For Immediate Release
May 31, 2023 – Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is celebrating 15 years since its founding, and to mark the occasion, the organization is hosting a major conference in Toronto. IJV members, supporters, activists, writers and artists from across the country will be gathering in Toronto June 16-17th for “Anti-Racist Solidarity and the Fight for Justice in Palestine”. The conference is open to the general public, and will be held at the Polish Combatants’ Hall, 206 Beverley Street.
Speakers at the conference will include Winnipeg Centre MP Leah Gazan, Hamilton Centre, Toronto Star columnist Shree Paradkar, author and activist Desmond Cole, legendary journalist Michele Landsberg, Palestinian-Canadian sociology professor Mark Ayyash and many others.
“We are in a crucial moment of political change and Israeli society is at a precipice,” says Corey Balsam, IJV’s National Coordinator. “IJV’s conference will be a key moment for progressive Jews, Palestinians and our allies to come together to strategize on how to bring about an end to Israeli apartheid, all the while building a movement that combats antisemitism alongside other forms of racism, including anti-Palestinian racism”.
“We’re thrilled to be welcoming participants across many generations, continents, fields of work and expertise to strategize together to build a winning movement,” continues Balsam. “In the last few years, we’ve seen thousands upon thousands of Canadians come out in the streets to support Palestinian liberation, including increasing numbers of Jews. These are exciting times, but we know we’re up against incredible odds: the most extreme Israeli government in history, and a Canadian Jewish establishment that is out of touch with most Canadian Jews. Our conference in Toronto will give people the opportunity to come together to learn about anti-racist movements in Canada and Israel-Palestine, to strategize, and to strengthen our movement”.
The conference kicks off on Friday, June 16th with a dinner at 6pm, followed by a keynote presentation moderated by Leah Gazan, and featuring Mark Ayyash, Mitchell Plitnick and b.h. Yael as panelists. Saturday morning’s proceedings get underway with a report from the ground in Israel-Palestine with +972 Magazine editor-in-chief Edo Konrad and senior writer Amjad Iraqi, followed by panels on “Fighting Antisemitism Alongside Other Forms of Racism” and “Canadian Media and Palestine: Problems and Possibilities”. Several participatory workshops will also be taking place on Saturday on topics ranging from campus organizing, the role of spirituality in activism, Indigenous solidarity and the Abraham Accords.
Aaron Lakoff, IJV Communications and Media Lead, 514-317-6288, firstname.lastname@example.org