July 9, 2021
Dr. Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto
Dear President Gertler,
CAEF is appalled at the expressed antisemitism of Terezia Zoric, President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association, and having reviewed her recent spoken words on June 15, 2021 in a virtual Osgood Law sponsored webinar, we are also appalled that she is teaching Canadian students at a Canadian university. It is incumbent on you to speak out, and while you cannot tell the UTFA whom to elect, you can express the ethical position that her words are hurtful, divisive, hateful and demonstratively antisemitic. See 1:58:48th mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ8cRpyzW8&t=3163s
We urge you to distance the university from this educator and her biased, clearly ill-informed remarks as she has discredited her position as President of an association that represents over 3000 academics at U of T. The members should demand that Terezia Zoric resign immediately from her position as leader of UTFA. You too can urge this action, and it is our view that you are ethically bound to express the view that Zoric’s comments are unacceptable.
We expect that the University of Toronto will unequivocally publicly condemn this terrible act of bigotry and take issue with anyone who repeats or spreads Zoric’s horrendous remarks. The University of Toronto has a very serious problem with antisemitism in several departments, reinforced by both faculty and students, seemingly ignored by the administration, woefully inadequately addressed by any level of the university. The Governors, Administrators, Institutes, Department Heads and members of associations and faculties, and student associations are guilty of not acting to stop Jew hatred.
Dr. Gertler, it is commonly understood that tone at the top, set by senior management establishes and models values that drive decisions, and prioritizing values above all other factors in an organization, including financial results, determines if there will be success, alignment, satisfaction among employees and customers, and the organization’s reputation. Leadership then expects all others in the organization to reflect the same. You are that person who sets the tone, who must express and demonstrate ethical values and prioritize these in the academic institution you head and to do less, is to abnegate your responsibility.
We look forward to your actions and your response.
cc. Dr. Arthur Ripstein firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Group on Antisemitism email@example.com