IL SIMPOSIO A BABYN YAR: “ACCETTARE LE SFIDE DEL FUTURO SENZA DIMENTICARE LA MEMORIA DEL PASSATO”

January 28, 2022

Guardare al futuro, alla lotta all’antisemitismo, senza dimenticare la storia, specialmente la Shoah e i suoi massacri. La memoria può dunque diventare un punto di partenza per riflettere anche sul futuro e sul presente dell’ebraismo europeo. Queste le premesse con la quale è stato aperto il simposio, organizzato dall’European Jewish Association, dai partner del Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center e della Federazione delle Comunità Ebraiche dell'Ucraina, in occasione della Giornata della Memoria dedicata al massacro di Babyn Yar avvenuto a Kiev.

Tra il 29 e il 30 settembre del 1941, un reparto speciale Einsatzgruppe tedesco, assistito da due battaglioni del reggimento di polizia sud e polizia ausiliaria Ucraina, senza alcuna resistenza da parte della popolazione locale, uccisero all’interno del burrone Babi Yar, situato nel nord-ovest di Kiev, circa 33 771 ebrei. Il Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center è stato creato dal decreto del presidente ucraino Petro Poroshenko il 20 ottobre 2017. Con questo l'Ucraina proponeva un nuovo approccio alla conservazione della memoria storica di quei tragici eventi. "L'Ucraina è il quarto paese per numero che sono state annoverate tra coloro che furono “Giusti tra le nazioni”. Il parlamento ucraino ha recentemente adottato una legge per combattere e prevenire l'antisemitismo nel paese e per commemorare la Shoah. La memoria è l'unico modo per combattere l'antisemitismo – ha detto nel corso della conferenza il Presidente del parlamento ucraino, Ruslan Stefanchuk- Le atrocità sono avvenute spesso perché la gente è rimasta in silenzio a causa della paura, dell'indifferenza e dell'egoismo. Lo studio della Shoah oggi è di particolare importanza per il popolo ucraino.”

Una delegazione di circa cento ministri, parlamentari, senatori, ambasciatori e giornalisti di tutta Europa riuniti in Ucraina. Due giorni intensi di seminario volti ad analizzare l’emergenza dilagante del nuovo risveglio dell’antisemitismo. Un momento per riunirsi, confrontarsi e discutere, ma soprattutto per tentare di accogliere la sfida di combattere l'antisemitismo in atto in Europa. Non nascondersi, ma affrontare il passato con un rinnovato senso di pragmatismo, trovando strategie per fronteggiare l’odio antiebraico di oggi, in tutte le sue forme.

Babyn Yar: una vergognosa pagina della storia, per anni nascosta. Al termine del seminario la delegazione si è recata nel luogo dove furono trucidati milioni di innocenti per una visita al centro Babyn Yar seguita da una cerimonia.  Il memoriale, in seguito a moltissimi sforzi per commemorare le sue vittime, ha trovato la sua ubicazione, cinque anni fa nello stesso luogo dove avvenne la tragedia.

Ad intervenire, nel corso della serata, anche il Presidente del consiglio del Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center Natan Sharansky. Sharansky, nel suo videomessaggio, ha sottolineato come le autorità sovietiche abbiano tentato insabbiare l’accaduto cancellando ogni ricordo del massacro avvenuto in quel burrone. “Una commemorazione importante non solo per le vittime e per onorare la loro memoria- ha aggiunto Sharansky -ma anche per garantire che le lezioni della storia vengano apprese e ricordate nell’era in cui viviamo oggi”.

“Sono nato pochi anni dopo la Shoah, sono cresciuto in Ucraina tra i campi di sterminio, eppure non ne sapevamo nulla - spiega al pubblico Sharansky - Ecco perché oggi è così importante che il Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, che ho l'onore di presiedere, stia facendo grandi sforzi per trasformare questa “grande tomba della Shoah” in un grande museo con il suo centro di ricerca e studio.  Stiamo facendo tutto questo collaborando strettamente con il governo ucraino.”

https://www.shalom.it/blog/orizzonte-europa-bc251/il-simposio-a-babyn-yar-a-accettare-le-sfide-del-futuro-senza-dimenticare-la-memoria-del-passatoa-b1109801?fbclid=IwAR1g9_70Nyjy_rku4MgCIqlbM2bCewRz0XU2N9KhGFiZHvwhnQamV45wETY

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Ways to help the Jews of Ukraine

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jewish organizations are directing aid for tens of thousands of Jews living in the embattled country, assisting refugees who are fleeing the fighting and helping area Jews who have been trying or are hoping to immigrate to Israel.

