Federation CJA and CIJA Issue Response To Concordia University Incident

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|November 08, 2023

“This can never happen again. University leadership must ensure that universities remain safe for Jewish students.” 

Montreal, QC – November 8, 2023 – Today, a group of Concordia University Jewish students raising awareness about the 242 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza were confronted by an angry crowd that verbally and physically accosted them.  

The Jewish students had set up a table with posters of the hostages and other materials in a common area reserved for sanctioned student group activities, which this was. Jewish students were shoved, harassed, and faced a barrage of hate speech including racial slurs such as “k*ke.” Security and police intervened to protect the students and restore order. 

In response, Yair Szlak, President and CEO, Federation CJA said:  

“Just yesterday, following an attempted firebombing at two Jewish facilities, we said that words of antisemitic hate can lead to undesirable actions, and this must be prevented at all costs. These antisemitic and violent actions are entirely unacceptable and must be condemned by all. University campuses are not battlefields. When debate of thoughts and ideas becomes hate-filled and violent a dangerous line has been crossed and there must be serious consequences for those involved.”  

Eta Yudin, Vice President (Quebec), Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs:  

“What we witnessed today at Concordia University was an undisguised display of antisemitism. Jewish students raising awareness of innocent civilian hostages held by a terrorist group were targeted with intimidation, threats, and physical aggression. Such behaviour is completely contrary to our Quebec values.

“Were it not for the security and police stepping in to protect the Jewish students, today could have had a very different conclusion. While we thank law enforcement for ultimately intervening, the time is now for university leadership to take concrete action and use every possible tool to ensure that our universities remain safe for Jewish students. This can never happen again.”


About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.   

About Federation CJA

For over one hundred years, Federation CJA has been at the heart of the organized Jewish community in Montreal. In partnership with a vast network of agencies and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally, Federation CJA builds and sustains this community by providing leadership and by supporting the delivery of services and programs to care for the vulnerable and those in need, to ensure a bright Jewish future, to represent communal interests, and to positively affect issues in the wider society.

Media Contact

For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact: 

Henry Lovgren
Associate Director, Communications and Marketing (Quebec)
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
[email protected]

Nicole Amiel   
Director, Media Relations and GTA Communications
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
[email protected]

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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. By clicking "Sign up," you consent to receive periodic updates from CIJA. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Le Centre consultatif des relations juives et israéliennes (CIJA) est l'agence de représentation de Fédérations juives du Canada - UIA, représentant les fédérations juives à travers le Canada. En cliquant sur  «  Sign up , »  vous acceptez de recevoir des mises à jour périodiques de CIJA. Vous pouvez vous désabonner à tout moment.
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About CIJA
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada.