Antisemitism in Our Backyards

by Josh Kerr | Sep 29, 2022

This year's Mina Rosner Memorial Award recipient is Jasper Bain, a student at Westwood Collegiate, whose essay The Closed Door to Canada takes a deep look at the Canadian government's immigration policy for Jews from 1933-1939. 

Bain dives into the history of antisemitism in Canada; something often overlooked when learning about past horrors and how to prevent them from repeating. Not only was antisemitism part of the culture in eastern Europe, but in our backyards as well.

Jasper is committed to learning about and educating others on atrocities as a part of the Westwood Historical Society. Along with other group members, Bain created a film titled "Truth Against Distortion" that documents the life experiences of Holocaust survivors living in Winnipeg and examines the presence of antisemitism in the past and present. While working on the documentary, she helped interview these survivors so that future generations of students can learn about their encounters with hate throughout their lives. After hearing survivors' stories of immigration to Canada, Jasper became interested in learning more about the Canadian federal government's immigration policies leading up to the Holocaust. This inspired her to complete research into antisemitism in Canada's past immigration laws for her essay, The Closed Door to Canada.

Each year, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada's Mina Rosner Memorial Award is presented to a student in grades 9-12 who has written an essay on the Holocaust. The award, a monetary prize, is financed through the Mina Rosner Memorial Fund stewarded at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.

We encourage you to take the time to read Jasper's fantastic essay. It can be found on the JHCWC website at