Below is a partial list of organizations that have ramped up ongoing efforts in the region or opened emergency mailboxes since the start of the war.

• The Jewish Federations of North America has an emergency mailbox for helping people immigrate to Israel, securing the local Ukrainian community and its institutions and maintaining critical welfare services, among other needs.

• The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has a longstanding presence in the country, assisting impoverished seniors and supporting a network of Jewish community centers and social service agencies.

• The American Jewish Committee’s emergency #StandWithUkraine fund is pledging to direct 100 percent of the funds to those meeting urgent needs in Ukraine, including  IsraAID, the rapid response Israeli relief agency, which is assisting refugees of all backgrounds in neighboring Moldova.

• HIAS is  working through channels within the US and throughout Europe to support the safe and speedy resettlement of those seeking to leave Ukraine.

• The Jewish Agency for Israel has opened an emergency hotline to provide Ukrainian Jews with guidance and information regarding the immigration process, as well as general assistance.

• The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has a Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund.

• Masorti Olami has a fund for Ukrainian Relief.

• UJA-Federation of New York has a dedicated mailbox supporting its partners providing humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

• Project Kesher is currently supporting an Emergency Fund for Women in Ukraine.

• Agudath Israel has a Ukraine Emergency Relief fund that has raised $10 million as of March 10.

• United Hatzalah of Israel has sent medical professionals to Ukraine’s borders in Operation Orange Wings. Donations to their fund help deliver medical care to Ukraine.

• JRoots runs heritage trips to Poland to tell the story of the Holocaust. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has repurposed to assist Ukrainian refugees into Poland and settle abroad. Contact Ayelet at +972 54-636-6512

• First-responder group IsraAID is on the scene as thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge in Moldova. IsraAID is providing psychological first aid and distributing essential relief supplies. Donations towards emergency support for Ukrainian refugees can be made here.

• Magen David Adom, Israel’s branch of Red Cross International, has established a Russian-language  refugee call center. Donations can be made here.

• Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America has opened a fund, “Ukraine in Crisis: Save Lives at Risk!” in support of the Hadassah Medical Organization, which is already treating Ukrainian refugees at its centers in Israel.

• The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of communities across the continent, has launched a Europe-wide campaign to temporarily provide homes, food and clothing to hundreds of Jewish families whose lives have been torn-apart and up-ended by the conflict in Ukraine. For further information contact: +32 (0)476056450

• The Orthodox Union has opened a Ukraine Crisis Fund to support individuals and organizations assisting people on the ground in Ukraine.

• World Jewish Relief has been working in Ukraine for the last 30 years, and has helped 13,000 older and more vulnerable Ukrainians within and beyond the Jewish community in the past year alone. Its Ukraine Crisis Appeal is raising funds to support the organization’s 29 partners in Ukraine, along with partners in neighboring Moldova and Poland, which are providing food, cash, medical, material and psychological support to those fleeing or unable to escape the violence.

• The World Union for Progressive Judaism has launched the Ukraine Crisis Fund to support the safety and well-being of the Ukrainian Jewish community.

• Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal is working with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government to expedite immigration to Israel for Ukrainian Jews, as well as assist the Jewish community remaining in Ukraine with essential goods such as food, supplies, security and other necessities.

Bootcamp- Madrid day 2&3

Day two of our bootcamp started with two special guests: Berlin's combatting anti-semitism representative Mr Sigmount Konigsborg, and ACOM's Mr Angel Mas who took our participants on an intensive session into modern manifestations of anti-semitism, the challenges of social media and how to fight back on campus and in public discourse. Both are heroes of ours and it was great to have them share their experience and tips.
We had a brief tour of Madrid before getting straight back into it with Attorney at the Paris Bar and leading French Jewish and Israel advocate Pascal Markowicz who gave us his take and counter arguments to the ICC’s announcement to investigate Israel, then we dove straight into an EJA team seminar on two threats to Jewish life in Europe: Shechitah and Brit Milah. Day 2 concluded with a great dinner where special guests from the Israeli embassy and Spanish MP and friend of the EJA José Ignacio Echániz. Then, well, we let our hair down a bit…
Day 3 coincided with Yom Hazikaron, and it was fitting on a day that Israel mourns its dead in defence of the country that we spoke about the positive impact that Israel has played in embedding normalisation in the hearts and minds of the Emiratis. Two masterminds of the the social media strategy Strategic Mr Yonatan Gonen who heads up the Arab language social media section at the MFA and Mr Ido Daniel who directs public diplomacy and social media at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs shared their remarkable and inspiring works as well providing tips and insights on how to manage social media relations.
We then went straight into a panel of leading Spanish Journalists for an exchange of views on Israel and how the media covers the region, before concluding with former ACOM President and former President of the Madrid community Mr David Hatchwell, who shared his incredible and inspiring story of how he got engaged in advocacy and the challenges and opportunities in advocacy work going forward. Finally, as we drew our bootcamp to a close, we talked about our Jewish Diplomatic Corps, which is the next step for many of our bootcampers….intense, fun, enlightening and constructive. The EJA, our partners the
ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students) and Concert - Together for Israel are building the next generation of Jewish leaders. Leaders with the right skills and tenacity to lead from the front. We are proud of them.

Israel Elections Day: Rivlin urges public to vote in rerun, promises they won’t have to do it again

President says he’ll do what he can to avoid a third election in a row amid deadlock predictions, tells Israelis ‘It is a real necessity’ to cast ballots
President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station in Jerusalem, September 17, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station in Jerusalem, September 17, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin promised to do everything he could to make sure Israelis do not have to cast ballots again a few months down the line, as the country headed to the polls Tuesday for an unprecedented rerun election.“I will do everything I can to prevent further elections and to establish a government quickly,” Rivlin said in a statement early Tuesday.Rivlin has made similar promises several times in recent weeks, including a video published Monday night urging Israelis to vote once and then not again for a while.“We must remember that, in the game of democracy, influence happens only through the ballot box,” Rivlin said in the video which was posted to his official Facebook page.“I, for my part, will do everything in my power, within the framework of the law and authority given to me by my post, to establish a elected government in Israel as quickly as possible, and to avoid another election campaign,” the president promised.

This picture taken on September 16, 2019 shows Israeli election billboards on a street in Jerusalem for the Likud and Blue and White parties. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Casting his vote on Tuesday morning at a polling station set up in a Jerusalem school, Rivlin implored voters in Hebrew and English to vote.“You must vote. It is a real necessity,” he said.As president, one of Rivlin’s responsibilities is choosing a candidate to attempt to form a government after elections.In April, he handed that task to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who then failed to garner enough support for a government. Rather than allow Rivlin to select another candidate, Netanyahu engineered the collapse of the Knesset and called new elections for September 17.Rivlin said he understands the “feeling of frustration” among the public at having to go back to the polls.

President Reuven Rivlin (right) presents Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a two-week extension to form a new government, May 13, 2019. (Haim Zach, GPO)

Surveys have shown Netanyahu and chief rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party both still likely falling short of being able to form a government without reaching across the aisle.Rivlin said he will task someone with forming a government within three days of receiving the confirmed finals results from the  Central Elections Committee on September 25. The president usually gives the mandate to the person recommended by most lawmakers during consultations, but he has some leeway on the matter, one of his only non-ceremonial roles.The selected lawmaker will then have 28 days to produce a government. Although Rivlin can grant an extension of up to 14 days, the president stressed that he can also choose to give a shorter extension.He said if they fail to form a government he will give another lawmaker a chance, unless no suitable candidate is found, in which case 61 MKs can ask him to give the mandate to any chosen lawmaker, including the MK who was given first shot.Ultimately, the Knesset must give a vote of confidence for any new government, and without that the country would need, “God forbid,” to hold third elections, Rivlin said.The article was published on The Times of Israel

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Blessings for Rosh HaShanah18-21-09-2020

The EJA warmly thanks H.E. Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for His Excellency's kind wishes to the European Jewry in light of the recent holiday of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).

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