CAEF Celebrates and Shares a New Initiative
May is Jewish Heritage Month across Canada, a time to stand as proud Jews, share our rich and very diverse culture, learn and teach about our history, and the many and wonderful contributions that Jews have made in Canada and globally. It is also a time to share the miracle and wonders of Israel, our ancient and forever homeland, its 75 year history and its innovations that help serve and shape the world. While this is coming at the end of May, CAEF is proud to be making a major contribution towards learning about Jewish Heritage.
It is also a time to come together to combat the rising tide of antisemitism. Jew hatred is as old as our people, and “in every generation, they rise up to destroy us.” This is not mere rhetoric nor a “buba misah”, but a fact. And today, there is growing global normalization of Jew hatred, of lies and bigotry about Israel, resulting in blaming Jews for all kinds of evil. That which people most abhor is what the Jews are blamed for: apartheid, ethnic cleansing, oppression, white privilege.
Today there is Holocaust denial, inversion, trivialization and banal comparisons to every other “oppression” or subjugation, every genocide, and even conflicts that did not result in any mass murder. These are all false, belittling, smears against the Jewish people. The study of the Holocaust, devoid of other Jewish history is having little or no impact on reducing antisemitism. We must find connections with people, create more impact, and empathy.
CAEF announces the release of CAEF Educational Resources, which are Ontario curriculum-compliant lesson plans for grades sk-12, and a well annotated listing of material for educators—books, articles and videos. The information in our lesson plans is based on primary sources or evidence. It is intended to ensure that students of all backgrounds, have a safe educational environment that respects all minorities. The resource offers high interest stories and documented facts based on primary material or books which used such documents.
This educational resource is not only based on the language arts, social studies, literacy and history, within curriculum guidelines, but also on the development of pride that Jews feel for the Jewish national homeland, and the democratic principles on which it is based, and which it shares with Canada.
CAEF’s volunteer Education Committee and professional educators are inviting teachers to access this information, and provide feedback. We believe that including aspects of the long Jewish experience in our lessons, will aid all students to see the world as “a window and a mirror.” Students will appreciate the fullness of Jewish history, and find stories of interest and meaning that encourage them to be critical thinkers, to be motivated to do research into primary sources, and to discuss topics respectfully.
Access the CAEF Educational Resources here, search under various topic headings or grades. Feedback is welcome. Usage is free with appropriate attribution as all material is copyrighted.
This Jewish Heritage Month, CAEF welcomes everyone to learn more about Jewish heritage.
Contact Sydell Waxman, Education Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.