Category : In the News

This is Our Legacy Gala: Celebrating 30 Years of the March of the Living

For 30 years, the March of the Living has engaged, impacted and changed the lives of more than 12,000 participants. From high school students, to young adults, to older adults and the remarkable survivor educators, the March has provided a powerful life-changing experience for all who have had the opportunity to participate.

The 30th Anniversary Gala will celebrate the success of the March of the Living and secure the financial viability of Holocaust education travel programs for years to come, ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust continue to be imparted to as many people as possible, and particularly our youth.

Our remarkable survivor educators have given selflessly of themselves to educate others, despite living through painful memories ignited by returning to the sights of the horrors they endured. In recognition of this extraordinary contribution to future generations, each survivor educator from Toronto will be honored that evening for their courage of spirit. Each will be recognized with a Legacy Fund established in their name at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto from the proceeds of the Gala.

Eli Rubenstein, a driving force and visionary leader, is the only person who has been involved in every March since its inception in Canada in 1988. Eli will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment and unceasing dedication to promoting and enhancing the March of the Living program. A Legacy Fund will also be established from the Gala’s proceeds in Eli’s name to permanently recognize his contributions.

Opportunities exist to honour any or all of our survivor educators, Eli Rubenstein, or the March of the Living program in general. We invite you to become a sponsor and be part of what promises to be an extraordinary and meaningful evening!

Learn more about the gala here.

Donate to a Legacy Fund in honour of a Survivor Educator or Eli Rubenstein


Another Sunrise & Farewell, Auschwitz – Saturday, February 10 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 11 at 2:00 pm

Saturday, February 10 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, February 11 at 2:00 pm – Another Sunrise & Farewell, Auschwitz, the Canadian premiere of two one-act operas by composer Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking, Moby Dick). These two one-act operas centre around Krystyna Zywulska, the Polish dissident, writer and Auschwitz-survivor.

Tickets available through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/another-sunrise-farewell-auschwitz-opera-tickets-42240418228 or call 416-781-3511.

another sunrise

Witness: Passing the Torch of Holocaust Memory to New Generations Opens at the United Nations with MOL Alumna Jordana Lebowitz

Tonight’s opening of the March of the Living 30th Anniversary Exhibit “Witness” at the United Nations, hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, will be broadcast live and on-demand on the UN Web TV beginning at 7PM at http://webtv.un.org.

Monday (Jan 29th) an event is being sponsored at the UN by Ambassador Danny Danon, permanent representative of Israel to the UN as part of next week’s Holocaust Education Remembrance events at the UN. We expect about 50 UN ambassadors to attend.

The event features the launch of and Exhibit called:: Witness: Passing the Torch of Holocaust Memory to New Generations, which contains reflections and images of Holocaust survivors and students who have traveled on the March of the Living since 1988.

There will be a great deal of Canadian content at the event.

The March of the Living Exhibit itself – Witness: Passing the Torch of Holocaust Remembrance to New Generations – contains photos and poems largely from Canadian Holocaust survivors and students. Further the MC and one of the main speakers is a Canadian student – Jordana Lebowitz – who is an alumna of the 2012 March of the Living program.

Jordana recently co-wrote a book about her experiences covering the Oskar Groening trial in Germany which she attended along with three Canadian March of the Living survivors – Max Eisen, Hedy Bohm, & Bill Glied – who testified at the trial. She was inspired to cover the trial and write the book because of her March of the Living experience. See this link for her speech. https://youtu.be/0cxNknDTkFk

Dinner of Miracles XI – Thomas Walther’s Speech

Madam/Mister Chairman,
ladies and gentlemen,
and may I include all of you when I address you most sincerely as – My dear friends!

It was November 3rd when Rabbi Eli Rubenstein asked me whether I would be willing to come at Hanukkah and speak to you all in Toronto. My diary was already well filled with appointments for the days before Christmas. But a diary does not necessarily reflect all the expectations and wishes of people with whom I am bound in love and affection. So it is the ties of affection which have brought me to meet you here today.

You wish me to describe the Groening trial, including the events leading up to it, its planning and execution.

But I would like to start by sharing with you some remarks concerning my own spiritual connection to the guiding principle of Hanukkah.

Read the full speech:
Thomas_Walter_December 10,2015

Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA stands in solidarity w/Muslim community

Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA stands in solidarity with the Muslim community following an act of terrorism that left six people dead and eight others injured after a shooting at a Quebec City mosque Sunday night.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this tragedy.  In these unprecedented times, we must stand together against hatred and violence. The Canadian Jewish community stands in solidarity with the Muslim community of Quebec City and Canada as they struggle to deal with the aftermath of this act of terrorism in the days to come.”
– Julia Berger Reitman, Chair of Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA

Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Quebec said “the Jewish community is horrified by the murderous shooting at the Sainte-Foy mosque. Nothing justifies the murder of innocent civilians assembled in a place of worship. Our thoughts are with the victims and their relatives, as well as all our fellow Muslim citizens.”

David J. Cape, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following: “Last night’s deadly attack on the mosque in Ste-Foy, Quebec is horrifying and repugnant. Canadian Jewry stands in solidarity with the Muslim community and we say unequivocally that an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families.

“We call on Jews across the country to join our Muslim brothers and sisters and all Canadians of good faith and participate in solidarity vigils from coast to coast. Standing together, our determination to reject this hatred, will be the most powerful response to intolerance and violence.

“There is no room for such acts of hate in our society, and we are confident that Canadian law enforcement will bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to swift justice.”

Prime minister Justin Trudeau affirmed on Twitter the values the Jewish community shares with Canada “Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society. We will not close our minds. We will open our hearts.” Read his full statement here

Canada has always been a country that celebrates diversity and multiculturalism and espouses the values of peace and tolerance.  Solidarity vigils are scheduled in communities across the country. Contact your local federation for details on events in your area.