The group is calling itself the Network of Engaged Canadian Academics, or NECA, and its founders are two professors from Ottawa: Deidre Butler, director of the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies at Carleton University and Cary Kogan, a clinical psychology professor at Ottawa U.
Each has personally experienced anti-Israel or antisemitic incidents in recent years at their workplaces: Butler was not permitted to fundraise to help her religion students accompany her on a study trip to Israel this semester, while Kogan’s faculty association voted to oppose the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
The pair say it’s about academic freedom because they are finding that there is no room on campuses anymore for professors who are pro-Israel; only for those who condemn the Jewish State, including many of their Jewish colleagues who are in that camp. And so while there are plenty of existing groups that support Jewish students on university campuses, academics like them also need help to better face the widespread normalization of anti-Zionism in higher education.
The co-chairs join The CJN Daily to reveal they have already signed up 100 members and are looking to expand across the country.
What we talked about
- Learn more about the Network of Engaged Canadian Academics in their mission statement.
- Read why an anti-IHRA network of Jewish faculty was formed in 2021 in The CJN
- Find us on May 22 at the Walk with Israel in Toronto: come by our CJN booth.
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.