The English Montreal School Board is pleased to share the news that we have received a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal, to be used for the 2022-23 academic year.
Plans call for us to sensitize students and staff to the history of the Holocaust and acts of Antisemitism via special guests, lectures and visits to the Montreal Holocaust Museum and different exhibits and programming in the community.
The EMSB looks forward to working with the following organizations: The Montreal Holocaust Museum, the Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the Foundation for Genocide Education, B’nai Brith Canada and our team of teachers and spiritual and community animators.
In 2004, the EMSB received a small grant for this purpose from the JCF. Working with spiritual animators, we arranged some successful programming.
In 2006, we engaged in a fundraising campaign to honour the memory of Giovanni Palatucci, an Italian policeman who was arrested and died in Dachau for his anti-Nazi activities. Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, had named him a Righteous Among the Nations , for rescuing Jews. We placed a plaque at the Wagar Adult Education Centre, as well as a large scale ceremony/lecture and arranged exchanges between students at Bialik High School in Côte Saint-Luc and Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Leonard.
For several years we worked with the Riva and Thomas O. Hecht, Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators during which time teachers were awarded scholarships to study the Holocaust in Jerusalem and Washington and then integrate that experience into their classroom curriculums.
Over the years, a variety of programs related to this subject have been carried out by spiritual animators.
More recently, the EMSB declared May as Jewish Heritage Month and announced a partnership with the Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to also bring the topic of the Holocaust to classrooms across our network.
Antisemitism and Holocaust denial is regrettably on the rise. In the spring of 2021, hostilities in Israel poured over to North America with acts of violence occurring here in Montreal. How do we educate today’s youth about the Holocaust, the myths and facts about antisemitism and the challenges the State of Israel faces? Through outreach. Our goal is to sensitize thousands of students in the youth and adult sector to these realities.
The main purpose is to ensure that students, mainly from non-Jewish areas of the city, have a better understanding and appreciation about the Holocaust and the dangers of antisemitism. Our team of spiritual and community animators will take a lead role.
How Will It Create Positive Change?
We can see through programming done in the past the kind of impact something organized and with the proper funding can achieve. When our students move on to CEGEP and university and there is a campaign coordinated by the many antisemitic groups on campus, these students will be among our ambassadors for tolerance and understanding.