ANNUAL KADDISH FOR JEWS BURIED IN ARAB COUNTRIES

November 25, 2020

In 2014, the State of Israel passed a law to officially make November 30th a Day to Commemorate the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries and Iran, a date now marked by Jewish communities around the world. In 2017, a Canadian man of Iraqi Jewish origin, having discovered his own grandfather’s grave in Sadr City, Baghdad, began a process which led to a global moment of unity and remembrance, by jointly reciting annually Kaddish (the mourners’ prayer) and an Azkara (a memorial prayer) together with synagogues across the world, as a testament to Jews buried in no longer accessible cemeteries in Arab countries.
This year, we are calling on synagogues and other Jewish institutions of all backgrounds to join us and say these prayers on the closest Shabbat to the Day of Commemoration, in remembrance of and solidarity with the Jews from the Middle East and North Africa who can not say them in the presence of their departed family members because many of the cemeteries are inaccessible.
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EJA Actions and Activities

Chelsea Football Club receives prestigious Jewish award for leading the way on combatting antisemitism

European Jewish Association’s King David Award gives recognition for “fearlessly and unambiguously taking the lead on the issue”, urge other clubs to follow Chelsea’s lead.
‘’Since our Club Owner Roman Abramovich initiated our ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, we have been committed to working with Jewish organisations nationally and internationally to help stamp out antisemitism from our societies. We will continue to use our global platforms at Chelsea to say no to antisemitism and keep up the fight against this and all other forms of discrimination,”said Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea FC who received the award on behalf of his club at Stamford bridge.

During Tuesday evening  Chelsea vs Juventus Champions League game at Stamford bridge, a delegation from the European Jewish Association presented the Association’s prestigious King David Award for 2021 to Bruce Buck, Chairman of the Chelsea Football Club.
The recognition comes as a result of Chelsea’s ‘’Say No to Antisemitism’’ campaign, funded by club owner Roman Abramovich, which was launched in 2018 to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism. The long-term initiative forms part of the club’s on-going inclusion work, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign.
“We are honoured to be the latest recipients of the European Jewish Association’s King David Award,’’ said Bruce Buck who received the award on behalf of his club. ‘’Since our Club Owner Roman Abramovich initiated our ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, we have been committed to working with Jewish organisations nationally and internationally to help stamp out antisemitism from our societies. We will continue to use our global platforms at Chelsea to say no to antisemitism and keep up the fight against this and all other forms of discrimination,” he added.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association said of the award, “Sport brings out the best in people, but sadly it can also bring out the worst. And some of the worst examples of antisemitism often manifest themselves on the football terraces, and in stadia around the world. Chelsea was, of course, no exception to this rule. Except, that unlike others, they decided to do something about it.’’
“It is truly inspiring to see not only the significant investment made in this effort, but the genuine commitment to listen, to act and to make a difference. From the ground up, from grassroots initiatives to a website visited by millions, Chelsea Football Club has led the way, a shining light and example not just for other football clubs to follow, but for everyone,’’ he said.
He added, ‘’Presenting them with this award, on behalf of the many communities across Europe that we represent is the least we can do to recognise this movement for change that they have started, this ultimate force for good that gives hope to Jews everywhere that the lessons of the Holocaust will never be forgotten, and that antisemitism will be called out wherever it manifests itself.’’
Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi in the Netherlands and chairman of the EJA committee on combatting antisemitism, ‘’ underlined that ‘’the Chelsea model is one to be replicated everywhere, and we will let governments and organisations know about the great and important work you are doing here. King david is a Jewish hero.  Chelsea are now heroes to the Jewish community.’’
Lebanese businessman Abdallah Chatila, a recipient of the 2020 King David Award who made headlines worldwide when he bought 600,000 Euro worth of Nazi Memorabilia at an auction and donated it to Jewish organisations as an act of registering his disgust at the auction, and who since has supported many initiatives that combat antisemitism, added:
“Antisemitism targets Jews but infects society as a whole. Ignorance, hatred and xenophobia have no place in a world where borders are increasingly meaningless, where values are universal and where different identities are to be cherished. I am proud to be here tonight at Chelsea, to be a continuing link in a chain of those committed to combatting antisemitism. Chelsea Football Club have a huge reach. They could have opted for an easier route. Instead they decided to tackle the issue head-on. It is inspiring to see. And for others to follow and emulate.”
https://ejpress.org/chelsea-football-club-receives-prestigious-jewish-award-for-leading-the-way-on-combatting-antisemitism/

Belgian Jews Live in ‘Permanent State of Siege,’ Says Head of Antisemitism Watchdog

Fear of antisemitic violence and the presence of armed police and soldiers outside Jewish institutions has left Belgian Jews living in a “permanent state of siege,” the head of Belgium’s main antisemitism watchdog disclosed during a wide-ranging TV interview this weekend.
“The presence of military on the street in front of Jewish sites is somewhat reassuring,” Joël Rubinfeld — president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism — told the French-language broadcaster RTBF on Sunday. “But you can imagine what kind of world we live in. Today, you go to a Jewish school and you feel like you’re coming back to Fort Knox, which is really a kind of permanent state of siege.”
Islamists based in Belgium have carried out several attacks on Jewish targets in Europe during the last decade, among them a gun attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum in May 2014 in which four people were killed. Belgium’s 42,000 Jews are also subjected to antisemitic harassment by Muslim extremists. Rubinfeld said that over “the last two or three years,” his organization had dealt with a dozen cases of Jewish school students subjected to antisemitic bullying, as well as a broader trend of Jewish parents unwilling to risk sending their children to public schools.
“This is what they call a double punishment: on the one hand, they are victims of these antisemitic acts, of bullying, or even sometimes of physical violence, and on the other hand, it is they, and not the aggressors, who have to leave their school,” Rubinfeld said.
The last fortnight, he added, had witnessed a “rush of antisemitic acts” inspired by Palestinian violence on the border between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel.
Rubinfeld reflected that it had been difficult to convince Belgian politicians that the country has a serious problem with antisemitism. 
“Already in 2008-2009, I told them: ‘If you do not do it for my children, do it for your children,'” he said.
The article was published on The Algemeiner

German Nazi war crimes suspect, 96, who went on the run goes on trial


Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, is pictured at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
A 96-year-old German woman who was caught shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two appeared before a judge on Tuesday in the northern town of Itzehoe, writes Miranda Murray, Reuters.
Irmgard Furchner (pictured), accused of having contributed as an 18-year-old to the murder of 11,412 people when she was a typist at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, was taken into the sparse courtroom in a wheelchair.
Her face was barely visible behind a white mask and scarf pulled low over her eyes. Security was heavy as the judge and legal staff made their way into the court.
Between 1939 and 1945 some 65,000 people died of starvation and disease or in the gas chamber at the concentration camp near Gdansk, in today's Poland. They included prisoners of war and Jews caught up in the Nazis' extermination campaign.
Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, arrives in a wheelchair at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
Judge Dominik Gross arrives in the courtroom for the trial against Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
The trial was postponed after Furchner left her home early on Sept. 30 and went on the run for several hours before being detained later that day.
Charges could not be read until Furchner, who faces trial in an adolescent court because of her young age at the time of the alleged crimes, was present in court.
She is the latest nonagenarian to have been charged with Holocaust crimes in what is seen as a rush by prosecutors to seize the final opportunity to enact justice for the victims of some of the worst mass killings in history.
Although prosecutors convicted major perpetrators - those who issued orders or pulled triggers - in the 1960s "Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials", the practice until the 2000s was to leave lower-level suspects alone.

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