Jewish social media in Canada is screaming and kicking. Canadian Jewish News recently published an article as a follow-up to a mass email that was sent to the Jewish Community in Canada, by businessman and ‘philanthropist’ Seymour Schulich.  I obtained a copy of the original email (included at the end of this blog post) and I feel I must respond.

My Response to Seymour Schulich

TO MY TRIBE:

I am writing this response because I am sick and tired of my tribesmen justifying and pandering to groups whose only purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

I am sick of my tribesmen telling me that I need to hear from these same groups and allow them to spread their vile message or risk being labelled a right-wing zealot.

Sir, you started your message, sent to our community, by pointing out that, growing up in Montreal you were faced with ‘real anti-semitism’: “No Dogs or Jews”, “quotas at McGill for Jews’.  Then, further down in your own email you claim that you were never faced with anti-semitism.  Which is it?  We are all confused.

You go on, describing your youth in Montreal, and recall an experience in which you call a girl that you took to a B’Nai Brith dance a ‘shiksa’.  Do you realize the offence in using that term to describe a non-Jewish woman? Your description of this woman is truly “odious”.  Is ‘kike’ also part of your lexicon?

You claim that in your ‘entire life’ you never ‘experienced one iota of anti-Semitism’.  Perhaps I am partially illiterate, but, I am still confused.  And it appears you are likewise confused.  Let me help you explain your position:

WHY? THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS BECAUSE you chose to assimilate. You chose to hide your heritage.  You chose to turn your back on the very thing that your ancestors most likely fought and, perhaps, died to preserve. You chose to turn your back on the memory of Jews killed during the Crusades, Spanish Jews during the Inquisition, Jews in Europe during the War. in fact, Jews throughout history who retained their identity because – that’s the right thing to do.  

You chose to turn your back on our nation because you were afraid the Catholic kids would throw stones at you.  I am reminded of the story this week about the Yemeni Jew who, faced with a man pointing a gun at him was asked: Do you convert to Islam?  His response was “I am always a Jew”. He’s dead.  But, he died with his convictions.

Fast forward to York.  Some of your best friends are Jews?  You said that without irony …

To my knowledge The Schulich School of Business has zero problems. Some our best faculty members are Jews.

Are you living under a rock?  Do you read?  Can you navigate social media?

Where is your evidence that the ‘Students in all the professional faculties at York get along beautifully’?  Were the recent protests attended solely by students of the arts?

Are you saying that only those students of the Arts are specifically targeted for verbal attack?  Do they wear a certain badge that identifies them?

You tell us that if we want to send our children to York we need to ‘park their Yarmulke and tallis”.  I ask you: f there is no anti-semitism, then why would it matter if my child was identifiable as a Jew? If there is no anti-semitism, why can’t my daughter attend classes wearing a flag of Israel on her back if she so chooses?  Again, we are confused by your message.

Suddenly, your message switches gears.  You were just telling me what my kid can wear to school and now you are telling me all about the interaction between Canadian Universities and Technion.  You further address cyber-defense, several web companies, and construction in Israel.  Not sure how we jumped to that … But, OK, I’m trying to keep up with your random thoughts. Perhaps you can tell me what a “Cyber building” is though.

So, dear ‘tribesman’ don’t come to us with your self-satisfied examples of your own experience that does not reflect the reality of the rest of us who are not billionaires, who don’t have schools named after us, who actually walk down the street on a daily basis, who send our children to a school that is so unaware of the threat our children face that the JDL has to attend protests, who see social media and the message that is being spread globally, who have friends with children at the schools that are rife with anti-semitism under the guise of anti-Israel rhetoric.

Don’t come to us asking us to deny our nation, our heritage, our ancestors.  Just don’t.

Best regards,

Jennifer Hill-Simpson

A Jew (sorry, no letters after my name)

Original Email: 

From: Seymour Schulich
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2016 7:57 AM
Reply To: Seymour Schulich
Subject: ANTI-SEMITISM IN CANADA AND AT YORK U

TO THE TRIBE:

I am writing this note because I am sick and tired of my tribesman whining about anti-Semitism in Canada and York U where our number one rated Business School benefaction is located:

I grew up in Montreal ,Quebec where the school system was predominantly Catholic and Protestant. Real anti -Semitism was rife! These were the Duddy Kravitz days. Signs in the Laurentians read “NO DOGS OR JEWS” Quotas at McGill for Jews were lifted the year I entered in 1957. My parents forced me to spend an hour , 5 days a week , after school from 4:30 to 5:30 taking Hebrew Lessons from 8 years old to 13 years old. Thus was born a visceral hatred of Hebrew lessons.

At 21 I made the mistake of bringing a Christian girl [ a Shiksa ] to a B’nai Brith dance. My tribesmens behaviour was so odious that I have never donated to or given the time of day to that organization in the 55 years since.

Yet in my entire life I have never experienced one iota of anti-Semitism. WHY ? THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS BECAUSE I FIT IN WITH THE MAJORITIES ! There was a Catholic school across the street from my Grade 8 Protestant School in Montreal.

If you wore a yamulka or a talis under your shirt the odds were pretty good you could collect a lot of rocks thrown from the Catholic schoolyard.

Fast forward to York. We have a giant University of about 50,000 with 70% arts folks who labor 20 hours a week. Some are Moslems. The president, Mamdough Shoukri is a personnel friend and one of the most secular folks I know. he has been to Israel and as an engineer loves Technion. The Lassonde School of Engineering sends 25 students a year to Technion.

To my knowledge The Schulich School of Business has zero problems. Some our best faculty members are Jews.

WE BOTH AGREE ALL RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND CLUBS SHOULD BE BANNED FROM ALL UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES.

Now the Students in all the professional faculties at York get along beautifully. They are too busy working 60-80 hour weeks to march around protesting. At McGill in my day The Engineers kept the Arts folks in line. Want to go to York park your Yamulka and Talis and fit in or take martial arts lessons . The Moslems in Canada are going to learn soon enough to get ahead they better fit in too. In Quebec 95% were viscerally against wearing the face coverings at new citizen ceremonies

I am just back from Israel. They are a marvel !!!!! Technion has forged alliances with most of my benefaction schools !
York U, Waterloo, U of Toronto, McGill, U of Calgary and [even] U of Montreal. Boycott ? Please don’t make me laugh.
My friend the chief strategist at a major Canadian bank is going to Israel to hone their Cyber Defenses. Oracle, Google,Facebook and virtually every internet Cyber company in the world is there. Billions of dollars are pouring in from the USA and China. I counted 21 cranes in only one direction from my hotel window in Tel Aviv. Next to Ben Gurian U, 15 eight story Cyber buildings are being built.

SO DEAR TRIBESMEN PLEASE DO NOT COME TO ME WITH YOUR LETTERS AND PERSECUTION TALES !

Best Regards,

Seymour Schulich O.C.