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Corporate Citizenship 


Global hands This week Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center was pleased to recognize the following Corporate Citizens for their sponsorship of the Spirit of Hope Benefit:

  • BMO Financial Group
  • CIBC Mellon


The Spirit of Hope Benefit brings together top business leaders, philanthropists, community and political leaders as well as the media in a celebration of the rights and freedoms championed by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. 


Now is the time to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to support tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values by sponsoring Spirit of Hope.


To join the growing list of Corporate Citizens and to purchase a table at the Spirit of Hope Benefit call 416.864.9735 x 22 or email president@fswc.ca today!    



Thumbs Up to the designers of a recently released app for iPads and
e-readers that will bring the story of Anne Frank alive for a new generation of students of the Holocaust.


Called "Beyond the Story" the app, released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, includes interactive links, voice-overs and video clips to help teach students about the life of Anne Frank and the tragedy of the Shoah.


"In an era of Holocaust revisionism and denial, using technology to enhance education about antisemitism and racism is a very positive development," noted FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. 


thumbs down 


Thumbs Down to the European Union (EU), which persists in its refusal to label Hezbollah as a terrorist group, despite growing evidence to the contrary. A recent report by Bulgaria clearly states Hezbollah was responsible for the July bus bombing that killed five Israelis tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.


Despite increasing pressure from Washington on the EU to state the obvious, Hezbollah continues to operate and fund raise freely in Europe. 


"France has taken a strong leadership role against terrorism in Africa, but remains afraid to confront the terrorists in its own backyard," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC). "Hezbollah is not only helping to export Iranian terror operations, but is supporting Syria's Bashar Assad in massacring Syrian civilians. The EU's hypocrisy is simply astounding and incomprehensible."


By Michael Oren in the Wall Street Journal

By Alexander Joffe in The Algemeiner







*  Despite claims by North Korea that the country has performed a third nuclear test this week, South Korean measurements have failed to detect any radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere.


Samples analyzed by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission could not detect whether the device was uranium or plutonium based; according to BBC reports it is possible that a "well-contained" blast would not produce radioactive isotopes.


*  Canada has agreed to extend the country's loan of a military transport plane to the French mission in Mali for another month.


Canada's commitment of the plane was set to expire today.



*  A confidential letter detailing al Qaeda's plans for conquering northern Mali has been found in a trash pile in Timbuktu.


The document provides a window into the terrorist organization and shows deep divisions within the group's African chapter.






Thought bubble

Every week FSWC hosts student workshops at the Tom and Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Center. The feedback we receive is often surprising and inspiring. We'd like to take this opportunity to share some of the comments we receive with you.


"We need to educate people about how it's not fair to judge and be racist towards other because it helps future generations not to hate people that are different from each other"


- Gr. 7 Student
  Toronto District School


February 15, 20133



Racist hoax posting 2.13 It may have been a poorly thought out hoax, or perhaps the writer believes the racial slurs written in the letter. One thing, however, is certain: a recent racist prank letter pasted on the letterhead of a Toronto high school and posted online underscores the vital importance of and need for tolerance-based education in Ontario schools.


The letter, which advised students and teachers about new school safety precautions to be taken with African-American students, included the following prejudiced comments: "Personal belongings are to be kept with you at all times ... In the halls avoid eye contact with African-American students. They have a higher chance of becoming aggressive when confronted. . . "Due to their aggressiveness African-American students will be made to pay an extra fee of $1.50 per purchase in 

the cafeteria."    


While most students at the high school shrugged off the obvious forgery, the letter was posted on twitter and went viral in the United States.


"Although this letter was clearly a hoax, the fact is that someone went to the trouble of printing and circulating the most offensive, repulsive and unacceptable comments against the black community," stated FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "This is exactly the type of bigotry that the Tour for Humanity mobile education center is designed to address and counter. This shocking incident shows how deeply ingrained racist attitudes can be."

CLICK HERE for information on the Tour for Humanity





Pat Wright & Ruth Ekstein The history of Black Germans during the Nazi era was the intriguing topic of discussion at an FSWC event in honour of Black History Month earlier this week. Guest speaker Pat Wright with the Centre for Civic Inclusion in Hamilton discussed the plight of black citizens living in Germany under the Nazis, and spoke at length about the little known genocide of close to 100,000 indigenous black Africans living under German colonial rule in modern day Namibia in the early 1900's. 


