Ed Morgan   Letter 09   26-Jul-2004   Jewish complaints of Canadian Jewish Congress authoritarianism
Ed Morgan
Canadian Jewish Congress National President, Ed Morgan

"The new President Ed Morgan was presented as a fact let alone any vote for CJC officers." Abraham Weizfeld


Ed Morgan
National President, Canadian Jewish Congress
Faculty of Law
University of Toronto
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON      M5S 2C5

Ed Morgan:

A Canadian Jewish News report on the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) 27th Plenary Assembly on 13-Jun-2004 in Toronto stated that four hundred people from across Canada attended for the purpose of voting on resolutions:

Four hundred people from across Canada met at the Westin Hotel on Sunday to welcome the incoming slate of officers who will lead the CJC for the next three years, to vote on resolutions that will affect the direction of the organization and to discuss issues of importance to the Canadian Jewish community.
Diane Koven, CJC holds 27th plenary assembly, 22-Jul-2004  www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=3693

However, the above report nowhere mentions a single resolution that the four hundred people voted on.

Although Abraham Weizfeld acknowledges that he was permitted to ask a few questions at the Plenary Assembly, his predominant view expressed in the first four paragraphs below of his longer eyewitness account is that no voting was allowed, and that the Plenary Assembly in fact blocked democratic participation:




( JUJP )




( UJPJ )



By Abraham Weizfeld, non-voting delegate on behalf of the JUJP-UJPJ_CQ

Prior to the Canadian Jewish Congress 27th Plenary it had been discussed on the JUNITY-CANADA List that a delegation might be formed to intervene in the debate.  This then is a report of the initiatives undertaken on behalf of the Jewish Unity for a Just Peace of Canada and QUÉBEC.

The Canadian Jewish Congress itself includes 28 Canadian Jewish organizations and 10 federations are voting constituent members of the CJC National Executive.  The CJC affirms that it is a "grassroots organization.  Any Jew 18 years of ago or over and residing in Canada is eligible to vote for CJC officers including the national president, at CJC's triennial plenary assembly.

During this Plenary however none of this democratic function was operative.  The new President Ed Morgan was presented as a fact let alone any vote for CJC officers.  When it came time to vote on submitted resolutions the announcement was made to cancel the debate and referred the resolutions to the National Council.  Instead the allocated time in the one-day Plenary was devoted to the panel presentation Terrorism: Combatting the Threat to Collective and Individual Security.  In addition to the two panellists a third was added to really make the point.  More than half the 400 delegates did not show up for the panel and left the Plenary early.  Nonetheless the co-chairs of the Plenary Assembly asserted in their letter to the delegates that "The National Plenary Assembly is an event which demonstrates the true democratic nature of this very vibrant and important organization which represents the Canadian Jewish community before government, the media, the non-governmental sector and internationally on a wide variety of matters relating to public policy."

The outgoing President Keith M. Landy assured the delegates in his opening letter that the CJC "is your organization, set up to represent differing viewpoints and perspectives, but all in the common cause of preserving and strengthening Jewish life in Canada, other Diaspora communities and for the security and safety of our brothers and sisters in Israel."  This is of course a grand purpose and he opens the door to debate by continuing that "These are difficult times, and we must build upon our past successes and experience as we develop new strategies to meet the challenges ahead.  You can help by getting involved."
www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=001234&p=    Errors are in the original.

Online discussion of the Abraham Weizfeld statement above echoes its diagnosis of an undemocratic CJC whose claim to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish community can be doubted:

Don't you find it a bit odd that all the plenum resoultions were deferred to committee and that there was no actual vote on the CJC executive?  For a national convention it seemed to be nothing more than a series of speeches and panel discussions with "delegates" denied any decision making role and instead being reduced to the status of an audience.

How can the CJC claim to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish community when it's so undemocratic?
Mycroft, rabble-rouser, Babbler # 2230, posted 16 June 2004 09:16 PM  www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=001234&p=    Errors are in the original.

The above observations reawaken the hypothesis that the Canadian Jewish Congress, rather than representing Canadian Jewry, suppresses democratic participation because it fears Jewish criticism of CJC misconduct, as I have begun to bring to your attention in the following two letters:

A full refutation of the CJC appearance of authoritarianism would require an answer to the charge that the CJC has wandered so far from either representing, or working in the interests of, Canadian Jewry, that it could be characterized as having become anti-Semitic and psychopathological, as discussed in the following Lubomyr Prytulak letter to CHRC Chief Commissioner Mary M Gusella, particularly at:

And the above considerations reawaken the more particular hypothesis that the CJC complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) of Ukrainian Archive (UKAR www.ukar.org) hate messaging is a complaint not by the Jewish people who fear anti-Semitism, but is rather a complaint by the Canadian Jewish Congress which fears the Jewish people learning of CJC misconduct by reading UKAR.

Among the first steps needed to bolster the CJC's shaky democratic credentials might be its correcting the impression that your own presidency was unveiled to the Plenary Assembly as a fait accompli, with no explanation offered in support of its legitimacy, and where a more democratic presentation would have disclosed the alternative candidates who vied with you for the presidency, how your respective platforms differed, and what democratic process it was that awarded the presidency to you.

Lubomyr Prytulak


Irving ABELLA, National Honourary President, CJC, Department of History, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3
Suzanne BEST, Manager Intake Services, CHRC, 344 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON  K1A 1E1
Hon. Irwin COTLER, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 284 Wellington Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 0H8
Bernie FARBER, Executive Director, CJC, 4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON  M2R 3V2
Mary M GUSELLA, Chief Commissioner, CHRC, 344 Slater Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 1E1
Sherri HELGASON, Director Investigations Branch, CHRC, 344 Slater Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 1E1
The Rt. Hon. Paul MARTIN, Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A2
Hon. Anne MCLELLAN, Hill Office, House of Commons, Ottawa ON  K1A 0A6
Moshe RONEN, Chair Board of Governors, CJC, 4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON  M2R 3V2
Len RUDNER, Director of Community Relations, CJC, 4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON  M2R 3V2