Toronto area day school violating COVID regs loses UJA funding

Toronto area Jewish school had continued to operate in-person classes after provincial health guidelines mandated an indefinite pause on in-class learning.

Dan Verbin ,

Toronto
Toronto
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A Toronto area Jewish day school that has continued to operate in violation of provincial COVID-19 restrictions has had its partnership severed with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

UJA isn’t making public the name of the school.

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the province’s schools will remain closed indefinitely due to a surge in COVID cases, with in-person learning replaced by remote learning. The ordnance includes all public and private schools in the Toronto area.

“Last week, UJA Federation learned that one of our affiliated day schools continued to operate in-person classes even after Toronto Public Health ordered all schools in the city to cease doing so. As a result, UJA immediately notified the school that our partnership agreement with them is now suspended,” said Daniel Held, executive director of the Julia and Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education, in an email sent to the Canadian Jewish News.

The ties to the school included funding and a “range of supports.”

The Toronto Star reported on Thursday that Councillor Michael Colle reported three private schools for COVID violations, including staying open for regular classes, and that Toronto Public Health is investigating.

"It's for the safety of the children, the safety of the community, and I take that very seriously," he told the Star.

The three schools that Colle reported are Orthodox day schools: Bais Yaakov Elementary School, Kollel Avreichim and Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah. It's not clear if one of these schools is the school whose ties to UJA were severed.

Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah said on Monday that the school is only open for religious services between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and that is also operates a daycare which in the past has been mistaken for a "regular school operation."

Two senior rabbis of Orthodox synagogues in Toronto wrote a letter to the community asking people to follow public health guidelines.

"We are calling upon you, our friends, to be patient for just a few more weeks," wrote Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto and Rabbi Chaim Strauchler of Shaarei Shomayim. "Let's not give up the benefits of all the compliance to date that have come at great sacrifice."



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