CIJA was honoured to play a role in the Government of British Columbia’s observance of Yom HaShoah at the provincial legislature. Seven candles were lit at the ceremony – 6 for the Jewish men, women and children and 1 in memory of the non-Jewish victims, including members of the Roma, LGBTQ2+ and people with disabilities
We wanted to share some touching photos from the ceremony, which was attended by 40 Holocaust Survivors, as well as Provincial leaders including Premier John Horgan, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson, and MLAs Sam Sullivan and Nicholas Simons. In addition to representatives from CIJA, other organizations that were involved included the Jewish Federation of Vancouver, Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Victoria Holocaust Remembrance and Education Society and the Victoria Shoah Project.
British Columbia recognizes Yom Ha’Shoah, remembers Holocaust
Holocaust survivors participated in a ceremony at the Parliament Buildings today to remember the six million Jewish people who were murdered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.
“We must never forget the Holocaust,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have a moral and ethical duty to challenge those who spread hatred, and to protect vulnerable people in our communities.”
The Yom Ha’Shoah ceremony included the lighting of seven candles: Six candles for the six million Jewish people who were murdered as part of the Holocaust, and the seventh to remember others who were targeted by the Nazis, including Roma people, people of diverse sexual and gender identities, and people with disabilities.
For the ceremony, Premier Horgan was joined by Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson, and MLAs Sam Sullivan and Nicholas Simons, as well as representatives from The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Pacific Region, the Jewish Federation of Vancouver, Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Victoria Holocaust Remembrance and Education Society and the Victoria Shoah Project, as well as over 40 Holocaust survivors.
“Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of the tragic loss of life that can and does occur when individuals do not intervene to fight systematic persecution and hatred. In this day and age, when racism and anti-Semitism sadly still exist, and when minorities like the Jewish community continue to be the target of discrimination and hatred, we must not allow the lessons of the Holocaust and the memory of the victims to be forgotten,” said Nico Slobinsky, director, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Pacific region.
“As the number of survivors dwindles, it rests upon us to act as witnesses and carry this message to the next generation: never forget, never again,” Slobinsky continued. “Today’s commemoration is a testament of the leadership and willingness of the Province of B.C. to fulfill this important endeavour. British Columbians must continue to be vigilant to ensure that racism, bigotry and discrimination have no place here.”