New year message from EJA Chairman for Rosh HaShanah:

September 18, 2020
5780 (2020) was undoubtedly a watershed year for all of us.
The pandemic has upended our lives, caused many of us heartache and loss, and has pushed many struggling communities close to the edge.
And yet we sat at Seder tables , we carried on as best we could, as we always have done. We looked after each other, we reassured, lent words of comfort, engaged in physical acts of help and support…in short, we remain hopeful and true to who we are and the role entrusted to us by the Almighty.
It is in this continuing spirit that we welcome in 5781 – the Jewish new year- this evening.
We remain hopeful, positive and optimistic as we turn a new page, and we pray for better days ahead.
From all of us at the European Jewish Association, we wish you, your families, your loved ones a hopeful, healthy, happy and successful new year.
Shana Tova!
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Additional Articles

Norway Withholds Funding to Palestinian Authority Over Antisemitic and Jihadist Content in School Textbooks

Norway’s foreign minister on Thursday announced that funds earmarked for the Palestinian Authority’s education sector would be withheld until changes were made to schoolbooks that promoted antisemitism and terrorist violence against Israelis.
The decision followed a vote last December in the Norwegian parliament to demand such changes after the publication of a report by IMPACT-se — an NGO that analyzes school textbooks around the world for signs of intolerance — that demonstrated systematic insertions of violence, martyrdom and jihad across all grades and subjects in the textbooks used by the PA.
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said that when she met with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah in February, she had “communicated the government’s views on the matter, stressing that lack of improvements in the school curriculum could have budgetary implications for future Norwegian aid.”
Søreide expressed optimism that changes to the textbooks would be implemented. “We feel that there is a good and close dialogue with the Palestinian education authorities on the issue,” she said. “Some of the curriculum changes have already been made by Palestine’s own textbook quality control committee.”
A statement from IMPACT-se praised Søreide for her “unprecedented decision.”
“This remarkable pronouncement is a clear message that Norway’s elected leaders will not allow their generosity to be abused, to deliver a daily diet of violence, bigotry and incitement against Jews and Israel in Palestinian schools,” the NGO declared.
The article was published in the Algemeiner

83 years after Kristallnacht, Jewish leader warns: Europe can become ‘Judenfrei’ in 10 years

“There are more Jews in Europe who think that there will be no more Jewish community here in a decade than those who think that there is still hope,” declared Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.
“I am not saying that in ten years you will not be able to see Jewish people in Europe but I am very worried about the possibility to have Jewish presence in ten years from now,” he added as he addressed 160 ministers, parliamentarians and diplomats from across Europe who gathered for two days in Krakow, Poland, to discuss ways to increase Holocaust education and remembrance, fight against antisemitism and develop tools to combat hate speech and incitement in the age of social networks.
The gathering included also a tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps where a candle lighting ceremony and wreath laying were held in the presence of Rabbi Meir Lau, former chief Rabbi of Israel and President of the Council of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Among the speakers at the conference were Moroccan Minister of Culture and Youth Mohamed

Mehdi Bensaid, Roberta Metsola, European Parliament Vice-President, Hungarian Minister of Science and Education Zoltan Maruzsa, Minister of Education of Rhineland-Palatinate Stefanie Hubig, British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi, as well as the Speakers of the Parliaments of Slovenia and Montenegro.
The conference took place on the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night of Broken Glass, when on 9 November 1938 the Nazis started the anti-Jewish pogroms by  killing Jews, burning 1400 synagogues and destroying shops owned by Jews across Germany and Austria.
“Europe is fighting anti-Semitism, but it is not winning yet. If this upward trend continues, more and more Jews will seek sanctuary in Israel rather than stay in a continent that cannot learn the lessons and cataclysmic mistakes of its past. We are not yet in the state of Judenfrei but, unfortunately we are approaching it,’’  Rabbi Margolin emphasized.
He noted that Jews who seek to eat according to the customs of their religion cannot do so in certain countries because of laws banning kosher slaughter. And in some cities on the continent Jews cannot walk safely in their traditional clothes.
“Education, he said, is the most effective vaccine in combatting the world’s oldest and most virulent virus.”
Addressing the symposium in a video from Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett said: “In the Middle Ages Jews were persecuted because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries Jews were reviled because of their race, and today Jews are attacked because of their Nation State, Israel.”
“It is worrying that there needs to be a conference about Anti-Semitism in Auschwitz so soon after the Holocaust,” the Israeli premier said, adding that “so long as Israel remains strong, Jewish people around the world will be strong.”
British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi stated that: “The Holocaust was a failure for humanity and justice. The worst event in history. Nothing can erase the pain. I can feel the pain because my whole family has run away from Saddam Hussein’s rule. As Kurds, we had to escape. We fled when I was 7 years old from Iraq to the UK.”

The symposium in Krakow was followed by a visit of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps where a candle light ceremony and wreath laying took place.

