As we prepare to enter the year 5781 and safely celebrate with loved ones, we have the opportunity to reflect on this past year and enter the new year with gratitude and hope for the future. It has been a tumultuous year to say the least, as COVID-19 has impacted our world and created challenges and uncertainty.
Amid the uncertainty, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center team has been full speed ahead in continuing our mandate of countering antisemitism and intolerance and promoting human rights through education and advocacy. While plans for the Tour for Humanity and in-person workshops are on pause, our educators are busy planning, promoting and providing incredible virtual workshops and other programs for educators, parents and students. The recent studies regarding young people's knowledge of the Holocaust (or lack thereof) are profoundly concerning and proof positive that there is a clear need for mandatory Holocaust education in schools. As always, our educators are focused on delivering workshops that increase young people's knowledge of the Holocaust and past and present human rights issues, while also inspiring them to stand against hate and intolerance in their own communities.
Our advocacy team has also been working hard countering antisemitism and hate here in Canada. From dealing with antisemitic incidents at a local level to filing a hate speech complaint against the leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party, to working with leaders in Canada's military and the defence minister to counter white supremacy and extremism in the Canadian Armed Forces, there has been no shortage of issues demanding our attention.
As we enter this new year, let us be aware of the challenges that lie ahead but also let us be hopeful that with hard work and a commitment to making a difference, we can bring about positive change and ensure that we are creating a better world for future generations. That is our responsibility and what drives us each and every day at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead and a Shanah Tovah!
FSWC President and CEO