17 May 2016

Trying to fit with Seymour Schulich

Seymour Schulich
For all of you who, like I, didn't know who Seymour Schulich is, here is a short excerpt from Wiki:
Schulich graduated from McGill University with a BSc in 1961 and an MBA from the Desautels Faculty of Management in 1965. He earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the University of Virginia in 1969.
Another tidbit Wiki shares is his financial prowess:
Net worth - CAD$1.75 billion (2011).
Which is a serious amount of simoleons, CAD or no CAD, you have to agree. Another (but related) thing to admire about Mr Schulich is his inordinate passion for philanthropy, also described in that Wiki entry. I shall quote only one detail:
The first and largest donation that was made was to the Schulich School of Business at York University. All degrees issued by the Schulich School of Business now bear the signature of Seymour Schulich.
Impressive indeed. Now to the reason the name caught my attention:
In a mass email addressed “to the tribe” that has been making the rounds in the Jewish community, entrepreneur and philanthropist Seymour Schulich said he’s “sick and tired” of Jews complaining about anti-Semitism in Canada in general and at York University in particular.

“I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, where the school system was predominantly Catholic and Protestant. Real anti-Semitism was rife!” wrote Schulich, a York benefactor after whom the university’s acclaimed Schulich School of Business is named.

“Yet in my entire life I have never experienced one iota of anti-Semitism. WHY? THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS BECAUSE I FIT IN WITH THE MAJORITIES! There was a Catholic school across the street from my Grade 8 Protestant school in Montreal. If you wore a yamulka or a talis [sic] under your shirt, the odds were pretty good you could collect a lot of rocks thrown from the Catholic schoolyard.”
The problem with York University in particular is that, mildly speaking, it is described as toxic environment for Jewish students. So much so that even the usually mumbling Forward reflects that
Jewish students are being urged to think twice before applying to York University in Toronto following accusations that its faculty association was endorsing a “censorship campaign against Israel and the Jewish people.
But, if you follow Mr Schulich, the best solution for the Jewish students unfortunate enough to enroll, is to "FIT IN WITH THE MAJORITIES". In capital letters too. Hmm...

Out of interest, I have taken a look at how another minority fares in that same university. Here is a picture I picked up from "The Official Twitter Account of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students' Association at York University".

Well, this might just be the ticket for the girls. And what about the boys? Oh yes, a keffiyeh will do, I believe. Nothing fancy, just like one Arafat was sporting. Easy to find on Amazon Canada too.

So what can I say about that idea of fitting in? Only that our tribe has tried it several times in our history. We know (well, at least some of us do) how it ended. In short, I have a strong feeling that one of us - either Mr Schulich or I - is a putz. Judging by the above story, the obvious conclusion will be... but then, I have never even been near a man who is worth CAD$1.75 billion (2011).

Questions, questions...

P.S. And another unnecessary observation, looking at the Mr Schulich's picture: on the face of it (no pun intended... oh well), he might have a trouble fitting in, even in a keffiyeh. Just saying.

P.P.S. Found a great response by Jennifer (Jennanne) Hill-Simpson that includes the original e-mail in full. Enjoy.