A Message from the Mayor

Vaughan stands in solidarity with Israel

The City of Vaughan stands with the people of Israel. We extend our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones due to the ongoing, egregious acts of violence by Hamas. Terrorist organizations like Hamas and the atrocities it has carried out over the past few days cannot be justified or tolerated.


Our hearts are broken for everyone affected by these abhorrent attacks, and those who fear their loved ones may soon be impacted. Earlier this week, I, alongside thousands of others, attended the UJA Emergency Rally for the People of Israel at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto. It was a strong reminder that we must remain steadfast in our support of Israel’s right to defend itself and our commitment to supporting our Jewish community during these horrific attacks against them.


Vaughan is home to one of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel, and we deeply value our role as a centre for the spiritual, cultural, social and educational needs of Jewish families throughout the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. Our active, engaged and thoughtful Jewish and Israeli communities are committed to fostering inclusive, tolerant and welcoming neighbourhoods for everyone.


We are proud of the strong Jewish heritage in Vaughan. Each May, the City recognizes Jewish Heritage Month and, every year, holds an annual flag-raising ceremony for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. In addition, our annual menorah lighting ceremonies have become much-anticipated celebrations for residents of all backgrounds to attend.


Vaughan’s relationship with Israel is long-standing and strong. It was strengthened even further by the 2019 City-led business mission to the City of Ramla, where the delegation renewed the economic and cultural partnership that has been in place since 1993. The Vaughan-Ramla relationship is one of our oldest.


Despite a global effort to raise awareness about the atrocities of the Holocaust and to inform and engage future generations to fight back against anti-Semitism, there remains disturbing acts of anti-Jewish hate unfolding in communities around the world. Max Eisen z"l, an Order of Vaughan recipient and holder of the Key to the City of Vaughan, once said, “Without history, there is no memory, and without memory, there is no future.” We must remember what has happened and never let it happen again. That is why we, as individuals and as a community, can never ignore acts of anti-Semitism. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish community and stare down intolerance together. There is no space for anti-Semitism in Vaughan – or anywhere else.


This past weekend, my Council colleague, Ward 5 Councillor Gila Martow, and I requested that Vaughan City Hall be illuminated in blue and white in solidarity with the people of Israel. Flags at City facilities will remain lowered to half-mast until further notice to demonstrate our ongoing support. I want to extend my gratitude to my Council colleagues for endorsing our joint Member’s Resolution, which serves as a testament to our unwavering support for the people of Israel and our local Jewish community.


Jewish residents are fearful, and have written to the City, greatly concerned about the safety of their children here at home, given the unthinkable acts of terrorism taking place in Israel and elsewhere. Our resolution requests that York Regional Police take all necessary actions, such as establishing safety zones, to protect our local Jewish community, specifically at places of worship, schools and community centres, among others. It also directs City staff to report back to Council at a future date on what else can be done to enhance protective zones around places of worship and faith-based schools. We need to remain vigilant.


The people of Israel are now living in a state of war and need our assistance. The Israel Emergency Fund – supported by the Jewish Federation of Canada-UIA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – is an effort to raise money to help the Israelis now living in a state of war. Even if you are unable to contribute financially, you will make a meaningful difference by spreading the word.


We are stronger together, and together, we will continue to do everything in our power to support our Jewish residents and the people of Israel during this unprecedented time. 


Steven Del Duca


Today, Council unanimously endorsed a Member’s Resolution that serves as a sign of complete solidarity with the people of Israel and the local Jewish community in response to the ongoing, egregious acts of terrorism and violence by Hamas.

To read the Members Resolution, please click here.

City Hall will also be illuminated in blue and white again this evening in solidarity with Israel. 

Earlier this week, Ward 4 Councillor Chris Ainsworth and I, joined with thousands of others at the UJA rally in support of Israel.

City of Vaughan

2141 Major Mackenzie Dr. Vaughan, ON

L6A 1T1

Steven Del Duca


905-832-2281, ext. 8888

[email protected]

Assistant to the Mayor

Anna Venturo

905-832-2281, ext. 8834

[email protected]

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