CAEF recognized for combatting antisemitism with research, educational webinars, conferences, and more.
Visit his website: OriBelmont.com
Through education, interfaith relations, and advocacy, the Canadian AntiSemitism Education Foundation (CAEF) equips people with the necessary tools to counter acts of anti-Semitism and the duplicitous manifestations that it stokes, such as myths and tropes against the Jewish people. They respond to issues that affect Jews and Israel, encourage understanding between faiths and cultures, and inform people about the legal claims and rights of the Jews to the land of Israel.
Working with allies and building partnerships in all communities who respect freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the rule of law, and the rights of everyone in Canada under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, CAEF fights oppression, discrimination, racism, and anti-Semitism in a host of forums and arenas. The uncompromising belief that a community’s strength lies in working together with groups of a similar disposition has guided the CAEF through the challenging and murky waters of fighting injustice and hatred.
History has taught us that initially, hateful rhetoric and violence may only be levied against the Jews, but it frequently morphs and proliferates into a broader campaign against other groups.
CAEF promotes adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance alliance definition of anti-Semitism. “We combat anti-Semitism that masquerades as anti-Zionism, the latest and most prolific form of Jew hatred. Our projects include research, education, public awareness, interfaith alliances, and advocacy,” says Andria Spindel, executive director at CAEF.
President Anita Bromberg represents CAEF on a coalition of religious groups. Among other pursuits, she is Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, overseeing initiatives that bring communities together to combat racism and hate.
CAEF has partnered with Doctors Against Racism and Antisemitism, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, StandWithUs Canada and the Alpha Omega International Dental Society to embark on the ‘Hineni’ project. They are collaborating with Annette Poizner, research director, MSW, Ed.D, RSW and Stacey Love, Research Assistant, BA. ‘Hineni’ translates to “here I am,” and is the response Avraham gives when asked to sacrifice his son Yitzhak. Also, the term refers to the humility we espouse as we present ourselves on the Yanim Noraim (days of awe) for judgement by the almighty. Likewise, the ‘Hineni’ project presents itself in a similarly conscientious manner, seeking to identify, expose, and investigate anti-Semitism at post-secondary institutions, where the toxicity of anti-Jewish attitudes and behaviours has become all too familiar.
The study demonstrates that some students currently enrolled in social work education are contending with blatant anti-Semitism. The report’s findings reveal that both nuanced and overt instances of anti-Semitism are common, if not ubiquitous within the discipline. Poizner feels that at a minimum, the field must integrate the study of anti-Semitism into both the social work curriculum and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Although the post-secondary curriculum has yet to see tangible change, social work entities are at least beginning to take note.
“We appreciate that the Ontario professional bodies are now working to self-correct. Nevertheless, we await signs of change from the individual schools where the worst of the problems have been reported,” says Poizner.
Ms. Poizner is optimistic about bringing these findings forward. By bringing these issues to light, she remains confident that the necessary changes can occur. But left unchecked, this markedly deviant modus operandi will surely continue.
The thematic essence of ‘Stronger Together Fighting to End Jew Hatred’ is at the crux of CAEF’s mission. In collaboration with other community organizations, CAEF is presenting a conference with the same name: ‘Stronger Together Fighting to End Jew Hatred’ on Sunday, September 10 at the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto.
The agenda for the conference includes workshops and lectures, with keynote speakers including the much-heralded Shmuley Boteach, reknowned author of ‘Israel Warrior’ and ‘Shalom in the Home’. The focus will be on defining, recognizing, and combatting antisemitism through education. Attendees will learn about the history, impact, and forms of antisemitism; equipping them with the necessary tools to teach others. The event is geared towards students, educators, parents, community members and policy makers. For more information, visit https://strongertogether.name/
One recent event, ‘Israel: The Good Neighbour, Not an Apartheid State’, presented by CAEF and CILR (Canadians for Israel Legal Rights) took place at the Lodzer Centre. The keynote speaker was LTC (Ret.) Eyal Dror, who served as an officer in the IDF in a variety of positions. Dror founded and served as the commander of the ‘Good Neighbour’ unit, an entity which in collaboration with non-governmental organizations of all faiths, executed 700 humanitarian missions to Syrian civilians in the border area. He dispelled the myth of Israeli being an apartheid country, an obvious lie which invariably emboldens Jew-haters as this rhetoric increasingly becomes a part of the mainstream.