The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) is an independent and internationally-respected academic think-tank based in Montreal and Toronto. It is unique in bringing the results of its research activities–focused mainly on Israel-, Middle East-, and Jewish-community-related issues–directly and quickly to the public, Jewish and non-Jewish, to students, and to the media and government.
The purpose of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s respected volunteer academic Fellows and trained lay people is three-fold: to strengthen public and student understanding of Jewish Israel as a unique democratic society in its difficult Middle Eastern context; to throw light on antisemitism and key Jewish-world issues generally; and to play a pivotal role in ensuring Jewish continuity by working with students, on- and off-campus.
The Institute’s Activities
CIJR communicates directly to the public through a series of outstanding publications. The Daily Isranet Briefing is an emailed journal distributed internationally, focused on presenting the best analytical articles and data on key Israel- and Jewish-world-relate issues. Twice a month the Friday Briefing features focused discussions of “Great Jewish Minds”, figures whose historical, literary and cultural work throws light on continuing issues of Jewish and general relevance (e.g., Emil Fackenheim, Cynthia Ozick, Sigmund Freud, Elie Wiesel, Saul Bellow, Ernst Cassirer, Yossele Rosenblatt, Robert Wistrich, Gustav Mahler, Leo Strauss).
Our quarterly print journal, ISRAFAX, groups both focused and thematic articles, as well as reviews of key recent books, on Israel and Middle East, as well as Jewish world, issues. A weekly French Communiqué Isranet speaks to the francophone world on Israel and Jewish issues, while our students publish the excellent Dateline: Middle East journal, unique in North America and published continuously for the last thirty-two years.
Additionally, CIJR maintains a massive Israel & Middle East DataBank (accessible on-line), a continuously updated file of outstanding op ed articles and key studies and data dealing with Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world. We also have an active Facebook page, and IsraBlog and CIJR Review of Books sections on our extensive Website (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seminars Conferences and Colloquia
The Institute maintains a rich series of seminars, conferences, and colloquia on key Israel-, Middle East-, and Jewish-world related issues, open to the public. Its Insider Briefing Seminars and Community Colloquia feature respected scholars and specialists. And its annual Conferences and Gala Keynote Speakers bring together internationally-respected figures on major issues and themes.
Recent Speakers have included:
–Elliott Abrams—noted American lawyer and foreign relations specialist, who has served as a foreign policy advisor to presidents Reagan, Bush and Trump.
–Moshe Arens z”l, Former Israeli Defense Minister and Ambassador to the U.S
–Alan Baker, international law specialist, former Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
–Rabbi Abraham Cooper — Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center
–The Hon. Irwin Cotler–former Canadian Minister of Justice and human-rights leader
–Danny Danon–former Israeli Ambassador to the UN
— Stockwell Day–former Conservative Party MP and president of the Treasury Board
–Steven Emerson–American terrorism expert and Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism
— Prof. Emil Fackenheim z”l – Jewish philosopher and writer, U. of Toronto professor
— Douglas Feith – noted Middle East specialist and author, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Policy for President George W. Bush, and Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute
— Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld — Israeli author, journalist, and Director of the Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism program of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
— Efraim Karsh – noted Israeli-British historian and Director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA)
— Mordechai Kedar — Israeli scholar of Arabic culture, and journalist, BESA/Bar Ilan U.
— Isi Leibler – Jerusalem Post columnist. Former President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and of the World Jewish Congress Governing Board President.
—John J. Loftus — American author, historian, U.S. government prosecutor and Army intelligence officer and President of the Florida Holocaust Museum.
— Hillel Neuer, Canadian-born international lawyer, and Executive Director of UN Watch, in Geneva, Switzerland.
— Melanie Phillips — Noted British journalist, author, and public commentator
–Andrew Roberts, British historian, Churchill scholar and Europeans for Israel co-founder
— Prof. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, cofounder and director of AMCHA Initiative
— Natan Sharansky, International Human-Rights leader, politician, and author.
