HRC Campus Media Fellows Published In The March Edition Of The Insider, Vanier College’s Student Magazine!

On April 3rd, 2023, two of our media fellows, Alexandra Malamud and Michaela Dadoun were published in Vanier College’s Student Magazine, The Insider, on why Holocaust awareness is still relevant in 2023, and how we must educate others and do our best to stop antisemitism from spreading.


Click here to read Michaela’s article.

Why Holocaust Awareness Is Just As Relevant in 2023

By Alexandra Malamud

Antisemitism is defined as hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people. The Holocaust was shown to be the most extreme example of antisemitism ever to occur, resulting in the persecution and murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany. However, violent antisemitism and hatred did not end with Nazi Germany’s defeat. Antisemitism has been on the rise, and it remains a critical issue today.

The Holocaust was the most profound expression of antisemitism. Antisemitism has endangered and continues to threaten the safety of Jewish people and communities worldwide. Like all forms of intolerance and discrimination, Jew hatred undermines peace and human rights and, most concerning, it has entered the mainstream. Once on the peripheries of society, antisemitism now hides in plain sight and has become normalized and weaponized. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that awareness of the Holocaust is crucial to counter and eliminate antisemitism. Essentially, the solution to combating and eradicating antisemitism is education. Awareness is both a short-term security imperative and a long-term educational investment. It will promote human rights and global citizenship, as well as prevent future acts of violence motivated by hate and prejudice.

This task of educating and creating awareness of the Holocaust is easier said than done. Thus, the question is not whether that the Holocaust should be taught in schools, but rather how it should be taught to accomplish the true goal of awareness.

The Holocaust should not only be taught at the primary and secondary school levels, but at college and university as well. Universities can learn from the prominent Holocaust museums in North America as to the most effective manner in which a topic as difficult as the Holocaust can be taught. For example, the Montreal Holocaust Museum lists eleven recommendations for teaching about the Holocaust to middle and high school students. Similar recommendations are found in the mission statements of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museums and the Vancouver Holocaust Center.

As a result of education on the reasons why and how the Holocaust occurred, a general awareness of the Holocaust will find its way into society. The result will be a broader understanding of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis, which will expand into discussions on related topics such as global human rights. Hopefully, studying this history will create an atmosphere of discussion amongst students that will lead to a consensus whereby all global citizens can enjoy fundamental human rights and recognize how the Jewish people were on the receiving end of avowed efforts to annihilation. The goal is to prevent the elements of divisiveness which lead to societal conflict. In short, Holocaust awareness can be an effective tool in the prevention not only of further acts of antisemitism, but also to prevent future atrocities throughout the world. In addition, Holocaust awareness will also be an effective tool for combating Holocaust deniers and those who distort the Holocaust, often for political purposes or to marginalize Jewish victimhood. The only way to fight lies and misinformation is by spreading truth.Elie Wiesel’s wise words correspond perfectly with this topic. “Education is the key to preventing the cycle of violence and hatred that marred the 20th century from repeating itself in the 21st century.” Let’s help spread awareness and properly educate those misinformed.


Antisemitism

By Michaela Dadoun

In recent years, Jews around the world have experienced an eruption of antisemitism throughout their communities. Alarmingly, there is rarely a day that goes by without hearing of an incident involving either a physical assault, an antisemitic slur or even sometimes deadly attacks targeting Jews somewhere in the world. In the backdrop of this climate of hatred directed at the Jewish people, how can we as a community and as a society, help shape this world to being a more accepting, safer place for people of all religions, backgrounds and beliefs?

After all, antisemitism is an irrational hatred of Jews. It’s not that Jews did or didn’t do something that has led people to discriminate against them and to target the Jewish community writ large. So what explains the dramatic rise in antisemitism?

Every time I hear of another terrible incident that happens where Jews are targeted; I crumble inside. Recently, as I started my journey in CEGEP, there have been situations that have hit closer to home which deeply affect me. What I find most sad about this situation is the ignorance. People say things and act in ways that are hurtful to others without even realizing it. Situations such as Kanye West threatening to go death con 3 against the Jews, NBA star Kyrie Irving sharing antisemetic films on his social media and so much more has proven to me how ignorant people in our world can be. When people who have such high social positions in the world speak against the Jewish people, it gives all the people who do not know better a reason to hate us even more. Now, more than ever, Jews must stand up for ourselves and do all we can to educate those around us about the need to forcefully combat Jew hatred.

Recently in Montreal, at a neighbouring CEGEP college, an antisemitic incident occurred against my friends. This past Halloween, students showed up to Dawson College dressed up in the spirit of the day. Everybody loves to have a good time and get creative with their costumes until people go overboard. As shown in videos that were circulating on social media and as I heard directly from some of my friends who were at the scene, a group of students created a path for a student who marched through dressed up as a German soldier. Despite the student’s claims that he was dressed in a post-World War II uniform and that he had no animus towards the Jewish people, his march and salute was nevertheless unnerving. The feeling of uncomfort and danger that filled my body when seeing this was indescribable. I am not sure why this is something that anybody would find funny or appropriate to do and something needs to change.

Normalization of antisemitism leads to weaponization of Jew hatred. The same way that, rightfully so, nobody would dare walk around on Halloween mocking other races or ethnicities, it should be no different for Jews. We must spread awareness, we must educate and we must do our best to stop antisemitism from spreading. As a CEGEP student, a campus ambassador and a proud Jew, I feel the responsibility to keep working as hard as I can to ensure that Jewish students can walk around campus without any fear that something may happen to them.

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