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B’nai Brith Urges Public to Support York District School Board Antisemitism Efforts

York Region District School Board (

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September 9, 2022

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada congratulates Allan Tam, the Chair of the York Region District School Board (YRSDB) as well as the Board Trustees for their efforts to combat antisemitism.

The Trustees have taken note of the recent Statistics Canada report on hate crimes. The report shows that Jews, who represent only 1.25% of the Canadian population, were the targets of 56% of police-reported hate crimes aimed at religious minorities in 2021.

Accordingly, the Trustees have decided to strengthen the Board’s toolkit to fight antisemitism. A proposal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism has been approved by a Board committee and goes to Council for approval on September 13.

“This is an important step to aid the YRDSB’s stakeholders to better recognize and react to antisemitism,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “Whenever a City Council or School Board debates IHRA, the members receive a large quantity of emails in opposition, often giving the impression that the public is opposed. Almost all of this is generated by anti-Israel groups and many of the emails come from outside Canada. That is why we are urging readers of this release to contact the YRSDB to urge them to adopt the IHRA motion next Tuesday.”

The YRDSB Trustees can be emailed at the following addresses:

“Canada has adopted the IHRA definition.  So have most democratic countries, as have 28 U.S. states, many municipalities, school boards and religious organizations such as the Global Imams Council,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director for B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights. “Still, mass email campaigns can cause a great deal of disinformation and confusion, which is why we urge our readers to take a moment to contact the School Board Trustees. It’s important to counter the misinformation and show support for IHRA.”

The YRSDB is one of Canada’s largest school boards, serving a population or over 1.2 million persons, residing north of Toronto. There is a substantial Jewish population in the region.