This week at Hillel Laurier & Hillel Waterloo, we, like many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and people alike, will be honouring the annual Holocaust Education Week that provides so many with a moment to step out of busy schedules and focus on remembrance, prevention and learning.
In years past, you could have found Hillel at the University of Waterloo’s Student Life Centre with a huge walk-through exhibit of the history of the Holocaust, or in a packed lecture hall filled with all kinds of students while a survivor gave their testimony. This year, as we find ourselves adapting to the realities of COVID-19, we had to adapt our thinking strategies a bit. This week, we will be welcoming Hedy Bohm onto our Zoom screens as she will tell our students (and our other partnering schools- Guelph & McMaster) about her story of resilience. Later in the week, we will be engaging in a virtual dialogue with the family of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who risked his life-saving thousands of Jews with visas throughout the Holocaust.
We are very much looking forward to both events, and to engage in intercultural dialogue about the importance of the slogan “Never Forget”. These stories and conversations are bound to be impactful with our students in a way that promotes tolerance, unity, Jewish pride and remembrance.