For the Public
Who We Are
The Mark and Gail Appel Program in Holocaust and
Antiracism Education "Learning from the Past, Teaching
for the Future" resides at York
University, Canadas 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.
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
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 détudes 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 Yorks
exchanges with Russia and Israel, Professor Webber through the
Holocaust and Hope program of the League for Human Rights of
Bnai 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).
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.
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).
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.
The Project would not have been possible without
our colleagues and partner institutions in Canada and Europe.
They are listed on the page Our