Toronto, ON – The Government of Canada has announced a significant investment of more than $2.5 million in UJA Federation’s Toronto Holocaust Museum, a decision that was met with appreciation and applause from Toronto’s Jewish community.
“We are grateful for this exceptional investment from the Government of Canada, which will help ensure that more people in Greater Toronto – especially youth – learn the vital lessons of the past and recognize the dangers of antisemitism and bigotry today,” said Adam Minsky, President & CEO of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, of which the Museum is a part. “The new museum is an incredibly important tool in our community’s efforts to combat rising antisemitism. The government’s investment speaks volumes of its commitment to that mission, as well as its recognition of the high standard of excellence that the Museum represents in this important field.”
“Our government stands with Jewish communities across Canada and the world,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “We are committed to upholding the values of diversity and inclusion, including tackling antisemitism and discrimination in all their forms. We are proud that our support for the Toronto Holocaust Museum will improve accessibility to arts and heritage, promote Holocaust education, combat antisemitism and help build a more inclusive Canada.”
The new 10,000-square-foot Toronto Holocaust Museum, which will open in spring of 2023, will inspire students and visitors to think deeply about the Holocaust, while making connections with antisemitism and racism today, current events in the world, and contemporary Canadian life. With the passage of time and the sad decline in the number of Holocaust survivors in Toronto, the Museum will use cutting-edge technology and educational tools to preserve and transmit the experiences of survivors for future generations.
“Sadly, we are approaching the end of the era in which survivors can offer firsthand testimony about what happened to them and their families during the Holocaust,” said Minsky. “This significant investment will help ensure that students will continue to learn from survivors through an immersive technological experience that preserves and honours their memory and legacy.”
Federal funding for the Museum comes from two grants provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Cultural Spaces Fund will support both the architectural fit up and fabrication of the Museum’s state-of-the-art exhibits. The second grant from the Digital Access to Heritage, part of the Museums Assistance Program, will fund technology with French content and French translation. This will ensure access for the French-speaking population, which is essential in connecting with a diverse range of student populations across the province.
For more information or to set up interviews:
Dara Solomon, Executive Director
Toronto Holocaust Museum
Read the Department of Canadian Heritage press release, here.
In 2023, UJA’s Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre will be transformed into the newly built Toronto Holocaust Museum. As the premier destination for Holocaust education in Greater Toronto, the Museum will present an immersive educational experience for students and visitors from all walks of life. The Museum’s thoughtfully designed space has the capacity for greatly expanded programming to engage a wide range of audiences with this difficult history, while ensuring visitors reflect on its contemporary relevancy. We are grateful to the Azrieli Foundation for their generous support as lead donor in this initiative.
The museum’s five themed galleries will engage visitors through participation and interaction which incorporate films, artifacts, images, testimonies, interactive maps, and curated tours on tablets. The customizable experience shares the narratives of the Holocaust—stories of trauma, resilience, and survival—essential to Jewish and Canadian history. Through its exhibits and programs, the Toronto Holocaust Museum will generate knowledge and understanding about the Holocaust and serve as a forum for dialogue about civil society for present and future generations.