November 18, 2016



This week Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) had the privilege of working with more than 250 students across the Greater Toronto Area, to teach them about the dangers of hatred and intolerance, and to inspire them to make positive changes in their schools and communities. In the face of a surge in antisemitism and racism in Canada this week, our efforts have taken on renewed importance. Our 'Roots of Hate and Intolerance' workshop for high school students is emblematic of the work we do to address issues of hate in Canada and around the world. This week 50 grade 10 students from St. Marguerite d'Youville School in Brampton participated in the workshop and enjoyed a lively discussion about intolerance and racism, and what the American election means for Canada and Canadians. The group concluded that fear should not be the guiding force behind our perceptions of people who are different from us.

Grade 10 students from St. Marguerite d'Youville

This type of dialogue is typical of the conversations we enjoy with youth of all ages right across the province. Sadly, much of what we are hearing from the very youngest students in elementary school is about their fear of increased discrimination, deportation and even World War III. Our trained educators are prepared to deal with these difficult discussions.  By laying a foundation of historical context and engaging in meaningful discussion with students to help dispel their alarm, FSWC works to empower them to take positive actions to improve their schools and communities.

The fact that FSWC workshops in the Tom and Anna Koffler Training Center classroom in Toronto, and on the Tour for Humanity mobile Tolerance Education classroom, are booked solid until the end of the academic year points to the growing need and demand for programs that speak to issues of human rights, and inspire students to speak out against injustice.

"The increased hatred we see in Canada, from these antisemitic and racist incidents in the past two weeks must not be normalized or accepted in any way," explained FSWC President & CEO Avi Benlolo. "Instead, we must educate our children and communities about tolerance, about acceptance of diversity, about the importance of inclusion and about the need to protect these core values. The foundation of Canadian society depends on defending and upholding these values and beliefs against those who would undermine them in the cause of divisiveness and hate."

CLICK HERE for more information on FSWC's inspiring Educational Workshops.

CLICK HERE to donate and support FSWC's Tolerance Education programs

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