Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life calls on Jewish students the world over to light the seventh candle of the Chanukah menorah this evening in solidarity with Jewish students at Concordia University who this week were denied the right to meet on campus by the Concordia Student Union.
"Chanukah is the festival of freedom. Tonight as we light a candle for Concordia we assert our right to celebrate our Jewishness. The Jewish people fought intolerance in ancient times and we will fight it today," stated Hillel President and International Director Richard M. Joel.
Joel continued: "Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous decision of the Concordia Student Union to exclude Hillel from campus and to deny it CSU funds. Hillel urges the CSU to rescind its decision. We support Montreal Hillel's efforts to pursue legal action against the CSU. We call upon the university to denounce this action which flies in the face of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association."
Nine members of the 25-member CSU this week voted to deny Hillel access to the campus and to withhold funds after learning that Hillel made available a flyer recruiting Israeli Defense Force volunteers. The student government group was under the erroneous impression that the pamphlet was a violation of Canadian law.
This systematic denial of Hillel's right to meet on campus follows an incident earlier this year when violent protesters successfully prevented former Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking on campus. "This pattern of harassment and discrimination must end once and for all," Joel says.
Montreal Hillel has asked the CSU to overturn its vote and is preparing legal action against the student group. Montreal Hillel plans to light the Chanukah menorah on campus to protest this order.