The Ambassador in Bnei Brak
The Ambassador in Bnei BrakYaakov Nahumi

On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day and in the wake of the increase in manifestations of antisemitism around the world, a delegation of dozens of ambassadors of European countries, led by Mr. Dimiter Tzantchev, the EU ambassador to Israel, arrived today (Tuesday) for an event of identification and a demonstration of solidarity, at the ultra-Orthodox Holocaust institute, Ganzach Kiddush Hashem in the town of Bnei Brak.

With media personality Sivan Rahav-Meir officiating, this special event was opened by the Mayor of Bnei Brak, Rabbi Chanoch Zeibert, son of a Holocaust survivor. He told the diplomats the story of his father’s rescue from the jaws of the Nazis and his family’s revival from the ashes of destruction, here in Israel.

Deputy Minister Rabbi Uri Maklev, Chairman of the Holocaust Survivors Commission at the Prime Minister’s office, noted that what preceded the Holocaust and led up to it were antisemitism and anti-Jewish incitement. “Today, antisemitism comes from organized groups within various countries in Europe, and it needs to be fought against and eradicated. The right atmosphere must be created for education and advocacy against the rising antisemitism in Europe these days, and it must not be given any legitimacy.” The Deputy Minister turned to the ambassadors and emphasized that the Jews’ spirit and faith were what held them up during the Holocaust.

The keynote speaker at the event, the EU ambassador to Israel, Mr. Dimiter Tzantchev, said: “The Holocaust is a dark stain that will never be erased from the history of our continent, and we, as representatives of the European Union and its member countries, see it as our sacred obligation to ensure that the brutal murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children will never be forgotten.”

The Ambassador related that after the terrible events of October 7, and the wave of antisemitism that has swept over Europe and other parts of the world in their wake, the European Union has accelerated the implementation of the Union’s strategy for fighting antisemitism and fostering Jewish life. The comprehensive plan includes almost 100 initiatives, 74 of which are already underway, and their goal is to ensure that Jews in Europe can live their lives freely.

The ambassadors who participated in the event spoke of their excitement in participating and seeing the unique focus of Ganzach Kiddush Hashem which shows how Jews guarded their tradition and observed their religious precepts during the war.

Rachel Yod, Chairperson of the Ganzach Kiddush Hashem board, addressed the ambassadors: “I call upon you to join hands with us in our sacred and important mission of perpetuating the memory of the Jewish communities that once existed in Europe, which are a glorious part of your countries' histories.”

In her address, Yod mentioned the connection between the memory of the Holocaust and the fight against antisemitism that has erupted throughout the world. She spoke of “a history of rich culture, fascinating literature still used today, poetry, music, and the ancient beauty of Europe. Beauty that was and is no more. But here, in our country, it is the ultra-Orthodox society that effectively preserves it. This preservation, alongside Jewish and universal values, which we instill among the youth, aligns them with your struggle against antisemitism.”

The chairperson personally invited each and every ambassador to visit the Ganzach and gain an impression of the extensive educational activity of the institute, with the aim of thinking how to enhance and expand the activity for the benefit of their common important goals.