Andrea Freedman
March 26, 2018
Dear Community Members

On Sunday evening, students at the University of Ottawa faced yet another vote - the third this school year - by the Student Federation to advance the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement on campus.

I am pleased to announce that for a third time, the motion was defeated.
Thanks to our partners, and most importantly to our students who demonstrated tremendous fortitude and again mobilized, showing outstanding leadership and character. Our students are fighting a difficult battle and they are doing so on behalf of everyone who values dialogue, debate and diversity. Yasher Koach to these amazing students!

I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to the university's administration and to President Jacques Frémont for his statement unequivocally denouncing BDS and recognizing how the ongoing votes have been extremely detrimental and divisive for all students.  Read his full message here. 

Below is the joint statement from Hillel Ottawa, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa.


For Immediate Release: BDS vote again defeated
at University of Ottawa
March 26, 2018

Ottawa, ON - Yesterday, a motion to advance Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) against Israelis was defeated at a Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) Board of Administration (BOA) meeting. This is the third defeat for BDS at uOttawa within six months.

In response, Dovi Chein, Director of Hillel Ottawa, issued the following:

"We are incredibly grateful to the students who took time away from their studies for the third time this year to fight this discriminatory initiative. Boycotting Israel denigrates the very identity of Jewish students. On this basis alone, no responsible student government should ever endorse BDS and we are hopeful this third rejection settles the matter at uOttawa once and for all."

Hillel Ottawa, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) welcome today's strong rejection of BDS by  Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, who stated:

"By definition, boycotts limit the free exchange of ideas and perspectives and, therefore, run contrary to the core values that guide our University's core academic mission. Moreover, boycotts create an environment where some members of our community may feel insecure and ostracized. I encourage members of our University community to work together to ensure we have a campus where mutual respect and freedom of expression flourish.

"The University of Ottawa will have no part of the BDS movement nor any movement that boycotts academic institutions. We have actively pursued mutually beneficial relationships with leading institutions around the world and will continue to do so to further the advancement of knowledge and the free circulation of ideas, students and faculty members." 

Andrea Freedman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa , said:

"We applaud Hillel, the students, and all their partners, who were once again successful in defeating BDS at uOttawa. Every student should feel welcome and safe on campus. That's why we are grateful to the University and President Jacques  Fré mont  for his statement unequivocally denouncing BDS."


The motion calling for the SFUO to endorse and implement BDS failed to receive a required two-thirds majority vote by BOA members. It follows two similar failed attempts this school year, all defeated thanks to the successful intervention of student activists and Hillel Ottawa with the support of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and their campus partners.

For more information, contact:

Allyson Grant
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