Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
|Research Chairman||Baruch Cohen|
|Board Chairman||Jack Kincler|
The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) is a non-profit, independent Montreal academic think-tank and educational foundation, devoted to data and analysis of Israel, the Middle East, and Jewish issues for students, media, and university campuses, and to the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Canada and the rest of the world.
CIJR was created by Professor Frederick Krantz, the institute's Director, in 1988, to strengthen public understanding of Jewish Israel as a progressive, democratic society in its Middle Eastern context. CIJR manages a database of news and opinions, hosts seminars and colloquia with academics, and publishes materials.
Creation and early years
Concerned by the sudden anti-Israel media of the first Palestinian Arab intifada, a small group of Montrealers began meeting at the home of Professors Frederick (intellectual history) and Lenore (art history) Krantz. The media's perspective of the conflict began reflecting a Palestinian inversion – Israel as Goliath, the Palestinians as David – paralyzing the organized Jewish community. The group began responding to the newspapers, radio, and TV stations, and eventually, received invitations to speak at community events to counter the anti-Israel wave.
Following the proposed, secret Arab-Jewish "dialogue" conference in Montebello, Quebec, the Canadian Jewish News published a letter by Baruch Cohen, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, on August 4, 1988 in support of Prof. Krantz's position against appeasement. Krantz, noticing the letter, contacted Cohen to join his group. Today, Baruch Cohen is CIJR's Research Chair.
Without endowments from Montreal's or Canada's organized Jewish communities and functioning year-to-year on fundraisers, CIJR operates a small office that produces online and print publications, manages a database, offers academic programming for college students, and sustains annual speakers' programs.
ISRAFAX is the institute's quarterly research print publication. It provides CIJR members with data and a digest of international analysis and opinion on issues, mixing original content with articles from newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, official documents, and websites from around the world. The Israeli and Arab media are also scanned for reports, opinions, and other documents. The magazine is distributed internationally.
Middle East and Jewish World databank
The DataBank, an archive of Israel, Middle East, and other materials related to the Jewish world, is accessible on CIJR’s website, with entries on issues ranging from Israeli society and regional politics to international Jewish communities, human rights, and the Holocaust.
Dateline: Middle East
Published by the Student Coalition for a Just Peace in the Middle East, Dateline: Middle East, a journal on Israel, the Middle East and Jewish-world, is made possible by the support of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. Appearing several times per year on university and college campuses, it is distributed across Canada, Israel and the United States. From an academic perspective, Dateline examines the Middle East and covers issues related to the politics, economics, and cultures of the region.
CIJR's Daily Isranet Briefing
As of autumn 2000, CIJR began sending Daily Isranet Briefings via email and fax to counter anti-Israel propaganda, and to keep readers informed of daily issues affecting the Jewish people. Each daily Briefing consists of opinion pieces, articles, or other documents, on changing issues, except for Wednesdays, which feature a "News In Review" issue composed by the staff of CIJR and featuring news briefs and quotations that made headlines throughout the week.
There is also a weekly French-language Communiqué Isranet bulletin published on Fridays.
Seminars and colloquia
The institute’s Insider Briefing seminars and Community Colloquia feature its own and other experts on Israel, the Middle East, Jews, and Jewish world issues. Speakers have included journalist and political analyst Yossi Klein Halevi; Palestinian Media Watch Director, Itamar Marcus; Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman; Commentary magazine founder and editor-at-large, Norman Podhoretz, terrorism expert Steven Emerson, former Israeli IDF Chief of Staff, General Moshe Ya’alon; former CIA Director James Woolsey, Israel’s former Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker; and Jewish Diaspora leader and Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Leibler.
In 2007, CIJR launched the Student Israel-Advocacy Seminars Program, a year-long training initiative to counter worsening on-campus anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.
CIJR’s newest publication, Israzine, is a bi-weekly webzine devoted to Israel- and Jewish-world-related political and cultural issues, designed to supplement the Briefings, which group a few pieces around issues of moment, and ISRAFAX, the quarterly print journal.
- About Us
- Frederick Krantz, "Celebrating CIJR—Bis Zu [Hundert Un] Zwanzig!" ISRAFAX, August 27, 2008, 2.
- Mike Cohen, "Canadian Institute for Jewish Research to mark 20th anniversary,", Jewish Tribune, August 20, 2008.
- Janice Arnold, "Institute celebrates 20 years of defending Israel,", Canadian Jewish News, August 21, 2008.
- Janice Arnold, "CIJR's archives to go online August 18," Canadian Jewish News, August 4, 2005.
- Isranet Weekly French Briefing Page
- Barbara Kay, "Taking back the campus,", National Post, August 21, 2008.
- Israzine Inaugural Intro Page