The congregation of Congregation Chabad synagogue was celebrating the last day of Passover when a gunman opened fire inside the temple in Poway, near San Diego, Calif., killing one person and injuring three others, including a rabbi. Photo courtesy CBC.

The congregation of Congregation Chabad synagogue was celebrating the last day of Passover when a gunman opened fire inside the temple in Poway, near San Diego, Calif., killing one person and injuring three others, including a rabbi. Photo courtesy CBC.

B’nai Brith Canada says online hatred is fuelling a rise in anti-Semitism that saw record numbers of Jewish Canadians harassed and assaulted last year.

The Jewish advocacy group says there were more than 2,000 incidents of hatred towards Jews in 2018, up 16 per cent compared to the year before.

It is the third straight annual increase, and the highest number the organization has ever recorded in more than 30 years of annual audits.

Eighty per cent of the incidents occurred on social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or through electronic communications such as email and text messaging.

B’nai Brith wants dedicated hate-crime units in every major Canadian police force as well as a national plan by government for countering online hate.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn says the episodes in Canada are happening as anti-Semitic views grow around the world, including in Europe and the United States.

He says Canadian Jewish communities are increasingly anxious following the mass murder of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue last fall, and another deadly shooting at a southern California synagogue over the weekend.

The Canadian Press