Nov 08 2012
More than 550 guests filled the Concert Hall at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York on November 4th, to pay tribute to Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Minister Kenney received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Haifa in recognition of his dedicated leadership; his steadfast position against antisemitism, racism and intolerance; his solidarity with the State of Israel; his condemnation of Israel Apartheid Week; and his friendship with the people of Israel.
The scroll was presented by President of the University of Haifa Amos Shapira and Rector Prof. David Faraggi. Major supporters of the event, Tony Comper and Joseph Rotman, hooded the Minister. Kenney was joined on stage by previous recipients of honorary doctorates and humanitarian awards from the University of Haifa and Canadian members of the University’s Board of Governors.
Also in attendance from the University of Haifa was Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development, Amos Gaver. Senator Irving Gerstein was MC and Dr. Arnie Aberman chaired the fundraising campaign leading up to the event.
The event was attended by politicians, dignitaries, and respected members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, among others, who all rose to give Kenney a standing ovation.
Kenney said he felt grateful and humbled by the honor that the university, which he described as “a beacon of tolerance, inclusion and harmony,” had bestowed upon him. “To the University of Haifa I say you inspire me to keep working and to work even harder to earn the recognition that you’ve honored me with today and to defend and promote the ideals that we share: ideals such as ordered liberty grounded in human dignity and a pursuit of the common good through democratic means. These are the causes that the Jewish community in Canada has always stood for, these are the principles that unite all of us as Canadians regardless of our race, religion or partisan conviction and they are the basis of our friendship with and support for the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.”
A message of greetings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was read by Amos Shapira which stated that the establishment of The Jason Kenney Holocaust Education Fund for Canadian and International Students at the University of Haifa is a fitting tribute to the leading role Minister Kenney has played in combating all forms of antisemitism, in supporting Israel and in strengthening the deep friendship between Israel and Canada.
Photo (L-R): University President Amos Shapira; Tony Comper; The Hon. Jason Kenney; Joseph Rotman; Rector Prof. David Faraggi