October 26, 2016, CIJA
Toronto, ON – Today, Canada’s university presidents voted to adopt a new set of mandatory criteria for member universities at a meeting of Universities Canada, which serves as the voice of 97 Canadian institutions of higher education. The new policy stipulates that “place of origin” must be included in university codes of conduct alongside other protected grounds, such as race, religion, gender, and physical and mental ability.
“We wholeheartedly commend Universities Canada and its membership for this ground-breaking decision,” said Judy Zelikovitz, Vice President of University and Local Partner Services at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “The new criteria ensure that, by the end of the decade, all of Canada’s major universities will have codes of conduct banning discrimination based on national origin.”
“This represents a crucial defeat for boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) activists, who openly call for discrimination against Israelis based on their country of origin,” Zelikovitz added. “Canada’s top academics are committed to building global partnerships, including with Israel’s world-class universities and scholars. This vote by Canada’s universities entrenches a zero-tolerance approach to bigotry based on nationality, and CIJA will be working hard to ensure that this policy is used to block BDS efforts.”
CIJA has had a long-standing, constructive relationship with Universities Canada. During a 2013 mission to Israel co-hosted by CIJA, Universities Canada signed a bilateral agreement with its Israeli counterpart to strengthen partnerships between universities in the two countries. For the past several months, CIJA has worked directly with the leadership of Universities Canada to ensure passage of the new membership criteria banning discrimination on the basis of national origin.
To read more about the recent vote, please click here.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA
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The fall post-holiday period is always a good time for launching new things. To the extent we’re not completely exhausted, our five-day work weeks are back (instead of five days of work crammed into three-day weeks), and we’re able to get into something of a rhythm and build momentum in moving toward specific goals.
Adding to the sense of newness and adventure, the third post-holidays Torah portion of Lekh Lekha, which was read this past Shabbat, begins with Abraham receiving divine instructions to leave his home and begin a journey to a new land. Commentators highlight the uncertainty inherent in the command’s wording: instead of being directed to a specific place, Abraham, at least initially, is told to go “to the land that I will show you,” a vague and undisclosed destination. While he is promised blessings galore for his obedience, setting out requires an element of faith and quite a bit of trust as he leaves his home land and father’s house for somewhere new.
While it’s certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than the journey Abraham undertook, Hillel Ontario is trying something new this week: we’re introducing a new section to our regular newsletters and will be including a d’var Torah to showcase our students’ and staff’s skills and present our readers with a bit of Jewish learning. We hope you’ll find these commentaries inspiring and meaningful and that they’ll provide a glimpse of the Hillel Ontario community that spans our nine campuses.