Azrieli Foundation honours 10th anniversary of Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Program with the Launch of Re:collection

Groundbreaking interactive on-line experience dedicated to Canadian Holocaust survivors launches October 22

Publication of seven new memoirs and a cross-country author tour commences on the same day

For additional photography and press kit materials, please contact Alina Duviner and Jessica Gold or visit

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TORONTO, Oct. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - For the past ten years, the Azrieli Foundation has proudly published Holocaust survivor memoirs in English and French, distributing them free of charge to high schools and universities across Canada and selling them in bookstores nationwide. On October 22, the foundation will expand its reach and audience by revealing RE:COLLECTION, an interactive digital experience that invites users to explore the first-hand accounts of Holocaust survivors published in the award-winning Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs. The unveiling of the interactive experience will coincide with the launch of seven new memoirs and a cross-Canada author tour.

This digital platform will serve as a groundbreaking educational tool for teachers, students and the general public by providing a multi-media opportunity to explore Holocaust history and Canadian immigration through survivor accounts. The platform will be compatible with a computer, tablet or smartphone. Users can explore the stories of 15 survivor-authors through 20 themes including childhood and family, faith and religion, camps and ghettos, and immigration and aftermath. Eventually, users will collect and share video interviews, memoir excerpts, photos and artifacts and curate these pieces in interactive timelines and maps.

"This milestone anniversary represents a significant shift in our program as we take the legacy of our collection of survivor stories and create an innovative way to share and preserve them," remarks Naomi Azrieli, chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation. "RE:COLLECTION achieves one of the fundamental goals we set 10 years ago when we launched our memoirs series – to help future generations engage with and understand the history of the Holocaust and hopefully take away universal lessons, among them tolerance and respect for human dignity, that are applicable today and into the future."

The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program was established by the Azrieli Foundation in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the twentieth-century Nazi genocide of European Jews who immigrated to Canada after the war. The program is guided by the conviction that the diversity of these stories allows readers to put a face on what was lost and to grasp the enormity of what happened to six million Jews – one story at a time. Since its inception, the program has published sixty-two books, distributing more than 40,000 copies; produced twenty-four short films profiling the authors and their memoirs; and hosted hundreds of educational events. The memoirs in the series have been recognized with the Canadian Jewish Book Award, the Moonbeam Award, gold and silver Independent Publisher awards and, most recently, the John Glassco Prize for literary translation.

RE:COLLECTION, the new digital platform, will be launched at the Memoir Program's ten-year anniversary celebration at the Carlu in Toronto on October 22 at 7:30pm. At this event, open to the public, all the author-survivors published by the foundation over the past ten years will be honoured, and seven new books will be launched:

  • The Weight of Freedom by Nate Leipciger
  • A Name Unbroken by Michael Mason
  • Never Far Apart by sisters Kitty Salsberg and Ellen Foster
  • Across the Rivers of Memory by Felicia Carmelly
  • Hope's Reprise by David Newman
  • Where Courage Lives by Muguette Myers
  • Alone in the Storm by Leslie Vertes

"The launch of my memoir is a culmination of my lifelong desire to leave a legacy of my story of survival," said survivor Nate Leipcigar. "I am greatly indebted to the visionary David Azrieli for establishing this extraordinary foundation that publishes, and thus preserves, our stories. It is one thing to have a vision, but the true hallmark of greatness is bringing the vision to fruition."

For more information on the foundation's special events, tour dates and memoirs program please visit

About the Azrieli Foundation
The Azrieli Foundation is a Canadian philanthropic foundation that supports and operates a range of initiatives and programs in various fields including Holocaust education and commemoration, scientific and medical research, the promotion of excellence in education and access to education, and the advancement of excellence in architecture/ music and the arts.

SOURCE Azrieli Foundation

For further information: Media contacts: Alina Duviner, Publicist,, 416 574 1098; Jessica Gold/ Publicist,, 647 990 4653


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