The 2024 International Holocaust Remembrance Day official commemoration, organized by the National Holocaust Monument Committee, will take place Friday, January 26 at 11am, with Canada’s new Special Envoy on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, Deborah Lyons, as the keynote speaker.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Lyons’ appointment on October 16, 2023, just a few weeks after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Lyons is a respected diplomat with 25 years of experience in international relations, political affairs, security management, and development. She previously served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel and is a known ally to the Jewish community. As Canada’s Special Envoy, Lyons leads efforts to combat antisemitism and preserve Holocaust remembrance. She serves as the head of Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and works with domestic and international partners.
The Ottawa Jewish community and all Canadians are invited to hear Lyons speak and to take time to reflect on the legacy of the Holocaust on this significant day. This is not only a day of remembrance but a reminder that we must continue the work of eradicating antisemitism in our city and globally. Created in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly, International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), honours the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, where more than one million innocent people were systematically murdered during the Second World War. January 27, 2024, marks the 79th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.
The committee hosting Ottawa’s event was established in 2019 and is also responsible for organizing other Holocaust-related events and commemorations at the National Holocaust Monument, including Yom HaShoah, and the Babi Yar memorial. As a committee they are committed to ensuring that these events are meaningful and respectful.
“Most importantly, we must extend our heartfelt thanks to Ottawa Holocaust survivors and their families. Their input and ongoing support at these events has been central to everything that we do and to the success we have had in planning and delivering these events,” said Annette Wildgoose monument committee president.
Working with Wildgoose, the committee leadership is comprised of Joel Diener and Lawrence Greenspon as co-chairs. The board members are Rabbi Idan Scher, Jonathan Allen, Andrea Freedman, Harry Prizant, Nicole Adwokat, and Adam Cantor. They also work closely with their stakeholders and partners including: The Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, The Embassy of Israel, The Jewish Federation of Ottawa, B’nai Brith, The Government of Canada, Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship (CHES), and The National Capital Commission.
Please be advised the ceremony is outside at The National Holocaust Monument at 1918 Chaudière Crossing. While there will be heaters, guests are advised to dress accordingly. Parking is available on Wellington and underground parking at The Canadian War Museum.
- Written with files from Annette Wildgoose, President of the National Holocaust Monument Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com