Wednesday, June 18 @ 7:00
[7:30 pm – Temple Beth Ora Annual General Meeting]
Opening a Rwandan–Jewish Connection at TBO’s AGM
Guest speaker: Muhima Rubarake Seth,Presentation and response to questions
7:30 pm – Temple Beth Ora Annual General Meeting
Twenty years ago, over one million people were killed in 100 days in Rwanda. The slaughter was led by the government-backed Hutus against the Tutsis, wiping out 70% of the Tutsi population living in Rwanda at the time. Edmonton’s small Tutsi population is reaching out to the Jewish community for insight and we have an opportunity to respond by opening that connection.
Many of us are familiar with the words of former UN Commander, Romeo Dallaire, who has spoken out about the silence from Canada and other countries as this massacre was unfolding. Every year, when we recall the Holocaust, we say, ‘Never Again’, but sadly, there have been other genocides and other times when the world has stood by. We can learn about others’ experience and keep our eyes open when we witness injustice.
At the beginning of this year’s AGM at Temple Beth Ora, on Wednesday, June 18, we have the honour of hearing Muhima Rubarake Seth highlight what happened and how it affected his family, and what has followed since 1994. He will also talk about the hopes of the recently formed, local Memory Keepers Association. The association has a similar purpose to Edmonton’s Holocaust Education Committee but is also trying to connect survivors, those who continue to struggle with the trauma, with mental health services.
The small group of leaders who make up Memory Keepers are keen to learn how the Jewish community has dealt with the aftermath of the Holocaust. They attended the Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the legislature three weeks after their April 7 anniversary. Shortly before that commemoration, Alvin and I had the chance to be part of a powerful session at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Edmonton when two survivors, one from the Genocide against Tutsi of Rwanda and one from the Holocaust, talked about what happened and how they have dealt with that experience in their lives.
In addition to Seth, who is the Memory Keepers’ president, we will have Kaviziya Emmanuel, vice-president, and Divine Uwamahoro, responsible for social affairs, join Seth to respond to our questions.