#NeverMeansNever campaign for Yom HaShoah

April 20, 2020

Yom HaShoah is when Israel and many diaspora Jews honour the memory of those who lost lost their lives in the Holocaust.
This year, given the extraordinary circumstances that we find ourselves in with the coronavirus outbreak, we are proud to help our partners at the European March of the Living in promoting their powerful and important plaque campaign.
Each of you can create your own plaque by clicking on the link here below that will be printed and placed on the railway tracks at the entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau. You can do so here: https://nevermeansnever.motl.org/

or on the special mini-site in collaboration with the Jerusalem Post: http://marchoftheliving.jpost.com
And please join all the “virtual”marchers of the March of the Living in honoring those lost in the Holocaust and in committing yourselves to the fight against antisemitism and racism by declaring on your plaques: #NeverMeansNever or by posting your personal message.
You will also find the link to this campaign on the European March of the Living website: www.emot.eu

Additional Articles

Bulgarian Synagogue and Halle Memorial Targeted in Anti-Semitic Attacks in Europe

Vandals struck a synagogue gate in Bulgaria and a monument to the victims of the shooting attack last Yom Kippur near a synagogue in Halle, Germany, in a spate of unrelated incidents last week in Europe, the JTA reported.
In Bulgaria, the words “Free Palestine Israel=Nazis Antifa Bulgaria” were spray-painted Wednesday on the gate to the synagogue of Plovdiv, a city situated about 100 miles southeast of the capital Sofia.
While in Germany, in Halle, a plexiglas panel on the monument of the shooting was smashed. The vandals also tried to set fire to a flag of Israel under the Plexiglas, the Jewish Community of Halle wrote Tuesday on their social media page.
Also in Germany, in a third incident, a structure inside the Jewish cemetery of the town of Krumbach, in southern Germany, was damaged. Police are treating the vandalism as an anti-Semitic case because earlier this year, a nearby picnic table was dismantled and the wooden polls comprising it rearranged on the floor in the shape of a swastika, the website AllgaeuRechtsaussen reported Monday.
Also Monday, metal thieves removed dozens of fences and railings from around tombstones at the Jewish cemetery of Babruysk in Belarus, the news Bobruisk.ru reported.
Read More

Antisemitism - Overview of data available in the European Union 2006–2016

New extremely important report recently published by the EU Agency for Fundamental rights.
This report provides an overview of data on antisemitism as recorded by international organisations and by official and unofficial sources in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States, based on their own definitions and categorisations.
Antisemitism can be expressed in the form of verbal and physical attacks, threats, harassment, property damage and graffiti or other forms of speech or text, including on the internet. Antisemitic incidents and hate crime violate fundamental rights, including the right to human dignity, the right to equality of treatment and the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
This annual overview compiles the available evidence on antisemitic incidents collected by governmental and non-governmental sources, covering the period 1 January 2006– 31 December 2016, where data are available. In addition, it includes a section that presents evidence from international organisations. No official data on reported antisemitic incidents in 2016 were available for 11 Member States by the time this report was compiled in September 2017.
‘Official data’ are understood here as those collected by law enforcement agencies, other authorities that are part of criminal justice systems and relevant state ministries at the national level. ‘Unofficial data’ refers to data collected by civil society organisations.
for the full report click HERE

The Fifth "MAHAR" Conference Budva, Montenegro

This year “MAHAR” (tomorrow) conference was dealing with the important question:  “Whither will Jewish Diaspora go?”
Rabbi Menachem Margolin (Founder of European Jewish Association) was invited to share his thoughts and ideas on the issue of the European Jewry Future.

For more information on the conference klick HERE

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!

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