June 13th, 2024

B.C. teachers’ union denies Holocaust education group funds, recognition: advocates

By The Canadian Press on June 5, 2024.

An empty hallway is seen at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver, on Sept. 5, 2014. Jewish organizations say the British Columbia Teachers' Federation has denied recognition to the Holocaust and Antisemitism Educators Association for the development and funding of teaching resources. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – Jewish organizations say the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation has denied specialist recognition of a Holocaust education group, making it ineligible to receive union funding as a teaching resource.

A joint statement from the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says the union told them it would not recognize the Holocaust and Antisemitism Educators Association as a specialist group.

The association was created in response to the B.C. government’s decision last year to make Holocaust education a mandatory part of the curriculum.

At an unrelated news conference on Wednesday, Premier David Eby didn’t address the dispute, but said the direction is clear that students graduating from high school need to learn about the murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime in the Second World War.

Eyal Daniel, president of the association, says they were shocked by the decision and are hoping the teachers’ federation will reverse its decision.

Nico Slobinsky, vice-president at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, says the association met all the requirements to be recognized by the union and that no one can remember a time when a specialist association has been turned down.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2024.

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