The Mark and Gail Appel Program in Holocaust & Antiracism Education
at York University


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Who We Are

York University

The Mark and Gail Appel Program in Holocaust and Antiracism Education "Learning from the Past, Teaching for the Future" resides at York University, Canada’s third-largest institution of higher learning. Located in Toronto, the most multicultural city in the world, York is known for its interdisciplinary programs and its international outlook. A particular focus for York is the interrelationship of the university as a research and teaching institution to the society upon which it draws and to which it seeks to contribute.

Project Patron

The Project's Patron is Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jutta Limbach, immediate past President of the Goethe Institute, Germany's international cultural agency, and former President of the German Federal Constitutional Court (the equivalent of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada). In November 2003 York University celebrated Professor Limbach's distinguished career as an educator, senior policy-maker (as Minister of Justice for Berlin), judge, and champion of human rights and international understanding by conferring upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Project Coordinators

The project was conceived by York Professors Michael Brown (past Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies) and Mark Webber (past Co-Director of The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies / Le Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes). Both have taught courses and conducted research on the Holocaust and on the history and present state of racism and antisemitism in Canada. Both have extensive experience working with young people in less formal academic settings (Professor Brown as director of the National Leadership Training Institute of the Ramah Camps, Professor Webber through coordinating the Ontario / Baden-Württemberg [ "OBW"] Student Exchange Program). Both have worked in international and intercultural endeavours (Professor Brown through York’s exchanges with Russia and Israel, Professor Webber through the Holocaust and Hope program of the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada and with the OBW exchange). Both have been honoured for their work (Professor Brown with the Lifetime Achievement Award of Toronto Jewish Campus Service, and Professor Webber with the German equivalent of the Order of Canada [Bundesverdienstkreuz Erster Klasse] and the "Staufer"-Medal of the Government of Baden-Württemberg).

York Collegium

At York, colleagues from the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies (foremost among them the Centre's director, Sara Horowitz), The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, and the Faculty of Education play key roles in making the Program possible.

European Team

In Europe, the core team includes Dr. Aleksandra Boron (Poznan), Dr. Christa Schikorra ( Weiden/Berlin), Dr. Matthias Hass (Berlin), Mr. Peter Trummer (Mannheim / Heidelberg) and Dr. Piotr Trojanski (Kraków).

Major Donors

As of September 1, 2002, the Program bears the name of Mark and Gail Appel, in recognition of their generous donation in support of the ongoing success of the Program.

For the 2005-2006 cycle, the Program was sponsored by the ERP Fund (Transatlantic Program) of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour.

For the 2007-2008 cycle, the program received a substantial grant from the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung.

The government of Baden-Württemberg, through its State Office for Civic Education and Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, has been a major academic and financial supporter from the Project's inception.

A major source of financial support for our students continues to be the Allan C. Silber Award for Holocaust and Eastern Jewish Studies at York University. Other individual donors are (in alphabetical order) Gerda Frieberg, Massoud Karbakhsh, Joseph Lebovic, Nathan Leipciger, and Al Schrage.

Partner Institutions

The Project would not have been possible without our colleagues and partner institutions in Canada and Europe. They are listed on the page Our Partners.

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