May is Jewish Heritage Month and it represents a great opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the history and culture of Jewish Canadians and the contributions of the Jewish community to the social, economic, political, and cultural fabric of our country.
Canada is a better place when we embrace our diversity. When we recognize and celebrate our differences and connect through our similarities, we show our true selves – our true national identity.
This month, why not take some time during our period of social isolation to learn about how Jewish Canadians helped create one of the world’s most respected societies. For instance, one of the better known examples in Ontario highlights the community’s compassionate and caring roots: In 1912, four women from Toronto’s Jewish community successfully raised $12,000 over nine years to found The Hebrew Maternity and Convalescent Hospital. It would eventually become Mount Sinai Hospital. There are a great many stories and lessons to be learned about Jewish Canadians from sports, politics, and music; to science, architecture, and social justice advocates.
It’s our collective identity as Canadians that tie us together and yet we all have our own individual backgrounds and stories of how we got here and what we done to contribute to the formation of this country and province.
There is certainly a richness to be found when we embrace the variety of ethnicities and faiths around us. Thankfully, that’s the very beautiful part of being Canadian.
From OPSEU we wish you a Happy Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, and Shalom aleichem.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President Treasurer