Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center offers our
to the family and friends of the victims of this
week's horrific shooting in Toulouse, France.
Please see story "What are the Lessons of
Toulouse?" by Rabbi Abraham Cooper at the bottom of this newsletter
CONGRATULATIONS TO . . .
. . . Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who has
been named the 2012 Canadian Diversity
Leadership Award winner by the Diversity Business Network. Chief Blair, who was
a member of FSWC's first "Compassion to Action" educational Holocaust mission to
Europe, will be honoured today for the successful implementation of diversity
strategies in the Toronto Police Force.
"I'm very pleased to see Chief Blair's commitment
to equality and diversity has been recognized and rewarded," said Avi Benlolo,
President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). "His work to
ensure the Toronto Police Force is an inclusive and welcoming employer is a
model for other organizations to follow."
. . . To the administration at the University of Winnipeg for helping defuse the
one-sided bias of student run Israel Apartheid Week activities by presenting a
balanced alternative. The university scheduled two weeks of programming from
February 28 - March 9 focused on various aspects of the Middle East, from the
Arab Spring to Iran's persecution of Baha'is, featuring Canadian, Muslim and
As one university spokesman explained, "We at this university are not interested
in mere slogans and provoking partisan conflict . . . we feel that
it is important to provide some context and a greater understanding of the
complexities of the Middle East as a whole."
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . In response to this week's slaughter in Toulouse, France, former
Spirit of Hope speaker and Nobel Prize winning author Elie Wiesel wrote in 'the
algemeiner' online, "Our own
answer must be concrete and to the point. When we are persecuted, our response
must be: We will remain Jewish - and do everything to become more Jewish."
NEWS FEATURES OF THE WEEK
"COMPASSION TO ACTION"
Mission to Europe planned for Fall 2012
"I consider myself fortunate to
have been in the company of FSWC and
especially survivor, Max Eisen,whose personal testimony on site was
unforgettable; I am still
processing the experience."
"From Compassion to Action" plans are under way!
~Dr. James Lunney, MP
FSWC will be travelling with a high level delegation of Canadians to Poland and
Israel from October 21st to October 30th, 2012. While visiting sites of the
Holocaust and learning about the importance of Israel today, participants will
have the opportunity to meet and speak with leading experts in the fields of
Holocaust and tolerance education.
A limited number of spots are available on the
program. If you are interested in joining the delegation please contact Melissa
Mikel at (416) 864-9735 x24 or email@example.com
FSWC COMMUNITY PRESENTATION
with Sgt. Debbie Bodkin
Join us as Sgt. Debbie Bodkin, formerly of the Waterloo Regional Police and a
member of the UN Commission of Inquiry for Darfur, talks about her experiences
with NATO and the UN in Sudan.
May 2, 2012 @7 pm
FSWC Tom & Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Center
5075 Yonge St. Ste. 902
To register contact Stephanie Eldridge at 416,864.9735 x 22 or email
AS SPIRIT OF HOPE
SALES SOAR, FSWC RECOGNIZES SUPPORTERS
As Spirit of Hope ticket sales continue to break
all previous records and planning for the extraordinary event continues, Friends
of Simon Wiesenthal Center
Angelina Jolie directs 'In the Land of Blood and
has designated Monday, March 26 as a day to
recognize the generous support of of Spirit of Hope ticket holders, whose early
registration has helped us surpass the $2 million mark.
Event registrants are invited to an exclusive
screening of the movie In the Land of Blood and Honey, the directorial
debut of Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie. Set against the backdrop
of the Bosnian War in the 1990's, the film is a romantic drama about two
Bosnians from different sides of the ethnic conflict.
The screening is on Monday, March 26 at 7:00 pm at
the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Theatre at 55 Bloor Street West. The event is free
and popcorn and soft drinks will be provided.
Spirit of Hope tickets holders can call Managing
Director of Education Melissa Mikel at 416.864.9735 x 24 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
CLICK HERE to register for Spirit of Hope
NAZI HUNTER - SIMON WIESENTHAL
WINS PRESTIGIOUS DRAMA AWARD
Playwright Tom Dugan, the
star of the acclaimed one-man production 'Nazi Hunter - Simon Wiesenthal'
received the coveted 'Solo Performance' award for 2011 from the Los Angeles
Drama Critics Circle earlier this week.
FSWC is presenting the Canadian premiere of the
play in Toronto on April 19; hundreds of students will attend an afternoon
performance as part of a educational bloc on the Holocaust, while a second
evening show is geared more toward a general audience.