"It is pretty clear that this genocide was the blueprint and testing ground for the Nazi goal of achieving purity by slaughtering Jews and other 'inferior races'," said FSWC Director of Education Alanna Salpeter. "In fact, the doctor who conducted medical experiments on the indigenous Africans was also the mentor and teacher of Josef Mengele, whose horrific experiments in the concentration camps repeated his teacher's experiments on African children

German genocide of black Africansgenerations earlier."


Ms. Wright's statement that"Black History is for us all - it's not just about one group [because] the injustice to one is the injustice to all," struck a chord with her audience. Said one participant, "Ms. Wright shared a chapter in history that I didn't know about and the parallels to Jewish history are striking. This is what Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center stands for...it is not just about fighting antisemitism but about fighting all forms of hatred including racism and intolerance."


If you would like more information on Black Germans & the Holocaust contact Alanna Salpeter at 416.864.9735 x 24 or email asalpeter@fswc.ca




Corporate Responsibility As the Spirit of Hope Campaign launches into high gear one of the greatest sources of funding is Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's (FSWC) corporate sponsors. These sponsors are essential to our mission to make Canada a better place through the education of students, teachers, police officers and the public at large about the consequences of intolerance and hatred. 


More and more companies are realizing the wide-ranging benefits of supporting the Spirit of Hope and involving their businesses in the ongoing effort to promote tolerance, social justice and human rights. The benefits accrue, not only to FSWC but to corporations as well; those who support the Gala can be secure in the knowledge that their funding contributes to furthering the type of democratic and inclusive society in which both their businesses and families can flourish.


"It's really all about supporting a vision of Canada and the values of freedom and democracy that we all cherish and want to encourage," explained Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. "At the end of the day we hope for and work toward a better tomorrow, and strong corporate citizenship is a key element of our shared objectives."


To learn more about becoming a Corporate Sponsor of the Spirit of Hope Benefit call 416.864.9735 x 21 or email president@fswc.ca




 CIMADE LOGOFebruary 12, 2013The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed outrage at CIMADE, a French Protestant group that helped Jewish refugees escape the Nazis during WWII, who refused an invitation to a Holocaust commemoration in Marseilles because they deemed the commemoration's sponsor, CRIF - the prominent Jewish organization-to be too supportive of Israel.


"This is a triumph for the worldwide campaign to demonize Israel," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, adding, "The situation in Europe has deteriorated so profoundly that far too many Europeans have swallowed whole the big lie that Israel is an evil colonialist occupier."


"This latest outrage is an insult to the memory of the victims of the Shoah whose fate was sealed by an overwhelmingly uncaring European continent and whose lives would have been saved if there had actually been a State of Israel in 1938 instead of 1948. Frankly, we don't need those who are only prepared to have a moment of silence for 6 million dead Jews, but who are unwilling to show respect and solidarity for the 6 million living Jews who today are citizens of the State of Israel," Rabbi Cooper continued.




Buenos Aires Herald LogoFebruary 13, 2013- Simon Wiesenthal Center came on stage today to reject the Argentina-Iran deal signed last week to jointly investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, following the rejection of AMIA and DAIA Jewish community centres.


In a communiqu� sent to reporters, the Center first said that "AFP has reported that Iranian Defense Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, accused by Argentine authorities as complicit in the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish Center bombing, will not be subject to interrogation under the terms of the recently announced Argentine-Iranian 'Truth Committee' arrangement."


And stressed: "This deal breaker obliges Argentina to immediately anull this shameful farce".

READ MORE . . . 


                  FSWC PRESENTS:

Event button

Family Day on Ice!  ice skates


Join FSWC for a free afternoon of family skating fun and entertainment on ice featuring JoJo the Clown, hot chocolate and kosher cotton candy. 

Date & Time: February 18, 2013 /
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
Location: Larry Grossman Forest Hill
                               Memorial Arena
                                     340 Chaplin Crescent, Toronto
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS . . .                                     


Israel and the Struggle Within the United Church 
 Event buttonJoin United Church Reverend Andrew Love and Crossroads Television Sytem TV Producer/Host & Gatestone Institute Senior Advisor Christine Williams as they discuss the recent decision by the leadership of the United Church to boycott Israeli settlement producats. FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo will moderate.

Date & Time
: Monday, February 25, 2013 / 7:00 pm
Location: Beth Tzedec Synagogue / 1700 Bathurst St., Toronto 

To register contact Stephanie Eldridge at 416.864.9735 x 22 or email seldridge@fswc.ca


Stacey Starkman
Communications Manager
416.864.9735 x 32

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies is a non-profit human rights organization committed to countering racism and antisemitism, and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and education.

Call 416.864.9735  or Visit