November 18, 2022

Dr. Megan Hollinger hosts Professor Mehnaz Afridi in her lecture

On November 18, 2022, Dr. Megan Hollinger hosted well-known speaker Mehnaz Afridi. Professor Afridi’s talk “Muslim and Arab Responses to the Holocaust” was opened up to the community at large.
Mehnaz Afridi, a Pakistani-born Muslim teaches at Manhattan College, a private, Catholic, liberal arts university in the Bronx, New York City. She is an assistant professor of Religious Studies and the Director of The Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College, she teaches contemporary Islam and the Holocaust.

A transcript of this talk is available at this link.

The talk can be viewed below.

February 10, 2021

“Cosmopolitics and Holocaust Education” with Dr. Rehee Dasgupta

The Holocaust is an important reference point about human rights, cosmopolitan memory, and transitional conditions of state violence. It is the most comprehensively recorded genocide in modern human history allowing educators to research and handle this excessively complex and emotionally loaded subject in different societies. The paper attempts to discuss three issues: The importance of teaching the Holocaust in multicultural societies. The significance of teaching the Holocaust in countries with little or no direct connection with European Jewish history and Nazi crimes. And the cognitive parallelism that occurs when institutions engage with the cosmopolitics of Holocaust Education, which results in relevant educational practices emerging to bring about an awareness of remembrance, expanding the importance of understanding comparative conflicts and building strategies of tolerance and inclusive thinking in society.

January 27, 2021

Remarks from Dean Pauline Rankin – “Lost Memory, Forgotten Lessons? Holocaust Education & the Challenge of Antisemitism Today”

See below for panel discussion video.

January 27, 2021

“Lost Memory, Forgotten Lessons? Holocaust Education & the Challenge of Antisemitism Today” – Panel discussion

For International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), Hillel Ottawa, Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program, Embassy of Israel in Canada, and the Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies at Carleton University hosted a panel discussion on the documentary Glass Negatives directed by Jan Borowiec.

During the renovation of a house in Lublin in 2010, the workers discovered a wall that was not marked in the building’s blueprints. Behind it, they found a collection of photos on glass plates. Over 2,700 glass negatives portray people who lived in Lublin almost 100 years ago.

The discovery of these negatives becomes the starting point for a fascinating journey. The director of the film joins Tal Schwartz, a volunteer in The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre. Tal is the researcher in the film, asking questions such as: Who made the photos? Who were the people captured in them? Their attempt to find people who remember pre-war Lublin leads them to Israel to interview survivors and to discuss the pictures.

The evening was an opportunity for Mr. Ohad Kaynar, Charge d’affairs and Deputy Chief of Mission, Israel Embassy in Canada to formally announces the Embassy’s gift to both universities and to speak to the importance of Holocaust education and remembrance. With appreciation to the Israeli Embassy, their generous gift will be used to expand each university’s Holocaust education resources.

Prior to the panel discussion, greetings and remarks on the occasion were given by President Bacon, Carleton University, President Fremont, Ottawa University, Dean Pauline Rankin, Faculty Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University and Dean Kevin Kee, Faculty of Arts, Ottawa University.

Participants also heard from Professor Irwin Cotler, Canada’s special envoy on Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism speak about the importance of Holocaust education.

Panelists Jan Borowiec and Tal Schwartz discussed the film, how it came about and the importance of the finding of the glass negatives. Orly Erlich, Consul, Embassy of Israel is the 3rd generation descendant of holocaust survivors. She spoke movingly of the experiences of her grandparents and the heartbreaking loss of their extended families. Deidre Butler and Hernan Tesler-Mabé facilitated the panel discussion and fielded questions from the audience.

The Zelikovitz Centre is proud of this work, produced in collaboration with CHES between 2015-2020, while CHES was affiliated with the ZC.

