Hillel Laurier’s exhibition begins annual Holocaust Education Week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Photo by Jackie Vang

Hillel Laurier is hosting their Holocaust Education Week from Nov. 2 until Nov. 8.

This week of events is dedicated annually to the furthering of education and remembrance of the Holocaust which took place between 1933 and 1945 amidst the Second World War.

Hillel, the foundation for Jewish campus life is the largest organization of its kind with representation at thousands of post-secondary institutions globally.

Hillel Laurier is a joint club with the University of Waterloo, and this year’s vice president of Jewish life, Rachel Goldfarb, is responsible for organizing this week’s events.

“Holocaust Education Week is an international [event] and it’s observed everywhere,” Goldfarb said. “The mission is to educate people about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

“I grew up in somewhat of a Jewish community bubble where everyone knew about the Holocaust, and many of us, including me, had grandparents who were survivors of the Holocaust,” Goldfarb added.

“Coming to university, stepping out of that bubble, a lot of people don’t know about the Holocaust, aren’t aware of what happened and I think it’s so important to educate people so that they know to ensure that it never happens again.”

Berthe is a Jewish Holocaust survivor from Belgium who is active in educating students about the Holocaust and her experiences as a European Jew during the Second World War.

On Friday, Hillel Laurier ran a narrative walk-through exhibit in the concourse which showcased timelines from the Holocaust and Second World War.

“It’s really two exhibits in one. One of the exhibits is a timeline of a specific story from a survivor named Robbie Waisman … beginning in his early life all the way through to the end when he immigrated to Canada,” Goldfarb said.

“The other side of the exhibit is more of a general timeline of the war and the Holocaust.”

Hillel Laurier considers the exhibit to have been a great success in creating a respectful environment for open and engaged learning with students, faculty and visitors about the Holocaust.

“We had a lot of people come and read through the entire thing and a lot of people coming and asking questions and telling us they had a connection to the Holocaust,” Goldfarb added.

“It honestly surpassed my expectations and I was really pleased with the engagement. Reading the entire thing takes about a half an hour … I was impressed by the number of people who took the time to do that.”

A keynote event of this year’s Holocaust Education Week in Waterloo will be Berthe Cygelfarb’s visit to the University of Waterloo, which Hillel encourages Laurier students to attend as well.

Berthe is a Jewish Holocaust survivor from Belgium who is active in educating students about the Holocaust and her experiences as a European Jew during the Second World War.

To conclude Holocaust Education Week at Laurier, Hillel will also be hosting their Interfaith Shabbat Dinner, which encourages “Jewish and non-Jewish friends to see what Shabbat dinner is all about.”

Details for the testimony and dinner are on Hillel’s website.

Leave a Reply