FSWC offers a variety of programs and workshops to facilitate student learning and develop strategies to address issues of social justice, tolerance and human rights. These workshops are offered free of charge at our Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Teaching Centre.
To book a workshop please contact an Education Associate. See contact information at the bottom of this page.
On November 14th 2013, Markham District High School came to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and participated in the Leadership 101 Workshop- Diversity Training for Student Leaders. We wanted to thank them for this kind gesture and welcome your students to participate in our workshops.
The Canary in the Coal Mine: Antisemitism Old and New
Antisemitism is often referred to as the canary in the coal mine. Canaries were placed in coal mines to warn of danger. When the canary died it meant there was too much carbon monoxide in the air so the miners had to be evacuated immediately or face impending death. The bird was used as an early warning system.
Throughout the ages, Jews have been like the canary in the coal mine. Any downturn in their treatment or status as equal citizens signaled the decline in the rights and freedoms within society. History has taught us that when intolerant attitudes and behaviour are accepted and normalized within a society, democracy and civil rights are endangered.
A Call to All – For Women’s Rights We Must Stand Tall
Despite the developments over the course of the past century, gender inequities continue to persist. This workshop will explore issues affecting girls & women, both at home & abroad as students will become versed in a conversation of rights and freedoms. Although women’s issues, the areas addressed in the workshop are by no means exclusive to women. In order to create real change in the area of women’s rights, boys and men must be mobilized to act alongside women; without this partnership, change cannot happen. Students will leave informed, empowered and equipped with tools to effect real and positive change in this area.
Leadership 101 – Diversity Training for Student Leaders
Calling all student leaders! Are you looking to create positive change in your school? This interactive, hands-on program will present issues of diversity in a manner that shifts perspective & allows students to reflect on their own diversity story. All activities are transferable to the classroom and will provide students with tools to take back to their school to teach their peers and take action in a real-world setting.
Digital Hate: How Connected Are You?
In recent years digital space has become increasing prominent in the lives of young people. It has become a space of progress and social change, as well as a space of intolerance. The objective of this workshop is to explore this new space and understand how it affects our students. Together we will explore cyberbullying and the real life consequences of this increasingly dangerous and growing trend. We will also look at the responsibilities that come along with online activity and explore the dark world of digital hate.
Canada: Intolerant Attitudes & Creating Change
Students will explore what racism and prejudice are and how these social issues affect them and the communities in which they live. Students will also learn about different forms of discrimination in Canada, with a focus on antisemitism, racism and hate crimes both locally and nationally in the hopes of creating awareness, dialogue and action. This programme will enable students to foster attitudes of respect, tolerance and inclusivity in their home, school, and community.
Lessons & Legacy of the Holocaust
“The Holocaust is not just a Jewish story, but a human story.” This workshop explores not only the history of the Holocaust, but the attitudes and social forces that enabled one of the darkest periods in human history. Students also have the opportunity to meet a Holocaust survivor, listen to their story, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of the impact the Holocaust has had individually and collectively. This programme encourages students to examine the lessons they can draw from the Holocaust as individuals, citizens of a democracy, and as Canadians.
Genocide & the Power of Action
“The history of man is the history of crimes and crimes can repeat.” The 20th century can be described as a century of crime as there were far too many genocides perpetrated. In this workshop students will explore the theoretical framework used to define genocide. This framework will be applied to three case studies of genocide so that students understand where theory intersects with reality. Finally, students will be challenged to take action in response to the genocide occurring in Darfur.
Heroes Among Us
Who is a hero? Someone who possesses exceptional courage or ability? Someone who demonstrates noble qualities? A role model? How do you define a hero? This workshop will investigate the idea of a hero – what defines a hero, the role they play in our everyday lives, and who can be a hero. Discussions on character traits such as respect, empathy, integrity, and responsibility will be used to creatively investigate historical and modern day figures, including Simon Wiesenthal, Irena Sendler and Malala Yousafzai. Students will also have the chance to focus on their own lives, their defining characteristics, and the ways in which they can be a hero and affect change.
Who was Simon Wiesenthal?
The key to a tolerant society is through education. This was what Simon Wiesenthal believed. Students will view I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal (2007), which documents his life and the contributions that he has made to the world. Through discussion of the contributions and attributes of Simon Wiesenthal has made globally, students will begin to identify positive character traits and explore how to model these characteristics in their home, school, and community.
