Israel on Campus: Defending Our Universities

Posted: 8/4/2009 6:37:00 PM
Author: Canadian Institute for Jewish Research and SPME

Israel on Campus: Defending Our Universities

The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research hosts International Conference in Montreal & Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

MONTREAL, July 30, 2009-The Israel on Campus: Defending Our Universities Conference, in conjunction with the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s Twenty-First Anniversary Gala evening dinner, will bring together internationally renowned academics, student leaders, journalists and media representatives, prominent members of Montreal’s business and Jewish communities, organization heads, and other members of the community-at-large.

“Defending democratic Israel on campus is crucial not only to supporting Jewish, and reaching out to non-Jewish, students, but also to preserving the crucial Western, and indeed human, values of academic freedom and critical inquiry,” explains Prof. Frederick Krantz, founder and director of CIJR, who is being honoured by CIJR’s Board of Directors’ at Gala Dinner.

The one-day Conference has three goals: (1) to analyze the mounting threat to academic freedom and free inquiry posed by a growing antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism; (2) to develop strategies for countering it; and (3) to found a North America-wide “Campus Defense Council” to coordinate an ongoing, persistent, and proactive international campaign to “take back the campus”.

The Conference will be opened by Concordia University President, Dr. Judith Woodsworth; Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former Justice Minister and noted human rights advocate (McGill U. Law School) will deliver the evening dinner Gala’s keynote Address. And the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, will deliver the luncheon Address. Scholars presenting formal papers at morning and afternoon Conference sessions include Robert Wistrich (Hebrew U.), Alvin Rosenfeld (Indiana U.), Manfred Gerstenfeld (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs), Dr. Edward Beck (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East), Charles Small (Yale U.) and Lawrence Muscant (The David Project).

“The need for the conference-to address growing campus antisemitism and anti-Israelism-speaks for itself,” said Krantz, explaining why so many organizations are on board as co-sponsors. The Asper Foundation, The Dym Family Foundation, The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation, Middle East Forum, Federation CJA, The David Project, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and The Yale Initiative for the Study of Antisemitism are institutional co-sponsors.

Registration for the Conference is $40.00 ($20.00 for students) and must be made in advance. Minimum contribution for the Gala Dinner is $1,000. per couple and includes Conference participation.

The Gala Dinner will feature a special performance by internationally-acclaimed violinist Dame Ida Haendel, in memory of late Clara Balinsky, a founding member of CIJR’s Board of Directors.

Media wishing to attend the day-long Israel on Campus: Defending Our Universities Conference or the evening Gala Dinner on August 23rd are asked to please contact Jacqueline Douek, Assistant Director of CIJR, at (514) 486‐5544.

Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

Institut Canadian de Recherches sur le Judaïsme

1396 St. Catherine West, Suite 218

Montréal, Quebec H3G 1P9

Tel: (514) 486-5544 / Fax: (514) 486-8284 /