Community Intelligence Brief: March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

Intelligence Brief

A Special Note from FSWC’s President and CEO

FSWC’s Spirit of Hope annual fundraising campaign is going strong, despite the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. FSWC will continue to monitor the evolving situation and keep its constituency advised about programs and events accordingly.

The organization’s donors and corporate partners are continuing to generously pledge toward our 2020 campaign, knowing that the important education and advocacy work of the organization must continue. Today, for instance, our organization educated a combined 500 students in Ottawa, Hamilton and Toronto. We also ran an important forum on Syrian war crimes for Lawyers4Wiesenthal.

We are driven to empower and inspire Canadians, provide frontline direct social action, deploy education programs and defend the community against antisemitism. We are touched by the continued strength and support of our donors – our ‘champions of humanity’. What we do in troubling times defines us and for this, we thank you for your dedication and support in honour of the life and legacy of Simon Wiesenthal.

Yours truly,

Avi Benlolo

Israel's Song for Eurovision 2020 in English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic

Nineteen-year-old Eden Alene was chosen last week to represent Israel in the Eurovision 2020 contest in May, becoming the first Ethiopian to represent the country. Her song "Feker Libi" - which means "The Love of My Heart" in Amharic and is inspired by East African and Middle Eastern music - will be performed in four languages: English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic.

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FSWC Survey: Majority of Canadians say young people are less aware of the Holocaust than in the past, believe young people are not taught enough about the Holocaust in school

A majority of Canadians (54%) agree that young people are not taught enough about the Holocaust in school, according to the results of a random survey of 1,000 people conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). The survey also found that almost two-thirds of Canadians (64%) agree that young people today are less aware of the Holocaust and its lessons than in the past.

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Podcast: What a 91-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor of Auschwitz Thinks About the Future of Holocaust Education

This week, FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo sat down with Holocaust survivor, educator and author Max Eisen to discuss his views on the future of Holocaust education, including his reaction to FSWC's study released this week revealing a majority of Canadians believe students don't learn enough about the Holocaust in schools; hopes for the future of Holocaust education; thoughts on antisemitism in Canada and more.

Listen to podcast

FSWC Educators in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa Today!

As the world deals with ongoing health and economic crises, FSWC continues to educate and inspire hundreds of students and future changemakers every week. Today, FSWC's educators reached some 500 students in Ottawa, Hamilton and Toronto, empowering them to be leaders in making a positive difference in the world.

Support FSWC's education efforts today

Winnipeg Police Investigating Graffiti Outside Synagogue as Hate Crime

Earlier this week, Winnipeg Police Service informed FSWC that graffiti spotted outside a synagogue in Garden City is being investigated as a hate crime. A swastika spray painted on a garbage bin was spotted late last week outside the Chevra Mishnayes Synagogue.

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Judge Orders Deportation of Tennessee Man Who Served as Nazi Camp Guard

A US immigration judge has ordered the deportation of Tennessee man Friedrich Karl Berger, 94, who served as an armed guard in a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp during the Second World War. Berger, who came to the U.S. in 1959 and has since been living quietly in Oak Ridge, will be deported back to Germany where he is a citizen and has continued to receive a pension based on his employment, including "wartime service."

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Demise of Infamous 'Nazi House' Celebrated

The infamous so-called 'Nazi house' in London, Ontario - built 50 years ago by the original owner and self-proclaimed Nazi Martin Weiche to resemble one of Adolf Hitler's retreats - is being torn down.

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Nazi Flag Waved By a Man at a Bernie Sanders Event Sparks Outcry

A man was kicked out of a Bernie Sanders rally in Arizona on Thursday after he displayed a Nazi flag during the Democratic presidential candidate's speech, sparking outcry. The man was immediately booed by the crowd and removed by security.

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Brazilian High School Students Display Nazi Salute to Support a Classmate

A photo recently posted on Instagram and quickly taken down shows a group of 11 senior students from a Brazilian high school making the Nazi salute in support of a classmate running to become their speaker. The photo was posted with a message stating the classmate "promises to be the new Fuhrer of the grade" and included hashtags with the words "Aryan" and "fourth Reich."

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Report Antisemitism and News of Concern to FSWC

If you would like to report antisemitism or news of concern to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, please email

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