EIPA Organizes Insightful Press Trip to Israel: Briefings by Israeli Defence Ministry Official and Education Expert

March 19, 2024
Our EIPA colleagues are organising a press trip to Israel. Yesterday, participants were treated to a thought-provoking briefing and geopolitical overview of the Middle East by Zohar Palti, head of the Political-Military Bureau at Israel Ministry of Defense. Palti, who has a distinguished background including leadership roles in Mossad’s intelligence directorate and the IDF Intelligence Corps Research Division, provided invaluable insights.

Additionally, Marcus Sheff, CEO of The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACTse), delivered an enlightening briefing. Based in London and Tel Aviv, Sheff has spent over a quarter of a century analysing global curricula to foster peace and tolerance in line with UNESCO standards. His policy recommendations have significantly influenced systematic reforms in national curricula worldwide.

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Israel’s President Herzog to attend Sunday’s inauguration of National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam

Herzog’s visit to the Netherlands is part of Israel’s ongoing efforts to free the hostages held by terrorist group Hamas. In this context, he will have a series of diplomatic meetings focusing on efforts to return the hostages brutally held by Hamas in Gaza, as well as on raising awareness of the need to combat the worrying rise in antisemitism in Europe and around the world following the Hamas terrorist attack of October 7, Herzog’s office said.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will attend on Sunday the inauguration of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.

The official ceremony will be held in the city’s famous Portuguese Synagogue, in the presence of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, together with the President of Austria, Alexander van der Bellen, Dutch Prime Minister  Mark Rutte, the President of the Bundesrat or German Federal Council, Manuela Schwesig, the Mayor of Amsterdam, and Jewish leaders from around the world.

Herzog’s visit if part of Israel’s ongoing efforts to free the hostages held by terrorist group Hamas. In this context, he will have a series of diplomatic meetings focusing on efforts to return the hostages brutally held by Hamas in Gaza, as well as on raising awareness of the need to combat the worrying rise in antisemitism in Europe and around the world following the Hamas terrorist attack of October 7, Herzog’s office said.

The President will be joined by the family of the late Major (Res.) Yitzhar Hoffman, who fell in battle against terrorists in January. The Hoffman family was saved in the Holocaust by Dutch citizens who were later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

On the same day, he will visit The Hague,  where he will meet with Prime Minister Rutte President van der Bellen of Austria, and other senior officials. The President is also expected to meet with families of Israeli hostages visiting the country.

In each of his meetings, Israeli President Isaac Herzog (pictured) ”will raise the ongoing and vital struggle to secure the release of all the hostages held by Hamas.”

He will also meet with leaders of Jewish communities in the Netherlands, and will visit the Jewish school in Amsterdam.

‘’In each of his meetings, President Herzog will raise the ongoing and vital struggle to secure the release of all the hostages held by Hamas. He will also emphasize the important need to combat global antisemitism, and stress the centrality of Israel in the Jewish world,’’ his office said.

According to the Dutch media, pro-Palestinian activists are expected to protest the presence of President Herzog. “We value freedom of speech,” said a spokesman for the National Holocaust Museum. “We just say: keep it dignified. Keep in mind that Holocaust survivors will also be present.”

The National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam which will be inaugurated on Sunday and will open to the  public the next day, tells the story of the Nazi persecution and murder of the Jews of the Netherlands. It is the first and only museum to tell this story.

The Museum is mocated on Amsterdam’s Plantage Middellaan where hundreds of Jewish children were saved here during the war.

Visitors will learn about how it was possible for the Holocaust to happen, who the victims were, and the perpetrators – and how we can make sure that this never happens again.

Authentic elements emphasize the role played by the building during the war, like the fence where children were passed over from the adjacent kindergarten to members of the resistance.

The National Holocaust Museum is located in the old Jewish neighbourhood in the heart of Amsterdam. It is also home to the Jewish Museum and Jewish Museum junior, the Portuguese Synagogue and Hollandsche Schouwburg.

Prior to the Holocaust, 140,000 Jews were living in the Netherlands. During the 1930s, the community was active in helping Jews leave Germany, so that by the outbreak of the war, some 30,000 had found sanctuary in the Netherlands.

