Provincial Ceremony

Provincial Ceremony in Queen's Park


19 Holocaust Survivors stand proudly with Premier Dalton McGuinty, in a tribute ceremony led by the Premier’s office and the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. Then ceremony, which took place on May 19, 2011, awarded the honourees with certificates of recognition for rebuilding their lives after the Holocaust and for their contributions to the Province of Ontario. Standing from left to right; Front Row: Leon Rucker, Helen Yermus, Sally Rosen, Nancy Kleinberg, Irene Csillag, Pepa Livingstone, Manja Mapa, Jack Weinberger, Magda Hilf, Yael Gisela Spier Cohen, Rose Philip. Back Row: Israel’s Deputy Consul General Hadas Wittenberg, Dr. Nadia Rosa, MPP for York Centre Monte Kwinter, Executive Director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Yaron Ashkenazi, Howard Kleinberg, Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty, Valentin Drobner, Willie Moll, John Freund, Dr. Arthur Weisz, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Dr. Eric Hoskins, David Shentow, National Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Fran Sonshine, Philip Epstein, and Israel’s Consul General to Toronto Amir R. Gissin.

Queen’s Park Tribute to Ontario Holocaust Survivors

Every year, in the spring, the Premier of Ontario recognizes outstanding Holocaust Survivors for rebuilding their lives after the Shoah and their contributions to the Province of Ontario with a certificate of honour at The Queen’s Park Tribute to Holocaust Survivors. The initiative, which Premier McGuinty has led for 8 years, is jointly organized and sponsored by the Premier’s office and the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. .

Set inside the elegant and stately rooms of the Ontario Legislative Building, family and friends of Holocaust Survivors sit side by side with members of the provincial parliament to listen to each survivor’s personal story, remarkable accounts of tragedy and triumph, as our gracious premier offers a warm handshake and presents the Survivor with a certificate of honour.

Joining the Premier McGunity for the last several years were MPP Monte Kwinter, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Provinical Minister of Citizenship an Immigration, and Israel’s consul general to Toronto, Amir R. Gissin.

On Thursday, May 19, 2011, Premier McGuinty celebrated 19 honourees, remarking how “understandable it would have been for them to give up on life; instead, they chose another path.”

MPP Cheri DiNovo of the NDP delivered a passionate and moving speech in which warned about the “banality of evil,” which lurks in the hearts of the ordinary and the everyday. She ended with a passionate refrain “Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa,” asking for forgiveness for the lack of action of the Christian church which, by and large, stood by as the Jews were systematically murdered in the Holocaust.

The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem is grateful to those members from our community who have nominated a Survivor, facilitating the important mission of carrying forth the survivor’s eternal legacy.

Please submit your nomination, including the name and story of the Holocaust Survivor you would like recognized to:

Tel: 416.785.1333
Fax: 416.785.4536
Mail: The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem
265 Rimrock Road, Suite 218
Toronto, ON
M3J 3C6

Past Provincial Ceremonies