CANADA: Ontario Parliament pays tribute to Holocaust Survivors.

KADDISH RECITED IN THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Ontario’s Premier McGuinty Honours 19 Remarkable Ontarians At Annual Ceremony

“The stories of these extraordinary people remind us that we share a responsibility to shape a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. Their courage, strength and unwavering faith inspire us to build a more tolerant and more compassionate Ontario”. -Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario.

MAY 24, 2011 (Toronto) – This past week, Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty, in affiliation with the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, paid tribute at Queen’s Park to honour 19 Holocaust survivors  who were recognised for their courage, strength and commitment to their communities and contributions to the province. The Premier, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and MPP for York Centre, Monte Kwinter, presented each honouree with a scroll, and thanked them on behalf of Ontarians.

Also present were, the Consul General of Israel, Amir R. Gissin, the National Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, Fran Sonshine and Yaron Ashkenazi, Executive Director.

The presentation was concluded by an invitation to the survivors to attend the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, while members of all political parties stood out of respect as Kaddish was recited by Monte Kwinter MPP.

Out of 330,000 Canadians who identify their ethnic origin as Jewish, just under 200,000 live in the province of Ontario. The largest population, some 142,000 live in Toronto. Most of the Jewish Holocaust survivors who emigrated to Canada settled in the province of Ontario.

In 1998, the province of Ontario became the first jurisdiction outside of Israel to establish, by Act of Parliament, a Holocaust Memorial Day – Yom Hashoah, determined in each year by the Jewish lunar calendar, to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust

The Acts states: “Such a day would provide an opportunity to reflect on and educate about the enduring lessons of the Holocaust. This day shall also provide an opportunity to consider other instances of systematic destruction of peoples, human rights issues and the multicultural reality of modern society.”

Included in the above photo: Premier McGuinty, Minister Hoskins, MPP Kwinter and Holocaust survivors; Irene (Blasz) Csillag, Valentin Drobner, Philip Epstein, John Freund, Magda Hilf, Howard Kleinberg, Nancy Kleinberg, Pepa Livingstone, Manja Mapa, Willie Moll, Rose Philip, Dr. Nadia Rosa, Sally Rosen, Leon Rucker, David Shentow, Yael Gisela Spier Cohen, Jack (Szalom) Weinberger, Dr. Arthur Weisz, Helen Yermus.

(Photo credit: Ontario Government)

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KADDISH RECITED IN THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

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