In remembrance of the six million Jewish children, women, and men murdered in the Holocaust, the United Nations has designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this year also marking the 77th anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
A commemoration event with dignitaries and community members at the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa was live-streamed on Facebook. Watch it here.
More than thirty public venues in six provinces were illuminated to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a national effort organized by CIJA as part of the sixth annual World Jewish Congress #WeRemember campaign.
Initiated by Mayor Valérie Plante, The City of Montreal adopted a declaration on January 24 to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and reaffirm the City's commitment to combat antisemitism. The declaration also states that, together with its partners, Montreal will continue to raise awareness of the dangers of extremism and intolerance, an important step in the fight against antisemitism.
Recognizing the need for collective action to combat antisemitism, Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a proclamation to mark January 27, 2022, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Toronto as did Mayor Kennedy Stewart and the Vancouver City Council, both honouring the memory of the Survivors and victims of the Holocaust.
On January 21st, CIJA convened the first Summit for Municipal Leaders to discuss antisemitism in Ontario. More than 100 mayors, councillors, police, and other city officials participated in the Summit, chaired by Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. At a time of rising antisemitism in cities all over the world, this was an important opportunity for Ontario municipal leaders to learn from the Jewish community, to share best practices and local initiatives, and to unite in combating antisemitism.
As Canadians marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, with Minister Stan Cho and MPP Robin Martin, announced a new initiative to combat antisemitism in schools. This includes a grant to CIJA to develop classroom resources, targeted at students in grades 5-8, on the dangers of antisemitism.
Education is critical to combating hate and antisemitism. The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey conducted by the Claims Conference demonstrated that an alarming 22% of Canadian millennials have not heard, or are unsure if they have heard, of the Holocaust; and 62% of Canadian millennials were not aware that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. CIJA has long called for a standardized national social studies curriculum focusing on antisemitism and the Holocaust that integrates into the overall Inclusion, Diversity and Equity program.
|Should Canada develop a standardized national social studies curriculum that includes antisemitism & Holocaust education?|
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