Irwin Cotler Award for 2016 announced by City of Côte Saint-Luc

The City of Côte Saint-Luc has awarded the first ever Irwin Cotler Awards to students in grade 6 and grade 11 who devoted themselves to the cause of social justice.

“The award was given to the students who best exemplify the act of improving the world and fighting for social justice,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “This has been the hallmark of Professor Cotler’s life and we think this award is a fitting tribute.”

For the last five decades, Irwin Cotler has devoted his intellect and advocacy skills to the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, first as an international human rights lawyer and later as a Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, where he made the pursuit of international justice a government priority.

Grade 11 recipient
Madison Gold was selected as the grade 11 recipient of the Irwin Cotler Award. Throughout her five years at Bialik, Madison volunteered many hours at various organizations including The Friendship Circle, the National Conference of Synagogue Youth and the Diller Teen Fellows Program. In addition, Madison has acted as a Bialik Ambassador for the past two years and has been heavily implicated in the mentorship program at Bialik.

At The Friendship Circle, she participated in innovative programs and activities where children with special needs experienced the joy of friendship. At the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, Madison has spent countless hours visiting sick people in the hospital, preparing Shabbat meals for the needy and making blankets for the Chai Lifeline. At the Diller Teen Fellows Program, her work enabled her to grow as an active and effective person within the community and strengthened her leadership skills towards social action and community involvement.

Madison Gold presented with award


Grade 6 recipient
The Irwin Cotler Award for 2016 for a student in grade 6 was awarded to Gabrielle Murray, who recently graduated from École des Amis-du-Monde.

Gabrielle raised more than $3,000 for Heshima, an organization in Kenya that protects unaccompanied minors and separated children and youth between the ages of 13 to 23 from Somalia, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. It provides safety and shelter for their most vulnerable participants, delivering a multi-disciplinary education program for students, supporting economic empowerment through a scarf-making social enterprise, providing childcare, accompanying participants to legal and medical appointments, and working within refugee community in Kenya to identify, protect and fight for their rights.

Gabrielle’s aunt works for the organization in Kenya and Gabrielle decided she wanted to help make a difference in the lives of these young girls. She brought together five classmates to launch a fundraising effort over two years. She also visited Kenya to meet the girls they helped. More information about the trip and a video is at and

All the schools in Côte Saint-Luc were encouraged to nominate one of their students to receive the Irwin Cotler Award. Nomination forms for the 2017 award will be sent to schools in January 2017.

Gabrielle Murray in Kenya



Learn more

>> View photos from the September 12, 2016, presentation

>> Watch Global News report on Madison Gold

>> Watch a video of Gabrielle Murray's visit to Kenya

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