“Over the past 20 years, I have become attached to educating eleven and twelve-year-old children, because I can share my own experience as a young c...
“Over the past 20 years, I have become attached to educating eleven and twelve-year-old children, because I can share my own experience as a young child Holocaust survivor. I meet children from many different schools all over Quebec and North America, and I can understand their perspectives and the questions they ask; they’re ones that I would have liked to ask as a child.
It’s very uplifting to know that I’m changing lives with this knowledge. Many of the children reflect and realize that such things happened to ordinary families like their own. It’s important to educate them as young as possible, so they learn the lessons of history, carry our stories with them, and consider the role they play in making the world a more tolerant place.”
Each year more than 16,000 people, 70% of whom are students, are sensitized to the dangers of intolerance through Holocaust education, thanks to your support.
“My connection to the Gesher Chai program started in the 10th grade. On our trip to Montreal for Israel Memorial and Independence Day, we got to hea...
“My connection to the Gesher Chai program started in the 10th grade. On our trip to Montreal for Israel Memorial and Independence Day, we got to hear what our Canadian peers have to say about Israel, and to share our perspective with them. Then, we welcomed the delegation to Beer Sheva, which was exciting as we had become friends and kept in touch. Gesher Chai helped us to make connections with Canadian Jews that continued long after the visits ended. It helped all of us to see that we are not so different.
I want to see Gesher Chai continue to grow, so more Jewish students from all over the world can connect with each other. It is something that remains a part of you and can change everything: The way you look at life, the way you see yourself, the way you see Judaism."
Last year, over 5,000 students from 29 schools in Montreal and Israel participated in activities that help build relationships, sustain common bonds, and develop leadership skills to enhance Jewish vibrancy in our communities.
“I had the privilege of meeting Sidney in preparation for a Holocaust education experience to Poland and Israel, and by chance found out that he kne...
“I had the privilege of meeting Sidney in preparation for a Holocaust education experience to Poland and Israel, and by chance found out that he knew my grandfather. Our families had similar Holocaust survival experiences – both coming to Canada on the same boat and later living in Montreal as neighbours. By the time I was old enough to learn about the Holocaust, my grandfather had Alzheimer’s and could not tell me his testimony. The stories Sidney relayed became my closest connection to my personal family history. I will be forever grateful for meeting Sidney.” - Chelsea
“After meeting Chelsea and surprising her with the news that I knew of her grandparents, I began to tell her about her family and some details about their survival story. I knew more about her family than she did. We formed a close bond and during the long days of our trip we talked a lot. It’s important to share my experiences with so many young people. Through them as our witnesses, our stories will live on.” - Sidney
Over 3,800 students from Montreal have participated in an immersive Holocaust education experience since the program began in 1988, with up to $100,000 in scholarships provided annually.
“As an Ethiopian Jew living in Montreal, we have some unique traditions and observances, such as the holiday of Sigd, when we come together to pray ...
“As an Ethiopian Jew living in Montreal, we have some unique traditions and observances, such as the holiday of Sigd, when we come together to pray and fast 50 days after Yom Kippur. This year, we hosted a gathering in the community centre to learn about the holiday, break the fast and celebrate together. Having the support of the larger Jewish community ensures that our history and culture are preserved. I am proud to contribute to the diversity of our community’s rich culture and to celebrate its importance within society.”
Last year, Federation CJA supported over 40 organizations that strengthen culture and preserve our heritage, enriching Jewish life in Montreal and building Jewish identity.