This year marks the establishment of a joint Postdoctoral Fellow between the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies (ATCJS) at the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. The incumbent, Dr. Joanna Krongold (Ph.D. English, University of Toronto) has been featured on the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts and Science’s news, where she discusses the significance of her research and work. Krongold’s research is mainly related to addressing antisemitism in healthcare professions, education and practice.
Below is a short summary of the article on Dr. Krongold, please click here to read the full version on the Faculty of Arts and Science website.
It is shocking to discover the extent of the medical profession’s complicity in the Holocaust. Eugenics research, forceful sterilization and physical experimentations were all disguised as a medical necessity and conducted in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Canada, too, shares the guilt of medical antisemitism during the 20th century as well. Doctors, nowadays, still remember quota systems that restricted the number of Jews permitted to enroll in various medical schools and the severe discrimination in the hiring process. Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital, in fact, was established in 1923 to provide a place for Jewish healthcare professionals to practice.
Though these events may seem to be from a distant past, the connection between antisemitism and healthcare remains all the more relevant, especially with the ominous revival during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This unfortunate reality has given rise to the creation of a new postdoctoral fellowship intended to explore the rise of antisemitism during the COVID-19 pandemic and the relationship between antisemitism in healthcare education and practice. Recent incidents prove worrisome, as many Jewish doctors across the world have received death threats and have become targets of antisemitic abuse for advocating vaccines. This fellowship is jointly administered by the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Joanna Krongold holds the first appointment for this position and is carrying out her research over the course of 2022. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of English at the University of Toronto in 2020; her dissertation examined the use of metaphor and figurative dynamics in youth Holocaust literature. She is currently researching historical and contemporary manifestations of antisemitism in healthcare. Krongold’s work will extend past the term of her fellowship, as she is also participating in a mass open online course (MOOC) on medicine and the Holocaust. This fall, she will be teaching a course on antisemitism and COVID-19 through the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies.