Oct

27 2019

Legacy Symposium for Young Professionals

11:00AM - 2:30PM  

Oakham House, Ryerson University 55 Gould Street
Toronto, ON

The tenth annual symposium features engaging workshops that invite participants in their 20s and 30s to explore how learning and dialoguing about the Holocaust from a universal perspective demonstrates its continued relevance to 21st century Canadians. Sessions will address the topic through personal experiences, thought-provoking discussions, survivor engagement and art.

Featuring a keynote from Elizabeth Moore, former white supremacist and current educator on extremism, in conversation with Abigail Bimman, award-winning journalist and an Ottawa-based correspondent for Global National.

Elizabeth Moore is a speaker and educator on racist extremism in Canada. In 1995, at the age of 21, Elizabeth defected from The Heritage Front with the help of Bernie Farber and the Canadian Jewish Congress. A visit to the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and learning about the Holocaust left lasting impressions and were essential steps in the early part of her deradicalization process. During this intimate conversation, Elizabeth will share her story and what she’s learned about hatred through her experiences and activism work.

Join Neuberger YPs for an intimate, insightful conversation about how learning about the Holocaust, combating its denial, and facing antisemitism remains critically important to our lives today.

The day also includes workshops and opportunities to learn from a Holocaust survivor speaker, all focused on the contemporary relevance of learning about the Holocaust. Participants will be prompted to fill out their choices upon registration.  

The Legacy Symposium is generously sponsored by the Cohen Family Charitable Trust; and Dorothy & Pinchas Gutter in memory of his twin sister, Sabina. 

A symposium for people in their 20s and 30s. The program is free of charge. Light lunch will be served; Kashruth observed.

REGISTRATION: 10:30 AM / PROGRAM BEGINS: 11:00 AM

WORKSHOP #1: 11:00 - 11:45 AM (choose 1 of 4)

  • Making New Jewish Art from Traces of a Jewish Past in Poland - the artists of Mi Polin, Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar, in conversation with Miriam Borden (doctoral student in Yiddish) 
    Over the last six years, Warsaw-based artists Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar have driven over 50,000 kilometres and visited over 70 cities and towns in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Romania in search of remnants of mezuzot that once hung on the doorposts of Jewish homes. They transform each visible mezuzah trace into a design for a brand new mezuzah, created under the banner of their company, MI POLIN (Hebrew for “From Poland”) - the first Judaica brand in Poland since the Second World War. As the artist duo makes new Jewish ritual objects, they also uncover the stories of the Jewish families that once lived in these homes. Join Helena and Aleksander in conversation with Miriam Borden (PhD student in Jewish Studies, University of Toronto) for an illustrated presentation on this passion project, how it strengthens their Polish-Jewish identities, and the surprising, inspiring story of making Jewish art in Poland today.

  • Encountering Antisemitism in the Workplace - panel discussion
    Noah Waksman, a flight instructor, will recount a personal workplace antisemetic incident, and his path to figuring out how to respond. Panelists including Davida Shiff, employment lawyer, Torys, and Det. Brian Urkosky and Det. Cst. Kiran Bisla of the Toronto Police Hate Crimes Unit will speak to encountering antisemitism, hate, and harassment in the workplace and how to handle it from their professional perspectives. How do we define a hate crime? What is workplace harassment and how do we report it, and to whom? In a time of rising antisemitism and racism, participants will be empowered with knowledge and strategies to best face and counter it in the future.

  • Art Restitution & Memorialization of the Holocaust in Austria – Pia Schoelnberger (Federal Chancellery of Austria, Ministry of Arts and Culture)
    Decades after the Holocaust, international organizations, countries, museums, collectors, and researchers face the difficult task of tracing art, uncovering the human stories and significance of these precious items - and sometimes, successfully restoring them to their rightful owners or heirs. Pia Schoelnberger (Federal Chancellery of Austria) is responsible for a variety of different projects including provenance research which helps trace looted items from victims of National Socialism. Austria’s art restitution law has resulted in the restitution of more than 62,000 objects. In this interactive, illustrated talk, Pia Schoelnberger will explore select cases of recovery and restitution, bringing life to the narratives of individuals and objects, and share why these efforts remain central to 21st century Austrian governments and leaders, and relevant to us today.

  • The Soap Myth: Holocaust Memory in a Post-Truth Age – Daniel Panneton (Neuberger HEC)
    Many people have heard about the infamous myth that the Nazis produced soap from Holocaust victims, but few know how it developed and came to be an inextricable aspect of Holocaust memory. What relevance does an infamous Holocaust myth have in a Post-Truth Age? How will we address and protect memory against denial after the last survivor is gone? By unpacking the history and meaning behind a bar of allegedly human soap from the Neuberger’s collection, Daniel Panneton explores the intricacy and nuance of memory, its weaponization by Holocaust deniers, and how mischaracterization can be fought.

WORKSHOP #2: 11:55 AM - 12:40 PM (Survivor Testimony - choose 1 of 2)

  • Why My Story Still Needs to Be Told: Elly Gotz, Holocaust Survivor Speaker and author of "Flights of Spirit"
    Elly Gotz was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1928. His father worked in a bank and his mother was a nurse. Beginning in 1941, Elly survived three years in the ghetto/camp in Kovno and then one year in the Dachau concentration camp, where he was liberated by the American army in 1945. After the war, he lived in Germany, Norway, Rhodesia and South Africa. Elly immigrated to Toronto in 1964, where he established various businesses and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. In 2017, at age eighty-nine, he fulfilled another aeronautical dream by going skydiving. His memoir, Flights of Spirit, was published by the Azrieli Foundation in 2018.

  • Why My Story Still Needs to Be ToldMax Eisen, Holocaust Survivor Speaker and author of "By Chance Alone"
    Max Eisen was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia in 1929. In 1944 his family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau where most of them were immediately murdered except for Max, his father, and his uncle who worked as slave labourers in the camp. Max survived the death march in January 1945 to Mauthausen, Melk, and Ebensee and was liberated by the American 761st Black Panther Tank Battalion on May 6, 1945. He returned to Czechoslovakia where he spent 3 years in an orphanage and immigrated to Toronto in 1949. He is a passionate speaker and educator. Max’s memoir, By Chance Alone, won Canada Reads 2019, defended by Ziya Tong, and was a finalist for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize and for the 2017 Non-Fiction Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature.

  • The Soap Myth: Holocaust Memory in a Post-Truth Age – Daniel Panneton (Neuberger HEC)
    Many people have heard about the infamous myth that the Nazis produced soap from Holocaust victims, but few know how it developed and came to be an inextricable aspect of Holocaust memory. What relevance does an infamous Holocaust myth have in a Post-Truth Age? How will we address and protect memory against denial after the last survivor is gone? By unpacking the history and meaning behind a bar of allegedly human soap from the Neuberger’s collection, Daniel Panneton explores the intricacy and nuance of memory, its weaponization by Holocaust deniers, and how mischaracterization can be fought.

LUNCH: 12:40 PM FOLLOWED BY KEYNOTE

PROGRAM CONCLUDES 2:30 PM