May is Asian Heritage Month and Jewish Heritage Month. These month-long observances provide opportunities to acknowledge, celebrate and learn more about the achievements and contributions of Asian and Jewish Canadians who make Canada the great country we share today.
Since the 17th century, people of Asian descent continue to make important contributions and enrich all aspects of Canadian history. The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2021, “Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve,” reminds us of the need to recognize the experiences of Canadians of Asian descent and the resilience that have kept their communities striving.
The history of Jewish Canadians also dates back to the 17th century, with the oldest Canadian synagogue built in 1768 in Montreal. Jewish Canadians continue to strive in all areas of Canadian life.
Ottawa Public Library programming
The Ottawa Public Library is hosting a series of events for Asian Heritage Month. To recognize Jewish Heritage month, they’ll publish booklists and recommended readings to recognize and celebrate Jewish heritage, achievements and contributions throughout May. Keep an eye on In the Loop for more details.
While we celebrate the culture, faith and history of people of Asian and Jewish heritage, it’s important to reflect on the experiences of antisemitism and increased anti-Asian racism that members of these communities continue to face every day.
This month, I encourage you to celebrate the rich culture, learn from diverse experiences and recognize the incredible contributions of our Asian and Jewish friends, neighbours, and colleagues. And together, let’s reaffirm our commitment to stand against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and anti-Asian racism.