No Place for Antisemitism

It was difficult to read Ayelet Kuper’s personal reflection this week in the Canadian Medical Education Journal. The experiences of antisemitism she documents are real. They are harmful and, as leaders at Temerty Medicine, we condemn the use of demeaning, hateful language in the strongest possible terms.

To our Jewish colleagues and learners, we stand with you. We see what is happening in the wider global culture, the rise in vitriol and intolerance, and we know our community is not immune. It is therefore incumbent on all of us to stand together, to continually inform and educate ourselves and each other, especially those who may not fully understand what is at stake in a world where dehumanizing words and images are left unchallenged.

Ancient tropes and hatred have no home here. It is not who we are at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. It is not what we stand for as a Faculty, and we are wholly committed to doing better. We are listening to your experiences and evolving our programs and spaces, working toward our goal to be an inclusive and welcoming academic health science community in a diverse and welcoming Canadian metropolis.

As academics, we come to work every day because we truly want to make a difference: to advance our disciplines with civility and respect; to uncover and test new ideas; to educate and support young physicians and scientists. By its very nature, the environment of postsecondary education is a place of privilege. Yet, we know there are harmful attitudes and behaviours that persist.

As a Faculty, we took a public step forward recently, standing with partner hospitals in confronting the shameful past that allowed decades of historic quotas to restrict access to Jewish medical students. But we must acknowledge the contemporary context. We have taken actions to strengthen our education and supports, and we continue to do so.

What we do for each other today matters. Every day our teams of academics and staff are listening, validating, and actively making our programs and spaces better, safer and more welcoming to all. This is our commitment to you.

It takes courage to step forward and shine a light on hate. We hear you. We see you and we are with you.

For further reading, the Faculty’s post for Canadian Jewish Heritage Month includes many relevant resources.

Lisa Richardson, Associate Dean, Inclusion and Diversity
Trevor Young, Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine