Jim Torczyner, Professor

The McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building is taking rights-based community practices out of the social work textbooks and putting them to work in the streets of Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Read more about it in this McGill Headway article!

Professor of Social Work
- Founder and Director, Montreal Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training
- Founder and Director, McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building

Jim Torczyner joined the faculty at McGill University in 1973 after obtaining his M.S.W. and D.S.W. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Torczyner has been directly involved in social work, human rights education and the development of social movements for thirty-five years.

In 1975, Professor Torczyner founded Montreal's Project Genesis. Project Genesis is a community-based, grassroots organization that empowers people from diverse backgrounds to advocate for entitlements, to change social policy and to develop alternative community organizations.

Professor Torczyner also founded the McGill Consortium for Ethnicity and Strategic Social Planning in 1981 to assist ethnic groups in Canada in highlighting community needs and awareness through demographic research. He recently completed a twelve-volume study of Jewish communities in Canada, a national study of Black communities in Canada and follow up studies of the Black communities in Montreal and Toronto.

Professor Torczyner also directs the Montreal Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training (MCHRAT), which he founded in 1990. This University Research Center extends multi-disciplinary expertise to groups that have traditionally lacked access and power. MCHRAT has developed advocacy programs for homeless youth, the severely disabled, and assisted in the development of legal services in community based agencies, as well as established legal precedent in its defense of the poor against unwarranted state intrusion...

In 1993, Professor Torczyner brought the model he developed at Project Genesis to Israel and founded Community Advocacy which independently operates a network of storefront advocacy, outreach, and community organizing services. In 1994, MCHRAT refocused its attention primarily on the Middle East and established The McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building. (www.mmep.mcgill.ca) . Working with academic institutions and leading nongovernmental organizations in Israel, Jordan and Palestine, MMEP has provided some 40 graduate fellowships, assisted in establishing a graduate program in social work at The University of Jordan, and in establishing three additional centers: Nablus, east Jerusalem, and Amman.

Education

DSW (University of California, Berkley) 1974

MSW (University of California, Berkley) 1973

BHL (Yeshiva University) 1968.

Employment

1991-present Professor
McGill University, Faculty of Arts, School of Social Work

1994-present Director and Founder
McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peacebuilding

1991-present Director and Founder
McGill University, Montreal Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training.

Research

Areas of interest

  • Inequality and peace building
  • Community development and social action
  • Planning theory and service delivery
  • Research on the demographic characteristics of ethnic groups in Canada
  • Designing alternative organizations
  • Citizen participation
  • Human rights, law and social action
  • Welfare advocacy and the homeless

Recent grants

2010-2012
Canadian International Development Agency

$2,000,000

Grant to launch independent network.

2007-2009
Canadian International Development Agency

$3,000,000

Grant to expand the number of centers in the region established by The McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building.

2003-2006
Canadian International Development Agency

$4,407,000

Grant to to sustain the achievements of phase 1 of The McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building.

2003-2012
Ministry of International Relations, Quebec

$50,000 per annum plus foreign tuition waivers

Grant to support The McGill Middle East Program (MMEP).

2003
Canadian International Development Agency

$500,000

Grant to support Planning phase for MMEP 2.

2003
United States Institute of Peace

U.S.D $40,000

Grant to support the Empowerment Practice in times of Warfare

2002
Ministry of International Relations, Gouvernement du Quebec

$100,000 plus tuition waivers worth $125,000

Grant to Support to MMEP.

1997-present
World University Service Canada

$1,550,000

Funding based on discussions between McGill University, the University of Jordan, the Queen Alia Fund, and the Jordanian National Committee for Women. This funding lead to the development of a professional social work program in Jordan which would contribute directly to the achievement of three important objectives: the reduction of inequality, the promotion of opportunities for women, and the advancement of peace. In 1999, the first students were admitted to the Program and there are currently 27 students enrolled.

