From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: A Thrilling Announcement About a Special Guest!

January 13, 2017



The New Year is always a time of renewed enthusiasm and energy  at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). This is when the annual Spirit  of Hope campaign, in support of our inspiring  educational programs at the Tom & Anna Koffler Tolerance Training  Center and on the acclaimed Tour for Humanity mobile  tolerance classroom, begins in earnest.

 We have come so far since the first Spirit of Hope Benefit in 2004. In our  inaugural year we raised $600,000 with 750 people in attendance; in  2016 we hosted 2,500 people and raised a record $3.7 million! It is this  incredible success which generated the buzz of excitement and eager anticipation  for our 13th "Bar Mitzvah year" Spirit of Hope Campaign.

 And I am keen to share our latest thrilling news! In addition to Keynote  Speaker David Cameron, whose  appearance has already generated terrific interest and led to several 'early  bird' table sponsorships, I am thrilled to announce Brian Mulroney will be  our special guest at the gala.

The former Prime Minister, whose concerns about antisemitism  prompted him to establish the Deschenes Commission of Inquiry on Nazi war  criminals in 1985, spoke eloquently about the history of antisemitism in  Canada as Moderator of the 2010 Spirit of Hope Benefit. I am so pleased to  welcome Mr. Mulroney back to the podium, and look forward to hearing a  fascinating discussion between these two brilliant politicians at the  upcoming gala. Heightened concern about critical topics of global importance  will certainly be the focus: the ramifications of the British Brexit, the  growing influence of Russia on the world stage, the rise of both far right  and far left politics, the ongoing crisis in Syria and the performance of  Donald Trump as U.S. president are issues that will provide for a  thought-provoking conversation that should not be missed.

I am truly proud of how far we have come, and grateful for the  support shown by our donors for the essential work we do in helping to  counter racism and antisemitism through education. Spirit of Hope is the  engine which propels our work, and, as the demand for our programs grows, the  Spirit of Hope fundraising effort become all the more important.  

I hope I can count on your support, and look forward to your  participation at this enlightening and iconic event. Just four short months  to go!


For information about the Spirit of Hope Benefit Click Here, or contact  Tracey Steyn:  416.864.9735 x 21 / 


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