Bill Introduced to Proclaim May as Jewish Heritage Month

Centre for Jewish and Israel Affairs, UJA Federation, Commend Bill

By Daniel Horowitz--On Wednesday,  November 30, 2011, M.P.P Mike Colle, Eglinton-Lawrence,  introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the Ontario Legislature titled An Act to Proclaim the Month of May Jewish Heritage Month, which was co-sponsored by Peter Shurman of the Progressive Conservative Party and Cheri DiNovo of the NDP.

This Bill, the Jewish Heritage Month Act, 2011, offers all Ontarians an opportunity to recognize the important contributions that Jewish Canadians have made to Ontario’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric. Jewish Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the inspirational role that Jewish Canadians have played, and continue to play, in communities across Ontario.

“This bill would create an opportunity for Ontarians of all backgrounds to share and celebrate the long and vibrant history of the Jewish community in Ontario.” says M.P.P. Colle.

May was chosen because it is a significant month for the Jewish Canadian community. Various Jewish artistic and cultural events such as the United Jewish Appeal Walk with Israel, Toronto Jewish Film Festival and Jewish Music Week occur in May. Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) and Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut) also frequently occur in May. In 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May as Jewish American Heritage Month in the United States.

David Spiro, Greater Toronto Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the advocacy arm of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and other Canadian Federations, released the following statement today commending the introduction of this legislation:

“The Jewish community has a long, distinguished heritage in this province spanning well over 200 years. More than half of our country’s 360,000 Jewish Canadians live in Ontario. We are proud of the role our community has played in the province’s history, and will continuing working with Ontarians of all backgrounds to help ensure that Ontario remains a great home for future generations.”

“The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto appreciate and support this multi-partisan initiative. We hope that, through our varied programs and events, Jewish Heritage Month will be meaningful not only for the Jewish community, but for all the people of Ontario.”

The Bill will come up for debate early in 2012.


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