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«VANCOUVER HOLOCAUST EDUCATION CENTRE BOARD & STAFF The Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance was founded in 1983 by ...»

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JANUARY 30, 2012 FILM SCREENING | 50 ITALIANS The United Nations declared annual commemoration marks the Auschwitz liberation date of January 27th. Ed Lewin, VHEC President welcomed guests who then viewed a screening of Dr. Robert Krell’s address to the United Nations. Remarks were delivered by Fabrizio Inserra, Consul General of Italy in Vancouver. The film, 50 Italians, followed candle lighting by Holocaust survivors. Reception followed at the VHEC. Over 300 were in attendance.

Supported by Istituto Italiano di Cultura under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, with the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.

16 Yom Hashoah Commemorative Evening; Alex Buckman, Holocaust survivor (left) Right image: Cantor Michael Zoosman (left) and Claire Klein Osipov (right) YOM HASHOAH APRIL 18, 2012


In a moving candle lighting ceremony, introduced by Cathy Golden, 55 local Holocaust survivors honoured the memory of those who perished. Second Generation reflections by Corinne Zimmerman opened the program. The program also featured Claire Klein Osipov, a consummate performer of Yiddish music. Talented local young people performed Yiddish and Hebrew songs and Andrew Brown, associate-principal violist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, performed. The evening featured child Holocaust Survivor, Alex Buckman.

Committee: Cathy Golden, Ethel Kofsky

Supported by the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver with support from the Gail Feldman Heller Endowment Fund and Sarah RozenbergWarm Memorial Endowment Fund of the VHEC, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver Endowment Fund, with the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.

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CHILDREN’S STORYTIME OCTOBER 23, 2011 & NOVEMBER 27 Children ages 3-6 listened to the story Curious George Rides a Bike, sing songs and more.


PAPIROSEN Directed by Gastón Solnicki OCTOBER 6, 2011 & WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2011 Empire Granville #7 | Vancity Theatre Integrating archival footage and ten years of the present, Gastón Solnicki’s intimate, moving work is an observational document of a family, their conflicts, arguments and crises, a critique of class, in particular, the Jewish nouveau riche of post-Second World War Argentina and a celebration of love, family bonds and the need to bear witness.

Presented by the Vancouver International Film Festival & Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre 18


DECEMBER 1, 2011


Man Booker Prize nominee and Canadian Jewish Book Award winner, Alison Pick’s Far To Go (House of Anansi, 2011) is a layered, moving, and suspenseful story by one of Canada’s rising literary stars. Far To Go was inspired by the harrowing fiveyear journey of Pick’s own grandparents embarked on from their native Czechoslovakia to Canada during the Second World War.

After decades of silence, Vancouver’s Ruth Kron Sigal opened up to writer Keith Morgan, sharing with him her story of horror and survival. Ruth recalled her most painful memories, hoping that the lessons they teach will ensure that no child will hide in such a dark place again. Ruth Kron Sigal was born in Lithuania in July 1936. After the Second World War, Ruth moved to Canada with her family. She died in December 2008, shortly after the completion of Ruta’s Closet. Keith Morgan is a veteran journalist and columnist. He is currently the Driving Editor for The Province and The Vancouver Sun.

In partnership with the Vancouver Jewish Book Festival



Narrated by Marthe Keller, Chris Lomme NOVEMBER 11, 2011 Ridge Theatre Between 1942 and 1944 some 24,916 Jews were deported from Belgium to Auschwitz. The roundups and deportations were organised and carried out by the Nazis with the - not always conscious - cooperation of Belgian authorities. The attitude of the authorities here varied from outright resistance to voluntary or unwitting collaboration.

In partnership with the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival


Director Michaël Prazan in attendance MARCH 11, 2012 Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre Nazi mobile killing squads, led by highly-educated officers and aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered over a million Jews. Who were the men who carried out mass murder at close range? Prazan’s definitive masterwork features a powerful array of astounding, never-seen-before film and photographs.

In partnership with the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival Generously sponsored by Larry Garfinkel & Sandi Karmel, Max & Leona Pinsky and Mordehai & Hana Wosk and their families

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Volunteer lawyer, Stan Taviss, met with 37 survivors this past year, 26 of these were new and 9 were returning clients. Most of the recent claims have centered around the Hardship Fund. Unfortunately the Article 2 Fund still has income restrictions. To date there have been approximately 219 successful claims.

SURVIVOR DROP-IN Coordinated by volunteers Gerri London and Gloria Waisman, a group of 20-35 survivors met monthly to socialize and participate in a variety of programs, which included guest speakers and lively question and discussion periods. Special outings were organized as well as an annual Chanukah party, Passover seder and a Purim lunch.


The group meets monthly at the VHEC or at members’ homes for special occasions and a joint meeting is organized annually with the Second Generation group. The group participates in Kristallnacht and Yom HaShoah and lays a large wreath at the City of Vancouver Remembrance Day ceremonies. Lillian Boraks Nemetz edits the No Longer Alone section in Zachor that explores child survivor experiences.

Committee: Alex Buckman (President) Lillian Boraks Nemetz, Claude Romney, Tom Szekely, Peter John Voormeij


The group meets to discuss issues related to the Second Generation experience and the Holocaust and to witness each other’s life stories. There are 120 members on the email list, where we share news items, stories, and events, local and international about the Holocaust. Annual activities include social events, a picnic, a Chanukah party, and a writing workshop. The group coordinates the VHEC’s annual Raoul Wallenberg Day; The Visas that Saved Lives about Chiune Sugihara was screened. The group was a sponsor of the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival. This year, the group joined with the Child Survivor Group in placing a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day. We discussed how we could contribute to Holocaust education and met with the VHEC’s Executive Director.

Committee: Alan LeFevre (Contact) and Susan Krug 20


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In the past year, VHEC staff worked with volunteers who served on the board of directors, as outreach speakers, docents, library assistants, archivist assistants, photographers, book reviewers, historians, translators & committee members to name only a few.


Janos Benisz, Lillian Boraks Nemetz, Alex Buckman, Marion Cassirer, Mariette Doduck, David Ehrlich, Bill Gluck, Serge Haber, Katy Hughes, Chaim Kornfeld, Robert Krell, Inge Manes, Bente Nathan Thomsen, Peter Parker, Claude Romney, Louise Sorensen, Peter Suedfeld, Tom Szekely, Peter Voormeij, Robbie Waisman; Coordinator: Rita Akselrod DOCENTS Chris Biasutti, Rajiv Cowasjee, Haley Davis, Reva Dexter, Myriam Dinim, Debby Freiman, Phillipa Friedland, Belinda Gutman, Arlene James, Dodie Katzenstein, Sarah-Jane Kerr-Lapsley, Lise Kirchner, Joel Kohm, Uma Kumar, Shoshana Krell-Lewis, Lucien Lieberman, Ivan Linde, Ellen Millman, Michael Perla, Cynthia Ramsay, Adriana Reynoso, Gita Silver, Rina Vizer, Stevie Wilson, Heather Wolfe


Jonathan Friedrchs, Odie Kaplan, Kit Krieger, Tom Morton, Peter Seixas, Andrea Webb, Sari Zack Weintraub


Chelsea Bailey, Zeke Blumenkrans, Amalia Boe-Fishman, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz, Rabbi Philip Bregman, Alex Buckman, Esther Caldes, Naomi Caruso, Alaina Chan, Sophie Cymbalista, Brendan Buchanan Dee, Joanne Emerman, Sarah Fallik, Pearl Fishman, Debby Freiman, Phillipa Friedland, Lyore Friedmann, Noah Friedmann, Chris Friedrichs, Harriet Frost, Daniella Givon, Sarah Inglis, Odie Kaplan, Dodie Katzenstein, Sarah Kerr-Lapsley, Catherine Kohm, Joel Kohm, Kit Krieger, Sasha Krieger, Antonia Kwok, Alan Le Fevre, Lucien Lieberman, Gerri London, Sharon Meen, Adriana Reynoso, David Rosengarten, Debbie Rozenberg, Hilsary Sandhouse, Laura Saxton, David Schaffer, Laura Shaw, Louise Sorensen, Stan Taviss, Gloria Waisman 21


The VHEC website received nearly 65,000 unique visitors this past year. In October 2011, we added the teacher’s guide for The Wartime Escape: Margret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France, to the website and it has been downloaded over 500 times. The More Than Just Games website, which was posted online in February 2010, continues to be one of our most popular online resources attracting 1650 unique visits this past year and 5700 visits since it was first launched.

VHEC Facebook page (left) Lillian Boraks Nemetz, Holocaust Survivor (right)

We are increasing our use of social media for communication. In 2012 the VHEC librarian drafted a social media policy to facilitate and guide our activities on sites like Facebook and Twitter, which we use to promote VHEC events and programs and to share Holocaust-related news and information with our ‘fans’ and ‘followers.’ Our reach is growing on both sites; as of May 2012, we have 542 ‘likes’ on Facebook and 670 ‘followers’ on Twitter. We are also trying to increase engagement on these sites. For the West Vancouver Holocaust Symposium we posted a photograph of Lillian Boraks Nemetz on Facebook and invited students who heard her speak to share her photo and their thoughts about the Symposium.

Twitter continues to provide us with occasional feedback on some of our events, programs and exhibits.

22 LIBRARY The librarian worked on a variety of projects that included completing a library procedures manual, drafting a social media policy, weeding education guides to increase the space available for new library acquisitions, and continuing the development of Rare Books & Special Collections. The librarian also managed the VHEC’s social media (Facebook and Twitter accounts) and supervised two projects by MLIS students from UBC’s School of Library, Information and Archival Studies (SLAIS): the creation of a Zachor newsletter index, which is on-going, and the development of a children’s story time program for the Wartime Escape exhibition. We wish to thank everyone who generously donated books and other gifts to the library this year.


It has been another busy year for the VHEC Archives and Collection. Work on two National Archives Development Programme (NADP) grant projects was completed. The first project allowed for the arrangement and description of the Gottfried Family Collection to best practice standards, affording for greater access by both internal and external researchers. The Gottfried Collection is one of the Archive’s most comprehensive collections of materials on one extended family and their life prior to, during and after the Holocaust. The second NADP funded project was the development of a Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Plan for the VHEC Archives and Collection, which is currently undergoing final edits and review.

Much of the archival work undertaken this past year was in support of“Enemy Aliens”: The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940-1943. A number of artefacts were donated to the Archives and Collection by a number of former internees in connection with this exhibit, including artworks, arts and crafts, barbed wire from an internment camp, photographs, correspondence, clippings, a tin cup and journals.

A number of new items were donated to the to the Archives and Collection this past year, which are currently being accessioned, among them the papers and artefacts of Dr. John Herbert who fled Nazi Germany as a child and went on to become a distinguished educator and diplomat.

Many thanks to those who generously donated items to the Archives and Collection this year.

Left image: Tin cup from internment camp, circa 1940-1941. This cup was recovered by Gerry Waldston fifty years after his release from Camp B (Ripples, New Brunswick). It was used for breakfast, where the internees were given, what they called “birdseed” (corn flakes). − Courtesy Gerry Waldston, VHEC Collection Right image: Box created by an unknown internee, unknown location, 1941. The box is made from cardboard, birch bark and the same material that was used for the internees’ uniforms, denim with a red circle on the back. − Courtesy Gerry Waldston, VHEC Collection

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