1998-2002
Canadian International Development Agency, McGill University, private Canadian, European and Middle Eastern Foundations, individual citizens

$7 million

To provide graduate training to community leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan in social work, human rights and peace building while implementing university=linked, community-based service and advocacy centers in disadvantaged communities in participating societies.

Publications

Books and Monographs

Torczyner, J. “Demographic Challenges Facing the Black Community of Montreal in the 21st Century”, MCHRAT and Heritage Canada, , March 2010 (98pp.)

Torczyner, J. “Analysis of Residential Patterns Among Blacks in Montreal”; MCHRAT and Heritage Canada March 2010 (138 pages)

Torczyner, J., “Rapid Immigration and growth: Challenges confronting the Lebanese community of Montreal”, MCESSP and Heritage Canada , December 2003, (67 pp.)

Torczyner, J., “The Shaping of Toronto’s Black Identity: A Demographic Analysis of the Black Community in Toronto and Regions”, MCESSP, February 2003, (92 pages)

Torczyner, J., “The Evolution of the Black Community of Montreal: Change and Challenge”, MCESSP, 2001, (113 p.)

Torczyner, J., et. al. "Youth Rights Manual", "Le Manuel Des Droits Des Jeunes" Montreal Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training, revised edition, 1998 (300 pp.)

Torczyner, J., "Diversity, Mobility and Change: The Dynamics of Black Communities in Canada", MCESSP, 1997, (97 p.)

Torczyner J., Brotman, Shari "The Jewish Community of London: Prosperity, Vitality and Cohesion", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Maintaining Community: Demographic Challenges Facing the Jewish Community of Windsor, Ontario", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Demographic Patterns of Jewish Life in Hamilton, Ontario: The Dynamics of Stable Growth", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996 (103 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "The Changing Portrait of Jewish Life in Halifax", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari, "Weaving Diverse Strands: Demographic Challenges Transforming the Fabric of Jewish Communal Life in Calgary", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996 (10 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari, "Establishing a Threshold: Critical Issues Facing the Jewish Community of Edmonton", Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1996 (l00 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Growth and Stability, The Demographic Characteristics of the Jewish Community of Ottawa", Council of Jewish Federations et. al. 1996 (124 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Unity and Continuity, Critical Issues Facing the Winnipeg Jewish Community"-, Council of Jewish Federations et. al., 1995 (138 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Diversity, Identity and Rapid Growth: Critical Issues Facing the Greater Vancouver Jewish Community" Council of Jewish Federations 1995, (179 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari, "Rapid Growth and Transformation: Demographic Challenges Facing the Jewish Community of Toronto", Council of Jewish Federations. 1995-1, (203 pages)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, S. "The Demographic Characteristics of the Jewish Community in Canada: Technical Manual Toronto" 69 p. 1995

Torczyner, J., Brotman, S. "The Demographics Characteristics of the Jewish Community in Canada: Technical Manual Canadian Census 1991 Ottawa" 64 p. 1995

Torczyner, J., Brotman, S.,:"The Demographic Characteristics of the Jewish Community in Canada: Technical Manual Vancouver". 66 p. 1995

Torczyner, J., Brotman, S. "The Demographics Characteristics of the Jewish Community in Canada: Technical Manual Canadian Census 1991 Winnipeg" 64 p. 1995

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari "Diversity and Continuity.- Demographic Challenges Facing Montreal Jewry",- Council Of Jewish Federations, et. al. 1994 (283 pages)

Torczyner J., Brotman, Shari, Virago, Kathy and Goldmann, Gustave, "Demographic Challenges Facing Canadian Jewry: Initial Findings from the 1991 Census", Council of Jewish Federations, 1993 et. al. (156 pages with appendices).

Torczyner, J., Brotman, S., "Identity, Priorities and Continuity, Jewish Communal Leaders in Canada: Preliminary Tables Montreal, Toronto, Rest of Canada" . March 24, 1993. 34 p 1993

Brager, George; Specht, Harry; Torczyner, James. "Community Organizing", 2nd edition, Columbia University Press, 1987. 441 pages.

