Letter to the Toronto District School Board Trustees

The Toronto Board of Rabbis represents rabbis from across the Jewish movements. The synagogues and organizations we serve have members who work for the TDSB and children who attends schools in the TDSB.

In the past number of months there has been a growing concern in our community due to recent antisemitic events in the schools. Staff members and families with children in the schools are afraid to speak out.

Judaism holds education in very high regard, and we want a safe and supportive educational environment for all staff and students. We understand that the TDSB serves people of all backgrounds and that communities may have different narratives. However, we must take issue when unvetted information that is clearly antisemitic is distributed within the school system and a trustee is taken to task for bringing attention to this.

The Integrity Commissioner’s report clearly states that: “The HRO did conclude that certain links were problematic and could be reasonably considered to contain antisemitic materials and seen to be contributing to antisemitism.” Some material sent out by a TDSB staff member denied the Jewish connection to our holy land, it provided links to a group that condones violence and that Canada views as terrorist. Notably, the report points out that “during the course of this investigation, this Office learned that the Respondent communicated directly with the HRO regarding her concerns.”

We call on the board of trustees to reject the Integrity Commissioner’s recommendation to censure Trustee Alexandra Lulka. We also call on the board to battle the rising antisemitism within the school system by partnering with recognized organizations to fight antisemitism and other forms of hate.

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