Professor recognized with distinguished service award

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Professor Randal F. Schnoor has received the 2024 Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Canadian Jewish Studies (ACJS) in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of study.

The report by the award jurors recognized Schnoor as a “brilliant and insightful scholar [who] has looked at a wide range of topics in Canadian Jewish life … and has done particularly important comparative work in those areas.”  

Schnoor has been teaching Jewish studies and religious studies at York University in the Department of Humanities since 2004, specializing in the study of contemporary Canadian Jewish life.

Randal Schnoor
Randal Schnoor

Over the course of his career, he has published numerous books, articles, chapters and more on Jewish identity, Jewish day schools, Hasidic Jews and 2SLGBTQIA+ Jews, among other contemporary topics. As president of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies for nine years, he has also helped advance the field’s reach and relevance.

Schnoor has made an impact as well with contributions to policy research around Jewish poverty in Toronto, how to approach engaging interfaith families, South African Jews in Toronto and ways to address enrolment changes for Toronto’s Jewish community high school.

“The field’s central scholarly organization – the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies – has now formally recognized what many of us already deeply appreciate,” says David Koffman, the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry and a professor in the Department of History. “Professor Schnoor has made outstanding and enduring contributions to the field as a scholar who has broken new ground repeatedly, as an inspiring and effective teacher to thousands of York students over the years, and as a stalwart leader who has served the field in so many ways. The award is richly deserved.” 

Among his efforts, Schnoor has also demonstrated commitment to important work with Jewish and Muslim students at York outside of the classroom. Most recently, he has revitalized Bridging the Gap, a part of York’s Supporting Open & Respectful Dialogue Program, which looks to design opportunities and establish safe spaces for honest and respectful dialogue on York’s campuses.

This past February, the first event took place on the Keele Campus to discuss the Israel-Palestine issue. The initiative has garnered media attention and interest from other post-secondary institutions – like Western University, Toronto Metropolitan University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Sydney in Australia – to share insights.

Schnoor will receive his award at the ACJS annual conference in Montreal in June as part of this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canada’s largest gathering of academics in the field – and one of the largest of its kind in the world.