Torczyner, J. & Chatwin, A. "The Jewish Family in Canada", Council of Jewish Federation, 1986. This Monograph series consists of ten publications which examine the demographic
characteristics and changing dynamics of the Jewish community in Canada nationally(1984, 60pp) and in each of the following cities: Calgary (1985, 71 pp) Winnipeg (1986, 70pp) Ottawa(1986, 60pp) Vancouver (1986, 60pp) the Maritimes(1986, 62pp) London (1986, 29pp), Windsor (1986, 29pp) Edmonton (1983, 31 pp) Hamilton (1 986, 29pp).

Torczyner, J. "The Poor Among Us: Project Genesis" (100 pp. 8/76). This study documented the extent and nature of Jewish poverty in Montreal. It recommended the creation of an Organisation to combine advocacy methods, community Organisation and citizen participation in the defense of the rights of disadvantaged groups.

Torczyner, James. "Marin Head Start: A Case Study in Community Control". D.S.W. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, June 1973, University Microfilms, c. 1974, 263pp.

Torczyner, James and Heimberg, Shmuel. "The Integration of Slum Residents into a Developing Economy". Jerusalem Municipal Department of Social Welfare, 1968, monograph

Chapters in Books

Torczyner, J: Inequality in the Labor Force:Preliminary Findings from the 2006 Census Regarding Equity in Employment Among Blacks in Montreal; Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse; Pour une Veritable Integration; Nov. , 2009

Torczyner, Jim. “Unemployment in the Black Community of Montreal” in Rapport de la conference sur le phônomene du racisme systemique et du taux de chomage eleve affectant la communaute noire” (pp.2 -8) The Black Coalition of Quebec, September 2002

Torczyner. J., “A Community Snapshot: The Socio-Economic Dimensions” From Immigration to Integration Ruth Klein and Frank Dimant (eds.) Institute for International Affairs, Toronto, 2001, (pp. 242-266)

Torczyner, J., “Civil Society Contributions to Socio-Economic Development”, Palestinian Governmental-NGO Relations: Co-operation and Partnership”, Mohammed Shadid and Caroline Qutteneh. The World Bank, 2000, (pp.14-17)

Torczyner, J., Ethnicity, Language and Identity: Senate Committee on Official Languages: April 1998 , The Senate of Canada, Government of Canada, Ottawa (8pp)

Torczyner, J., Brotman, Shari. "The Jews of Canada.- A Profile From the Census", American Jewish Year Book: 1995 Singer, David and Seldin, Ruth. R (eds.) Jewish Publication Society, New York, 1995 (pp.227--260)

Torczyner, J. "The Persistence of Invisible Poverty Among Jews in Canada" Robert Brym, William Shaffir and Mort Weinfeld (eds.)"Jews in Canada", Oxford University Press, 1992.

Torczyner, J. "The Canadian Welfare State in Transition." In Gilbert, Friedman, and Scherer (Eds.) Modern Welfare States. Wheatsheaf Press, 1987, pp. 264-281

Torczyner, James. “Jewish Communal Responsibility in Light of Government Cutbacks”. Canadian Jewish Outlook Anthology. Rosenthal and Berson (eds.) New Star Books, Vancouver, 1988, pp. 43-49.

Torczyner, James. "Dynamics of Strategic Relationships". Readings in Community Organisation, Ralph Kramer and Harry Specht, eds. Prentice-Hall, Spring 1983, pp. 168-180. Reprinted in Social System, Culture and Role Theory.- Applications in the Helping Profession.Howard W. Polsky, ed., Ginn Publication Co., 1979, pp. 130-138.

Torczyner, James. "To be Poor and Jewish in Canada", in Canadian Jewish Mosaic, Cotler, et al., 1981. John Wiley & Sons co., Toronto, pp. 177-193.

