December 7, 2021
Over the past two weeks, the Education Department at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) has been busy with:
9 Holocaust survivor presenters
12 school boards reached
41 programs presented
1,660+ students reached
2 provinces (BC & Ontario)
FSWC and Concentus Announce New Partnership
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) and Concentus Citizenship Education Foundation are thrilled to announce a new partnership, with the shared goal of developing citizenship education resources for Ontario schools.
These resources will support teachers in realistically and effectively engaging their students, in all grades, in understanding their rights and their responsibilities, and to help them become critical-thinking and participatory citizens committed to a Canada that rejects racism and bigotry.
The partnership comes after the success of Concentus’s citizenship education resources aligned to Saskatchewan’s curriculum.
Student Workshops Continue to Impact
The special message in the image above was received by the FSWC education department last week (please note the individual letters in the shapes above represent student names from the class). It demonstrates the consistent message that we receive from students and teachers alike: "Thank you for...opening our eyes, ears and mind." Our programming is in demand - from Simon's Story: Heroes Among Us to Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust and Digital Citizenship to Roots of Hate and Intolerance in Canada. FSWC educators continue to deliver programming to elementary and high school students across Ontario as well as provinces like British Columbia and Saskatchewan each and every day.
Our 2022 calendar is filling up with only a few dates left.
Tour for Humanity: Notes from the Road
Tour for Humanity was back on the road this week, visiting a high school in Brampton to deliver five sessions of the Global Perspectives program on incidents of genocide. Following COVID-19 safety protocols, Tour for Humanity Director Daniella Lurion commented on the incredible student engagement throughout the presentations along with their appreciation for the experience. For some classes this was their first introduction to the Holocaust and global genocide, and as such they were eager to ask very insightful questions. In particular, two students stayed behind after one of the workshops to ask more in-depth questions and displayed particular interest in the topic. In each class, considerable time was spent on gaining a deeper understanding of how the discriminatory Nuremberg Laws led to the persecution of Jewish citizens.
Wrapping Up 2021 Professional Development
FSWC hosted its final two professional development programs of the year. Lauren and Jeanette Manning presented Walking Away from Hate for a group of educators, sharing their personal history - Lauren as a teen who chose the path of hate by joining a hate movement and Jeanette as her mother, watching Lauren's journey unable to shift her decisions. In addition to sharing their remarkable journey, they offered signs for spotting radicalization in youth and methods to counter this journey into extremism.
Combating Online Hate in Schools: What to Know. What to Do. was the third in a three-part partnership program with Ontario Teachers' Federation. Emily Thompson, the Associate Director of Research from the Museum of Tolerance, presented to a group of engaged educators from across Ontario.
All of the educators who responded to the post-program feedback surveys indicated that they will continue to return to FSWC for professional development training. We are also thrilled to see that many of the educators who have attended the teacher training are new to FSWC, thus continuing to expand our reach and impact.
We are looking forward to more great programming in 2022!
In case you missed it . . . you can click above to watch our last episode of In Conversation with a Survivor speaker series, FSWC's partnership program with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, featuring Holocaust survivor Sol Nayman.