Holocaust education pays tribute to those lost

Colin Muscat is proud of how the Jewish Federation of Edmonton’s Holocaust Education Committee has continued with its mandate during the pandemic. The Yom HaShoah virtual production in 2021 is especially a highlight for him. 

“I think we made something very special basically from scratch. It was a pleasure to see it all come together. I am glad of how we have been able to deliver quality programming and events to a virtual platform,” says Colin, the committee chair.

His volunteer role with the Federation has him leading the committee meetings and planning events with staff. He also is the secretary for the organization’s executive board. Colin wanted to volunteer for the Holocaust Education Committee because it was very active throughout the year. 

“I feel that Holocaust education is a very important duty to both the Jewish community and the public at large. As time passes, fewer people are aware of the significance of the Holocaust in history,” he says. 
“Most recently, we are seeing this in the misappropriation of Holocaust imagery and symbols by those involved in the anti-vaccine mandate movement. It is our obligation to educate the public about this unprecedented event in history. It is also our responsibility to pay tribute to the survivors in our community and remember those lives that were lost.”

Although it’s been a challenge to adapt programming to ensure public safety, the committee has been bringing in speakers with the support of the Edmonton and Calgary Public Libraries, the staff at the Edmonton office, and Marnie Bondar and Dahllia Libin, the co-chairs of the Calgary Holocaust Education Department. “I am extremely lucky to be supported by such dedicated people,” says Colin.

The committee organized an in-person Yom HaShoah ceremony this year at the Legislature grounds. There will be a second virtual Holocaust Symposium of this year for Alberta high school students in May. 

There are upcoming virtual programs with the Edmonton and Calgary Public Libraries, in collaboration with both Edmonton and Calgary Jewish Federations as well.