Today Tour for Humanity was at a Catholic school in Emoryville, another small town outside of Windsor where Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) Educator Daniella worked with Grades 7 and 8 students. There were 5 Canadian Experience workshops on the bus.The Grade 7 classes were quite knowledgeable and talkative, particularly regarding Residential Schools and the story of the M.S. St. Louis. Students were very surprised that not only did Canada take in so few Jewish refugees during the war, but some were physically turned away when they were already almost safe in Canada. The school board contact at the board also stopped by to check in and he said the board is already looking at booking two more weeks next year. After that, every school in the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board will have had the Tour for Humanity visit at least once.
FSWC also hosted a group of students in the Tom & Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Centre in North York. The school had scheduled two days 2 of workshops so FSWC could work with all of their Grades 7 and 8 students. As was the case on Wednesday, the students knew a ton about the broader context of antisemitism in European history and events in interwar Germany. Holocaust survivor Vera Schiff shared her testimony with students after lunch and she expressed how much she enjoyed working with them due to their advanced understanding of the subject matter. The organizing teacher said that one of the biggest highlights of the day was when Elena led students through our artifacts and the Simon Wiesenthal exhibit in the reception area. They all knew some basic facts about Simon's work as a Nazi hunter and Elena pointed out the files on particular Nazis that Simon spent time investigating, highlighting some of the bigger names (Eichmann, Stangl, etc) and their specific crimes. Elena was happy to see many students hanging back at lunch and at the end of the day to take photos of Simon's office and the prisoner pants from Bergen Belsen. These are evidently great resources for our programs and help students feel a connection with the subject matter.