Toronto university approves resolution on Holocaust education

Student union board at Ryerson University approves resolution on Holocaust Education Week after pro-Palestinian students tried to stop it.

Ben Ariel and JTA,

Toronto
Toronto
Reuters

The student union board at Ryerson University in Toronto approved a resolution to commemorate Holocaust Education Week less than a month after pro-Palestinian Arab students walked out when the resolution was first introduced, JTA reports.

The resolution, which passed unanimously on Monday, called on the Ryerson Students' Union to offer annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity,” the Canadian Jewish News reported.

A member of the Ryerson Hillel Jewish students’ group had submitted the resolution.

At the student union's semiannual general meeting on November 29, a group led by the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association staged a walkout rather than vote on the resolution. The meeting lost its quorum and the resolution was tabled.

In the three weeks between the two meetings, Jewish organizations – including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Hillel Ontario, StandWithUs Canada and Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson – met with members of the Ryerson Students' Union to explain the importance of Holocaust Education Week, according to the CJN.

“I am pleased that the RSU passed this very important motion supporting Holocaust Education Week," Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi said in a statement quoted by JTA.

"At Ryerson, we are committed to promoting positive dialogue and education on vital issues such as these. It is essential that we continue to learn from each other as we strive with mutual respect to ensure Ryerson fosters an inclusive, welcoming environment for all.”

In 2014, the Ryerson Student Union voted to join the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution passed then prohibits the student group from having ties with companies that do business in Israel, including Home Depot, Costco and Sears. As well, Sabra hummus was removed from the campus cafeteria.

That vote, in April of 2014, came two weeks after Toronto's York University student union voted to join the BDS movement. It was preceded by Windsor University in Ontario.




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