By Tevy Pilc & Jordan Zaitchik
B’nai Brith Canada
More than 200 people and several political dignitaries packed the Berney Theater at the Asper Jewish Community Campus in Winnipeg Monday night for the 22nd AMIA Community Commemoration ceremony.
The annual event, honours and remembers the anniversary of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentine (AMIA) bombing, which occurred on July 18, 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Resulting in 85 dead and hundreds more injured, it is the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history.
The evening started off with a powerful video about the terror attack. Father Sam Argenziano, a Pastor from Winnipeg’s Holy Rosary Church, started the program off with a prayer. A flag procession followed soon after with volunteers holding the flags of Canada, Argentina, and Israel.
Winnipeg MP Jim Carr attended the event and spoke on behalf of the Federal Government. Carr’s moving speech addressed the necessity for justice against those who perpetuate violence in the world. Carr mentioned how moving Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Auschwitz was, expressing the government’s dedication to end this type of violence.
Minister of Justice, Hon. Heather Stefanson also gave a speech expressing her support and thankfulness to B’nai Brith Canada , AMA and Jewish Federation for keeping the “memory alive” and continue the fight for Justice. She mentioned the terror attacks in Nice, and other parts of the World and Manitoba’s strong commitment to Justice and support to the memory of the Holocaust.
The evening proceeded into a Candle Lighting Ceremony conducted by Laurie Etkin (B’nai Brith Canada) and Argentinian Manitoban Association’s Cynthia Szkop. They read the names of the victims after completed lighting the 85 candles.
John Lennon’s Imagine was sung accompanied by two videos. Rabbi Green conducted El Malei Rachamim and Kaddish, the remembrance program finished with the ancestral sound of the Shofar.
Here are some of the letters B’nai Brith Canada received from some of the attendees:
I just want to congratulate you and your team on an amazing Memorial yesterday. Thank you for including WPS in the candle lighting ceremony. If there is any other way you think Community Relations Unit can assist your organization please let me know.
– Constable Chika Modozie, Winnipeg Police Serice
Thanks for inviting me to participate in the AMIA Commemoration event. I was pleased to attend, learned a great deal, and enjoyed connecting with friends in the Argentinean and Jewish-Canadian community.
– Tony Tavares, Multicultural Education Consultant for the Manitoba Government
Pictures of the event can be viewed here.
B’nai Brith Canada thanks all those who attended and contributed to the event’s organization.
Tevy Pilc can be emailed at [email protected]