Friday marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day in Canada.
The day was established on Jan. 27, 2005 to commemorate the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and to develop programs and education to prevent future genocides.
“The date is the 27th of January and that’s the day that Auschwitz was liberated,” said University of Saskatchewan associate history professor Simonne Horwitz.
The day was recognized internationally by the United Nations General Assembly.
“One of the fundamentals of this UN day is also education. People are being encouraged to take the time to educate themselves and to talk in groups,” Horowitz said.
Rabbi Jeremy Parnes said it is important to reflect on this day to protect against future racism.
“It happens anyway. We know it continues,” said Parnes. “For us, it means a focus on antisemitism and how to combat antisemitism as in any level of racism or hate of that kind.”
Saskatoon will be hosting a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“We will say the morning prayers and tell some stories of Holocaust survivors.”
Parnes said the Regina Jewish community will be hosting programming in April.
“We need to speak not just for Jews, but for any minority group in fact that is being targeted in any way. I have to say that there has been a rise in antisemitism in North America and specifically in Canada over the last couple years.”