Press Release: Hillel Commends Ryerson University Administration and Student Union for Committing to Host Annual Holocaust Education Programming

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Toronto, ON – Yesterday, the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Board of Directors voted unanimously to institute a Holocaust Education Week on campus. A similar motion was brought forward at the Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM) in November, but failed to pass due to a student walk-out.

In the weeks following the SAGM, Hillel students and staff worked closely with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), StandWithUs Canada and Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Ryerson to highlight the importance of a week dedicated to Holocaust education.

Hillel has also been in direct contact with the Ryerson administration to explore ways to collaborate and combat anti-Semitism on campus, including making Holocaust education a priority. Ryerson University’s President, Mohamed Lachemi, met with Hillel Ryerson following the SAGM and has been working closely with faculty members to ensure the implementation of Holocaust Education Week on campus. The campus programming for the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on January 27th, is already underway.

Today, Marc Newburgh, CEO of Hillel Ontario, Sara Lefton, Vice President, Greater Toronto Area for CIJA, and Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, met with President Mohamed Lachemi. Throughout the past few weeks and during this meeting, President Lachemi assured the community of his desire to make Holocaust Education Week an annual and ongoing event on campus. To that end, President Lachemi and Ryerson faculty members will collaborate with Hillel Ryerson to create an annual meaningful learning experience for all Ryerson students.

“I’m thrilled that all Ryerson students will now receive Holocaust education as a result of the hard work of Jewish students on campus,” said Marc Newburgh, CEO of Hillel Ontario. “Holocaust education is an important piece of combating anti-Semitism on campus. We are very pleased that President Lachemi worked with us to resolve this matter and is making Holocaust education a priority. We look forward to continuing to work with the Ryerson administration and faculty members to make this week-long initiative a reality.”

“It’s a great achievement to finally pass this motion in favour of Holocaust Education Week through the RSU,” said Samantha Cooper, a graduating Hillel student who originally submitted this motion. “This success will ensure that current and future students have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust and the importance of never forgetting.”

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Hillel strives to inspire every Jewish student in Ontario to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

For more information, please contact:

Ilan Orzy
Associate Director, Advocacy
Hillel Ontario
416.913.2424 ext.3004
ilan.orzy@hillelontario.org