Descendants from Ontario, PEI and Québec Accepting Righteous Among the Nations Awards
TORONTO – September 30/10 – The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem’s “True Heroes Tribute Gala,” taking place Tuesday, October 5/10 in Toronto, will welcome over 900 attendees, including many of the city’s most respected corporate and business leaders, Holocaust survivors, educators, young professionals and heirs of those who courageously rescued Jews in wartime Europe.
WHAT: In a rare ceremony, a special Righteous Among the Nations award will be bestowed posthumously to three honorees for their exceptional heroism in saving Jews from the threat of death during the Holocaust.
Honorees are: Cornelis and Heintje Roggeveen and Klaas and Boukje Feringa who saved Max Noach in Holland; Marie Francoise Borel who saved the Kaufman and Kwiatek families in France.
Their living descendants from Ontario, Québec and PEI, will each accept an award on the honourees’ behalf and will meet, after many years, the individuals rescued by their parents/grandparents.
WHERE:  Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place, 105 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto

TIME :     
 6:00pm – Reception
featuring the Canadian launch of the BESA exhibit (see below)
6:40pm – Dinner
A title granted solely by Yad Vashem on behalf of the State of Israel, Righteous Among the Nations denotes Gentiles who, during the Holocaust, risked themselves and their families’ lives and safety in order to save Jews, without any monetary compensation or other rewards.  Thus far, Yad Vashem has bestowed this title to 23,200 Righteous Among the Nations from 45 countries around the world.
Fran Sonshine, National Chair of Canadian Society for Yad Vashem explained the significance of the event for Canadians. The Righteous Among the Nations honorees stand as a model of how peoples of different faiths can recognize the innate humanity in others.  We know that the attendees will leave inspired by the principle that we must never be indifferent to evil.”
Among the Gala’s invited guests are: Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism MP Jason Kenney; Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Miriam Ziv; France’s Ambassador to Canada Francois Delattre; Albanian Ambassador to Canada Besnik Konci; Ambassador of Afghanistan in Canada Jawed Ludin; Israel’s Consul General to Toronto Amir R. Gissin; Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Toronto Hans Horbach; Consul General of the United States in Toronto Kevin Johnson; and Israel’s Consul to Montréal and Eastern Canada Avi Lev-Louis.
Riocan CEO Ed Sonshine and Newstalk 1010 Host John Tory are event Co-Chairs, Fred Waks Executive Vice-President & COO of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust is the dinner Chair.
Yaron Ashkenazi, Executive Director of Canadian Society for Yad Vashem added, “It is a great privilege and honour to pay tribute to those who collectively represent how mankind can bring light to the world, despite the darkness of racism and intolerance.’’
Also featured will be the Yad Vashem ‘Besa’ Exhibit – portraits and explanatory texts of 17 Muslim Righteous Among the Nations and their families from Albania, whose actions saved persecuted Jews during the Holocaust. Two Muslim Albanian families who helped saved Jews will attend the dinner as guests of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem.
“The ‘Besa’ exhibit was launched internationally at the United Nations on the International Day of Commemoration.  With the Besa Exhibit having toured several countries across the world, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem is launching this remarkable exhibit for the first time in Canada at the True Heroes Tribute Gala,” added Mr. Ashkenazi.

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