Is antisemitism really that bad at the University of Toronto’s medical school? These doctors say ‘yes’

Dr. Stephen Samuel (left), a Toronto surgeon, and Dr. Philip Berger, associate professor at the U of T Temerty Faculty of Medicine, are members of DARA, Doctors Against Racism and Antisemitism.

“What Jews call antisemitism isn’t real.” “Anyone at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine who angers the Jews will have their career destroyed by the Jews.” “Any Jew who calls them out [for antisemitism] is just racist and is lying in order to oppress Palestinians.”

These are just some examples from the litany of antisemitic comments and insults which Dr. Ayelet Kuper has encountered during her time as a professor at the University of Toronto’s medical school. She has now documented and published these and more, as a paper in the Canadian Medical Education Journal.

In it, she lays out how the school’s Jewish faculty and students are once again dealing with clear-cut antisemitism—the way their predecessors did during the decades of the Second World War and beyond—but now, they’re facing it particularly if they publicly support Israel. While she doesn’t name names, she writes that some of those behind it include Jewish faculty members themselves.

In September, the faculty of medicine held an event to apologize for years of discrimination against Jewish students dating back to the postwar era, where quotas existed limiting Jewish enrolment and advancement.

Kuper isn’t doing interviews right now, due to the volume of requests she’s received since her paper came out last week. But, on today’s The CJN Daily, we’re joined by two of her colleagues with extensive knowledge of the situation: Dr. Philip Berger and Dr. Steve Samuel.

Both are members of the group Doctors Against Racism and Antisemitism, a.k.a. DARA, and they issued a statement on Dec. 9 demanding UofT’s medical school protect Jewish staff and students.

What we talked about:


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 learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.