World-wide communities show support to Romania

June 17, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Senior professionals representing Jewish communities from more than 50 countries have chosen Bucharest in which to hold their annual meeting to support the 5,000 Jews still living in Romania.

Choral Synagogue in Bucharest

The Jewish population prior to World War II was more than 400,000.

The meeting of Jewish community professionals from around the world is convened each year by the World Jewish Congress (WJC). Australia is being represented by ECAJ co-CEO, Peter Wertheim.  Participants will share their knowledge and experience on a wide range of issues including communal security, antisemitism, Israel advocacy, protection of religious freedoms and communal governance.

They celebrated Shabbat together with the local Jewish community in the 150-year-old Choral Synagogue in Bucharest.

Participants will also attend a high level meeting being convened under the patronage and with the participation of the Prime Minister of Romania, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, the WJC and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, on the theme “A future strategy to prevent and fight antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, radicalization and hate speech”, as part of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019.

{eter Wertheim with Romanian PM Viorica Dancila

Peter Wertheim commented: “The wealth of knowledge and professional experience around the table has ensured the highest quality discussion at every session. Every community has unique and valuable insights into our common heritage and destiny and we all have something to teach to and learn from, each other.

The other revelation has been the richness of Jewish life even in the numerically small Jewish community in Romania. Their resilience and commitment are truly remarkable. They have maintained a State Jewish theatre that includes some of Romania’s finest performers. We attended a Yiddish musical of astounding energy that had the audience, which included many non-Jews, in raptures. I have never seen anything comparable, even in larger and wealthier communities”.

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