— Robert James Woolsey – international relations specialist and former head of the CIA
— Gen. Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon – former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli Defense Minister
Students and Campuses
CIJR is very active on- and off-campus, and engages with students in a number of ways through our Student Council and Internship Program. CIJR supports the unique in North America, student-written and produced, Dateline: Middle East (DME) magazine, now in its 32nd year. Published uninterruptedly, it addresses Israel’s role in international affairs. DME addresses global antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and traditional Jewish and modern cultural issues. Its articles analyze the Israeli and Middle East economy, the status of Jerusalem, human-rights in Arab and Islamic countries, terrorism, Iranian nuclear proliferation, Israeli-American relations, and the developing peace process, among other concerns.
The Institute’s unique Baruch Cohen Israel Internship Program offers summer and academic-year internships, and sustains a series of ongoing Israel Learning Seminars (ILS). The Seminars are year-long training initiatives focused on students and open to selected members of the public. Given by CIJR Academic Fellows, the ILS are designed to provide students with basic factual knowledge and critical writing and expressive skills, key to countering worsening antisemitism and anti-Zionism on campuses and in the media.
"CIJR’s Daily Briefing and publications offer an accessible forum for people to stay informed, and its innovative work with university students ensures that the next generation is equipped to speak up for the truth."
Benjamin Netanyahu(Prime Minister of the State of Israel)
"Since the 1980’s, CIJR has offered a clear-eyed analysis of Israeli and Middle East regional issues."
Stephen HarperFormer Prime Minister, Conservative Party of Canada
"Since 1988, the CIJR has supported an independent analysisof Israeli and Middle East regional issues. Its publications and activities continue to be trusted source of news and perspectiveon the State of Israel, its achievements and the challenges it faces in an unstable part of the world".
Justin TrudeauPrime Minister, Liberal Party of Canada
As an Israel- and Middle East-focused academic research center whose Academic Council groups respected professors from Canada, Israel, the U.S. and Europe, the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) has always worked closely with students, on- and off-campus. Our unique Student Israel Advocacy Program (SIAP) counters the delegitimation of Israel on campus through a series of seminars and training exercises focused on Jewish history, Zionism, and the Arab-Israel conflict, as well as on antisemitism, Holocaust denial, terrorism, and human-rights issues. The SIAP introduces a broad range of students to Judaism, Jewish history, Zionism, and the Jewish relation to Jerusalem, and to Israel-Diaspora relations, and Middle East policies and international relations generally.
Topics studied include the Jewish national movement, the history of antisemitism, Iran and nuclear weapons in the Middle East context, Islam and Islamic terrorism, the history of the Palestinian Arabs, and countering the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and its “Israeli apartheid week” campus programs. Israel-U.S. relations are studied, as are the roles of the European Union and Turkey, Russia, China, and India in the region. Iran and Syria, as supporters of terrorist groups like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, are also studied.
CIJR students’ respected Dateline: Middle East (DME) is focused on culture and politics in Israel and the Islamic world, on analysis of Israel and Arab relations and conflicts, on the role of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in Jewish and Israeli consciousness, and on Islam and human rights issues in the Arab world and the Palestinian territories. Other concerns include Iran, nuclear weapons, and regional terrorism, and the foreign policies of the U.S. and Canada in the region. DME also addresses antisemitism and human rights problems and the relations between Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the Middle East more broadly.
SIAP and the Cohen Israel Internships programs have included projects on Canada and U.S. policy in the region; religious and national rights in Jerusalem; the political implications of Holocaust denial; Jews, Jewish thought, and Islam; and the compiling and maintaining CIJR’s Israel & Middle East DataBank.
Altogether, CIJR represents a successful and proven three-dimensional Israel and Jewish learning environment, seen as key to Jewish continuity. It provides a carefully-designed, effectively taught, and culturally enriched cognitive framework. Within and through it, for over three decades, students and the public have acquired Jewish-world knowledge, familiarity with Middle Eastern issues, and the speaking and writing skills and commitment necessary to combat antisemitic and anti-Israel delegitimation on, and off, college and university campuses, and in the media and society at large.
THE CIJR BOARD
Cijr Academic Council
Think Tanks, Media Watchdogs, Campus Organizations, and Jewish Institutions:
- Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
- Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA)
- Simon Wiesenthal Center
- Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center
- Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA)
- Palestinian Media Watch
- Middle East Media Reasearch Institute (MEMRI)
- UN Watch
- Eye On the U.N.
- The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern andAfrican Studies
- The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism
- American/Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
- Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
- Honest Reporting
- Middle East Forum
- Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
- Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- Myths and Facts Online: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- Stand With Us