Empowering Teachers to Make a Difference in Holocaust Education

In July 2018 a selected group of 15 top educators from various schools across the country participated in the CSYV Holocaust Scholarship Program. Participants completed the first part of the program, attending the International in class seminar in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Scholarship recipients had rare opportunities to learn from leading experts in Holocaust studies, discover significant research and pedagogical materials in Holocaust education, hear first-hand experiences of the Shoah from Holocaust survivors, and more.

2018 CSYV SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS: Kim Baron, Holly Burrows, Jeremy Glass, Jane Grant, Darrell Hall, Robert Jardine, Daphna Leibovici, Norm MacQueen, Donica McConnell, Charles Pendleton, Michelle Phair, Mireille Prevost, Michael Teversham, Suzie Virk-Sull, Anna-Mae Wiesenthal (Photo taken at Yad Vashem with all seminar participants).

Highlights from the program included:

Lectures by world-renowned experts in the discipline of Holocaust studies such as Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Dr. Irit Abramski, Dr. Gideon Greif and more. Yehuda Bauer lectured about the unprecedentedness of the Holocaust in an age of genocide. The Holocaust stands apart from other ethnic cleansings – it was the only genocide perpetrated for unpragmatic reasons, Prof. Bauer stated. Participants learned about Nazi racial ideology and the Jewish question. The Holocaust was a result of eliminationist antisemitism. Children were considered as main enemies, Prof. Irit Abramski said. They also heard about a persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany. The Holocaust was not a new phenomenon, it was a continuation of an old antisemitism. The innovation of the Nazi politics was its racial element, Dr. Gideon Greif emphasized.

Discussions with Holocaust survivors. Participants had a rare opportunity to hear first-hand experiences of the Holocaust from Shoah survivors. Holocaust survivors from various European countries shared their personal stories with scholarship recipients, among them, Yehuda Bacon a child Holocaust survivor from Czechoslovakia. Yehuda was interned at Theresienstadt and then Auschwitz. He survived Nazi camps and the death march. Being the only member of his family to survive the Shoah, Yehuda thinks it is his responsibility to the past and future generations to remember the Holocaust.  Yehuda Bacon was one of the witnesses to testify at Eichmann Trial.

Examining a vast collection of research and teaching materials in Holocaust studies. Participants discovered available resources in Holocaust education and were instructed how to use pedagogical and educational materials in their classrooms.

Exploring major Holocaust memorials in Israel. Scholarship recipients learned about the Holocaust through various memorials at Yad Vashem. They also deepened their knowledge of the Holocaust at the Ghetto Fighters’ House.

Visit of Oscar Shindler’s grave with two Schindler survivors. Our scholarship participants traveled to the grave of Oscar Schindler with Holocaust survivors Nachum and Genya Manor, who were both saved by Oscar Schindler. Nachum gave his personal insight into this unique man who is one of the most famous “Righteous among the Nations”.

The 2018 CSYV Holocaust Scholarship recipients came from various educational institutions from six of ten Canadian provinces:

Adult High School, Ottawa, ON
Alpha Secondary School, Burnaby, BC
Archbishop M.C. O’Neill Catholic High School, Regina, SK
Bnei Akiva Schools, Toronto, ON
Carberry Collegiate, Carberry, MB
Cosburn Middle School, Toronto, ON
English Montreal School Board, Montreal, QC
King David High School, Vancouver, BC
Pitt Meadows Secondary, Maple Ridge, BC
Richmond School District, Richmond, BC
Seaquam Secondary School, Delta, BC
St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC
Strathcona High School, Edmonton, ON
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Warman High School, Warman, SK