Israeli consul general praises B’nai Brith Canada at farewell reception
July 3, 2012 | Joanne Hill - Correspondent
TORONTO – Amir Gissin, Israel’s outgoing consul general in Toronto, expressed his admiration and appreciation for the work of B’nai Brith Canada at a private reception held in his honour last week.
Gissin will soon leave his post in Toronto to return home to Jerusalem. B’nai Brith Canada and friends wished him a bittersweet farewell at a party held in the beautiful home of Brian and Dr. Harriet Morris. Distinguished guests included Vladimir Ruml, consul general of the Czech Republic; Dr. Valentin Naumescu, consul general of Romania; MPPs Monte Kwinter and Peter Shurman; City Councillors James Pasternak and Josh Matlow; Donna Holbrook, national director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem – Canada; and Professor Paul Merkley.
On behalf of everyone at the well-attended function, Dr. Morris thanked Gissin “for his extraordinary service to our Canadian community on behalf of the state of Israel.”
Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada, presented Gissin with a small Inuit inukshuk and said, “It’s difficult to say good-bye, so we’ll just say shalom.”
Gissin, whose grandmothers were active in B’nai Brith chapters in Israel, praised B’nai Brith Canada’s endeavours “to make a difference, to be present, to make a statement, to move things along [and] not to cave in.”
He continued, “You make your opinion heard and you carry the torch for the Jewish people and for the Jewish community in Canada.” B’nai Brith “really leads the Jewish people, leads the fight against antisemitism, doing an excellent job. It’s probably the one single organization within the Canadian Jewish community that is actually aware of the importance of developing relationships with other ethnic communities. No other organization has done more work, in the years that I was here, than B’nai Brith.... Thank you for standing for Israel, thank you for being there for Israel. I cherish your friendship.”