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CAEF Letter to Chancellor Patten and GC

March 29, 2022

Dear Chancellor Patten and Governing Council,

Too little has been done to address antisemitism at the University of Toronto, for which you have ultimate responsibility and accountability. The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation, as well as other highly credible and established Jewish community organizations have been attempting to bring this situation to the university’s attention for well over a decade, and increasingly over the past few years. We are not getting through to you! You must take more steps to End Jew Hatred!

There are three pieces of information that CAEF asks you to consider and then to respond, individually and collectively. Your service to the university is not yet a commendable record of how you addressed one of the most insidious and ancient hatreds, but rather how antisemitism grew and evolved at Canada’s most prestigious university. This is not a record that one should be proud of, so rise to this challenge!

The first article referenced below is an article written by Dr. Stuart Kamenetsky, a tenured and valued psychology professor at UTM who loves the university while also documenting its milieu of antisemitism. Hear him out!

The second is a statement issued by the University of Illinois, which facing similar trouble, made a huge commitment to address it. That university understands that a few strong statements, mea culpas, promises and a pledge of equal support to Jewish students are NOT SUFFICIENT, THOUGH NECESSARY. Their approach is much more comprehensive and acknowledges the interest of the entire Jewish community, the need for ongoing monitoring, advancing of policies, responses to each and every situation, and greater action and accountability. As Canada’s leading academic institution and the home of the worst antisemitic activities, such as the BDS campaigns and Israel Apartheid Week that have spread lies and hatred globally, U of T must now model new behaviours. Develop new policies, procedures and practices. WE URGE MORE ACTION and COMPASSION for the pain of Jewish students and faculty, and ask you to properly educate all students about the evil of antisemitism in all its forms, most notably in anti-Zionism and the propaganda of Islamist Jew hatred which endangers our society.

Finally, formal research by the AMCHA Initiative verifies that faculty support for the BDS movement against Israel, foments antisemitism and endangers Jewish students.

I am available to meet with you Chancellor Patten, and any members of the GC who will now confront the truth about antisemitism at U of T. Respectfully,

Andria Spindel Executive Director Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation

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