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JEWISH AND MUSLIM STUDENTS COME TOGETHER TO FORGE FRIENDSHIPS, LAUNCH ART PROJECTS

SAINT-LAURENT and CÔTE SAINT-LUC, QC. May 21, 2013 - Students from Bialik High School and LaurenHill Academy have joined forces to promote peace and understanding,and to create artwork that highlights their efforts.

A group comprised of students from the private Jewish high school in Côte Saint-Luc and Muslim students from the highly-rated public high school in Saint-Laurent have been working together on a ground-breaking project to foster friendship and to better understand how much they have in common as Montreal teenagers. The Jewish Muslim Inter-Cultural Dialogue (JMID), is funded in part by The Avriel Butovsky Z’’L Memorial Fund. Butovsky was a Bialik graduate and Middle East scholar who was devoted to improving relations between Muslims and Jews. He was killed in a road accident in Syria in 1993.

As part of this initiative, the students have been working together on art projects that reflect the spirit of JMID: unity, understanding, breaking down stereotypes, and ultimately, friendship.

JMID is student-driven, under the guidance of Bialik Yiddish teacher Samantha Druzin and LaurenHill Academy (LHA) teacher Stacey Kaufman. “There are many differences between Jews and Muslims,” Kaufman said. “But the entire group was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a lot more similarities than any of them thought at the outset.”

Bialik’s Principal, Ken Scott, reached out to LaurenHill Academy earlier this year with the innovative idea of bringing the two communities together. Scott says, “These kids represent thenew generation and, as such, they have the chance to forge a new direction and stand as examples for the rest of us.”

LHA Principal Claude Dansereau could not agree more. “What a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other and debunk the myths.”

The goal is to have the project continue from year to year, involving students from Grades 9 through 11. Their mandate is to promote common understanding and positive relationships between students from both schools.

A vernissage showcasing the group and their work will be held on:
Monday, May 27th, at 5:00 PM
Côte Saint-Luc City Hall (Council Chamber)
5801 Cavendish Boulevard
Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec H4W 3C3

Students, their two teachers and the principals will be available for interviews. Anthony Housefather, Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc, along with his City Councillors, and a representative from the Borough of Saint-Laurent, will also be present.

For more information:
Dan Laxer
Social Media Activity Coordinator
LaurenHill Academy
514.952.3813
danlaxer@gmail.com

Mona Aubin
Director of Communications and Marketing
JPPS-Bialik
514.731.3841, ext. 220
mona.a@jppsbialik.ca

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca