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archival descriptions
Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre fonds File
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Sub-sub-series consists of records generated and accumulated as a result of the VHEC’s organization of the Kristallnacht commemorative event in Vancouver, held annually in early November. Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” was a state-sponsored pogrom the night of November 9th, 1938; hundreds of synagogues in Germany and Austria were burned, Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed, nearly 100 Jews were killed and 30,000 men were sent to concentration camps. The mandate of the Kristallnacht Commemorative Program Committee was: to produce an informative, educational lecture that helps the community gain a deeper understanding of the events of the Holocaust, its implication for society and on the community, to bring in leading scholars, writers, researchers and thinkers who would not otherwise be heard in the community, and to foster dialogue by informing the community about the history of the Holocaust.

Records in sub-series were generated by volunteer members of the Kristallnacht Commemorative Program Committee and by VHEC staff. They include promotional materials, participant lists, press releases, instructions to candle-lighters, newspaper clippings, correspondence, meeting minutes, budgets, transcripts of speeches and notes.

Annual symposium on the Holocaust

Sub-sub-series consists of records documenting the organization of the Annual High School Symposium on the Holocaust. Prior to the opening of the VHEC, the annual symposium was organized by members of the Canadian Jewish Congress – Pacific Region’s Standing Committee on the Holocaust. In 1995, the responsibility for organizing the event was transferred to the VHEC and its High School Symposium Committee. In 2010, the Symposium Committee was disbanded and its activities brought under the banner of the VHCS’s Program Committee. From the first symposium in 1976 to 2017, the event was held at the University of British Columbia and attended by high school students from around the region.

Records in sub-sub-series include programs, video documentation, lists, correspondence, photographs, budgets, committee meeting minutes and planning documents created or received by staff of the VHEC or volunteer members of the VHCS and its Symposium Committee.

Primo Levi conference

Sub-sub-series consists of records accumulated by Roberta S. Kremer in her role as coordinator of the first Canadian conference on the work of the Italian writer Primo Levi, held in Vancouver in November 1995. Conference was sponsored by the VHEC, UBC, the Italian Cultural Centre and the Italian Cultural Institute. Events programmed as part of the conference included a film, concert, lectures and panels.

Records in sub-sub-series are correspondence, promotional materials, a bibliography, teachers’ guide, publicity clippings and other documents. Records pertaining to the editing and publication of Memory and Mastery: Primo Levi as Writer and Witness, edited by Roberta S. Kremer and published as part of the State University of New York series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture, are included in this sub-sub-series.

Book events

Sub-sub-series is comprised of literary event programming records hosted or sponsored by the VHEC or VHCS. Some events hosted as part of annual the Jewish Book Week.

Yom HaShoah

Sub-sub series consists of records generated and accumulated as a result of the VHEC’s participation in and organization of events marking Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), observed in April or May each year on or around the 27th day of Nisan in order to mourn the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, and to pay tribute to the Jewish resistance during that period. Yom HaShoah was first observed in Israel in 1951; it was anchored in a law passed by the Knesset in 1959 and is observed by Jewish communities internationally. The VHEC’s annual program brings together Holocaust survivors, successive generations and the wider public for candle-lighting, music and speakers. Programs were planned by volunteer members of the Warsaw Ghetto Committee, the Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Yom HaShoah committee of the VHCS. After 2014 Yom HaShoah commemorative events have been organized by staff of the VHEC.

Records in sub-sub series include promotional materials, press releases, newspaper clippings, correspondence, notes, budgets and other documents created and/or kept by VHEC staff.

Survivor Outreach Program

Records in this sub-sub-series are created and kept by members of the Outreach Committee and by staff of the VHEC and pertain to educational outreach programming on the subject of the Holocaust in BC. At the time of the opening of the VHEC, the Outreach Committee’s mandate was to provide knowledge of the events of the Holocaust to BC students, educators and special interest groups through eyewitness testimony. Committee members trained and scheduled docents and speakers to share their memories of the Holocaust, including experiences of discrimination, segregation, separation from and loss of family, as well as life in hiding, the ghettos, concentration camps, liberation and immigration to Canada. Survivor outreach speakers visit schools and other locations to tell their personal stories, promote anti-racism and challenge youth to become committed and responsible global citizens, alert to bullying, discrimination, racism and genocide.

Sub-sub-series consists of textual records and photographs generated as a result of survivor outreach programming by the members of the Outreach Committee and by staff of the VHEC. Records in sub-series include minutes, notes, reports, letters from students and program lists. Records documenting district symposia are included in sub-sub-series.

The Past Hangs Over the Future conference

Sub-sub-series consists of programs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, budgets, rental agreements, essays and other documents to do with the development and planning of The Past Hangs Over the Future: Reconciliation and the Responsibility of the Second Generation conference, held in 1998.

High Holidays memorial service

Sub-sub-series is comprised of records created and kept by the VHCS and later, the VHEC, as a result of the organization of and participation in commemorative events held at the site of BC’s Holocaust Memorial, built by the VHCS’s Holocaust Memorial Committee and unveiled in 1987 at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery in New Westminster. The memorial was intended to give members of the Jewish community a physical space to remember loved ones lost during the Holocaust, and to ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten. The VHCS’s Cemetery Service Committee, and later, staff of the VHEC programmed an annual ceremony on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the High Holidays), a Sunday traditionally observed as a time of the year to remember those who have passed away. Some programs are presented with the Schara Tzedeck congregation and the Jewish War Veterans.
Records in sub-sub-series include promotional material, correspondence, notes and planning documents.

Judgement on Nuremberg: Symposium and student mock trial

Sub-sub-series consists of invitations, correspondence, promotional materials, newspaper clippings, docent notes, teachers’ guide and other materials generated as a result of the organization of the Judgement on Nuremberg symposium and student mock trial school program presented by the VHEC in 1996. Mock trial school program was re-presented in 2008; records generated as a result of the organization of that school program included in sub-sub-series.

Dr. [Leonard H.] Ehrlich lecture

File consists of correspondence, research material and notes related to the Judenrat: Rush to Judgment? A Case History lecture delivered by Dr. Leonard H. Ehrlich, Director and founder of Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts and professor Emeritus of the University’s Center and Study Program in Freiburg.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sub-sub-series is comprised of records generated and accumulated as a result of the VHEC’s participation in and organization of events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held annually on or around January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7. It honours the memory of victims of the Holocaust and rejects Holocaust denial and condemns religious intolerance and persecution.
Records in this sub-sub-series include programs, flyers, correspondence, budgets, notes and other documents related to the VHEC’s annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Shafran teachers’ conference

Sub-sub-series is comprised of records generated as a result of the VHEC’s organization of a bi-annual professional development conference aimed at educators teaching the Holocaust in elementary, high school and university settings. Conference programming is aimed at investigating strategies and rationale for teaching the Holocaust within the provincial curriculum. The Educators’ Conference was first programmed in 1999 under the guidance of the Teachers’ Advisory Committee and with financial assistance from the Shafran Endowment fund of the VHCS. It was renamed the Shafran Teachers’ Conference in 2003.

Records in sub-sub-series include conference programs, opening remarks, Teachers’ Advisory Committee meeting minutes, participant feedback, teacher packets and related materials.

Other cultural events

Sub-sub-series consists of records generated by members of the VHCS in the course of its cultural programming activities. Records documenting the organization of the official opening of the VHEC are included in in this sub-series.

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