From the Desk of Avi Benlolo: We Can’t Afford to Slow Down Teaching the Lessons of the Holocaust

July 19, 2019

Editorial


Following an intensive, emotional and eye-opening 10-day journey through Germany, Poland and Israel, our Compassion to Action delegation of Canadian leaders returned to their communities earlier this week. What they witnessed and learned about the Holocaust will have a lasting impact on their professional and personal lives.

Through the help of generous donors, we have been able to increase our efforts on the ground not only here in Canada, but around the world. Since the inception of Compassion to Action, we have reached 300 education, law enforcement and government leaders – empowering them to take action against hate in their communities. A big thank you to Holocaust survivor Max Eisen who has travelled with us throughout the years and shared his experience and knowledge with participants.

Meanwhile, education programs targeting youth – including the Tour for Humanity, in-house workshops and Freedom Day – reach thousands of students each year. Since 2013, the Tour for Humanity has reached more than 100,000 students at 700 schools across four provinces. There is an ongoing need for Holocaust education for students and adults alike.

With antisemitism becoming increasingly prominent and mainstream, and incidents of antisemitic violence spiking across Europe and even here in North America, education has never been as critical as it is now. More than 70 years since the Holocaust, we have witnessed Jewish people murdered in synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Poway, California; Nazi symbols and flags being discovered in cities and towns across Canada; and BDS supporters calling for the boycott of Israeli products – much like Hitler promoted the boycott of Jewish products. Now more than ever, schools and universities have become a hotbed of antisemitic and anti-Israel activity.

Through programs like Compassion to Action, we build long-term relationships with educators, police officers and government officials from across Canada who work with us to counter antisemitism – whether it’s through investigating a hate crime and bringing the perpetrators to justice, enforcing Holocaust education in the classroom or pushing forward legislation that deters groups from spewing hate on city streets.

We must all do our part to fight antisemitism and spread the message of Never Again. At a time when the Holocaust is being denied or forgotten around the world, we need your support to help us increase our reach and teach the lessons of the Holocaust.

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