Partnering Against Antisemitism

by Josh Kerr | Oct 15, 2020
CISA Endowment helping to combat antisemitism world wide

Earlier this summer, two leading organizations in the fight against antisemitism created a unique partnership. The Toronto-based FAST (Fighting Antisemitism Together) and Winnipeg’s CISA (Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism) have joined forces to continue their mission of eradicating antisemitism and all forms of intolerance through education. 

Dr. Catherine Chatterley, founding director of CISA and now Chair and President of FAST, was approached by FAST founder, Tony Comper, last year to discuss his ideas about guaranteeing FAST’s future as an organization. That’s when the affiliation began to take shape. 

While CISA and FAST remain two separate organizations with separate fundraising needs, the affiliation “allows CISA to promote and support FAST’s nationwide human rights curriculum, including its focus on antisemitism,” Dr. Chatterley, who has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago, explains.

In addition to this new partnership, CISA -- an independent non-profit with charitable status -- is also celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020. During the past decade, CISA’s publication, Antisemitism Studies, has become a mainstay for those in the field of antisemitism research by providing scholarly information on the subject to more than 3,000 universities and colleges around the world. 

In order to continue its work with the journal, CISA relies on donations to its endowment fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.
With the financial stability offered by the endowment, CISA is afforded the opportunity to focus on the important work it is producing rather than concerning itself with the funding needed to make it possible. Dr. Chatterley also points out, this stability is becoming less common when looking at the resources allocated to antisemitism research around the globe.

“It is crucial that the study of antisemitism remains vibrant and valued. Schools are cutting funding and resources for antisemitism education world-wide, and this trend will likely continue. An endowment will ensure that CISA can continue its work in perpetuity despite any prevailing political and social pressures that may arise in the future,” says Dr. Chatterley.

The impact of the endowment extends beyond the support of the journal. The income earned also goes towards management of the institute itself and education. This includes the Shindleman Lectures – a series of lectures started in 2012 that focus on a variety of different aspects of antisemitism – as well as courses and curriculum which are free to the public as a way to continue to build a “knowledge base.”

“Imagine if there was no scholarship on the Holocaust. We wouldn’t have any museums or educational programs or any official recognition of the murder of European Jewry. In fact, without scholars, we would not understand how the Holocaust actually transpired, how it was planned and executed systematically,” says Dr. Chatterley.

For more information on supporting the CISA Endowment, please contact Stephanie Casar, Director of Development & Gift Planning, at 204.480.7528 or toll-free from the
US/Canada at 1.855.284.1918, or by email at [email protected]