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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust Survivors’

Yad Vashem Leadership Mission Arrives in Israel

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

More than 50 influential friends and advocates of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, participating in a Leadership Mission arrived in Israel today. The Mission brings together Yad Vashem’s steadfast supporters from around the world to explore prewar Jewish life in Europe, to reflect on the past, present and future, and to connect to Yad Vashem as well as to one another. Among some of the notable members of the Mission are Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem Lenny Wilf, world-renowned hotelier Mark Moskowitz, entrepreneur and philanthropist Yossie Hollander, Holocaust survivor Roberto Kucinski, and Barry Levine. In Poland, the Mission visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Wroclaw and Wolfsberg forced labor camps before spending a meaningful Shabbat in Krakow, where they were joined by Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Israel Meir Lau. 

 The Israel portion of the Mission begins with an private audience with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. Participants will also meet with Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, Director General Dorit Novak, and many of Yad Vashem’s Senior Staff. They will tour the campus on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, and be briefed about Yad Vashem’s far-reaching activities in the fields of Holocaust remembrance, documentation, research and education.   

David Israel

Rhode Island Residents Riled About Anti-Semitic Attack on Local Synagogue

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Police in Pawtucket, Rhode Island continue to investigate a hate crime after a big red Nazi swastika was found spray-painted on the welcome sign of Congregation Ohawe Sholam.

Worshipers found the swastika on Sunday. It was painted on the sign for the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies outside their Orthodox synagogue.

A news conference was held Monday morning by city and religious leaders, who condemned the vandalism.

“It can’t be tolerated, it shouldn’t be tolerated, and it won’t be tolerated,” said Rabbi Raphie Schochet. “This symbol that’s been blotted out over here is a symbol of bigots and bullies.”

Officials immediately condemned the crime.

“The police department will go through any neighborhood video, hopefully we can catch anyone coming from or leaving the scene,” said Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King. “We’re asking neighbors, we’ll check Facebook, but what we really need is the help of the public. If you thought you saw something that looked a little bit off – please notify us.”

“The vandalism that has occurred at Congregation Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket is demonic and depressing,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

“I’m angry and disgusted,” said U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) . “This despicable act of vandalism has only one purpose – to intimidate members of our community and it won’t succeed.”

Congregation Ohawe Sholam president David Pliskin told local WPRI-TV in an interview that Holocaust survivors among the congregants found the graffiti to be a painful reminder of the past. “This is the kind of thing that makes your whole body roil inside if you’re a Jew,” he said. But for those who survived the death camps, “It’s like someone trying to stab you in the heart again.”

Ohawe Sholam is the only synagogue in Pawtucket.

Pliskin rejected claims the graffiti might have been a childish prank. “This person clearly had some knowledge,” he told WPRI. “A lot of people draw the swastika with a cross, but this person has actually done it the way it was done on the Nazi flag, with an ‘X’.” He called it a hate crime.”

Nor has it been the first.

Last October, flyers were distributed just a few blocks from the synagogue with an illustration of a hooded man bearing a rifle, captioned, “Revolution is the only solution to Jewish pollution.”

But Pliskin also said the community has been incredibly supportive. One person gave a blanket to cover the sign. Another offered money to repair it.

‘The immediate result has been an outpouring of compassion and many acts of kindness from the entire community,” Pliskin said. ‘We should be thankful there are so many good and wonderful people around us.”

The city’s Department of Public Works has taken the sign off-site and is in the process of restoring it, according to WPRI.

Hana Levi Julian

Rivlin at Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony: We Will Continue to Survive and Battle Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – President Reuven Rivlin said that the Holocaust is central to Israel’s identity and vowed to combat the “chronic disease” of anti-Semitism on Wednesday night during the official ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

“The Holocaust, whether we like it or not, has become a factor in shaping the standards of our understanding of ourselves, of understanding our relationship with other nations, and our role in the world,” Rivlin said. “The Holocaust places the Jewish people before basic principles, as a people and as a nation gazing inward at ourselves and outward toward all of humanity.”

Rivlin stressed, however, that the founding of the State of Israel was no redress for the Holocaust.

“The State of Israel is not, under any circumstances, compensation for the Holocaust,” he said. “However, the Holocaust put into perspective the necessity and crucial need of the Jewish people to return to its historical roots, as a nation that takes its fate in its hands.”

Rivlin emphasized that Israel not only allows the Jewish people to take control of its own destiny, but also allows it to defend itself as a collective against the continuing phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad, or something that can be taken lightly,” Rivlin noted. “It is a difficult, chronic disease that penetrates deep into the heart and history of nations.”

