Lit candles placed side by side in a row

Recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 8:12am
Alexandra Gillespie

To the UTM Community,

On 27 January, we recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, the day provides an important occasion to remember the more than six million Jewish people murdered by the Nazi regime; to recall the Romani, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, persons with disabilities, and political dissidents killed at the same time; and to educate future generations about the Holocaust’s atrocities and their lasting effects. We must never forget.

In Canada and around the world, Jewish communities continue to face hatred, bigotry and violence, exemplified again earlier this month in the attack against Montreal’s Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue. International Holocaust Remembrance Day affords an opportunity to condemn such anti-Semitism, both past and present, and consider the steps necessary to eliminate all forms of faith-based discrimination. To never forget, as the historian and Holocaust survivor Marian Turski declared, means to never remain indifferent against lies, discrimination and political violence.

At the University of Toronto, we affirm our commitment against hate in aiming to foster an inclusive environment where everyone can learn, work and thrive. To support ongoing efforts against discrimination, the University has formed an Anti-Semitism Working Group that will review current programming, processes and practices and make recommendations for positive change. I encourage all members of the UTM community to learn more about the working group, to engage with its goals, and to provide feedback at anti.semitism.working.group@utoronto.ca.

I also encourage you to consult the offices listed below, all of which drive key initiatives against faith-based discrimination and racism and provide support, services and education:

Thank you.