As an Israel- and Middle East-focused academic research center whose Academic Council groups respected professors from Canada, the U.S. and Israel, the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research has always worked closely with students, on and off campus.
Our unique Student Israel Advocacy Program (SIAP), now in its fourth year, counters the delegitimation of Israel on campus through a series of seminars focused on Jewish history, Zionism, and the Arab-Israel conflict, as well as on Holocaust denial, antisemitism, and human rights issues.
The SIAP introduces a broad range of students to Judaism, the Jewish relation to Jerusalem, and to Middle East foreign affairs policies and international relations generally. Topics include Iran and nuclear weapons in the Middle East context, Islam and Islamic terrorism, the history of the Palestinians and the West Bank, and countering the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and its “Israeli apartheid week” program.
Israel-U.S. relations are studied, as are the roles of the European Union and Russia, China and India in the region. Iran and Syria as supporters of terrorist groups Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon are also studied.
CIJR students have also published the respected Dateline:Middle East (DME) magazine for over twenty years. Researched, written and distributed by students, DME is focused on analysis of Israel and Arab relations and conflicts, on culture and politics in Israel and the Islamic world, on the role of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in Jewish and Israeli consciousness, and on Islam and human rights issues in the Arab world and the Palestinian territories.
Another focus is on Iran, nuclear weapons, and regional terrorism, and the foreign policies of the U.S. and Canada in the region. DME also addresses antisemitism and civil rights problems and the relations between Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the Middle East more broadly.
CIJR also offers a number of Baruch & Sonia Cohen Israel Research Internships designed to provide students with valuable hands-on study experience. Projects have included Canada policy in the region; religious and national rights in Jerusalem; the political implications of Holocaust denial; Jews, Jewish thought and Islam; and compiling and maintaining CIJR’s Israel & Middle East DataBank.
Altogether, CIJR represents a three-dimensional Israel and Jewish learning environment, a cognitive framework within which students acquire Middle Eastern and Jewish-world knowledge and facts, as well as the speaking and writing skills necessary to combat antisemitic and anti-Israel delegitimation on, and off, college and university campuses.