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Culture & History

   Yom Hazikaron – Yom Haatsmaut
       By Gilberte Jacaret

hazikaron1Yom Ha-Atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron — Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers.
The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence--the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.
It begins with an official ceremony at the Western Wall, as the flag of Israel is lowered to half staff. Places of entertainment are closed for the day. Radio and television stations play programs about Israel's wars and show programming that conveys the somber mood of the day.

As on Yom HaShoah, an air raid siren is played twice during Yom HaZikaron. When the siren is heard, all activity, including traffic, immediately stops.
People get out of their cars and stand at attention in memory of those who died defending Israel. The first siren marks the beginning of Memorial Day and the
second is sounded immediately prior to the public recitation of prayers in military cemeteries.

Numerous public ceremonies are held throughout Israel. There is a national ceremony at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl,
  were many of Israel's leaders and soldiers are buried. Many schools and public buildings have memorials for those from their
  community who died in Israel's wars.
  The day officially draws to a close in the evening at the official ceremony of Israel Independence Day on Mount Herzl, when hazikaron2b
  the flag of Israel is returned to full staff right before Yom HaAtzmaut.

  The official "switch" from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha-Atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on
  Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which
  the flag is raised from half staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole. The President of Israel delivers a speech
  of congratulations, and soldiers representing the army, navy, and air force parade with their flags.

   In recent decades this small-scale parade has replaced the large-scale daytime parade, which was the main event during
   the 1950s and '60s. The evening parade is followed by a torch lighting (hadlakat masuot) ceremony, which marks the
   country's achievements in all spheres of life.



At the initiative of the French Representation, the Council of Europe welcomes the « Yossel de Rosheim (1478-1554) Exhibition, between the unique and the universal.   A  Jew committed to the Europe of his time and of ours” shown during the Spring  Parliamentary Session of the Council of Europe (April 22-26) in the Foyer of the Committee of Ministers.

Exhibition on Yossel de Rosheim, an important figure of Alsatian and European Judaism.

Composed of about twenty illustrated panels, the exhibition records the life and works of Yossel de Rosheim, representative to the cities, the Princes and the Emperor, elected by all the Jews of the Holy Roman Empire in its historic, religious and intellectual context. This turning point at the beginning of the Renaissance period in Europe witnessed the emergence of the Reform of Rhenish Humanism, the peasant war and the persecution of Jews. Yossel de Rosheim wanted to fight for them to live or rather to survive. This exhibition is presented for the first time in official European premises based in the region where Yossel was born and lived until the end of his life, when he was not travelling throughout Europe. The exhibit was shown at the Alsatian Region in Strasbourg, at the Historic Museum in Haguenau in 2012 and at the Humanist Library in Selestat in 2013. It will be at the Dominican Library in Colmar in 2014.



B’nai B’rith mourns the loss of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died April 8 at the age of 87.

Thatcher was a leading and reliable voice supporting free emigration for Soviet Jews. She spoke forcefully on behalf of Jews prevented from leaving the Soviet Union and demanded that restrictions be lifted.
Thatcher served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990—the only woman to ever hold the post.

B'nai B'rith joins the British people in mourning her loss.
Yom HaShoah 2013
By Gilberte Jacaret

yom hashoa1
Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day on Sunday at Yad Vashem

JERUSALEM (EJP)--- The official opening ceremony for the annual Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem will take place on Sunday with as central theme "Defiance and Rebellion during the Holocaust: 70 Years Since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising."
Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, will kindle the Memorial Torch.
During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches in memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
The traditional memorial service will take place during the ceremony. The Rishon LeZion Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar will recite Psalms. The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger will recite Kaddish. El Maleh Rahamim, a Jewish prayer for the souls of the martyrs, will be recited by Cantor Azi Schwartz.
At 22:00 a special radio program entitled “Shoah, Heroism and Definitions” that will explore the essence of heroism during the Holocaust, will air on Galei Zahal, the Israeli army radio as a joint program with Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem called on the public to fill in Pages of Testimony to commemorate the names of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help Holocaust survivors fill out Pages of Testimony. At the same time, Yad Vashem is continuing the “Gathering the Fragments” campaign in an effort to rescue Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and art.

