December 15, 2016 - Toronto: – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) met yesterday with Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi, Chancellor Lawrence Bloomberg and executives of the university to express the concerns of the Jewish community over an antisemitic incident which occurred on campus: On November 29, 2016 at a student union meeting a motion to offer programs and education for Holocaust Education Week elicited an orchestrated walk-out to quash the initiative.
FSWC leadership including Avi Benlolo, FSWC President and CEO; award winning film producer Robert Lantos, Chair of the 2017 Spirit of Hope Benefit; and FSWC Director Paul Bronfman, a leader in the Canadian entertainment industry and an outspoken critic of antisemitism, articulated concern over the incident. The university administration provided a strong analysis of measures undertaken to address the matter and listened intently to the recommendations proposed by FSWC.
“We were heartened to hear President Lachemi provide assurances that both he and the university have ‘zero tolerance for antisemitism’,” Mr. Benlolo said. “We were also pleased to note the Ryerson Student Union denounced the incident and posted a message on Facebook stating: ‘The RSU will not tolerate any antisemitism on our campus…we would like to reaffirm our commitment to tabling the motion regarding Holocaust Education Week at our next board meeting’,” Benlolo added.
FSWC looks forward to concrete action by the university to address these concerns in the coming weeks.
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Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, the Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and the widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at www.fswc.ca
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