Friday, October 8, 2010

A Tribute to True Heroes

In a room at the Allstream Centre filled with just over a thousand attendees, The Canadian Society of Yad Vashem held the True Heroes Tribute Gala Tuesday evening on the Exhibition grounds in downtown Toronto.

In 1953, the Israeli Parliament passed a law which established YadVashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, as the sole entity allowed to bestow the title Righteous Among the Nations on behalf of the State of Israel. Righteous Among the Nations denotes non-Jewish individuals who, during the Holocaust, risked themselves and their families’ lives and safety in order to save numerous Jews, without demanding any rewards in return. Those recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” are awarded a specially minted medal bearing his or her name, a certificate of honour, and the privilege of having his or her name added to those on the Wall of Honour in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.  Since its inception, Yad Vashem has recognized, on behalf of the State of Israel, over 23,200 “Righteous Among the Nations” from 44 countries around the world. 

Under the direction of National Chair, Fran Sonshine and  Executive Director, Yaron Ashkenazi, the Gala was hosted by CEO of RioCan REIT Ed Sonshine along with Canadian businessman, political activist and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party John Tory.
Also present in the audience were Israel's Consul General to Toronto and Western Canada Amir Gissin, Israel's Ambassador to Canada Miriam Ziv, the Hounorable Jason Kenney Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Words were read aloud from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a pre-recorded message was played from the Right and Honourable Stephen Harper praising and pledging to continue supporting their good works. 

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