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Disrupting antisemitism and celebrating Jewish identity

February 1, 2022

Learning opportunities for school communities committed to countering racism and antisemitism are available through a number of sources. The need for this learning remains crucial.

According to a 2018 study by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC), which is “a non-profit human rights organization committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and education,” antisemitism rates have increased profoundly across Canada with an average of 5 million Canadians holding antisemitic views.

As an educational community we have a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms.

Upper Grand District School Board staff members and educators have access to numerous resources on disrupting antisemitism and celebrating Jewish identity through the UGDSB’s Equity site on the Educator Hub, including information about workshops and lesson plans.

Members of the public are able to further their learning as well through FSWC resources and materials, Learning for Justice, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights also have valuable resources.

UGDSB Resource: Responding to Hate 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Last week, the world paid tribute to the memory of all the victims of the Holocaust and recommitted to dismantling antisemitism, racial discrimination, and all forms of oppression and intolerance.

The date is significant as it marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945. The commemoration was made official in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly and has been set aside as a day of reflection.

The day is usually commemorated with educational programming, ceremonies that reflect and honour those who were victims of the holocaust, as well as acknowledging the current threat of antisemitism. The danger of targeting a group based on their identity is highlighted, and understanding the atrocities faced during the Holocaust is an important step in preventing future genocides. On January 27, we remember the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the millions of other victims of hate.

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