He added: “I understand the important role of UK teachers in Holocaust education. Learning about history is something we sanctify in the UK. Due to the corona, virtual visits to Auschwitz increased. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and racism. Anti-hate education is our top priority in the UK. I urge universities to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism,” he said in a reference to antisemitism  on campuses.
German Minister of Education of the Rhineland-Palatinate State, Stefanie Hubig  said: “I work hard to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in schools. We work to bring teachers to visit memorial sites and promote Jewish education in schools. This is all important because, unfortunately, there are still reasons why we must continue to remember.”
In a message from Rabat, Moroccan Minister of Culture and Youth, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, stressed that this conference is taking place at a time when more and more radical ideologies promoting anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia are flourishing. “As long as the danger of radicalism hovers over the world, we all have a duty to remind and teach our younger generation in Morocco and around the world about the dark chapter of the Holocaust in human history.”
Kálmán Szalai, secretary of the European Action and Protection League (APL) identified education as an important means of reducing anti-Semitic prejudice and emphasized that “the knowledge passed on to new generations can fundamentally influence the choice of values in adulthood”.
A recent survey by the APL showed the persistence of anti-Jewish prejudices in the population of several countries in Europe.

83 years after Kristallnacht, Jewish leader warns: Europe can become ‘Judenfrei’ in 10 years

Nonostante Le Proteste Dei Leader Ebraici Europei, L'orologio Appartenuto A Hitler È Stato Messo All'asta Negli Stati Uniti.

Gli oggetti non fanno altro che dare manforte a coloro che idealizzano ciò che il partito nazista rappresentava o offrono agli acquirenti la possibilità di stuzzicare un ospite o una persona cara con un oggetto appartenente a un assassino genocida e ai suoi sostenitori”, ha scritto il rabbino Menachem Margolin, presidente dell’Associazione ebraica europea (EJA) con sede a Bruxelles, in una lettera cofirmata da 34 leader delle comunità ebraiche in Europa – scrive Yossi Lempkowicz.

Nonostante le proteste dei leader ebraici europei, un orologio d’oro appartenuto a Hitler è stato venduto da una casa d’aste americana per oltre 1 milione di euro.

L’orologio Huber presenta il disegno di una svastica e le iniziali A H. È stato acquistato da un offerente anonimo.

L’asta si è svolta venerdì, nonostante 34 leader ebrei europei avessero chiesto alla casa d’aste Alexander Historical Auctions di Chesapeake City, nel Maryland, di annullare l’asta.

Tra gli altri oggetti nazisti messi all’asta c’erano un collare per cani appartenuto al terrier di Eva Braun, carta igienica della Wehrmacht, posate e bicchieri di champagne di alte personalità naziste.

Il presidente della casa d’aste, Bill Panagopulos, ha respinto le proteste. Ha detto: “Quello che vendiamo è una prova criminale, per quanto insignificante. È una prova tangibile e reale che Hitler e i nazisti hanno vissuto, perseguitato e ucciso decine di milioni di persone. Distruggere o impedire in qualsiasi modo l’esposizione o la protezione di questo materiale è un crimine contro la storia”.

Ma i leader ebraici, che hanno inviato una lettera alla casa d’aste per condannare la vendita, hanno respinto l’affermazione: “Gli oggetti non fanno altro che dare manforte a coloro che idealizzano ciò che il partito nazista rappresentava o offrono agli acquirenti la possibilità di stuzzicare un ospite o una persona cara con un oggetto appartenente a un assassino genocida e ai suoi sostenitori”, ha scritto il rabbino Menachem Margolin, presidente dell’Associazione ebraica europea (EJA) con sede a Bruxelles, nella lettera cofirmata da 34 leader delle comunità ebraiche europee.

Ha aggiunto: “La vendita di questi oggetti è un’abiezione. La maggior parte dei lotti esposti non ha alcun valore storico intrinseco. In effetti, ci si può solo interrogare sulle motivazioni di chi li acquista. L’Europa ha sofferto enormemente a causa dell’ideologia perversa e assassina del partito nazista. Milioni di persone sono morte per preservare i valori di libertà che oggi diamo per scontati, tra cui quasi mezzo milione di americani. Il nostro continente è disseminato di fosse comuni commemorative e di siti di campi di sterminio”.

Negli ultimi anni, l’Associazione Ebraica Europea ha protestato contro diverse aste di oggetti nazisti.

Alexander Historical Auctions aveva già affrontato un rimprovero simile per vendite precedenti, tra cui una che presentava i diari personali del noto criminale di guerra nazista Josef Mengele.

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European Parliament President Roberta Metsola receives King David Award

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola on Monday was awarded the King David Award by the European Jewish Association for “her support to the Jewish community in Europe,” the multinational body announced.

Metsola received the award after she visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to commemorate victims of the Holocaust.

During the visit, Metsola laid a wreath at the Death Wall and attended a memorial ceremony, the European Parliament said.

“I struggled to comprehend how a quiet part of the world, surrounded by beautiful Birch trees, provided the setting for the worst crimes man has ever seen,” Metsola said, adding that the entire world must know the “horror that stems from indifference.”

Metsola added that the King David Award “will serve to me as a continuous reminder of those heinous crimes committed against humanity in the past and to recall the importance of speaking up in defense of our common values today.”

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