11,000 youths to attend March of the Living

Jerusalem Post 04/02/2013
IDF chief of staff, Israeli ambassador to Warsaw, to join Jews from around the world at Auschwitz concentration camp to mark Holocaust anniversary.

 yomhashoa2                                                                                                           March of the Living in Polish cemetery Photo: Yossi Zeilger

Eleven thousand young people will take part in this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day activities at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland under the auspices of the March of the Living program.


A musical about The Leo Frank case
Opens in Oslo, Norway


PARADE is a musical about the Leo Frank case, opening in Oslo, Norway exactly one hundred
years after the Mary Phagan murder.

In 1913 Leo Frank was the newly elected president of the Gate City Lodge no. 144 of B’nai
B’rith in Atlanta, Georgia. He had moved to Atlanta from Brooklyn to work as superintendent
at the National Pencil factory.
On April 26th 1913 Mary Phagan, a 13 year old factory worker, is murdered. Soon Leo Frank
is arrested for the murder. Media frenzy and public opinion agitates the demands for “justice”.
Leo Frank is sentenced to death. During two years he writes numerous appeals. Finally
John Slaton, governor of Georgia, re-examines the evidence and testimonies, and commutes Leo
Frank’s death sentence to life in prison. The citizens are outraged. In the middle of the night,
On August 16th1915, a group of 28 men break into the prison where Leo is being held, kidnap him
and drive him 280 kilometres to Mary Phagan’s home town. There they lynch him.
The original trial against Leo Frank is what sparked the creation of the Anti Defamation
League in 1913. The lynching of Leo Frank led to the re-creation of the Ku Klux Klan. But not
everyone is familiar with these events!
The situation around the Leo Frank case is complex: there’s South versus North, child labour,
race issues, religion and sensation journalism.
PARADE was written by Alfred Uhry, a Southerner And a Jew, and Jason Robert Brown, Jewish and
from the North.
We – a group of professional actors and singers – are truly passionate about telling this story, to remind people about tolerance and courage. After the tragedy here in Oslo July 22nd 2011, we as
a people started to discuss tolerance, prejudice, courage, forgiveness and every individual’s responsibility when confronted with tragedy and evil. We would like to contribute to and broaden
that discussion, while giving the audience a sincere artistic experience. We also hope this production of PARADE could inspire theatres across Europe to tell this story, too.

We need your help!
Unfortunately we haven’t succeeded yet in reaching the level of funding we would need. We are
now reaching out to the communities possibly most open to helping us in this endeavour: the
theatre community, people of Jewish faith, civil rights organisations and the legal community.

We would be very grateful to every person donating 10 Euro or spreading our plea to persons
or organisations interested to help!
Please see our website www.paradenorge.no  for information – Donations may be sent to :
Bank Account : NO82 9046 1203 247 – BIC : HANDNOKK
Bank : Handelsbanken, Postboks 1664 Vika – S-0120 OSLO - Norway

PARADE Thanks you!
Passover in Krakow: Jewish revival in Poland

Jews and non-Jews attend Seder at Jewish Community Center.

KRAKOW – Seventy years after most of Polish Jewry died in the Holocaust, it seems that Jewish life in Poland is experiencing a revival.

More than 150 people gathered at the Jewish Community Center in Krakow on Monday evening to celebrate the Passover Seder. Among them were non-Jews, mostly Catholic Poles, with a great interest in Judaism. For many of them, it was the first Jewish holiday they had ever celebrated.

Leading the Seder was David Pash, son of the city’s Chief Rabbi Boaz Pash.

Guests sat around tables laden with traditional Passover dishes and kosher Israeli wine and matza, and listened to the Haggada in Hebrew and Polish.

Jonathan Ornstein, head of the Krakow JCC, told The Jerusalem Post about the preparations for the Passover evening and said that even he was surprised by the number of requests they had received to attend the celebration.

“We had a lot of interest, and we had more than 150 guests, including locals and people from all over the world, including Israel, the United States and Canada who are visiting Krakow and asked to join us,” he said.

“We had people of all ages, from a six-week-old baby to a 90-year-old guest.”


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