Sunday, March 7th | 23 Adar 5781


The 40 Worst Colleges


Jewish Students, 2017

Jewish Population on Campus


9. McGill University

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This fall — shortly after McGill University’s student government endorsed a ruling rejecting the BDS movement for promoting discrimination based on national origin — three of its members were denied ratification in an unprecedented split vote. All three had campaigned against BDS on campus, and one of the students — who is Jewish — said he was targeted “because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.” While the vote to oust the students was ultimately nullified due to constitutional violations, and all three were later approved in an online referendum, the episode shed light on tensions affecting Jewish life at McGill — a campus where a student newspaper previously pledged not to publish pieces that "promote a Zionist worldview." A report commissioned by the university to determine whether the students were subject to antisemitic discrimination noted that the pro-BDS group Democratize SSMU had employed “anti-Jewish tropes," and that the Jewish community was already grappling with a February 2017 tweet by a student government representative who urged, “punch a Zionist today.” While the report found that political differences prompted the students’ initial removal, rather than antisemitism, it called the Jewish student’s reaction “understandable” and was accompanied by a pledge from the university’s principal “that there is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism at McGill University.” Its conclusion prompted criticism by several Canadian Jewish advocates, one of whom warned that it “may well serve to deepen the divisive and poisoned atmosphere on campus — where antisemitism is interwoven into anti-Israel campaigns.” Yet there may be reason to believe the situation will improve in the future. In March, the SSMU approved all recommendations proposed by its Anti-Semitism Committee, including requiring new executives to attend a session on antisemitism and adopting a definition of antisemitism that recognizes antisemitic attacks on Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia.)

Jewish Population on Campus


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