Thousands of Canadians Participate in Holocaust Remembrance and Education Programs on Yom HaShoah

April 9, 2021

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This week, Jewish communities and many others around the world commemorated Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In recognition of this important day - which is dedicated to remembering and honouring the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to Holocaust survivors - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center hosted a series of Holocaust remembrance and education programs, reaching thousands of people across the country. Here's a look at some of the meaningful programs that took place this week.

On Wednesday, FSWC hosted two programs with the Algoma District School Board, which included Holocaust survivors Hedy Bohm and Leonard Vis sharing their testimonies with 140 students. On the same day, FSWC’s partnership program with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, In Conversation with a Survivor speaker series, featured Holocaust survivor Sam Shapiro who recounted his harrowing, emotional survival story to an audience of 70 participants from across Canada.  

Holocaust survivor Vera Schiff spoke to an intimate audience of 30 Beit Rayim Synagogue members in the evening on Wednesday, recounting her story of loss and survival in Theresienstadt. The next morning, Vera also presented her testimony in conversation with FSWC Director of Education Melissa Mikel to an audience of 100 Ontario Provincial Police members across the province.

Daniella Lurion, Tour for Humanity Director and Melissa presented to 2,000 Grades 6-7 students on Thursday as part of the Liberation75 student programming. The presentation was Lessons & Legacy of the Holocaust, which teaches young people about the history of the Holocaust and the attitudes and social forces that enabled one of the darkest periods of human history to occur.

The evening was capped off with an emotionally compelling national Yom HaShoah commemoration, a partnership program that brought together all of the major Holocaust education organizations in the GTA and Jewish community organizations from across the country. Thousands of viewers tuned in to remember the victims of the Holocaust and honour the survivors.  

Missed yesterday evening’s live stream of the 2021 Yom HaShoah Cross-Canada Commemoration of the Holocaust? Catch it on demand until April 15 at 9 PM EDT by clicking below.

Watch Holocaust survivor Sam Shapiro share his testimony:

In Conversation with Sam Shapiro