November 18, 2020

Holocaust Education Month 2020: “Relations, Resilience, Resistance”

On November 18, 2020, the Montreal Holocaust Museum and the Montreal Jewish Public Library were joined by the Zelikovitz Centre and CHES from Carleton University for a collaborative workshop featuring rare books and objects from their collections. These historic artifacts chronicle over 350 years of the complex connections and disconnections between the Jewish and Christian communities of Europe. The presentation was entitled “Relations, Resistance, Resilience” and focused on rare books and Holocaust-era artifacts available at the Montreal Jewish Public Library. The Montreal Holocaust Museum offered a glimpse into four artifacts of their rich 13,500 artifacts collection. The webinar included interesting information about the history of the Montreal Jewish Public Library and the Montreal Holocaust Museum.

This webinar was recorded on November 18, 2020.

In the years leading up to 1914, a number of recent Jewish immigrants from across the spectrum of the political left, would gather in Hirsh Hershman’s tobacco store on rue Hermine to gamble, read the Yiddish newspapers, and argue politics. This evolved into a series of other meeting places in which members of the Hovovei Zion, the Poalei Zion, the Workmans Circle, the Dorshei Zion, and other groups would bring books from their own collections and formed reading circles. The first reading rooms were housed in the BDH Institute, but it was only near the end of 1913 that a man named Yehuda Kaufman convened 2 conferences that resulted in the official launch of the JPL in 1914. The great Hebrew essayist, Reuben Brainin who had been headhunted to become editor of the Keneder Adler left his job there to become its first director.  While the library was initially and ostensibly a second home to new Jewish immigrants with collections primarily in Yiddish, it’s grown since then to about 170,000 volumes in many languages and is not only an internationally-recognized research centre, but a neighbourhood lending library whose paying members are served in 5 languages,  a vibrant cultural programming roster of lectures, workshops, and films, an extraordinary Archives and a children’s library. We’re not really funded by any government body and given the very unusual nature of our collections and expertise, it’s rather remarkable in my opinion that after 106 years, we’re still a robust and dynamic place that welcomes everyone irrespective of cultural or religious backgrounds.

November 15, 2020

Holocaust Education Month 2020 – CHES Zoom Recording from November 15, 2020

The launch of the Virtual Holocaust Museum on November 15th was a collaboration between CHES and the Zelikovitz Centre, with the intention of offering permanence to the Pop-Up Museum project. On November 4th, 2018 Temple Israel was the scene of a “Pop-Up Museum” with a display of Holocaust artifacts submitted by Holocaust survivors and their family members. Rabbi Morais of Temple Israel was behind the idea for the Pop-Up Museum. 47 items were shown including artifacts, documents, letters, books, movies, short videos, a Tora Scroll, and a Tallit rescued from a synagogue in Berlin.

The Virtual Holocaust Museums artifacts are allowing us to return humanity to Holocaust victims. The collection of artifacts in the Virtual Museum belong to Holocaust survivors and their families who live in Ottawa. The objects have a connection to the family’s experience of the Holocaust and are speaking to survival. They share family stories that provide an opportunity to learn about the history of those families and at the same time remember them. Some objects in the collection are from before the war, some are from the war period or from after the war.

There are 48 objects in the collection now, and they are grouped into 9 separate categories. The Virtual Museum continues to accept new submission. To submit an artifact (click here jusy a special button will be added once it is online).

The November 15th program included Sara Shor, manager of the Artifacts Department of Yad Vashem’s Museums Division, who spoke about the importance of objects to the study and research of the Holocaust. Sara used objects from the Yad Vashem collection to illustrate how they help to advance the research of the Holocaust.

Robert M. Ehrenreich, the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Academic Programs, also joined the program. He talked about viewing the Holocaust through objects. His presentation showed how objects, especially groups of items, can provide insights into human nature, community, and interconnections that documents and oral histories may neglect, overlook or suppress.

Holocaust Survivors and their families also shared significant and memorable Holocaust artifacts.

This webinar was recorded on November 15, 2020.

November 8, 2020

Holocaust Education Month 2020

“Voices for the Past, the Present and the Future” – CHES Webinar
Marking five years of promoting Holocaust education in Ottawa

Premiere Film Screening – “Voices for the Past, the Present and the Future” – A film dedicated to five years of Promoting Holocaust Education by CHES in Ottawa.

The film presentation is followed by a discussion with experts on the topic of the importance of Holocaust Education today.

