Today marked Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's (FSWC) second day of the 2018-2019 school year, and the second day with Tour for Humanity at an elementary school in Richmond Hill. The intermediate classes, Grades 6-8, were part of today's programs.
The classes were really engaged, two in particular had a lot of questions and wanted to know every detail about every topic that FSWC Educator Daniella covered. The Grade 7 class was quite interested in the MS St. Louis and how Canada did not help the Jewish people in their time of need. They were also taken with how the Canadian Government interned Japanese-Canadians simply because of their background during World War II.
Daniella was also joined by two visitors today. FSWC Senate member Aki Chencinski joined a Tour for Humanity program for the first class of the day. His daughter is a teacher at the school so he visited during her class' workshop. Aki had previously been on the bus at Spirit of Hope, but this was his first time seeing the program in action. He sat in for the entire workshop and at the end spoke to the class for a few minutes. Daniella introduced him to the class and told them a little bit about their family background (his parents were survivors but rarely talked about their experiences). Aki connected his story to the class very well and left students with the message that history is not just in the past - it is present and everyone has their own personal connection to this history.
Tour for Humanity was also joined by FSWC Senate member Elliott Goldman later on in the day who also had never witnessed a workshop in action. Elliott spoke to the class at the end of his workshop and tied in the importance of action and doing something. He showed the class his iPhone and then took it out of its case to reveal a small folded piece of paper underneath which said “Do something”- he went on to explain that he looks at this paper every day as a reminder to do good in the world.