MONTRÉAL, May 4, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre for the first time presided over an official Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) ceremony at City Hall. He was accompanied by Mr. Lionel Perez, Mr. Russell Copeman and Mr. Dimitrios (Jim) Beis, members of the Ville de Montréal executive committee. As well, the ceremony was addressed by Mr. Ziv Nevo Kulman, Israel's Consul General in Montréal and by Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-President of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – Quebec and was attended by Montréal dignitaries and elected officials.
To mark the occasion, Ms. Georgette Brinberg and Mr. Éric Bissel – both Holocaust survivors living in Montréal – took the floor, and students in the Bialik High School Yiddish Choir performed. Some fifty students from Marymount Academy attended the ceremony as well, representing the importance of Holocaust education and youth.
"I'm extremely proud to preside over this first official civic ceremony in memory of Holocaust victims right here in the Hall of Honour of Montreal City Hall. This gesture speaks to how important it is for our elected officials and our city's population to mark our commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred so that these types of tragic events never occur again," said the Mayor of Montréal. Mr. Coderre went on to invite two students, accompanied by all those who took the floor, to light six candles in memory of the six million European Jews exterminated during the Second World War.
In addition, Mayor Coderre took the time to remind those gathered that the municipal administration has taken several actions in favour of social inclusion and Living Together since the deadly spate of recent attacks in Europe. In June 2015, Mr. Coderre presided over the Living Together Summit, an international gathering of mayors, followed by a first initiative, the establishment of a Round-Table on Combating Anti-Semitism with the leadership of the Jewish communities of Paris and Montreal, whose work has since been expanded to include the Central Council of the Jews of Germany whom the Mayor met in Berlin on Monday while on an economic and political mission in Europe.
Every year since 2002, the municipal council has observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day for the Jewish victims of the Second World War. Its date is based on the Jewish lunar calendar. It's worth reiterating that Montréal was among the first cities to welcome survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, and has been home to the world's third largest survivor community. Today, the Jewish community's roots run deep in Montréal, and the community has long contributed to the city's development and institutions.
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
For further information: Source: Marc-André Gosselin, Attaché de presse, Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif, 514 290-1194 ; Information: Linda Boutin, Affaires publiques, Ville de Montréal, 514 872-7218