Passing Away of Our Dear Board Member- Dr. Emil Avramov Kalo

January 6, 2021

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of EJA Board Member Dr. Emil Avramov Kalo. A larger than life character, well know and respected in his native Bulgaria and a fierce and proud advocate for his country and for European Jewry as a whole. He was always there for us with valuable and wise counsel. We extend our condolences to his family at this difficult time.
ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

Additional Articles

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

Major Dutch Political and Religious Figures Vow to Fight Antisemitism in Famous Parliament Venue Where Nazi Decree in 1940 Took Place

A very special event marking Jewish life in the Netherlands took place on Tuesday 25th June in the prestigious Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in the Dutch parliament, The Hague. The Hall is usually only used for state Royal and very special other events.
The Ridderzaal also has a more chequered past. The last time it was used outside of state events was in 1940 when the Reichscommisssar Seyss-Inquart held his inauguration speech.
75 years later the Jewish community was well represented by both the Israeli Ambassador Aviv Shir-On and a few very distinguished Rabbis, along with many Christian religious and political leaders who spoke on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis, the Minister responsible for commemoration:
“We do not accept anti-Semitism in this country. That is the constitution.
Personally: as a Christian and a pastor's son, my parents helped people go into hiding. Our democracy can only function if we draw a line where discrimination and anti-Semitism arise. World War II and the Holocaust are also our history.
Rabbi Shmuel Katzman, the rabbi of The Hague, elaborated on the rich Jewish history of The Hague, the political capital of The Netherlands.
Jack van der Tang, a Christian advocate and friend of the Jewish people who organised the event said:
“Of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands, 102,000 were killed. We want to recognize the crimes, and write history. There are still echoes from the Ridderzaal in 1940, we must ensure that that it may never happen again”.
Aviv Shir-On, Ambassador of Israel to the Netherlands added:
“I am thankful that the Netherlands says about anti-Semitism: not here! And if everyone says so, we will eradicate it”.
Chief Rabbi Jacobs (Netherlands) gave his take:
“Is it realistic to talk about emerging anti-Semitism? It is not new after all.
 We used to have the wrong belief. In the Middle Ages we were a virus. And for that we had to be eliminated. My parents were the wrong breed. And we, the Jews of today, are all Zionists.
In 1945 my father returned home. The neighbors were not happy. It took a few weeks to get permission to go back to his own house. His windows were smashed. Like my windows were smashed a few years ago.
Minister van Schaik (just after the war) gave compliments and thanked the conductors of the Dutch railways to continue driving trains to the camps, and thus protect the Dutch economy. He said this just a few months after the liberation.
We must not exaggerate about anti-Semitism. But we must be vigilant for the danger. Anti-Semitism is increasing.
Thank God, the government protects us. I am grateful for that. But it is bizarre and unacceptable that this protection is needed. The generation of survivors is slowly disappearing.
I will tell you a small story: In deep darkness there are small candles that spread light. In the concentration camp of Westerbork, life was more or less normal: there was a hospital, a theatre and a school. A little boy stood in front of the open door of the classroom. He sang a song: “How happy we are that we are Jewish”. The teacher heard him. She picked him up and started dancing with all the children. So that little boy; in the gate to the hell of Auschwitz, on the way to the chimneys of the crematoria, brought light into the darkness.
That boy is here today…”
Rabbi Itzhak Vorst continued:
“Yes I was there. I was for eight months in Westerbork and afterwards in Bergen-Belsen. There was hardly any food in Bergen Belsen, my mother gave everything to us, so that there might be a new Jewish generation.
It is hard for me to go back.
 I saw the agents of the Marechaussee again in Westerbork. My memories came back to the camp agents. The fact that security is needed today is worrying.
We want to live. Tomorrow I will attend the wedding of my granddaughter, here in the Hague. Then I will sing my song again. “
Gert Jan Segers, the leader of the ChistenUnie in Parliament concluded:
“Israel is the last safe haven for Jews in the world. I am proud to stand here for a Holocaust survivor and for the Jewish community. I wonder why it exists; anti-Semitism. This was this place where the killing of Jews began.
There are historical reasons for fighting anti-Semitism. The signals are coming up again. There is only one correct response: get up and speak. Don't shut up.
There are also selfish reasons: if we are unable to protect our Jewish community, then we are lost as a country and society. I don't want that, so I'll fight.
 Is there a rational explanation why people hate Jews? We have dark pages in the history of the church and society. There is no rational explanation. I can only think: hatred of the Jews is hatred of the God of the Jews.
 So it is not just a fight against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle. That can be difficult.
 “Let this be the place where the blessing of Israel begins.”
 

EJA Zoom Conference with Jewish Communities Across Europe

It was our pleasure today to host a zoom conference with Jewish communities from all across Europe to share with each other the difficulties and how we are coping under #COVID19 just before the Pesach holidays.
we would like to thank:
Rabbi Arie Goldberg, Director General of the Rabbinical Center of Europe -RCE
Daniel Kapp (Austria), Member of the Advisory Board
Ellen van Praagh (The Netherlands), Member of the Advisory Board
Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands), Chief Rabbi of the Intern-Provincial Chief Rabbinate of the Netherlands
Dr. Emil Kalo (Bulgaria), Member of the Advisory Board
Dr. Ferenc Olti (Hungary), Member of the Advisory Board
Pascal Markowicz (France), Member of the Advisory Board
Fernando Rosenberg (Spain), Jewish Community of Barcelona
Konstantinos Karagounis MP (Greece), Member of the Advisory Board
Regina Suchowolski-Sluszny (Belgium), Member of the Advisory Board
Rabbi Zevi Ives (Belgium), ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students)
Maximillian Marco Katz (Romania), Member of the Advisory Board
Joël Rubinfeld (Belgium), Member of the Advisory Board
Saskia Pantell(Sweden), President of the Zionist Federation of Sweden
Leon Bendahan (Spain)
Hanna Luden (The Netherlands), Director at CIDI – Centrum Informatie Documentatie Israel
Diana Sandler (Germany), President of the Jewish Community of Barnim
Szalai Kálmán (Hungary), Secretary of the Action and Protection League - APL
Edward Odoner (Poland), Vice-President of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland
Rabbi Köves Slomó, Executive Rabbi of EMIH – Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation

a note about our next zoom conference will be published on our Facebook page

EJA/EIPA Meeting, planning for the upcoming year.

This week we dedicated two days for the annual EJA/EIPA meeting with all members of the teams, coming from France, Germany, Israel and of course our local head court's members, here in Brussels.
Bringing together our different experiences, views and ideas we have managed to come up with a list of subjects we would like to deal with this upcoming year and a lot of exiting new ways to do that whether if it is in Politics, the Media world or among the Jewish communities around Europe.
We don't know about you but we are very exited to start this fruitful year. for us, for The Jewish people in Europe and for the state of Israel.

Additional Communities
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Schweiz
Switzerland
Spain
Slovakia
Serbia
Russia
Romania
Portugal
Poland