The ongoing issue of growing anti-Semitism on university campuses was the focus of a forum hosted by B’nai Brith Canada on Tuesday, where members of the Jewish community at the University of Toronto were invited to speak at a virtual town hall tackling campus Jew hatred.
Hosted by Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, the “Virtual Townhall to address antisemitism at the University of Toronto” brought together over 30 Jewish organizations and synagogue with professors, staff and students to “demand actions from the university.”
The unprecedented event was billed as, “Tonight, we listened to what Jewish students, staff and faculty at the University of Toronto have been experiencing. Now, they are asking us to take action on their behalf.”
Mostyn said that the impetus for the event was the fact that “for years anti-Semitism has been allowed to fester at the University of Toronto, creating an unmistakable pattern of inaction, deflection and dismissal of the concerns of Jewish students, staff and faculty. No one should be made to feel vulnerable or unsafe in the place where they study or work.”
“After years of standing alone and getting nowhere in their efforts for justice and change, the Jewish community at the University of Toronto needs the broader Jewish community to help them tackle this problem once and for all," he said.
“Enough is enough,” said B’nai Brith Canada in a statement. “It is time for our entire community to come together as one united voice and demand better from one of our country’s largest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Our collective, unified voice must be heard loudly and clearly – inaction on antisemitism is unacceptable.”
The town hall event asked the broader Jewish community to contact the University of Toronto’s administration and demand two courses of action: “That the University begin enforcing its own by-laws and policies to protect Jewish students on campus” and “that the University adopt the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism."