Press Release For immediate release May 16, 2011
“Independent Jewish Voices is alarmed that two Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools will be participating in the upcoming Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Downsview Park School Twinning Program on May 19,” says IJV Toronto spokesperson Corey Balsam. “The twinning program is portrayed as a benign environmental initiative, but the involvement of the Jewish National Fund, with its history and ongoing participation in human rights violations tell a different story.”
The program is a joint initiative of JNF Toronto and Parc Downsview Park Inc., linking the federally-funded Canada Forest at Downsview with the Toronto Community Forest in Israel’s Negev desert region. Participants in the program are scheduled to take part in a day of environmental activities and tree planting. The trees planted in the Canada Forest are to be “twinned” with a number of trees that are being planted in the Toronto Community Forest.
“By participating in this program, the schools involved—and therefore the TDSB—are allying themselves with an organization that is directly implicated in systemic discrimination against Palestinians and in possible war crimes,” Balsam continued. “We ask that the TDSB distance itself from this program and ensure that none of its schools participate in it in the future,” he concluded.
For more information on the JNF-Downsview School Twinning Programs, consult the IJV report : Twinning the TDSB with Injustice
IJV Toronto media contact:
Corey Balsam – (647) 888-9533 firstname.lastname@example.org