Calgary Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Education and Commemoration department’s mission is to promote acceptance, social justice, and human rights through education and remembrance of the Holocaust. As the primary leader in Holocaust education for Southern Alberta, our department engages approximately 4,000+ students and teachers annually. In addition, we present, partner, and sponsor numerous public cultural and commemorative events to memorialize those who perished and honour those who survived.
Dahlia Libin and Marnie Bondar are both granddaughters of four Holocaust Survivors and have been dedicated volunteers for Calgary Jewish Federation for many years. They have learned about the suffering and brutal, tragic loss of essentially their entire families in the Shoah. Their scope of experience includes programs such as L’Dor va Dor, Second Voices Project, and the Annual Holocaust Symposium, to commemorations including Yom HaShoah, Kristallnacht, and International Holocaust Rememberance Day. They remain passionate about ensuring that the horrors experienced during the Shoah are understood, remembered, and learned from, today and for generations to come. Together, Dahlia and Marnie will be overseeing this department to ensure continued programming and commemorations remain an important part of our community’s activities. For information about any of our Holocaust and Human Rights education programs or commemorations, contact Dahlia and Marnie.
Dahlia Libin has been a community volunteer and Holocaust education advocate for many years. Her surviving family was fortunate to start a new life in Canada, immigrating first to Montreal and eventually Calgary, where Dahlia was born and raised. After completing dual bachelor degrees and a Masters in Social Work with a specialty focus in gerontology, Dahlia supported a variety of organizations including the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary and Alberta Health Services.
Marnie Bondar grew up well-fed on chicken soup and extraordinary stories of survival and heroism. She maintained a tight bond with her Babi, Freda Plucer, until Freda’s death in January of 2020. The two shared a lifelong commitment to standing up to intolerance and discrimination. After completing degrees in Honours English with Psychology, and obtaining her LLB, Marnie practiced law in Edmonton for many years before becoming Mediation Coordinator for the Alberta Mediation Project for the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. She has always been committed to Holocaust education in both Calgary and Edmonton; once Freda was no longer able to share her experiences from the Holocaust, Marnie stepped in to speak as part of the Second Voices Project. Marnie has spoken to thousands of students across Alberta for the last five years, and considers it an incredible honour to bring her Babi’s history to today’s youth.
We are excited to announce an upcoming photo exhibit honouring our Holocaust Survivors. Both living Survivors and those who have deceased will be featured in a unique exhibit that our community can share for many generations to come. This exhibit will show the faces of those who witnessed unimaginable horrors and miraculously survived the atrocities of the Shoah. The faces of men and women who lost so much and yet found the incredible strength to move forward. This exhibit will give our community an opportunity to see the faces of those whose stories must be heard and never forgotten.
If you or your family would like to feature a loved one in this exhibit click here to download our form and submit it by email. Closing date for submissions is Thursday, October 1, 2020. For more information, please contact Marnie Bondar and Dahlia Libin.
Who is eligible to participate in the photography exhibit?
Photos of all Holocaust Survivors, living and deceased, with a connection to Calgary are welcome to be included in this exhibit. A connection to Calgary may include, but is not limited to, Survivors who live or have lived in Calgary at one time or another; or who do/did not live in Calgary but have descendants who live or once lived in Calgary. These scenarios are considered a connection to Calgary and we would welcome their participation.
Who is considered a Holocaust Survivor?
A Holocaust Survivor is any person who was displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, social, and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. In addition to former inmates of concentration camps, ghettos, and prisons, this includes, among others, people who were refugees or were in hiding (USHMM definition).
Is there a deadline to participate in the exhibit?
Yes, the deadline to participate is October 1, 2020. If you or your family member is interested in participating or would like more information, please email the Holocaust Education and Human Rights department.
The 2nd Voices Project is a free multi-media presentation series brought into schools by 2nd & 3rd generation of Holocaust Survivors. With help from a generous grant from the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Federation has created multi-media addresses whereby children and grandchildren bring their parents’ or grandparents’ Survivor testimony to life in classrooms grades 7-12.
For over 35 years, local Holocaust survivors have been sharing their stories with high school students at our Annual Holocaust Education Symposium, in cooperation with Mount Royal University, the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District. Each May, about 3,000 students in Grades 11 & 12 attend a half-day session featuring local historians, a film about the Holocaust and the opportunity to hear and speak with Holocaust survivor
Every Spring, thousands of Jewish teens from countries around the world share in a once-in-a-lifetime experience, when they march the three-kilometer distance separating Auschwitz from Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built by the Nazis during World War II. You could be there – along with hundreds of other Canadians taking part in this ev...
On January 27, Calgary Jewish Federation commemorated the inaugural city-wide International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Calgary City Hall. Learn more about this historic day here.
The UN General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.
The Holocaust Education Memorial Library has a treasure-trove of books including many different biographies and photo books about Anne Frank, storybooks such as: The Journey That Saved Curious George – the True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey, The Grand Mosque of Paris – A Story of how Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, Eve Bunting’s Terrible Things, and resource books about the Holocaust including books by Martin Gilbert, and Father Patrick Desbois. Note* this library is not currently staffed due to the JCC being closed as a result of COVID-19. Contact us for information, or if you are interested in borrowing or donating a book.