As part of the Lessons & Legacy of the Holocaust and Genocide & the Power of Action workshops, Holocaust survivors share their personal stories of survival with the students.
- Alex Eisen
- Max Eisen
- Arnold Friedman
- Faigie Libman
- Vera Schiff
- George Stern
- Sally Wasserman
Speaker Profile: Marina Nemat, Author
A Prisoner in Tehran
In 1982, 16-year-old Marina Nemat was arrested on false charges by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and tortured in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. At a time when most Western teenaged girls are choosing their prom dresses, Nemat was having her feet beaten by men with cables and listening to gunshots as her friends were being executed. She survived only because one of the guards fell in love with her and threatened to harm her family if she refused to marry him. Soon after her forced conversion to Islam and marriage, her husband was assassinated by rival factions. Nemat was returned to prison but, ironically, it was her captor's family who eventually secured her release. An extraordinary tale of faith and survival, Prisoner of Tehran is a testament to the power of love in the face of evil and injustice.
- available both at schools within the greater Toronto area and the Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Centre
- suitable for grades 9 to 12
- appropriate for Educator groups on Professional Development days
- run for a duration of one hour
* charges do apply
Speaker Profile: Rick Rotchild, CYW, CYC
Bullying – Understanding Causes & Strategies for Prevention
Rick Rotchild is a social worker and bodybuilder. He facilitates anger management workshops and an outreach project to assist both parents and children with issues. Over the past 15 years Rick has worked in group homes, foster homes and dozens of schools with young people facing various challenges.
After emigrating from Canada at a young age, Rick attended school in Israel where he was ridiculed and teased as a child. Later, he returned to Canada and became a bully himself. Rick’s story is one of overcoming and individual action, and he translates this to his young audience with ease.
Rick develops unique problem solving strategies to deal with difficult behaviors dependent on the child’s specific needs. This workshop is suitable for students from Grade 4 and up. Please note content is subject to change dependent on age and needs of students.
- available at both schools within the greater Toronto area and the Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Centre
- suitable for grades 4 to 8
- run for a duration of one hour
* charges do apply
Lessons in Humanity: A Law Enforcement Sensitivity & Diversity Training Programme
This full day interactive, educational program is designed for law enforcement personnel at all levels. The seminar will begin by examining the role of law enforcement in conflict from a historical perspective. Officers will also have the opportunity to hear testimony from a Holocaust survivor. In the afternoon the program shifts from historical analysis to the present day, as Canadian issues surrounding multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance are explored.
Global Issues; Local Policing: A Law Enforcement Programme
This full day interactive, educational program is designed for law enforcement personnel at all levels. It works to breakdown the increasingly complicated and globalized world in which we live, as essential links between current events and the daily work of law enforcement officials on the ground in Canada are explored. Radicalization within Canada and hate crimes will be examined in order to continue to build the necessary skills to identify and address these crimes as effectively as possible.
The Wiesenthal Scholarship
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is offering scholarships of $7200, $5400, $3600 and four at $1800 to recognize exceptional students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to further Simon Wiesenthal’s legacy of promoting tolerance, social justice, and human rights.
Successful applicants must demonstrate leadership and involvement in activities and initiatives that support and continue to uphold the mission of FSWC to promote social justice and human rights and to counter antisemitism, bullying, racism, homophobia or other forms of hatred. The scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students in grade 11 or 12 to assist with the costs of study at university or college.
Please click the link for the application for 2013/2014.
Speakers Idol Speaking Contest
Do YOU Want to Change the World?
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center has an annual "How to Make the World a Better Place" Speech Contest. This is a way to provide an avenue for student involvement. The purpose of Speakers Idol is:
- To raise awareness about different issues in the world that are of concern to students,
- To provide an outlet for students to raise their voice, and
- To empower students to take action towards making our world a better place.
On Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, our 20 finalists from across the Greater Toronto Area will present their speeches to a panel of judges who will listen and evaluate the speeches. The judging will take place in a Canadian Idol format, and there will be a first, second and third place winner.
To enter the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Speakers Idol Contest, write a 3-minute speech on how you can make the world a better place.
Submit your speech by March 3rd 2014 with Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 416-864-9735 x27
Toll Free: 1-866-864-9735
Phone: 416-864-9735 x24
Toll Free: 1-866-864-9735