FSWC Education Report: February 15, 2022

February 15, 2022


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Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
FSWC Education Report

Here's what the Education Department at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) has been up to over the last two weeks.

Antisemitism & Holocaust Education: Professional Development in High Demand

The FSWC education team continued our work with a group of middle and high school teachers from North Bay who have been working towards repairing their school community after an antisemitic incident that happened on their school grounds last fall. In the second of a series of programs with FSWC, teachers travelled, virtually, through the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, learning about the history of the camp and personal stories that illustrated the human cost of hatred and intolerance. The group of teachers will be meeting with a Holocaust survivor to further this lesson, followed by workshops in early March with the North Bay students.

The FSWC education team also continued their training with staff at the York Region District School Board, presenting Reflections on Antisemitism: Past, Present & Future. As a follow-up to the presentation, when asked what lesson they took from the session, one participant shared that they have a heightened awareness to "call out and name antisemitism when it happens and teach why it's harmful/hurtful."

Requests for learning opportunities in equity, diversity and inclusion from a variety of professional fields continue to pour into our office. We will continue to share these programs with you as they occur.  

Speaker's Idol Competition Under Way

The first deadline for FSWC's annual public speaking competition, Speaker's Idol, has passed with 250 elementary and secondary school submissions received from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland. This year, students responded to the Simon Wiesenthal quote, "Information is resistance."

The speeches are all currently under review. Students moving on to the quarter-finals round will be notified at the end of this week. The Speaker's Idol finale will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.  More information will be coming soon!

In Conversation with a Survivor Speaker Series

If you were unable to join the last installment of our In Conversation with a Survivor speaker series, FSWC's partnership program with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, you can click on the video link below to view the recording of Dr. Karen Devon sharing the testimony of her father, Holocaust survivor Morris Devon.

Tour for Humanity: Notes from the Road

This week, Tour for Humanity had the pleasure of hosting Grades 6 and 7 students from Adath Hebrew Academy in Toronto for our Holocaust: Then and Now workshop. The students were very attentive and asked very insightful questions. We spent time discussing the Holocaust through an age-appropriate workshop that included PowerPoint content and discussion. Principal Avivit Yoffe said after the program that everything was “presented in a very suitable, respectful and appropriate grade level and I appreciate this. Yashar Koach”

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