ABOUT THE TORONTO HOLOCAUST MUSEUM
The Toronto Holocaust Museum inspires visitors to think deeply about the tragedies of the Holocaust and make connections between this history, world events, and contemporary Canadian life.
The Toronto Holocaust Museum is a space for education and dialogue about this vital history and its ongoing relevance. The Museum serves as a powerful and growing force against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred in all its forms. Our state-of-the-art facility is the premier destination for Holocaust education in the city showcasing cutting edge technology, including interactive Holocaust survivor testimony stations at the core of each exhibit space and augmented reality tablet tours. The Museum deepens the public’s knowledge and understanding while, inspiring visitors to think critically about the tragedies of the Holocaust and to make connections between the Holocaust, world events, and contemporary Canadian life.
We want you to remember what we have been through, not because of our history, but because of your future.
Elly Gotz Holocaust Survivor Speaker & Educator
The Toronto Holocaust Museum's mandate is to foster understanding and knowledge of the Holocaust and related human rights issues and promote dialogue about civil society. The Museum has its roots in a Toronto-based group of Polish immigrants that formed in the 1940s to help Jews in Europe. Learn more about the Museum's history.
The Museum’s origins can be traced to the late 1940s when the Federation of Polish Jews of Canada began organizing an annual event to commemorate the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising (now often held in conjunction with Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day). In the 1950s, the former Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) took over this role and established the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Committee.
By the 1950s and 60s, they began organizing commemorative events to honour the victims of the Holocaust and by the 1970s their mandate had been expanded to teach Holocaust education, working with school boards and other community groups.
In the early 1970s, the CJC had renamed this committee the Holocaust Remembrance Committee. Throughout the 1970s, the scope of the committees’ work expanded to include liaison with school boards regarding Holocaust curriculum, outreach with Christian communities, school visits by survivor speakers, and the sponsorship of Holocaust related events. In 1976, the Committee became accountable to the newly formed Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC) but continued to report to the CJC Central Region. By 1976, committee members were discussing the need for a Holocaust memorial in Toronto. Space for such a memorial became available when the Lipa Green building at 4600 Bathurst Street was being planned.
A separate committee known as the Toronto Holocaust Memorial Committee formed around 1983 under the chairmanship of Gerda Frieberg to help plan and fundraise for the memorial. Funds were raised through parlour meetings in private homes, grants from the federal and provincial governments, and the sale of memorial tiles which were inscribed with the names of relatives who perished in the Holocaust. The Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre opened in September 1985. It consisted of a Hall of Memories, which housed the memorial tiles, and an audiovisual presentation and text panels on Jewish history and the Holocaust. Soon after the opening, the Toronto Holocaust Memorial Committee merged with the Holocaust Remembrance Committee.
During the early 1980s, while plans were still underway for the memorial centre, the Holocaust Remembrance Committee continued to expand its activities to include the development of annual workshops and symposiums for teachers and students, planning an annual Holocaust Education Week, initiating an oral history program to document the testimony of local survivors, and offering programs for children of survivors. After the Holocaust Centre opened in 1985, it began running tours led by survivors for community and school groups in its new facility.
Co-Founders of the original Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre giving a tour of the space, 1986. Courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives, fonds 67, series 28-18, file 21_003
The 1990s was marked by increased services and programs for survivors, outreach with younger generations, the establishment of an annual writing contest for high school students, and the establishment of a resource centre (then known as the Anita Ekstein Holocaust Resource Library). In 1992, the TJC and CJC transferred responsibility for the Centre to the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation, and the now Museum, remains part of that organization today.
Teachers viewing displays at the former Holocaust Education Centre, 1993. Courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives, fonds 67, series 28-12-2, file 29_001.
Since 2000, the Centre has continued to increase its programming. In 2003, it began presenting an annual program to commemorate Raoul Wallenberg Day and in 2007 the Centre’s exhibition was fully re-designed and updated. Since its establishment, the Centre has sponsored and hosted a variety of temporary Holocaust related exhibitions and programs across the province and has partnered with other agencies to advocate for human rights, Holocaust education, promote remembrance of the Holocaust and its victims, and document survivor testimony. In 2009, the Centre was renamed the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust and Education Centre. And now, in 2023, the Centre opens its doors as a state-of-the-art Museum on UJA’s Sherman Campus.
The exterior of the former Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre.
A Department of UJA
The Toronto Holocaust Museum is a department of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
The Toronto Holocaust Museum is a department of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. UJA Federation’s mission is to preserve and strengthen the quality of Jewish life in Greater Toronto, Canada, Israel and around the world through philanthropic, volunteer and professional leadership. Year after year, UJA’s Annual Campaign – which raises approximately $60 million annually – allows UJA to care for our most vulnerable; build and strengthen Jewish identity and education, invest in Israel and overseas, and promote Jewish/Israel advocacy, while also creating infrastructure throughout the GTA that serves not only the Jewish community, but the community-at-large.
We Gratefully Acknowledge
Our donors, sponsors, and supporters
We are grateful to our founding donor the Azrieli Foundation for their extraordinary contribution, the Canadian Government and all our donors who helped make the Toronto Holocaust Museum possible. Thank you to our supporting and sustaining partners UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). The establishment of this Museum would not be possible without the leadership of Glennie Lindenberg, Shael Rosenbaum and Honey Sherman z”l. This landmark achievement would not be possible without the ongoing support of our community, especially the community of Holocaust survivors and volunteers. We are indebted to the survivors who founded and built the original Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre in 1985. We continue our work in their honour.
Holocaust education is changing, and we are taking bold action to meet twenty-first century challenges, using twenty-first century tools.
Naomi Azrieli Chair & CEO, The Azrieli Foundation
To all those who helped make the Toronto Holocaust Museum a reality
The Toronto Holocaust Museum was developed by talented and specialized individuals and teams across multiple fields. We are grateful for the expertise and guidance of all our partners.
Museum planning and architectural firm | Reich & Petch International
Media Production Firm | Cortina Productions Inc
Museum Interior Fabricators | Kubik-Maltbie Inc
Museum brand and identity (external) | Field Trip & Co
Website development | Executive Agency
Special thanks to all the professionals and experts who participated in the creation of THM
Stephanie Olin Chapman
Dr. Carson Phillips
Sarah Robayo Sheridan
Special thanks to the community leaders who helped navigate the development of THM
Jessica Yakubowicz Herzig
Post War Life in Canada
The land we are situated on
This place is the home of many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful for the opportunity to live and work on this land. The Toronto Holocaust Museum acknowledges that we work on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The Museum also acknowledges that it is situated on land that is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississauga and Chippewa bands. We affirm that our commitment to “Never Forget” must also include confronting attempts to destroy Indigenous culture and nationhood, and condemning attempts to deny that historical reality.