Rubin Friedman is dedicated to issues of community, integration, prejudice and discrimination. Most recently, he was responsible for the Against Prejudice training program to address the biases and prejudices that can create difficulties for some newcomers in adapting to Canadian society – both in terms of homeland attitudes of newcomers and of behaviours of those who serve them. He developed the training, materials, videos, exercises, presentations and booklets supporting these efforts, as well as directing teams in Ottawa and Toronto in the delivery of sessions across Ontario.
Rubin has previously developed delivered anti-hate workshops to over 3,000 people across Canada including police, teachers, students, union members, Canadian Human Rights Commission staff, public servants, and specific groups from the Muslim, Jewish, Aboriginal and Somali communities – and was consulted as an expert by both police and communities.
In addition to senior positions in National Jewish community organizations – where he was a representative at the UNCHR annual meeting in Geneva, as well as a member of the Canadian delegation to ODHIR – Rubin was the official Human Rights NGO for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was also Senior Director of Planning for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa.
In his 23-year career with the federal government he was: Executive Director, Japanese Canadian Redress; Director, Community Support and Participation, and Head of French and English test development for the Public Service. He dealt with human rights, multiculturalism, official languages, community development and integration of minorities.
Rubin has also had a long career as a writer, communicator and educator starting as a speech pathologist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (teaching at all levels from elementary school to university), and most recently teaching adults history and Yiddish at the Jewish Community Centre.
He has written a number of documents as a consultant for various organizations on topics ranging from lobbying on justice issues to the quality of Jewish education in Ottawa. His articles have been published in magazines and newspapers, including the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette, as well as in the Jewish community press.
Committees: National Capital Alliance on Race Relations (President); Community Police Action Committee; Interfaith Committee for Restorative Justice; Multifaith Housing Committee, and the Jewish-Christian Dialogue of Ottawa.
Rubin can also be seen as the occasional host of the community television show, "Shalom Ottawa" and is a writer and performer in annual Yiddish productions.
Below: Rubin Friedman speaks of his difficult experience growing up and trying to fit into his Toronto neighbourhood, at a time when Toronto wasn't welcoming to Jewish immigrants. Additionally, he discusses his book, "Running For Their Lives" and reads excerpts from it.