him an ear.
On last night’s episode of the Ezra Levant Show, Rabbi Neff joined guest host David Menzies to share his story.
Explaining the series of events, Rabbi Neft told David:
So when we finally got ahold of the security footage that showed the incident, which was, by the way, the third of a series of incidents. Second break-in, but a third incident was involved with the same individual…
So I found the footage. I was ready to hand it over to the police, and I called as soon as we were able to download it, I called 32 Division to the non-emergency hotline.
And yes, like you said, I stayed on hold for just about two hours. I managed to pray in the afternoon services and evening services, as well as go out to dinner with a community member, all while on hold with the Toronto Police Service.
The truth is that I never really reached them in a direct way… I pretty much gave up on the phone call and drove to 32 Division, which is not so far away, on Yonge Street, thinking that I would be able to get their attention in person. And I was basically told that the system that they have is that non-emergency reports go exclusively through the phone line, the hotline. Emergency things obviously go through 9-1-1, and they couldn’t do anything for me there at the scene…
I said, you know, “I was on hold for two hours.”
“Yeah, we know, you might be on hold for two hours, three hours, four hours.”
“So why is that?” They said, “Well frankly we’re understaffed right now” — which is mind blowing.
And so basically, yeah, 10:30 at night he said, “Get back on the phone, wait until they answer, and then you’ll be able to to report the crime.” And, that’s when I decided I’m going to take other measures in trying to get the attention of the police department.
By the way, I have to make mention that after all the noise we made, 32 Division was on the job, on ball.
The detectives calling me almost daily updating me. I called, I have the lead detective’s personal cell phone number. We were in touch about things throughout the week… so they’ve been on the ball ever since we made a lot of noise.
But like you said, David, we don’t take these things lightly… this is not just a community center, it happens to be a synagogue. This is this is the heart of the local Jewish community.
This is just a clip from the full episode of the Ezra Levant Show.
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