There are fears at the University of Toronto that a resolution passed by one of its student unions could be used to prevent Jewish caterers from supplying goods or services.
A motion passed by Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU) at the University of Toronto pledged to buy kosher food “only” from kosher caterers who “do not normalise Israeli apartheid.”
Given the central role that the Jewish state plays in contemporary Jewish identity, the notion of excluding Jewish institutions that have connections to Israel potentially means untenable restrictions on other Jewish practices, including the provision of kosher food, much of which is produced in Israel.
Consequently, the resolution has led to fears among some Jewish students and student groups that they will not be able to have a kosher diet on campus.
Scarborough campus student Gabriela Rosenblum said that “even for something as simple” as ordering jam doughnuts for Chanukah, Jewish students at SCSU would “now be forced to prove that kosher caterers do not support their Jewish homeland” which, she added, was “basically impossible.”
A spokesperson for the University’s Hillel said it was “deeply disappointed” by the union’s position and called for the union executive to “reverse this shameful resolution.”
Daniel Koren, Executive Director of Hasbara Canada, said in a statement: “Whether the SCSU likes it or not, Israel is an essential part of Jewish identity. They do not have the right to tell Jewish students how to practice Judaism on campus.”