Torczyner, James. "The Genesis Experience" in Helping Networks and the Welfare State, University of Toronto Press, c) 1980, pp. 248-269.

Torczyner, James. "Advocacy, Coalition Politics. Mass Based Organizations: Unsettled Issues". Case Studies in Planned Change: Organisation and Community Consultation. University Associates. La Jolla, California, 1979, pp. 132-136.

Torczyner, James. "The Political Context of Social Change: A Case Study of Innovation in Adversity in Jerusalem". In Lubin, Goodstein and Lubin, Case Studies in Planned Change: Organisation and Community Consultation. University Associates, La Jolla, California, 1979, pp. 105-132.

Torczyner, James. "Client and Community Needs: How Can They Be Better Met" in Task Force Report, Ville Marie Social Services Centre, February 1974, 30pp.

Torczyner, James. "A Proposal for Combating Delinquency and Enhancing the Educational and Vocational Training of Youth in a Depressed Community in Jerusalem". Jerusalem Municipal Department of Social Welfare, 1968, 120pp.

Articles In Refereed Journals

Torczyner, J. The Application of Human Rights Advocacy Theory to Organizational Innovation in Israel: The Community Advocacy/Genesis Israel Experience "International Journal of Social Welfare":,Volume 10, Number 2 , April 2001 (pp. 85–96).

Torczyner, J. Globalization, Inequality and Peace Building: What Social Work Can Do. "Special Issue: Canadian Social Work" Volume 2 (1), Summer 2000; "Canadian Social Work Review" Volume 17 (2000) Supplementary Issue; "Intervention" Special Edition; pp. 123 - 147

Torczyner, J. “On Reading Writing and Racism “ The Next City”, Summer 1997, Vol. 2, Number 3. Pp. 5–10

Torczyner, J. "Jewish continuity in Canada" (with S. Brotman) Viewpoints, Vol. XXII, Number 2, 1994 p.4-7

Torczyner, J. "The Persistence of Invisible Poverty among Jews in Canada” Journal of Social Service Research . Vol. 19 (1/2) 1994 pp.99--114).

Torczyner, J. “Empowering the Jewish Poor Through Human Rights Advocacy”, Journal of Jewish Communal Services; Spring 1992 pp.253--261.

Torczyner, J. "Discretion, Judgment and Informed Consent: Ethical and Practice Issues in Social Action" Social Work, March 1991, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 122-128.

Torczyner J. and Sklar, Ron. "Lawyers and Social Workers., A new joint degree at McGill University". Canadian Social Work Review, Winter 1991 -1.

Torczyner, James, "The Jewish Poor and Jewish Federations", Menorah: A Journal of JewishRenewal, Vol. 2, No.3, pp. 4-8, February 1980. Reprinted in Canadian Jewish Outlook, Vol.18, No. 3, March 1980.

Torczyner, James; Pare, Arlene. "The Influence of Environmental Factors on Foster Care", Social Service Review, Vol. 53, No. 3, September 1979, pp. 358-377.

Torczyner, James. "The Dynamics of Strategic Relationships". _Social Work, Vol. 23, No. 6,November 1978, pp. 467-474.

Torczyner, James and Pare, Arlene. "The Interests of Children and the Interests of the State: Rethinking the Conflict between Child Welfare Policy and Foster Care Practice". Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Vol. 4, No. 8, November 1977, pp. 1224-1246.

Torczyner, James. "Centralization and Citizen Participation in Conflict: The Montreal Experience of Bill 65". The Social Worker, Winter 1976, pp. 54-61.

Torczyner, James. "The Political Context of Social Change: A Case Study of Innovation in Adversity in Jerusalem". The Journal of Applied Behavioural Sciences, Vol. 5, 1972, pp. 287318.

Torczyner, James. "Rejoinder from a Non-Wizard". The Journal of Applied Behavioural Sciences, Vol. 3, 1972, pp. 747-751.