Tom Dugan with LA Critics award
FSWC is taking advantage of the prestigious
evening event to honour one of Toronto's most innovative Holocaust
educators - Helena Fine, Founder and Artistic Producer of the Te-Amim
"FSWC is thrilled for Tom," said Avi Benlolo,
President and CEO of FSWC. "Our faith in the strength of his performance and the
heart of the story is validated by this highly deserved recognition. We are very
excited and extremely fortunate that he fit Toronto into his schedule for us!"
Nazi Hunter - Simon Wiesenthal premiers
at 7:00 pm on April 19 at the Toronto Center for the Arts. Tickets are $75 & $50
for Spirit of Hope ticket holders. To purchase your tickets today contact
Stephanie Eldridge at 416.864.9735 x 22 or email email@example.com
FSWC HI TECH WORKSHOPS ALLOW ALL STUDENT
VOICES TO BE HEARD
The recent integration of smart technology into
FSWC's Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Center has enhanced the classroom
learning experience through the introduction of interactive Voice Response
Cards. The addition
High School students at an
FSWC Workshop show off
the new Voice Response Cards
of these audio-response button-type cards allows
workshop leaders to target a wider variety of learning styles, promotes greater
class participation and enhances the interactivity of our multimedia social
"Students can now respond to questions throughout
our workshops with the click of a button," says Avi Benlolo, President and CEO
of FSWC. "Even shy or hesitant students feel empowered to 'speak up' and we've
had a great response from schools and teachers since its implementation," he
HOLOCAUST PRESENTATION "IN OUR TIME"
An FSWC Community Event on Holocaust Education
drew a full house to the Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Center this
week. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Holocaust survivor Max
Eisen, who provided audience members- many of whom had never met a Holocaust
survivor, a first person understanding of the Shoah.
David DiMauro & Max Eisen
"We had a life altering experience attending
the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Personally witnessing Holocaust survivor
Max Eisen share his experience with us was not only educational, but changed the
way we viewed this horrific time in history," explained David DiMauro, a teacher
from the Toronto Catholic District School Board who brought a group of
night school students studying Leadership to the program.
"This experience left us with feelings of sadness,
anger, disappointment, depression and a heightened social consciousness that
will hopefully spur us to act as upstanders and not bystanders' during
injustice," DiMauro commented.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS OF TOULOUSE?
By Rabbi Abraham Cooper on FoxNews.com
In the aftermath of the world's first recorded
cold-blooded murder, G-d admonishes Cain in the Bible: "The voice of your
brother's (Abel) blood[s] screams out from the earth." Commentators struggle
with why 'blood' is referred to in the plural. Perhaps the Bible is teaching
that every murder creates a ripple effect that impacts far beyond the scene of
Twenty-four-year-old Muhammad Merah is now dead.
He was accused of murdering three French soldiers last week because they served
in Afghanistan and who executed four key "enemies," a young
rabbi, his two small kids and the 10-year-old daughter of the principal of a
Jewish school to revenge the death of Palestinian children.
The authoritative MEMRI monitoring
group identifies Merah as a French-Algerian who spent time in jihadi training
camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. Merah,
who claims to belong to Al Qaeda, appears to be a member of the French Al-Qaeda
branch Fursan Al-'Izza ("The Knights of Glory") an extremist group seeking to
impose Sharia law on secular France.
What lessons should we learn from the latest
streams of Abel's blood? Here are the major lessons:
France: The atrocity in Toulouse has rocked France to its core.
President Sarkozy and his senior cabinet members have done everything right from
the moment after the shocking murders in a school courtyard-- including the
dispatching of Foreign Minister Allen Juppe to accompany the Jewish victims to
their burial in Israel.
Clearly, the atrocity has rocked France to its core.
There is a silver lining here. If what happened in
Toulouse leads to serious action perhaps the poll numbers that identify one-in
four Frenchmen as anti-Semitic can finally be reduced.
Changes on the socio-political level in France are
Perhaps this incident will be a wake up call. --
There is no justification to allow a so-called "anti-Zionist Party" to operate
in the political mainstream.
WIESENTHAL CENTER: DEMJANJUK DIED A GUILTY
Jerusalem -The Simon Wiesenthal
Center today noted the passing of former Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk
in Germany at age 91, while awaiting an appeal of his conviction for accessory
to murder for the deaths of the Sobibor inmates murdered while he served at the
infamous Nazi death camp from March to September 1943.
In a statement issued today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim
Zuroff, the Center noted that the length of the Demjanjuk case, which began in
the United States in the late seventies and continued initially in Israel and
later back in the US and then in Germany, unfortunately might have raised some
doubt as his role during World War II, but there was never any doubt as far as
the Center was concerned, that Demjanjuk had been an active participant in the
implementation of the "Final Solution," the Nazis' plan to annihilate European
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32