News from the JHC

By Timna Jacks

All Victorian students would benefit from learning about the Holocaust and visiting the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC), according to Victorian Minister for Education Martin Dixon, who made a special visit to the centre in Elsternwick last Friday.

Following a tour of the museum with survivors, led by curator Jayne Josem, Dixon sat in on an impassioned lecture delivered by head of education Zvi Civins, alongside more than 100 students in year 9 from Melbourne Girls College.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne last week at which she announced that Australia is donating half a million to a fund established to preserve the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

The Rescuers exhibition was officially launched on Wednesday 25 July 2012 by John Searle, Chairperson of the Board of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, who gave a moving speech highlighting how important it is to acknowledge the people who choose the path of good in the face of evil.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre is proud to present a touring exhibition from the USA of photographs and extraordinary stories from the Holocaust and genocides in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda and Cambodia.

The exhibition highlights acts of courage by ordinary heroes who resisted overwhelming tides of prejudice and violence to risk their lives saving others. Using photography and narratives it aims to deepen awareness and understanding of the presence of rescue behaviour during genocides. We believe that visitors will leave with better knowledge of how one person can make a difference in the face of organised violence. An adjunct to the exhibition will be displays of Melbourne-based rescuers from the Holocaust which have been kindly donated by Courage to Care.

In conjunction with the exhibition the Jewish Holocaust Centre is presenting a month-long public program including lectures, discussion panels and films involving academics, mental health practitioners, community-aid workers and leading members of the Jewish and wider communities.  These events will cover a range of topics pertinent to the exhibition and current world events.

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