National Shoah education program launched by the Montreal Holocaust Museum

Beyond the Walls of the Museum will allow the Montreal Holocaust Museum to share its resources nationwide. (Stéphanie Cousineau-Bourassa/Montreal Holocaust Museum)

Thanks to funding from the federal government, the Montreal Holocaust Museum (MHM) has launched a nationwide education campaign called Beyond the Walls of the Museum.

The multifaceted project draws on the expertise of the MHM, as well as teachers, Holocaust education centres and numerous communities and organizations throughout the country.

The funding came in the form of a grant of more than $257,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

“It will improve educational support for the teaching of the Holocaust and human rights in Canada, offering all materials bilingually and free of charge,” said MHM executive director Alice Herscovitch.

The project was unveiled during a three-day seminar on teaching about the Holocaust and human rights, which was attended by Canadian educators in June.

An exhibition called United Against Genocide: Understand, Question, Prevent, is accompanied by a pedagogical guide of the same name. After its current run in the Federation CJA lobby in Montreal, which ends on Aug. 17, the exhibition will move to Sydney, N.S.


The exhibition and guide are intended to raise awareness about genocide and human rights. The MHM produced them, in association with Centre Khemara, the National Armenian Committee of Quebec, PAGE Rwanda and the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives. The exhibit is funded by the Alexander Dworkin Foundation.

Beyond the Walls of the Museum includes several other initiatives intended to better equip Canadian educators to teach about sensitive subjects.

This fall, the MHM’s education team will begin offering free workshops and presentations at schools, conferences and Holocaust education weeks in numerous cities, including Halifax, Winnipeg, Quebec City and Toronto.

Later this year, materials for teachers on contemporary issues related to human rights will be developed with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

Besides that museum, the MHM’s national partners in Beyond the Walls are: the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto, the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba Education and Training, Université de Sherbrooke, Société des professeurs d’histoire du Québec, Social Studies Saskatchewan, the Atlantic Jewish Council and the Holocaust Education Week Committee in Sydney.

When he anncounced the federal funding last fall, Montreal-area Liberal MP Anthony Housefather stated, “I know this grant will help the (MHM) in its mission to increase awareness and further educate the public about the genocide of the Jews, the Roma genocide and other crimes perpetrated by the Nazis and their collaborators.”