Holocaust education and other programs in Calgary this month

By Maxine Fischbein

(AJNews) – Calgary Jewish Federation invites everyone to attend a virtual Kristallnacht ceremony which will stream on Wednesday, November 9 at 6:45pm. Then, at 7:00 pm, the Beth Tzedec Congregation Jewish Film Festival and Calgary Jewish Federation will screen Reckonings, an outstanding documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Roberta Grossman that takes viewers back to the secret and tense negotiations between Jewish and German leaders that led to reparations for the suffering and destruction of European Jewry.

 Through a captivating mix of dramatic re-enactments and interviews, Reckonings brings to life the untold story behind the ground-breaking Luxembourg Agreements of 1952 – the first time in history that individual victims of persecution received material compensation from the perpetrators.”

 Go to www.jewishcalgary.org for the link to the Kristallnacht ceremony. To access your free ticket to the virtual screening of Reckonings, go to www.CalgaryJewishFilmFestival.com.

Holocaust educator, author and Jewish pride activist Ben M. Freeman will speak at the Calgary Public Library on Monday, November 10 at 7:00 pm. The theme of his presentation is The enemy within: The impact of internalized racism. “For years Jews have been gaslit into denying that the trauma that thousands of years of persecution has left as its legacy. Join Freeman as we learn to identify internalized oppression, why Jews represent the canary in the coal mine and how to combat the self-loathing and oppression that we must all face.” Copies of his new book will be available for purchase, and an author book signing will follow Freeman’s talk.

The program—part of an ongoing series—is organized by Calgary Jewish Federation in conjunction with CPL and sponsored by the Isadore and Florence Burstyn Memorial Fund for Human Rights and Holocaust Education, the KSW Calgary Holocaust Education and Commemoration Endowment Fund, Viewpoint Foundation, Human Rights and Holocaust Education Fund at the Calgary Public Library Foundation and Beth Tzedec Congregation . Pre-registration is required. Seating is limited to 300.  Library member registration is at www.calgarylibrary. Non-library members can register by contacting Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education Co-Chairs Dahlia Libin and Marnie Bondar at holocaustedu@jewishcalgary.org. This is an online event for members of the Edmonton community co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton  and the Edmonton Public Library – register here. 

On November 11, Freeman will speak to young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 at a special Shabbat Dinner at Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Calgary. Tickets for the dinner and conversation with Ben Freeman are $36. Dinner, conversation and a signed copy of Freeman’s latest book, Reclaiming our Story: The Pursuit of Jewish Pride is $54. For more information or to register, go to www.jewishcalgary.org.

Between November 21 and November 25, Calgary Jewish Federation will once again present a virtual Holocaust Education Symposium open to high school students and teachers throughout Alberta. As of September 28, 1,500 students had already been registered.

Offered at no charge, this year’s virtual symposium includes a brief presentation by a university professor, the documentary: Path to Nazi Genocide, and a presentation by survivor Bronia Cyngiser and her grandchildren. Students will be able to participate in a virtual question and answer period with Mrs. Cyngiser’s daughter, Francie Cyngiser, following the presentation.

The relatively recent addition of a fall symposium extends the reach of the 38-year-old annual Holocaust Education Symposium which is organized by the Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education department of the Calgary Jewish Federation in cooperation with Mount Royal University, the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District. For more information, go to https://www.jewishcalgary.org/federation-programs/holocaust-and-human-rights-remembrance-and-education.

In other news, Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education Co-Chairs Dahlia Libin and Marnie Bondar recently announced that all Shoah Foundation testimonies provided by Calgary Holocaust survivors have been digitally recorded in an initiative that spanned two years.

The original recordings had been housed at the Montreal Holocaust Museum. Now they have been repatriated and can be viewed on the Calgary Jewish Federation website at www.jewishcalgary.org. Individuals wishing to access the Shoah Foundation testimonies are asked to contact Libin and Bondar at holocaustedu@jewishcalgary.org.

If you missed Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors when the exhibit premiered at the Glenbow at the Edison, or if you wish to further explore the images and stories of Calgary-connected Holocaust survivors, you will have the opportunity to see a curated portion of the exhibit and the Here to Tell documentary at the Central Library during regular hours throughout the month of January 2023. Tours are currently being arranged for school groups. For more information, go to https://www.jewishcalgary.org/federation-programs/holocaust-and-human-rights-remembrance-and-education


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