The Jewish Federation of Edmonton’s Holocaust Education Committee is pleased to announce that the annual Holocaust Education Symposium it holds each year will be named after long-time benefactors Dr. Dianne and Irving Kipnes.
The Symposium, which educates local grade 12 high school students about the Holocaust, takes place each spring in Edmonton, and is organized by the Holocaust Education Committee of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, staffed by Dani Uretsky. This symposium has been held in Edmonton for over 20 years.
This year, the Symposium saw a record number of students. The students participated over two days, and attendance was so great, a third day had to be added. The mix of schools invited each year from Edmonton and surrounding areas varies, but this year’s invited schools were Paul Kane High School and Bellerose Composite High School from St. Albert, Archbishop McDonald, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Memorial Composite High School from Stony Plain, Lillian Osborne, St. Francis Xavier, Ross Sheppard, Austin O’Brian, and Queen Elizabeth High School.
Once again, the students and teachers were treated to a presentation by Dr. Eva Olsson. Dr. Olsson is an Auschwitz survivor who chose to make Canada her home after the war. She has been speaking to students across Canada for over 20 years. Her speech not only teaches students about the Holocaust but brings it closer to home by relating it to the bullying issue faced in schools today. It is important that students never forget what happened; Eva likes to make a deeper connection with the students so they can relate to her. At 91 years young, she is incredible and we are lucky to have her. Also included in the program was a short speech by a March of the Living alumnus. This year, Sydney Podgurny spoke to the students about her journey on the March.
Holocaust Education Committee Chair Gary Goldsand said, “The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation has contributed substantially to this incredible Symposium for many years, and we are very happy to be able to now name it after them, in recognition of their unwavering generosity, and their support of Holocaust Education and awareness in this community.”
There will be a special presentation at the next Symposium to announce the naming of the event as the Dianne & Irving Kipnes Holocaust Symposium.