This past June, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa received a call from a concerned teacher who had witnessed some anti-Semitic behaviour in his schoolyard and was anxious to deal with it appropriately. “Duck, Duck, Goose” had turned into “Jew, Jew, Nazi,” and “Capture the Flag,” had become “Capture the Jew.” The teacher quickly recognized that his Grade 6 class was in need of some ‘emergency’ Holocaust education, as the school year was coming to an end, and he did not want his class graduating without addressing this ignorant behaviour.
The Shoah Committee quickly mobilized, responding to the urgency of the situation, identifying survivors, speakers, and age-appropriate educational material to support this teacher. The mandate of the Shoah (Holocaust) Committee of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa is to commemorate and preserve the legacies of the past to learn from and teach future generations about the important lessons of this horrific event. This was an educational opportunity that could not be lost. The results were positive and the school and student body were receptive. We know we made a difference in teaching these students about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
November marks Holocaust Education Month (HEM) and Ottawa’s organizations have developed a wide range of programming to encourage Jewish and non-Jewish participants to learn and better understand the lessons of the Holocaust. [Read more…]