JEWISH COMMUNITY REACTS TO MCGILL’S INITIATIVE AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTISEMITISM

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CIJA
|June 30, 2022
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University Listened to Jewish Community’s Concerns and Shows its Willingness to Take Action

Montreal, QC – June 30, 2022 – Today, McGill Associate Provost for Equity and Academic Policy, Angela Campbell, and Deputy Provost for Student Life and Learning, Fabrice Labeau, released their report following consultations around the university’s Initiative Against Islamophobia and Antisemitism (IAIAS). In response, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Federation CJA and Hillel Montreal issued the following joint statement:

“The IAIAS consultations undertaken by the McGill administration marks one more step in McGill’s commitment to addressing the very real problems facing our students on campus,” said CIJA Quebec Vice President Eta Yudin. “It is gratifying to see that after raising these concerns directly with the administration over the past few years, a process was undertaken whereby students, faculty and others directly impacted had the opportunity to share their lived experiences of antisemitism, ostracization, and reduced access to equality in education, directly with the Deputy Provost and EDI Provost.

“We will examine the report in greater detail, but we’ve already seen clear and concrete recommendations that have been made and show the commitment of McGill’s leadership to fighting hate in all its forms so that all students can feel safe on its campus.”

As part of IAIAS, McGill is taking key steps to address Jewish community concerns, including a commitment to observe the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance every year on January 27, the appointment of a Jewish students’ liaison within the McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and inclusion training for deans, department chairs, managers, and human resource advisors.

“Jewish students at McGill have shared their concerns with Federation CJA about issues such as the exclusion and targeting of Jewish students by certain campus societies, abuse of podium where professors would use their position of authority in order to push their personal opinions, and the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s presence on campus,” said Federation CJA CEO Yair Szlak. “We’re glad to see McGill is serious about tackling antisemitism and hate, and ensuring that all students can feel safe on campus.”

“Hillel Montreal is proud that many of our students, as well as some staff members, had the opportunity to participate in these focus groups, giving a voice to the lived experiences of Jewish students on campus over the last number of years,” said Hillel Montreal in a statement. “We thank McGill University administration for the process they engaged in, listening to students, hearing our suggestions, and proposing steps to address the situation on campus. We hope this is the start to a better campus life for all McGill students.”

CIJA, Federation CJA and Hillel Montreal are part of an ongoing discussion with the administration at McGill University to fight antisemitism, racism, and to build bridges with all communities.

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About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of 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. 

Media Contact

For more information or for media interviews, please contact: 

Renaud Brossard
Associate Director, Communications and Marketing (Quebec), CIJA
514.743.2883
[email protected]

Glenn J. Nashen
Director, Media Relations and Crisis Communications, Federation CJA
514.734.1327
[email protected]

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About CIJA
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada.