Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Commemorates Yom HaShoah Through Holocaust Education

April 20, 2017

Media Release

TORONTO (April 20, 2017) – Yom HaShoah – which takes place from Sunday, April 23 to Monday, April 24 – is a day of Holocaust remembrance, where people in Israel and abroad remember the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Jewish communities throughout Canada will observe this day by holding vigils, discussions, film screenings, and more.

On Monday, April 24, in recognition of the important day, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) will hold a candle-lighting ceremony followed by a screening of the film I Have Never Forgotten You. Media is invited to the event.

 

Date and Location:      5075 Yonge St., Suite 902, Toronto, ON

                                       Monday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.

                                      

“Yom HaShoah is a day for honouring the lives of victims and recognizing the survivors of the Holocaust,” says Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. “This is a day that should be recognized by all Canadians, as it serves as a reminder of the tragedies that can occur when we turn a blind eye to racism in our communities.”

FSWC is a leading non-profit organization that focuses on educating the public about the Holocaust and countering racism and antisemitism. We offer countless Holocaust educational programs, resources, events and more to students and professionals. We invite you to learn more about the 17 ways FSWC is changing the world below.

Benlolo is available to speak to media about Yom HaShoah and the significance of the day for Holocaust remembrance and education.

 

To arrange an interview with Avi, please contact:

Avital Borisovsky
Communications Associate  
416.864.9735 x 29 
aborisovsky@fswc.ca

Atara Cadesky
Communications Associate
416.864.9735 x 30 
acadesky@fswc.ca

Follow us on Twitter at @CanadianFSWC for latest news and organization updates.

FSWC’s Holocaust Education Work

  1. We hold an annual event called Speakers Idol. It’s a speaking competition whereby students from across the country compete to give the best speech of their lives, with a focus on human rights. Over 200 applicants participated this year and had to lift off their speech from Simon Wiesenthal's famous quote - "For evil to flourish, it only requires good men/women to do nothing."

  2. Additionally, we provide post-graduate Holocaust research scholarships

  3. We also provide certification in Holocaust education through our teacher training program each summer.

  4. FSWC holds symposiums and produces important documents concerning January 27th –International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, we published a significant reflections booklet with statements by Justin Trudeau, Irwin Cotler, religious leaders, mayors and police officials.

  5. Concerning memorializing January 27th – we also campaign continuously to have school boards from across the country include International Holocaust Remembrance Day in their calendars and promote programming. We provide them with resource materials to assist. We are pleased that there are over 25 school boards registered representing hundreds of thousands of students.  

  6. Each year, From Compassion to Action takes educators, trustees and board of education officials on an educational journey to increase their understanding of the     Holocaust. We tour Auschwitz, Majdanek, visit Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg and other important sites to build awareness and understanding.  

  7. While Tour for Humanity is noted, it is not given sufficient attention. Every single day, our mobile educational center educates nearly 200 students across Ontario about the Holocaust. Combined with our in-house workshops and the Tour, we educate between 1000 and 1,500 students per week. We have a developed and established curriculum that is continuously tested and advanced in the schools and communities we have a relationship with.

  8. FSWC regularly participates in educational forums, professional development and equity conferences to educate professionals about the Holocaust, antisemitism and racism in general. We are proud to be called upon and recognized in this arena. We previously participated in a conference on racism held by the Ontario Lt. Gov. General and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Most recently, we participated in an equity conference in Guelph, Ontario.

  9. Each year, FSWC celebrates Freedom Day to memorialize Simon Wiesenthal's vision and belief – that "freedom is not a gift from heaven, we must fight for it each day." By hosting this annual event for 3,500 students to discuss the Holocaust and human rights issues, we promote the idea that together – with the celebration of democracy and tolerance – we can ensure that a tragedy like the Holocaust never happens again.
     
  10. Over the last 10 years, we have educated more than 20,000 people about the Holocaust and critical issues through Spirit of Hope Benefit, which is an annual dinner and forum.

  11. Outside of continuous Holocaust study and development of policies that counter modern antisemitism, our comprehensive education and diversity workshops include Lessons and Legacy of the Holocaust; The Roots of Hate and Intolerance; Genocide and Power of Action; and much more.

  12. The organization continues to pursue and pressure governments around the world to bring war criminals to justice. We supported the recent trial of Oskar Groning in Germany and recently brought in the prosecutor to speak about the trial and meet with Holocaust survivors and their families. Previously, FSWC met with Canadian     government officials to press for the deportation of Nazi war criminals residing here. 

  13. FSWC has been actively engaged in producing Holocaust educational films through Moriah Films, which has won two Academy Awards for the films Genocide and The Long Way Home. Additionally, FSWC has produced its own Holocaust films, including a six-minute documentary about the Holocaust, which is shown on the Tour for Humanity. FSWC has also produced a five-minute documentary called Unless, which features Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren. The film deals with the importance of remembering.

  14. One of our most recent Holocaust projects is a website – www.neverforgetme.ca. The website features six Holocaust survivors providing testimony and is utilized by schools and accessible to the world     at large for Holocaust research testimony. The website was launched in 2016 and is purposefully intended to provide short excerpts to match the needs of all ages. 

  15. FSWC commemorates Yom HaShoah each year either through partnerships or its own community events. This year, FSWC is hosting a commemoration with a Holocaust-related film about Simon Wiesenthal. 

  16. FSWC also has a wide selection of books and videos about the Holocaust at its Toronto headquarters under the Harry and Barb Silverberg Library. Additional Holocaust resources can be found in our online pages at the Hellin Learning Centre.

  17. Lessons in Humanity is a law enforcement training program that works with forces across Ontario. The program examines the Holocaust with a specific focus on the role of law enforcement from a historical perspective, followed by an analysis and discussion of prevailing modern-day issues such as antisemitism, the Middle East conflict, terror and Jewish targets, hate crimes and laws, campus and BDS/hate advocacy. 

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Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is a top Jewish human rights foundation in Canada's organized Jewish community. It directly impacts over 100,000 people each year and 500,000+ peripherally. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and the widely acclaimed Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at www.fswc.ca

Canadian Headquarters: Toronto  Branches: Los Angeles • New York • Chicago • Paris • Buenos Aires • Israel

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