Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
News Release — Recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Events and activities across Canada support Holocaust remembrance, research and education

Ottawa, January 23, 2014 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) are launching new innovative learning tools to help educators promote Holocaust remembrance and education. Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, made the announcement today as Canada and the world prepare to recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, is an important occasion to remember the unique horror of the Holocaust and pay tribute to its victims.

To help educators learn new approaches to teaching the Holocaust, the NFB, in partnership with CIC, is organizing anInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day Virtual Classroom on January 27. A French language virtual classroom will follow on February 4.

These professional development events will help educators discover new approaches to teaching the Holocaust and its lessons on human rights, racism, genocide, democratic values and citizenship. During the virtual classrooms, which will run as live webcasts, educators will interact with Holocaust experts in addition to teachers such as the winner of the CIC Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education, Scott Masters, as well as award finalists Line Dubé and Annie Frenette. Educators will also have the opportunity to view NFB films and access innovative learning resources. The moderator of the English webcast will be Dr. Carson Phillips of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre. The French language webcast will be moderated by Jacqueline Celemencki of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

CIC is also partnering with the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre to offer workshops on the Holocaust for newcomers in the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo and Peterborough, Ontario. In addition, the Azrieli Foundation, an organization that publishes memoirs and produces videos by Holocaust survivors who emigrated to Canada, will provide resource packages to newcomers participating in these workshops and to educators who register for virtual classrooms. These packages, available in English or French, include Holocaust survivor memoirs, a DVD and thematic questions.

Quick Facts

  • Canada has been profoundly shaped by approximately 40,000 Holocaust survivors, who resettled across the country after World War II.
  • In 2011, Canada was the first country to sign the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti Semitism, an international action plan to help nations measure their progress in the fight against anti-Semitism.
  • In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • Canada joined the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2009 and was named Chair in March 2013. Canada will chair the IHRA until February 2014.

Quotes

“As Canadians, it is our responsibility to learn from these brave individuals and ensure that the horrible events of the Shoah are not forgotten. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Holocaust remembrance and education across the country and internationally.”
–Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism

“The unique horror of the Holocaust was a dark stain in history, and we must never succumb to indifference through the passage of time. Our government is committed to combating anti-Semitism in all its forms, wherever it exists, and educating future generations about the evil and destructive effects of prejudice and hatred.”
–Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

“With over eight million viewings of its educational content last year alone, the NFB is a leader in working with Canadian teachers. It’s a privilege to be partnering with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Virtual Classroom, bringing a deeper and richer understanding of human rights and history to our nation’s classrooms.”
–Claude Joli-Cœur, Acting Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson