The CSYV Holocaust Scholarship Program

2016 Scholarship Recipients – Ramin Khodaie, Dean Haddad, Erika Hardman, Bruce Emmett, Suzanne Ujvari, Michael Luchka, Sandy Plamondon, Anne-Marie Jacob, Christopher Jacoby,Marie-Helene Laverdiere.

The CSYV Holocaust Scholarship Program for Canadian Educators

During the last 15 years, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem has recruited and sent hundreds of Canadian educators to participate in a unique training seminar at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. The educators are each awarded a scholarship, funded by various Canadian donors, to cover the costs of the educators’ flights, accommodations and tuition for the three weeks of the seminar.

The CSYV is engaging Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies for their expertise in order to educate Canadian educators (both Jewish and non-Jewish) and equip them with the pedagogical tools to address and teach this sensitive topic in their classrooms and their communities across Canada.

The seminar is comprised of the following:

  • Academic Component: takes participants through the history and culture of the Jewish people in the interwar period, the history of antisemitism, the stages of the Final Solution, and the Jewish response to the Nazi onslaught
  • Pedagogical Component: provides participants with the tools to translate the academic content into suitable pedagogical materials that are multidisciplinary and age-appropriate for their students
  • Experiential Component: includes meetings with Holocaust survivors whose testimonies document and personalize this tragic historical event, field trips that connect educators with both the recent history of the Jewish people and their ancient roots in the Land of Israel, and films and workshops that enhance both the historical and pedagogical components of the program

With the seminar taking place annually in July, CSYV begins the process of recruiting potential scholarship candidates, collecting pertinent information, interviewing the candidates, consulting with Yad Vashem, and selecting the scholarship recipients as early as October of the previous year.

Quotes from Our Past Participants

“Excellent, thorough training for educators. This seminar gives an excellent overview of the Holocaust and traces the origins of antisemitism for the audience. Lots of food for reflections. I gained a much better understanding of the context linked to the Holocaust, and also insight into how to present this difficult piece of important history. I am inspired to pursue my research and continue to educate myself.”

Suzanne Ujvari
Suzanne UjvariQuebec, Canada

“Thank you for everything! Your attention to detail, professionalism, administration, and balanced delivery of all material was extremely appreciated. This seminar was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”

Michael Luchka
Michael LuchkaToronto, Ontario, Canada

“I also gained a lot of new knowledge on the creation of the state of Israel and I am very impressed with the determination of the people to build this state. A profound admiration and respect for this country grew all along this trip.”

Laurence AssoulineDes Ormeaux, QC

“The personal experiences shared with us by the survivors and historians were the most impactful aspect of the trip.  These stories help educators put a face to the countless individuals that were affected by the Holocaust.  Creating a human component in the lessons helps the students get past the overwhelming numbers associated with the Holocaust and focus on the stories of the individuals.”

Jason HudsonWest Kelowna, BC

“My favourite moment, the moment that I will always remember with such love, was when we were at Oskar Schindler’s gravesite and Genya Manor (Schindler Jew no. 282) gently took my hand and we walked back to an awaiting car. To have this wonderful woman spontaneously reach out to me still brings a sweet tear to my eye.”

Dr. Prof. Jeff McLaughlinKamloops, BC

“We need not be saints to do the right thing – that is a most important message to impress upon students, because often they wonder how they can make a difference.  They think I am a nobody, what can I do? But if they look at some examples of the “Righteous among the Nations,” they will see that it begins with a belief that all people are human and should be given equal rights, and thus should be helped when need be.”

Carmen WoolgarPointe-Claire, QC

“I am now more determined than ever to extend to hundreds of others, the myriad facets of the Holocaust, and the importance it represents in the lexicon of Jewish history, future genocide prevention, human rights education and legislation, and at a most fundamental level, personal responsibility, one for the other.”

Floralove KatzOttawa, ON

“The program was both inspiring and enriching. After participating in over 25 lectures, 9 pedagogical lessons, several meetings with survivors, and trips (which all added to my development as an educator) I am ready to continue with enthusiasm the mission I set out for myself.”

Gina Lavine
Gina LavineTrois-Rivieres, QC

“I truly had an experience of a lifetime in Israel. It was so much more than I could have ever imagined. The courses were very well organized and so informative and interesting. The tours and visits to the many different parts of the country were extraordinary.”

Steve Santella
Steve SantellaQuebec, Canada

“These instructors brought the subject to life but with sensitivity and compassion, which I have always attempted to bring to my own classroom. … They were truly a group of brilliant scholars but also of master teachers.  They brought such a vast body of knowledge to our group, they were open to questions, and were adaptable in regards to discussing how this information could be shared with students of all age groups.”

Jinny St-HilaireVancouver, BC

“It was a huge privilege to learn from such eminent scholars and passionate contributors to our understanding of antisemitism and the Shoah. As a North American, I live in a fast-paced culture, but fast-paced learning is not necessarily the same as deeper learning. Thank you for the privilege of experiencing this unique opportunity to engage in a process of deeper learning!”

Nathalie SiroisGatineau, QC

“I was surprised at how much I gained from every single lecture. Initially I didn’t think some topics would be relevant to my particular discipline or syllabus, but I discovered ideas and pedagogical strategies in every session that I can use in my classes throughout the academic year.”

Rachel MetalinToronto, ON

“I am convinced that this unparalleled opportunity has given me additional tools and knowledge to better serve my students, colleagues, and community.  I look forward to begin this school year and eager to include the content of my learning into the curriculum.”

Vincent GagnonMontreal, QC

“… je peux maintenant affirmer que ces trois semaines à Yad Vashem ont changé ma vision du monde et m’ont donné le goût de m’investir à fond dans l’enseignement de l’Holocauste et dans le développement de la tolérance dans mon milieu.”

Mr. Marc St. LouisMontreal, QC

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