Tonight’s Event Welcome Michael Levitt FSWC President and CEO
Opening remarks Fred Waks Chairman of the FSWC Board of Directors
Our Community Impact A Video Presentation
A Message of Pride and Community Commitment Sharon and Ron Baruch and Daryl and Derek Erdman Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs
Legacy of Hope A Video Presentation
Reflections on the Resurgence of Antisemitism Professor Irwin Cotler Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism
A Celebration of Jewish Moroccan Heritage Mimouna Association
Words of Hope Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean, Director, Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Special Remarks H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S.
Abraham Accords: The Spirit of Hope Esteemed Panel Discussion Featuring: Lt. General Gabi Ashkenzi, H.E. Dr. Shaikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa and Sec. Mike Pompeo Moderated by Lesley Stahl
Closing Address Michael Levitt FSWC President and CEO
H. E. Yousef Al Otaiba
Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Legendary Broadcas Co-Editor of 60 Minu
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has been Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America since July 2008. In this role, he’s focused on enhancing strategic cooperation in security and counterterrorism, economic development, the arts and culture and charity. A long-time advocate for Middle East peace, his op-ed published in Yedioth Ahronoth, was key to establishing the Abraham Accords and landed him on TIME’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ list. He currently sits on the Leadership Council for the Harvard Kennedy School, the Board of Trustees for the American University in Cairo and the Board of Directors of the Special Olympics. He previously served as the Director of International Affairs for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In recognition of his dedicated service to the UAE and the US, he was promoted to Minister of State in 2017.
Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi was sworn in
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as Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in May 2020. Since 2019 he has been a Member of the Knesset representing the “Blue and White” Party. Lt. Gen. (res.) Ashkenazi served as the 19th Chief-of-Staff of the Israel Defense Forces between February 2007 and February 2011, following a long and distinguished career in the IDF.Ashkenazi served in numerous senior capacities in the IDF including Deputy Chief-of-Staff, and head of the Northern Command. In addition, he served as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense. After taking a number of years away from the military to work in the private sector, in early 2007, Ashkenazi reenlisted in the IDF following his appointment as Chief-of-Staff. During his tenure, Ashkenazi restored the IDF’s operative capacity in the wake of the Second Lebanon War and led the IDF through a series of campaigns, including “Operation Hot Winter,” and “Operation Cast Lead”, as well as the decisive strike on Syria’s nuclear reactor in September 2007. In 2012 Ashkenazi was appointed, in a voluntary capacity, as chairman of one of Israel’s leading non-profits, the Rashi Foundation. The Rashi Foundation works to foster education and welfare solutions that enable upward mobility for young people in Israel’s social and geographic periphery.
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H. E. Dr. Shaikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa Member of the Bahraini Royal family Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director of Isa Cultural Centre and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence in the Kingdom of Bahrain. He has also served on the Shura Council, where he was elected, during the 2002-2006 and 2010-2014 legislative sessions, as the Head of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and National Security Committee.Dr Shaikh Khalid has published several studies and academic research in history, as well as analytical articles in politics, international relations, unity, Arab nationalism, peace, tolerance and coexistence around the globe. He is currently a member of the International Academic Affairs Committee at the University of Oxford, UK, member of Board of Directors of Education and Training Quality Assurance Authority of Bahrain, member of the Bahrain National Committee of Education, Science and Culture. He is also a member of Board of Trustees of the Arab Thought Forum, appointed by HRH Prince Al Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan, and he is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the “Coalition of Arab Thought Centres”. In recognition of his efforts for promoting the concept of “Cultural Diplomacy” and the spread of peace, Shaikh Khalid received the Mediterranean Prize for Culture and Peace for 2018 in Italy.
Sec. Mike Pompeo Former U.S. Secretary of State and Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo is the first American to have served in the Cabinet posts of Secretary of State and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. From serving in uniform as a young Army officer on freedom’s frontier on the communist boundary of the Iron Curtain, to spending days on manufacturing floors with hard working machinists making American products for the companies he led, to sitting in the White House Situation room at critical moments - Mike has collected worldwide relationships, unique memories, real achievements and powerful stories of the great Americans he has worked alongside. Serving as our nation’s most senior diplomat in his role as 70th United State Secretary of State, the world witnessed the emergence of America as a massive energy exporter, a force for good in Middle East with real peace cemented in the historic Abraham Accords and an American foreign policy based on our nation’s founding ideals that put America first.
Our Esteemed Panel
A Message from the President & CEO of FSWC
President and CEO
Good evening, On behalf of our entire organization, it is an honour for me to welcome you to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Spirit of Hope 2021. We have a wonderful program for this evening’s event which we are confident will prove both enlightening and thought provoking for our many friends and supporters in attendance. The past year has been challenging for everyone on so many levels, but with your support and generosity we have emerged stronger and more resilient than ever. Through ongoing partnerships, educational initiatives and advocacy work, we have been able to intensify our work, reaching more and more Canadians, at a time when the fight against antisemitism, racism and hate is more critical than ever. In these challenging times, we pledge to you that FSWC will be front and centre center wherever the scourge of Jew-hatred raises its ugly head. At Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, the tragic lessons of the past motivate us to stand on the front line to combat antisemitism, racism and intolerance wherever they persist. Our goals are achieved through diverse programs designed to make our community, our province, our country, and our world a more inclusive and tolerant place. Tonight, we wish to acknowledge every donor, leader and member of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center team for their dedication to our collective mission. We deeply appreciate your continued support. Wishing you an engaging Spirit of Hope evening and an enjoyable, fulfilling and healthy summer. Michael Levitt President and CEO
A Message from the Chairman of the Board, FSWC
Chairman of the Board
Welcome to Spirit of Hope 2021! I am pleased to report that our organization continues to stand tall in the struggle against antisemitism and intolerance, thanks to your generous support. This was an especially difficult year, as we have seen the frequency of hate-motivated crimes rise across the country, with the Jewish community once again identified as the most targeted group. It is more important than ever that we support Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center so it can continue to expand its successful programs which bring people together and counter hate and intolerance. Tonight’s program will feature a dynamic conversation in celebration of the Abraham Accords and global affairs with a panel of distinguished individuals, the Former U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, His Excellency Dr. Shaikh Khalid Bin Khalifa, Member of the Bahraini Royal family, Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs. The conversation will be facilitated Legendary Broadcast Journalist & Co-Editor of 60 Minutes, Lelsey Stahl. Joined by these eminent leaders, I am certain this event will stand out as an evening to remember. I would like to thank our 2021 Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs, Sharon and Ron Baruch and Daryl and Derek Erdman, for their dedication to our community, education and human rights. Thank you all for your generous support. With best wishes for a wonderful evening, Fred Waks Chairman of the Board, FSWC
A Message from the Co-Chairs of 2021 Spirit of Hope
Ron and Sharon Baruch, and Derek and Daryl Erdman 2021 Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs
Good evening, Tonight we gather virtually in support of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center – an organization committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and education. We have all had the honour of being involved with FSWC for a number of years; drawn to the organization because of its vast educational initiatives offered both in the city of Toronto and travelling programs across Canada. We have seen first-hand the incredible work of FSWC. We travelled to Israel and participated on Compassion2Action and saw the great work FSWC is doing with educators, law enforcement and politicians. We have also worked on events like Freedom Day, and are involved in a private school outreach program in collaboration with FSWC’s outstanding team of educators. We are thrilled to help this worthy organization. While the rest of us may grow weary or discouraged by the state of the world today, FSWC remains on the frontline in the fight against antisemitism and social injustice by engaging youth near and far with robust virtual programming and the award winning Tour for Humanity bus. Thank you for being here with us tonight and supporting the critical work of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Your involvement helps us work toward a more peaceful, compassionate and tolerant future. Ron and Sharon Baruch, and Derek and Daryl Erdman 2021 Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs
Hear from our 2021 Spirit of Hope Co-Chairs on how your generous support makes a difference.
A Message from the Prime Minister of Canada
The Rt. Hon. Justin P.J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister I Premier Ministre
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the annual Spirit of Hope Benefit Gala, hosted by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. Throughout the years, the Spirit of Hope Benefit Gala has provided an important platform for individuals to share their insights and knowledge in an engaging manner. Although this year’s event will be virtual, it still offers a tremendous opportunity to continue to celebrate and appreciate the rights and freedoms championed by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Today’s attendees are indicative of what can be achieved when we work together, and I would like to thank everyone for their generosity to this important cause. Proceeds raised will be going to Canadian education and advocacy efforts including Tour for Humanity, Freedom Day, Holocaust Remembrance, Compassion to Action and the countering of antisemitism and discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic has made planning and hosting events especially difficult, and I would like to thank the dedicated organizers at the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies for making this event possible. Please accept my best wishes for a successful and memorable gala.
The Rt. Hon. Justin P.J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister I Premier Ministre
A Message from the Premier of Ontario
Premier of Ontario
A Message from the Mayor of Toronto
Mayor of Toronto
Our Leadership Spirit of Hope 2021 Co-Chairs Sharon and Ron Baruch Daryl and Derek Erdman Fundraising Committee Members Michael Bregman Paul Bronfman Jeremy Freedman and Judith Finer- Freedman Matthew Gottlieb Linda O’Connor Jill Reitman Graham and Audrey Rosenberg Fred Waks Eddie Weisz President & CEO Michael Levitt Chair of Board of Directors Fred Waks Honourary Chairman Gerald Schwartz, OC Directors Lawrence Bloomberg, C.M., O.Ont Michael Bregman Paul Bronfman David Cynamon Gordon R. Diamond, O.C., O.B.C. Joel Feldberg Jeremy Freedman Ron Frisch Tom Koffler Sam Mizrahi Philip Reichmann Jill Reitman Gloria Salomon Molly S. Shoichet, O.C., O.Ont. Raymond Stone Eric Weisz Eddie Weisz Honourary Board Members Samuel Belzberg z”l Honey Sherman z”l Cecil Yolles
Board of Governors Co-Chairs Alan Farber and Mark Teitelbaum Governors Brad Ashley Norm Bacal Brian Barish Gary Bensky Renette Berman Marc Bissel Dr. Andrew Braude Judy Bronfman Ricky Brooks Jay Brown Mitchell Brown Farley Cohen Leslie Dan Milton Davis Merrick Falkenstein Helena Fine Dr. Susan Glick Matthew Gottlieb Evan Green Anita Greenberg Allen Grinberg Dr. Carole Gruson Sharon Herman Andrea Kalmar Stephen Karr Howard Kerbel Anna Koffler Helene Korn Alan Lechem Dr. Fred Leitner Philip Lieberman Justin Linden Howard Meyer Israel Mida Faye Minuk Leah Price Dr. Rose Rahmani Pablo Reich Bob Rubinoff Rick Sacks Bev Saitowitz Leora Shemesh Harry Silverberg
Brahm Siegel Marilyn Sliwin Molly Spinak Jack Steckel Charles Wachsberg Richard Wachsberg Alan Wainer Andrew Weisberg Dr. Janice Weiss Maryka Weisz Terry Walman Lawrence Wilder Howard Wise The Senate Winston H. Ang David Atlin Judy Betel Roman Brenner Blake Breslin Mel Brown Allan Brown Stephen D. Clark Joyce Chapnick Aki Chencinski Esther Dressler Dr. Ari Eisen Anita Ekstein Stanley Elkind Dr. David Glick Michelle Glied-Goldstein Myer Godfrey Elliott Goldman Stuart Golvin Dr. Joanne Laine-Gossin Joseph Gottdenker Stephen Green Mendel Green Johnny Guglietti Stacey Jacobs Allen Karp Allan Kates Steven Kelman John Kolber Dr. Mark Korman
Evelyn Krakauer Robert Lantos Jonathan Latsky Leila Lax Ken Lipson Dan Malamet Wendy Switzer Myles Nir Orbach Dr. David Rakowski Lewis Rose Brahm Rosen Frank Rosenberg Jerry Rosenstein Brian Sander Esther Schwartz Avrum (Duke) Segel Morli Shemesh Geoff Silverberg Dr. Philip Solomon Jonathan Solursh Alan Spergel Arthur Stern Tamara Stieber Mark Weisbarth Frank Wilson Dr. Toni Zhong
A special thank you to our Supporters
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About Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights organization directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to Holocaust education, to countering antisemitism, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights for all, and to pushing the limits to achieving humanity’s best. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.
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This is how Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is making a difference: • 170,000 students, teachers and community members educated through Tour for Humanity, our award-winning mobile classroom. • 57,000 Freedom Day youth participants inspired to be change makers in their communities since 2010. • 6,000 students participated in 200+ virtual diversity workshops this year. • 1,500 speeches on inclusion, respect, and education submitted by students for Speaker’s Idol. • 145 Canadian law enforcers, parliamentarians, mayors and community leaders have travelled to Poland and Israel on the Compassion to Action Holocaust education journey.
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