The ”International Holocaust Day" was marked by an impressive and emotional ceremony at the "Yad Ezer L’Haver " association in Haifa In front of a crowd of thousands
Earlier this week, on Monday, January 27, 2020, the "International Holocaust Day Memorial" was held around the world. This special date was chosen as it marks the day the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was released, and this was the 75th anniversary of its liberation. Yad Ezer L’Haver, led by Mr. Shimon Sabag, the Founder and CEO of the association commemorates this day with an impressive and honorable ceremony, to which thousands of people came from all over Israel, Haifa and the north.The event took place at the Memorial Pillar for the Holocaust Victims within the Yad Ezer complex on Kassel Street, Haifa. The ceremony attracted a crowd of thousands, with hundreds of Holocaust survivors from Haifa and the north, of which 120 Holocaust survivors are our residents. The ceremony was attended by many public figures, including former Chief of Staff and former Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon, Members of Knesset Kati Sheetrit, Merav Michaeli and Orly Forman, Deputy Mayor of Haifa, Attorney David Etzioni, former Haifa Mayor Mr. Yona Yahav, Ambassadors, Consuls and Military Attachees from Various Countries, including Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Equatorial Guinea, France, Germany, Sweden and more , Police officers, schoolchildren, and hundreds of football players of the Maccabi Haifa football club youth department , which maintains a close relationship with the association's Holocaust survivors.
The traditional "God of Mercy" prayer, by Cantor Haim Greenstein, lamenting the memory of Holocaust victims, opened the ceremony . Holocaust survivor Moshe Stanger said "Kaddish" in memory of the martyrs, then a Memory Torch was lit in the monument by four Holocaust survivors, 92-year-old Ms. Judith Hershkowitz from Hungary, 98-year-old Ms. Miriam Linial from Poland, 96-year-old Shalom Stemberg from Poland and the last survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, and 93-year-old Shlomo Scherzer from Romania.During the ceremony, Chief of Staff and former Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon said: "I stand here in front of all the survivors who withstood the Nazi camps and the atrocities and I know that our country owes its strength and resilience to these people." Yonah Yahav, a regular guest at the Central Ceremony, said: "If we do not stop the wave of immigration of Israelis living in Germany and particularly in Berlin, I do not know how we shall look in a few decades and where we will be. I call on you, Shimon Sabag a great and righteous man, to please continue your wonderful and awesome work for Holocaust survivors”.During the ceremony, the founder and CEO of the association, Mr. Shimon Sabag, awarded the "Social Justice Shield" to several supporters of our charity : the successful businesswoman, Mrs. Yardena Ovadia, who contributes greatly to the welfare of the organization's Holocaust survivors, to Advocate Avraham Halleli, to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and to the Coast Guard Border Police 306, under the command of Superintendent Shlomi Ben Arush, for the adoption of the Holocaust survivors and for the unit's dedicated, faithful and longstanding relationship with the Holocaust survivors of the organization. Furthermore a special plaque was awarded to the late Dany Nishlis, founder of the Haifa Radio Station, for his support of the Holocaust Survivors. The plaque was received by his family.Mr. David Parsons, spokesman for the "International Christian Embassy" in Jerusalem, pledged that the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem will maintain the donation of millions of shekels to the Holocaust survivors of the "Yad Ezer L’Haver" association. He stated that the funds and aid they provide to "Yad Ezer L’Haver" are part of the mission the Christian Embassy sees as an obligation to maintain."We have but to salute a man like Mr. Shimon Sabag who has been devoted for so many years to the good and welfare of Holocaust survivors, without seeking even the smallest personal benefit. "Founder and CEO of "Yad Ezer L’Haver" Mr. Shimon Sabag: "I stand here particularly excited this year. I am moved to see dozens of public figures, ambassadors, consuls and quite a few Knesset members who came to support the survivors of the Holocaust who live in our warm community. The Holocaust survivors are the true heroes for us all."The artistic portion of the ceremony was presented by the students of the "Izraelia" school who performed a few songs, and the actor and friend of the association Gil Danino in an exciting play segment about a small boy "Mishka" who survived the Nazi inferno. The ceremony was gracefully moderated by the journalist of Channel 20, Eliran Tal and ex-Knesset Member Ms. May Golan, who performed the English translation for our foreign dignitaries.At the closing of the ceremony, the general public visited to the "Living Holocaust and Rebirth Museum", established by the association about a year and a half ago in our compound. The Museum has already passed the quarter of a million visitors mark from Israel and abroad. The Holocaust Museum of the Yad Ezer L’Haver is the only museum in Israel where survivors personally meet the visitors, tell their life story and show them the few items they saved and brought with them from the extermination camps.Photos: Joe Luciano, Oksana Shlomov.
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