Irwin Cotler Receives CIJA Lifetime Achievement Award
In these difficult times, our founder, Irwin Cotler, continues to thoughtfully lead and inspire action in support of justice and human rights. Last week, Irwin accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) in recognition of his enduring commitment to pursue justice for all people, advance human rights for the world’s most vulnerable and oppressed, and combat antisemitism. The ceremony took place in Ottawa as part of CIJA’s “Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It” conference last week. Watch CIJA’s touching video tribute to Irwin here.
Watch Irwin Cotler's powerful acceptance speech here.
At the award ceremony, CIJA honoured Irwin with a beautiful painting, featuring the Hebrew phrase Hineini, which means “here I am.” This exquisite gift honours a quality we admire deeply in Irwin: his tenacity and his willingness - no matter the risk or the circumstances - to stand up and to speak up for justice, peace, and the world that’s possible.
Irwin receives the painting “Henaini - Up in Flames” by Canadian artist Sara Petroff.
You can learn more about this event here and here. We hope this level of engagement - the value of Henaini that Irwin continues to embody - can inspire each of us to stand up for one another, across our differences, even - and perhaps especially during - dark times.
“Antisemitism is not just a threat to Jews. It is toxic to democracies and an assault on our common humanity. It is the canary in the mineshaft of global evil. It begins with Jews, but it does not end with Jews.” - Irwin Cotler
In the News
Today, Irwin is also accepting the prestigious Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, D.C. (We’ll share more about that soon!) Irwin Cotler has also continued to live the value of Henaini in recent days through numerous media engagements, including:
Irwin Cotler and Yonah Diamond on the need to come together around hostage release and the case of Canadian-Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver, currently held by Hamas - The Globe and Mail Canada’s political leaders reiterate their support for Israel at antisemitism conference in Ottawa - The Canadian Jewish News Canada’s envoy on the Holocaust departs and has a final warning - Toronto Star We're witnessing the highest rise of antisemitism in 50 years - National Post Hamas is an 'axis of evil' funded, armed by Iran: Irwin Cotler - CTV News: Power Play