Alarming report reveals antisemitism at U of T
Dr. Ayelet Kuper reflects on antisemitic behaviour she experienced at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, stating that work must be done to address antisemitism.

On December 5, 2022, Dr. Ayelet Kuper, the associate director of Faculty Affairs at U of T and former senior advisor on antisemitism at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (TFOM), published a report in the Canadian Medical Educational Journal that detailed various antisemitic incidents and microaggressions at the TFOM. She reflected on the presence of antisemitism amongst the U of T faculty by outlining the antisemitic behaviour and events she had observed. 

In the report, Dr. Kuper reflected on “microaggressions” she personally experienced at the TFOM. She noted that “lovely and reflexive” people had, presumably, unintentionally perpetrated antisemitic behaviour through stereotyping Jews as “pushy and demanding, […] having/wanting lots of money, […] only looking out for other Jews.”

Dr. Kuper also discussed a leaked letter that complained about a talk on antisemitism at the TFOM. She stated that the letter contained antisemitic views and had the signatures of “a small group of TFOM faculty members.” She also stated that the Report of the U of T Anti-Semitism Working Group released in December of 2021—which aimed to address antisemitism and discrimination—did not ban “the mention, use, or advocacy for any definitions of antisemitism accepted by the Jewish community.”

On December 20, 2022, U of T President Meric Gertler wrote a letter to U of T’s Governing Council concerning antisemitism at the university. He contended that U of T has zero tolerance for antisemitism and explained some initiatives the university is taking to address the issue. On December 21, 2022, he followed up with an Op-ed in the Globe and Mail addressing the incidents. 

U of T is currently implementing the eight recommendations made in the Report of the U of T Anti-Semitism Working Group that aim to improve inclusion of the Jewish community. Additionally, the Institutional Equity Office at U of T has now specified antisemitism in its mandate to safeguard equity, inclusion, and diversity in the university community. 

Additionally, U of T has organized numerous events and meetings to address antisemitism and support the Jewish community at the university. A restorative gathering will be held virtually on January 23, 2023, focusing on Jewish participants’ healing from antisemitic behaviour. Additionally, the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office will be holding the “A Shape-Shifting Hatred: Understanding and Addressing Antisemitism” workshop virtually on March 14, 2023, led by Dr. Shari Goldberg. The workshop is open to all students, faculty, and staff who register for the event.

As the conclusion to her report, Dr. Kuper recommended education for those who need assistance broadening their knowledge of the Jewish community. She believes that the education for people who lack understanding of the Jewish community may prevent them from unintentionally developing intense antisemitic views. Lastly, she encouraged Jews to support each other and speak up.

News Editor (Volume 49) | — Larry is a third-year student specializing in accounting. He finds writing to be an outstanding medium to spread messages, thus being a phenomenal way to express oneself and to have one’s voice heard. Through his contributions to The Medium , Larry hopes that everyone can witness how enjoyable and invigorating writing can be, such that they too may be inspired to write out their stories. When he’s not studying or writing, Larry will probably be learning Japanese or listening to music, all the while contemplating what life’s next story would be.


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