WATCH: Ontario Educators Reflect on FSWC’s Poignant ‘Compassion to Action’ Journey through Poland Exploring the Holocaust

June 20, 2023

Community Update

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"If you're old enough to espouse hate, you should be old enough to learn about why hate is bad. The earlier we can start, the better."

- Jason Burt, Human Rights and Equity Lead Administrator, Avon Maitland District School Board

Earlier this year, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) shared reflections on our new Compassion to Action for Educators program, which in March brought 24 Ontario teachers, principals and other education professionals to Poland to learn about the Holocaust, where much of  it actually took place. The pilot program for educators gave participants the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the Nazi genocide of European Jews and provided them tools to create and implement effective lessons on the Holocaust in their classrooms.

Their journey through Poland was captured by Canadian filmmaker Matthew Shoychet whose moving look at the Compassion to Action program was shown for the first time at FSWC’s State of Union event last week. Today, we're pleased to share it with the public. As you will see, it spotlights the program’s lasting impact on participants, who reflected on their experiences throughout the trip.

Since the Compassion to Action trip more than three months ago, FSWC has continued to engage with participants, ensuring the lessons and tools they gained are turned into effective learning opportunities for their students. Recently, our Tour for Humanity mobile education centre spent two weeks visiting schools in the Avon Maitland District School Board after AMDSB's Jason Burt and Paul Finkelstein were inspired to take action after participating in the meaningful trip.

In early July, professionals in education and law enforcement will join FSWC's Compassion to Action journey to Poland and Israel, where they, too, will learn about the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust up close as well as gain a deeper understanding of the State of Israel.

Educational programs like Compassion to Action would not be possible without your support. Please consider making a donation today to support FSWC's critical work in educating Canadians of all ages on the Holocaust, antisemitism, human rights and the importance of standing up against hate in all its forms.

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