Irving Abella to discuss global anti-Semitism

Renowned Jewish history scholar at York and community leader Irving Abella (right) will participate in a panel about Global Anti-Semitism June 13 at the annual Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) 27th Plenary Assembly in Ottawa.

Abella is currently York’s J. Richard Shiff Professor of Canadian Jewish Studies. He is the author of several books, including A Coat of Many Colours: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada, and is the co-author of None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews Of Europe 1933-1948, chronicling the anti-Semitism of that period in Canada and this country’s shameful record of closing its doors to Jewish refugees. None Is Too Many was the winner of the 1983 National Jewish Book Award and winner of the 1983 Sir John A. Macdonald Prize in Canadian History.

Joining Abella on the panel will be internationally renowned expert on Jewish affairs Elan Steinberg, executive vice-president of the World Jewish Congress. Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is the keynote speaker at the Global Anti-Semitism session.

For more information on the program, click here.

About Irving Abella

In September 1998, Abella delivered the inaugural lecture of the J. Richard Shiff Professor of Canadian Jewish Studies at York. The lecture, “Canadian Jewry: Past, Present and Future”, highlighted the role of Jews in Canadian society and the mystique surrounding their contribution to business, politics and culture in both pre- and post-Confederation Canada.

Right: Abella’s award-winning book

As Shiff Professor since 1998, Abella has undertaken the job of more closely connecting the academic world of Jewish studies with the greater community through research, teaching and outreach projects. The professorship was endowed in December 1997 by lawyer, real-estate developer and philanthropist J. Richard Shiff, along with a number of other donors, to serve York’s Centre for Jewish Studies and the Department of History.

Abella has earned numerous distinctions and honours, including the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Guggenheim Fellowship and several Canada Council awards. He was president, and is now Chair, of the Board of Governors of the CJC and was a member of the academic advisory committee for the Holocaust Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. In addition, in 1999 he became president of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), the first Jewish head of the CHA in its 85-year history. Abella is also Chair of Vision TV.