Courtesy of JNS. Photo credit: BalkansCat/Shutterstock
A school bus in front of a Toronto school

(JNS) — Canada recognized the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in 2019, and Ontario adopted it in 2020. However, many school boards in the province have opted not to adopt the definition.

“They have not received official communication in that regard from the Ministry of Education,” Rabbi Corey Margolese, director of Israel and antisemitism affairs at NCSY Canada, told JNS.

Margolese, who is also the founder of JTeach, is organizing a Sept. 10 event titled “Stronger Together to End Jew Hatred,” which will take place at the Orthodox synagogue Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (“the BAYT”). 

It aims to “provide attendees with the knowledge to recognize and counter Jew-hatred within the Canadian education system,” the rabbi told JNS. “This event will show how the Jewish community and its allies can work together to make a meaningful impact in fighting Jew-hatred.”

According to an online announcement, the event will address implementing the IHRA working definition in Ontario schools; banning antisemitic Al-Quds Day rallies; challenging the “antisemitic aspects” of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) in American education; and “tackle systemic antisemitism in post-secondary institutions.”

Al-Quds Day rallies, which take place at prominent universities across Canada on the last Friday of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, vilify Jews and Israel, according to Margolese.

The attorney Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project, will keynote the Sept. 10 event remotely.

“The event is an important gathering of grassroots activists in Canada who have declared a state of emergency,” she told JNS. “People are frustrated with the leadership who have not moved the needle on antisemitism despite their multimillion-dollar budgets.”

“Jewish students have to practically get a law degree in order to defend Israel and argue under the paradigm of the Oslo Accords in U.N. resolutions and international law,” she added. “This is not the recipe for a successful narrative.”