Lisa Levitan, Ottawa public school teacher
Lisa Levitan is an award-winning Ontario public school teacher who has experienced and witnessed unprecedented antisemitism in public schools over the past year. She has made it her mission to ensure all marginalized voices will be heard by voluntarily supporting students, educators, and families being traumatized by regular Jew Hatred in schools.
Being the 1st grandchild of Holocaust Survivor, the late Barry Davis, Lisa is a strong force and activist for our Jewish Community, insisting that Never Again is more than just words while ensuring that we belong, everywhere.
Upon receiving numerous disturbing calls from the Jewish Community, in May 2021, she immediately ran for, and was appointed to, the Executive of the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, representing 3500 teachers. In August 2021 she brought forward a seemingly impossible emergency motion which was passed by Canada’s largest Union, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario representing 85,000 teachers. She demanded that ETFO include antisemitism as an unacceptable form of hate and ensure a task force was established to teach about antisemitism to all Ontario educators.
In 2022, Lisa received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario Equity & Anti-Racism Activism Award.
Lisa initiated, organized, and lead an unprecedented community wide event on November 6, 2022 called Rise Up Ottawa. This exemplary event brought everyone together to hear directly from students experiencing horrific Jew hatred in schools, all the while being ignored, dismissed, gaslit, and harassed by students and staff alike. Rise Up Ottawa brought 500 people together, to learn, engage and celebrate our Jewish identity and to respond to Lisa's call to action - to insist that the Ministry of Education immediately mandate antisemitism training for all Ontario staff and students, adopt IHRA's working definition of antisemitism in all schools, and to demand that the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board immediately hire a Jewish Equity Coach so that they cease “doing things for us without us."
Visit the Rise Up Ottawa website and learn about the November 6, 2022 event: