Branch of BCTF Moves to Deny Resources to Holocaust and Antisemitism Education

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|June 05, 2024

Vancouver, BC – June 5, 2024 – In what is being described as a stunning move, a branch of the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) today told the Holocaust and Antisemitism Educators Association (HAEA) that they will not be recognized as a BCTF Provincial Specialist Association (PSA).

PSAs are organizations that support the development of teacher resources and host professional development sessions, receiving funding from the union to do so.

The Holocaust and Antisemitism Educators Association was formed in response to the Government of British Columbia’s decision in October to make Holocaust education a mandatory part of the B.C. curriculum.

Eyal Daniel, President, HAEA, was shocked by the decision and hopes the BC Teachers Federation Executive will reverse the decision. "The letter I received said that we should work with other PSAs, which is confusing because the formation of our group was specifically supported by the relevant PSA – the Social Studies group – as being important and necessary.”

Ginaya Peters, Founder, BC Teachers Against Antisemitism, expressed astonishment. “I am trying to comprehend this and am failing. When the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre tells the BCTF that our PSA is needed to implement the mandatory Holocaust curriculum that they are helping to develop, they are literally ignoring the voices of experts in the field, and they are denying us the resources to teach the topic properly.”

“We have heard disturbing rumours in the past few weeks about people fighting against the formation of this teachers' specialist association – including that people believe that antisemitism isn’t related to the Holocaust,” said Ezra Shanken, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. “If this is their rationale, it is a form of Holocaust denial and flies in the face of what we have been told by Premier David Eby and his Minister of Education.”

“The HAEA has told me that they met every single requirement to be recognized by their union and that no one can remember a time when a PSA that met every requirement was turned down,” said Nico Slobinsky, Vice President, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Jonathan Dyck, Chair, BCTF Provincial Specialist Association Council, which makes recommendations to the BC Teachers Federation Executive, informed the HAEA of the decision this morning, following a meeting of the Council on Saturday. He provided no rationale for the decision that resources and recognition not be provided to HAEA, but he was “strongly of the opinion that they would like to find ways to help members of your association feel valued and included.”


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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada.