The Foundation for Genocide Education was created in 2015 by educator and video producer Heidi Berger after she received feedback from students and educators about a presentation she gives on the Holocaust, genocide, and its precursors, hate and intolerance. For the past five years, she has shown this presentation to high schools, universities, adult organizations and symposiums throughout Canada and the U.S.
This presentation is a 50-minute blend of live video clips of her mother’s testimonial to the Shoah Foundation and the Montreal Holocaust Museum, with explanations from Heidi that tie it together into a cohesive and compelling story. The ending makes a connection between past and present-day events, and advocates for education as the tool to prevent future genocides.
The foundation has since expanded its team of educators giving similar presentations. We aim to train other children of survivors to give their own presentations, to ensure that future generations will never forget the lessons of the past.
If you are interested in having a team member bring their presentation to your school or organization,
please contact us
Working with the government to ensure the teaching of genocide in high schools is an essential part of our mission (see our video on the importance of genocide education). Since 2015, we have met with provincial cabinet ministers, education ministry officials, human rights groups and anti-radicalization groups to gain their support. We also met with and received the support of former Education Minister Sebastien Proulx and current Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge.
In February 2016, we launched a petition asking for mandatory genocide education that garnered 3,000 signatures, and received a standing ovation in both the provincial and federal parliaments.
After meeting with education ministry officials in October 2017, the foundation was invited to form a committee with the education ministry that is developing a comprehensive guide on genocide, along with professional workshops for teachers. The guide is being written by Sivane Hirsch and Sabrina Moisan, professors at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and the University of Sherbrooke, along with their research team, and Cornelia Strickler, education coordinator at the Montreal Holocaust Museum. This guide will be validated by teachers in fall 2019, and will be in use in Quebec high schools in 2020.
In the coming years, we are planning to bring our mission and our guide on genocide to other Canadian provinces and U.S. states, with the aim of ensuring that genocide is taught in ALL Canadian and American high schools. Learn more by watching our interview with CTV News.
Through special events, the Foundation for Genocide Education creates awareness about the need for mandatory genocide education, and raises much-needed funds. Our most recent events include:
Awakening Humanity: Preventing Radicalisation through Education: June 6, 2016
Building Bridges, an intercultural dialogue with the Muslim community of Montreal: June 16, 2017
Fundraising Evening featuring the documentary, ‘Why the Jews?’: June 19, 2018