By Maxine Fischbein
(AJNews) – With each passing year, there are fewer Holocaust survivors alive to share their testimonies with live audiences. Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors is a powerful exhibit honouring 161 Holocaust survivors who made their homes in Calgary or are otherwise connected to the city. It is currently on display at the Edison Building, the pop-up location of the Glenbow Museum, until July 3.
The annual Holocaust Education Symposium is another initiative that keeps the emphasis on survivors while increasing the hands-on participation of next generation descendants and other volunteers and professionals who share a keen interest in Holocaust remembrance and education.
Second Generation volunteer Francie Cyngiser, of Edmonton, addressed students and teachers in virtual attendance at the Calgary annual spring Holocaust Education Symposium. Cyngiser, together with a growing number of descendants of Holocaust survivors, is playing an active role in sharing the testimony of survivors like her parents, Calgarians Bronia and Sid Cyngiser, thanks to Calgary Jewish Federation’s Second Voices Project.
A record-breaking 4,510 students from 99 classrooms at 54 schools took part in this year’s virtual spring Symposium, said Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education co-chairs Marnie Bondar and Dahlia Libin.
“We are thrilled that the online format we adopted due to COVID has led to increased participation, especially by students living in rural areas throughout Alberta who might not otherwise have an opportunity to meet Jewish people and hear the testimony of Holocaust survivors,” said Bondar.
“In addition to participation by students in the Calgary and Edmonton areas, we reached students all over the province, including Leduc, Hinton, Mayerthorpe, Medicine Hat and Slave Lake,” said Libin.
The Calgary Holocaust Education Symposium expanded this year to include a fall semester virtual option. As a result, the Symposium now reaches an annual audience of some 10,000 Alberta students.
The stunning initiative made-in-Calgary exhibit Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors, opened at the Glenbow at the Edison (150 – 9 Ave SW) on May 27 and runs through July 3. For viewing hours and to book your timed ticket, go to https://www.glenbow.org/exhibitions/here-to-tell/. To order copies of the hardcover book, go to https://www.heretotell.com.