Guest speakers:
Prof. Irwin Cotler, The Wallenberg Centre: “The Importance of Holocaust Education”
Dr. Avinoam Patt Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life University of Connecticut: “Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust in the Twenty-First Century”

This webinar was recorded on November 8, 2020.

2019 Arie van Mansum Award for excellence in Holocaust Education

The annual Arie van Mansum Award is awarded each year to a teacher who has done exemplary work in Holocaust education. The award was initiated as a tribute to Mr. Arie van Mansum, a Righteous Gentile from the Nederland’s who lived in Ottawa.

Margaret Harris, Arie van Mansum’s daughter, presented this year’s award to Professor Jan Grabowski, a history professor at Ottawa University.

Video courtesy of Henry Lewkowicz

2018 Arie van Mansum Award for excellence in Holocaust Education

The annual Arie van Mansum Award is awarded each year to a teacher who has done exemplary work in Holocaust education. The award was initiated as a tribute to Mr. Arie van Mansum, a Righteous Gentile from the Nederland’s who lived in Ottawa.

Ria Euverman, Arie van Mansum’s daughter, presented this year’s award to Tricia Leduc, a teacher-librarian for Grades 9- 12 at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School in Ottawa.

November 7, 2018

HEM Launch Event in Memory of Kristallnacht

HEM Launch Event, marking 80 years since Kristallnacht. Keynote address: Kristallnacht: The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End by Dr. Michael Berenbaum, one of the founders of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Concluding remarks by Professor Irwin Cotler, Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.

November 2018

Niv Askenazi and the Violin of Hope

Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi in a special performance on a Violin of Hope, one of about 50 such instruments miraculously salvaged from the Holocaust and restored by Israeli luthier Amnon Weinstein.

Program includes: John Williams: Theme from “Schindler’s List”. J.S. Bach: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor – Adagio. Ernest Bloch: Nigun from “Ba’al Shem Suite (Three Pictures of Chassidic Life)”. George Perlman: Dance of the Rebbetzin from “Suite hébraïque, No. 2”.

June 11, 2018

In Conversation with Jeanne Beker

June 11th: In Conversation with Jeanne Beker was an entertaining and educational event. The evening paid tribute to Beker’s parents, leaving the audience impressed, moved, and inspired by Jeanne. Each participant at the event received a copy of Joy Runs Deeper personally autographed by Jeanne Beker.

November 14, 2017

Forum for Descendants of Survivors

A message from Artur Wilczynski, Canada’s Ambassador to Norway and Canada’s chief representative to IHRA (the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance). Prior to his posting he served as Director General of Security and Intelligence at Global Affairs Canada. He previously served as a senior official in a number of federal departments including Public Safety Canada and Canadian Heritage.

2017 Arie van Mansum Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education

The annual Arie van Mansum Award is awarded each year to a teacher who has done exemplary work in Holocaust education. The award was initiated as a tribute to Mr. Arie van Mansum, a Righteous Gentile from the Nederland’s who lived in Ottawa.

Marg Harris and Ria Euverman, Arie van Mansum’s daughters, presented this year’s award to Mr. Larry Henry. Mr Larry, the 2017 recipient of the award, is a grade 12 teacher at Thousand Islands Secondary School at UCSB.

November 9, 2017

HEM Launch Event in Memory of Kristallnacht

Keynote address: ‘From Destruction to Rebirth: The Return of Life in the Jewish DP Camps.’ By Dr. Avinoam Patt, Philip D Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History and Associate Director at the Maurice Greenberg Centre for Judaic Studies, at the University of Hartford, Connecticut and Director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.

September 27, 2017

From Vision to Reality

To honour the inauguration of the National Holocaust Monument, the Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship (CHES) in cooperation with the National Holocaust Monument Council presented From Vision to Reality, at Library and Archives Canada on September 27th, 2017. The event, which was sold out, was a powerful, moving and inspiring evening.

To offer all those who were not able to attend an opportunity to hear Rabbi Friedman, the Chair of the National Holocaust Monument Council, and Dr. Krell, Psychiatrist and Founding President, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, we recorded the evening.

You can view the video below, or click here for more information.