During the Holocaust, many of the Dutch collaborated with the Germans, while many others strove to rescue their Jewish neighbours. By the end of the war, over 100,000 Dutch Jews had been murdered. Some 10,000, including 3,500 children, had been hidden.

COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl
Surcharge affairs
This diary, setup by the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Holland, was designed to get an impression of my life during the corona pandemic.
Every now and then I almost forget that there is corona, but around New Year’s Eve I was pressed hard on the fact. Overcrowded hospitals and the threat of doctors having to judge life and death. Who do we treat and who do we leave to their own devices?
In the meantime, I watched a New Year’s Eve show for the first time in my life because I was curious and because I also performed in it: “ Old and New of Christians for Israel. ” And although I had a little intention to look at the New Year’s Eve conference by Joep van het Hek, I didn’t do that after all.
Reason: 1: waste of time. 2: Although I am very good at jokes and can be ridiculed with anything and everything, I find swearing unacceptable. Just a short explanation on point 1: From Jewish thinking it is wrong to waste time. Relaxing is fine. I walk every day because it is good for body and mind. But really doing nothing at all or doing something that is completely meaningless, that is not the case. Why then do I read newspapers and listen to the news obediently, you ask. Because, let’s be honest, whether or not I am aware of the number of daily corona infections is not much use. On the contrary! It makes me quite depressed and so do many others. Even all those crazy conspiracy theories about the vaccine are not among my beloved reading.
On the other hand I need news information to know how to act when or to continue to be able to write my diary and / or give a Jewish view on current affairs.
But following the news every second is totally unnecessary. The meaningful use of time is an important Jewish commandment.
About 2, the swearing. I am on the Committee of Recommendation of the League Against Curses. I was approached for that at the time and said yes. I sit on many Committees of Recommendation (so I recommend a lot!), But I am never in any place to be in it, but only use my name if I endorse the purpose of the Foundation. And I find swearing unacceptable because it hurts. So: freedom of expression with a limit, so I obediently sit on the Committee of Recommendation of the heavily Christian League against Cursing.
Friday evening and Shabbat went like weekly, except I was worried about our Friday evening ‘regular guest’ who was clearly much more tired than usual, did not walk well and indicated that on New Years Eve he had eaten eleven donuts on his own, while he had a lot be careful with sugar.
Immediately after Shabbat I called him to ask how he had fared, but thank G-d he is doing well. My grandson from England, who is still trapped here between England and Israel, where he studies, actually knows very little about his Dutch ancestors. So I shared what I know and came to the conclusion that I myself know nothing at all about the 80% of my family who “did not return”. They were not talked about at home! While explaining the horrors the war has caused here, I decided to let him watch “The Menten Case” with English subtitles. In the meantime, I have also watched (along) for the umpteenth time. Apart from the war criminal and the war crimes that are shown and that should not be forgotten, I continue to be annoyed by the corruption surrounding Menten. Government officials who allow themselves to be bribed, are threatened with lawsuits, Hans Knoop who is fired, his photographer who must have made huge money from him and who eventually can also be bribed. I am thinking of the Supplement affair. How could this have happened in our country! And issues like this still happen, on a daily basis.
Corona is a plague, but so are the Supplement affairs. I deliberately write affairs in the plural. Because the surcharges affair has surfaced (thanks to the media!), But what else is going on in affairs that were and / or are invisible? I know a few more!

EJA Team Congratulates Christians for Israel Belgium President David Vandeputte on Outstanding Collaboration

The EJA team, alongside Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and Baroness Régine Suchowolski Sluszny, who serves as the EJA Vice-Chairwoman for Holocaust Remembrance, were pleased to meet with Mr. David Vandeputte, the President of Christians for Israel Belgium. During the meeting, they conveyed their congratulations to Mr. Vandeputte and the entire Christians for Israel Belgium organization for their outstanding work and collaboration. This recognition underscores the importance of fostering strong partnerships and acknowledging the efforts dedicated to shared goals.

New Cooperation with NIG De Stedendriehoek

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with NIG De Stedendriehoek
We very much look forward to work closely together to the benefit of the Apeldoorn jewish community and European Jewry as a whole

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