Earlier this month, a caretaker at Jewish summer camp spotted “crude images and swastikas” according to a CBC News report.
Camp Miriam, one of the few Jewish overnight summer camps in the B.C. region, located on Gabriola Island, an island between the mainland and Vancouver Island, in close proximity to Nanaimo, was the target in the hate-motivated graffiti incident.
After discovering the graffiti, one of the camp’s committee members, Kelley Korbin confirmed it has been reported to the RCMP. The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver is also aware of the troubling incident. The two groups, along with the hate crimes unit of the Vancouver Police department are examing the incident.
Ezra Shanken, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver told NEWS 1130 that “it’s almost like no corner of the globe is immune. We’re talking about a camp sitting on an island in the Strait that has not so many people on it.”
Korbin described the camp on priding itself on being “a progressive overnight camp where children learn about Jewish history, leadership and the environment.”
While there has been continued news coverage of antisemitic incidents in Canada, the United States and around the world, “this is the first time in (her) memory that Camp Miriam has been a direct recipient of an attack,” Korbin said.
The incident came to light after a tweet by Sheila Malcolmson, the MLA for Nanaimo, and Gabriola Island was shared.
The camp is a member of Habonim Dror, a Labour Zionist movement, one of the many Jewish organizations within the Kibbutz Movement. Habonim Dror has camps in 15 countries, and two camps in Canada alone.
Swastikas are generally the most common form of antisemitic graffiti in the Jewish diaspora. They are antisemitic to their core, and always have the interest of hatred against the Jewish community, regardless of their sect or affiliation.
Jewish summer camps are unlikely targets for antisemitic attacks, however, and this brings to light yet another type of Jewish institution that will need much more attention with regards to security as the unfortunate worldwide wave of antisemitism continues to spread.
The camp subsequently painted over the graffiti and are reviewing the organization’s security protocol.