Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Announces the Appointment of Michael Levitt as President and CEO

August 4, 2020

Media Release

Toronto (August 4, 2020) - Chairman Fred Waks and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) are proud to announce the appointment of Michael Levitt as President and CEO of the organization effective this September.

“FSWC is excited to welcome Michael Levitt as President and CEO,” said Mr. Waks. “As the Member of Parliament for York Centre, Michael is deeply rooted in the community and his work in the fields of foreign affairs and human rights has garnered him respect from advocates at home and abroad. His distinguished career advocating for human rights, and his support for Israel and the fight against antisemitism, brings a high level of leadership and profile to our organization. We could not be more excited for the future.”

Twice elected Member of Parliament for the riding of York Centre in Toronto, Michael has been a powerful voice on the international stage as an advocate for human rights, equality, diversity and inclusion. His distinguished service and extraordinary credentials have earned Mr. Levitt the respect of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle and from Canadians across the country.

"Michael Levitt has been an extraordinary Parliamentarian - in the trenches with his constituents, on the front lines of domestic policy making, and a leader in Foreign Policy both in Canada and internationally, including his inspired and exemplary Chairing of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” stated The Honourable Irwin Cotler PC, OC, OQ. “Michael’s extensive experience and expertise dovetail perfectly with the mission and purpose of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, acting on the universal lessons of the Holocaust - combating racism and antisemitism and safeguarding Israel and the Jewish People. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Michael, and we are all the beneficiaries of his great achievements," he concluded.  

Among his many other accomplishments, Michael has served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights and Chair of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. Michael is a member of the Raoul Wallenberg Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and is a founding member of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, a multi-partisan organization dedicated to activating the grassroots Jewish community in the political process.  

“I will soon begin a new opportunity to serve our community as the incoming President and CEO of Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, to continue both the organization’s proud legacy and the work I’ve done over the past five years in fighting antisemitism and promoting human rights, including bringing a renewed focus to the issue of systemic racism in Canada and how we can work together to address it,” stated Mr. Levitt.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center headquartered in Los Angeles, we wish to congratulate our Canadian colleagues and donors at FSWC and welcome Michael as incoming President and CEO,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier, SWC Founder and CEO and Meyer H. May, SWC Executive Director. “We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the FSWC Board and with Michael and his team to grow and fulfill our mandate as one of the world’s leaders in the fight against antisemitism and in the promotion of human dignity and tolerance. Michael’s incredible resume and integrity will assure that his voice resonates loudly and clearly as he advocates and leads FSWC.”

About Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center: “Inspiring and empowering Canadians to raise their voices for freedom, democracy and humanity”

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is a non-profit human rights organization committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and education.

Actively engaged in fostering the values of respect and acceptance, and in teaching the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society, we are guided by the words of Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal: “Freedom is not a gift from heaven. One must fight for it every day.”


Media Contact:

Avital Borisovsky
Associate Director, Communications
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
P: 416-864-9735 x29

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