“The State of Israel will deal with this anti-Semitism by ensuring, first and foremost, a national home and a Jewish army that protects the nation of survival,” added Rivlin. “We are a nation that has survived and will continue to survive thanks to our resilience and strong spirit.”

Rivlin also addressed the Holocaust survivors attending the ceremony, asking for their help in extracting the meaning of the tragedy and lessons to be learned.

“These are the years in which we should take the opportunity to try to clarify along with you how you want to shape the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons for future generations,” he said. “The number which was tattooed onto your flesh is etched into the hearts of this nation for generations and has become the living will of the Jewish people.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Romania Expected to Facilitate Return of Property to Holocaust Survivors

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The Romanian parliament is expected to pass a bill next week to ease the way for Holocaust survivors to submit restitution claims.

Lawmakers in Romania told Reuters they anticipate the measure will pass next Tuesday.

The law, if passed, will eliminate the obstacles that prevent Holocaust survivors from claiming their former property.

Hana Levi Julian

Tortured by Nazis, Holocaust Survivors Now Abused by Arab Neighbors in Haifa

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

It has taken at least two reports to police after a number of beatings, thefts and threats to elderly Holocaust survivors at a residence in northern Israel before the suspected attackers were finally arrested.

On Thursday, the accused abusers were to appear before the Haifa Magistrate’s Court as police request an extension of remand.

“Elderly Holocaust survivors, some not mentally well, went through a series of abuses” at the hands of a family of Palestinian collaborators with Israel, according to a police report filed in Haifa on Wednesday. The family lives on the same street as the residence in which the seniors are housed, according to the court papers.

“What we heard there was simply horrendous,” said one high-ranking police officer quoted by the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharanot newspaper.

“Their credit cards were stolen, they were forced to step off the sidewalk and walk on the road, they were beaten and their property was vandalized.”

A search of the suspects’ homes turned up jewelry, cell phones, work tools and other items that were suspected of being stolen. Police seized several of the family’s vehicles.

According to the police report filed with Haifa Police by the organization director and security officer who work at the residence for Holocaust survivors, employees were not exempted from the hostilities.

The seven members of the Palestinian family also vandalized vehicles belonging to employees of the organization that runs the residence, threatening the workers and assaulting them in several cases as well. Some of the suspects are known to law enforcement officials from previous incidents.

Hana Levi Julian

Secretary of State Kerry’s Yom HaShoah Message

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement on Thursday, April 16, Yom HaShoah, 2016.

Teresa and I join all Americans today in observing Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. We bow our heads as we both mourn and honor the six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the most painful and horrific chapter in human history.

We lack the power to rewind the clock or to bring back those who were murdered. But we do have the power of remembrance, and we will never cease to honor the memory of those who were killed, to grieve their loss, and to cherish their names.

We remain indebted, as well, to the Holocaust survivors who, despite unspeakable trauma, continue to recount their painful experiences so that the passage of time does not lead to the forgetting of what must never be forgotten. We also draw inspiration from the reality that every child of every survivor is added testimony to the utter failure of Hitler’s evil plan.

I was profoundly moved in 2013 when I visited Yad Vashem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-President Shimon Peres. A siren wailing through Jerusalem and then a nation standing together in silent reflection signify a profound tribute to the fallen, and a call to consciousness for us all, now and in perpetuity.

For us, then, remembrance is the beginning, not the end of our responsibility. The duty we have is an active one: to work with countries and partners around the globe to fight bigotry wherever it arises, to confront aggression, insist on truth, uphold the rule of law, and promote respect for the rights and dignity of every human being.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Beloved NY Jewish Coffee Shop To Close

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

The New York Times reports that Cafe Edison, a modest Theater District coffee shop long favored by Broadway’s cognoscenti, has been asked to leave by the owner of the hotel in which it is located.

While not kosher, Cafe Edison serves deli sandwiches and traditional Ashkenazi Jewish fare, like blintzes and matzo ball soup, and was founded by Polish-born Holocaust survivors, Harry and Frances Edelstein.

It’s also the inspiration for the setting in Neil Simon’s play, “45 Seconds From Broadway.”

Simon reportedly enjoyed frequent meals there with his producer Emanuel Azenberg. Other regular patrons included comedian Jackie Mason, actor Henry Winkler and the late African-American playwright August Wilson.

Mimi Sheraton, a former Times restaurant critic who has published books about bialies and chicken soup, among other topics, features Cafe Edison in her forthcoming “1,000 Places to Eat Before You Die.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/beloved-ny-jewish-coffee-shop-to-close/2014/11/08/

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