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Preserving Our Past
Ensuring Our Future

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The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada is an incorporated non-profit multi-faceted organization, which brings together the Jewish Historical
Society of Western Canada, the Marion & Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada, the Genealogical Institute, the Jewish Historical Society
Archives, and the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre.

Appointments for in person archival research must be made with our archivist and are limited to one person at a time. Proof of vaccination required. We will be renovating the Holocaust Education Centre over the next several months and look forward to welcoming you back soon! For now, the HEC is closed to visitors.

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada has pivoted to online events until it is safe to return to in-person presentations.

statement of purpose

To develop, interpret and disseminate information on the history and culture of western Canadian Jewry and to develop awareness of the history, moral and ethical implications of the Holocaust and other human rights violations.

our mission

To document, preserve and share information on the culture and historical formation of Jewish communities in Western Canada. The Centre also serves as an advocate for anti-racism and education on the Holocaust and Antisemitism.

our vision

To forge a pathway for the future by preserving and sharing compelling stories and educating the present and future generations.

Our Mandate

To collect and preserve the records, artefacts and traditions of our community. These treasures include more than 70,000 photographs and Jewish community newspapers from 1910 to the present, oral histories and other materials;

To present programs and exhibits about the history, experiences, achievements and culture of the Jewish community;

To maintain and expand a searchable and detailed database of Jewish gravestones in Manitoba and further afield;

To promote the awareness and understanding of the history of the Holocaust through education—reaching thousands of students and educators each year. We address the fact that society continues to witness genocide due to continuing racism and hatred and that we must all be vigilant in opposing racism, antisemitism and other forms of bigotry.

70,000+

Photographs from 1870s to today including daguerrotypes, carte-de-visite, panoramas, negatives, polaroids, prints and digital photos.

4,000+

Artefacts including religious paraphernalia, medical and pharmaceutical items, military jackets, pins and awards, clothing, dolls, trophies and sports memorabilia.

1,300+

Sound and moving image recordings – 8mm, 16mm, reel-to-reel tapes, audio cassettes, LPs, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs.

2022 Sol & Florence Kanee Lecture

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada endorses the following definitions of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance:

The Working Definition of Antisemitism

The Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion

The Working Definition of Anti-Roma Discrimination

Working Definition of Holocaust-related Materials

The drafting process behind the IHRA’s working definitions and charters allows for the expertise of 34 Member Countries to be made accessible to policymakers. The process begins with IHRA experts drafting the working definition or charter in consultation with members of civil society. This process takes years and is usually spearheaded by one of the IHRA’s Working Groups or Committees. All IHRA decisions are non-legally binding and taken by consensus.

  Statement

The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada is devastated by the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School.  Our thoughts are with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, the bereaved families who for so many years have held out hope that their children were alive, albeit lost to them.  We are further saddened by the certainty that more hidden graves will be found throughout Canada including our home province of Manitoba. For far too long, we who are guests on these lands, have taught a false narrative of our history to generation after generation of Canadians that ignored the genocide committed against our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

We express our unequivocal support for the Calls to Action made by the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation. We have a responsibility to do all we can to foster reconciliation and to firmly condemn the systemic racism that continues to be a stain upon our country.

As Canadian Jews, we identify with the injustices suffered by our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Like them, we remember the pain of racism and exclusion, as well as both recent and historical crimes committed against us, including the burial of millions of unidentified Holocaust victims in mass graves.

We acknowledge that the Jewish Heritage Centre is located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

JHCWC at 50 Years

Bringing together the  Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, the Marion & Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada, the Genealogical Institute, the Irma and Marvin Penn Archives, and the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, the Jewish Heritage Centre is The JHC has been indispensable in creating a historical consciousness, not only for our local Jewish community, but also for the broader Canadian community. We have done so by interpreting the majestic sweep of our history, with all of its elements and contradictions. We make it available to the public through various means: lectures, publications, exhibits, workshops, genealogy projects, and more. By trying to create a greater and keener awareness of the past, the JHC has contributed to creating a greater Jewish Canadian identity. This video presents an overview of what the Jewish Heritage Centre is all about.

A Stitch In Time!

Winnipeg Jews & the Garment Industry

A STITCH IN TIME! explores the exciting history of the industry and its relation to Winnipeg and its Jewish community. The exhibit also looks at the industry today, and how it has changed since its beginnings at the end of the 19th century.

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