Shoa Remembrance Act at Spain Central Government

On Monday, January 29, an act in memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust took place in the Senate of Madrid. The Act was chaired by D.Pío García Escudero, President of the Senate, and some of the speakers were, in addition to Mr.Escudero himself, the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the Chief Rabbi of Spain -Rab Moshe Bendahan-, The Minister of Justice of the Spanish Government, Mr. Rafael Catalá, the Director of the Institute of Gypsy Culture and the President of the Amical Association Mathausen.
Six candles were lit on the spot by representatives of the different collectives.
The act was emotional and very solemn.

Shoa Remembrance Act at Madrid Local Government with Noah Klieger -Holocaust survivor-

Last Friday January 26th, took place an act at Madrid Local Government to conmemorate the World Holocaust  Remembrance Day.

During the act, 6 candles were lighted by a group of Students of Colegio Ibn Gabirol of Madrid, for the 6 millions of victims of Nazi.

The event was led by D. José Antonio Lisbona (political scientist and historian) and the speakers were Doña Paloma Adrados (President of the Madrid Assembly), Rabbi Moshe Bendahan (Chief Rabbi of Spain), Noah Klieger (Holocaust Survivor), Yinam Cohen (Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Israel in Spain), DªCristina Cifuentes (President of the Community of Madrid), Mr.León Benelbas (President of the Jewish Community of Madrid).

Top 5 “Jewish Films” for Oscar Season

steven-spielberg-jew-oscarThe Academy Awards are rapidly approaching, and many people are curious about the films on this year’s short lists. This Oscar season’s short lists are filled with films that feature a diverse crop of directors, actors and plotlines. Some of this season’s best, however, are films with Jewish themes. Here are the top five Jewish films to watch this Oscar season.


This gut-wrenching film deals with a variety of heavy topics including the grief of parents who lost their soldier son, the joys and challenges of marriage and the boredom of daily life in the army. Directed by Samuel Moaz, “Foxtrot” was named the second-best film at the Venice International Film Festival and is on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. “Foxtrot” also won the award for Best Film at Israel’s Ophir Awards despite generating controversy in Israel over the film’s portrayal of Israeli control of the West Bank.

“Foxtrot” follows an affluent Tel Aviv couple who learn that their son has been killed in the line of duty. The film stars Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler, and it opens in U.S. theaters on March 2, 2018.

“In the Fade”

Directed by Fatih Akin, this German film dramatizes the rise of neo-Nazism through the murder of Nuri and Rocco Sekerci, a Kurdish man and his small son. Katja Sekerci, the surviving widow, pursues revenge against the neo-Nazis who murdered her family. The film won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and is shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

“In the Land of Pomegranates”

This documentary follows a mix of young Israeli and Palestinian men and women who are brought together in a scenic German town. The Israelis and Palestinians live under the same roof, go on joint excursions in the countryside, take a riverboat cruise and argue for hours on end as part of a program called “Vacation from War.” This program began in 2002 and aims “not to make participants love each other [but if] only five people change their attitudes…that’s progress.”

“In the Land of Pomegranates” uses the arguments between the program participants to explore the chasm between young Israelis and Palestinians. Directed by Hava Kohav Beller, the young Israelis’ and Palestinians’ arguments are set against the backdrop of the contradictory meanings of the word “pomegranate” in Hebrew: “fruit” and “hand grenade.”

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm”

Few people have managed to find ways to teach young children about the Holocaust, but this short documentary attempts to tackle the issue. In “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” 10 year old Elliot asks his great-grandfather, Jack Feldman, about the Holocaust. Feldman, a Holocaust survivor, opens up to his American-born great-grandson about his experiences. The goal of the film was to transmit Feldman’s experience “gently and with clarity.” The documentary will premier on HBO on January 27, 2018, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“116 Cameras”

This documentary is on the Oscar shortlist for Best Short Documentary and gives a behind-the-scenes look at filming a Holocaust survivor’s testimony. Specifically, it focuses on how filmmakers worked to preserve the memories of Anne Frank’s surviving stepsister, Eva Schloss, in the form of an interactive, holographic image.

Oscar season always brings new documentaries and foreign films into the American limelight. People spend days watching and discussing films on the short-list, and almost everyone has an opinion about which film should win the award. So, what do you think? Which of these Jewish films is your favorite?

Hilula of Baba Sali at Or Hayeladim

Archivo 21-1-18 18 21 352018-01-20 22.57.24Last Saturday evening, motsae shabbat, the congregation Or Hayeladim of Madrid, commemorated the Hilula of Baba Sali.

The celebration stood with members of this congregation and some others in Madrid, who were able to enjoy about a tasty dinner and a surprise performance of the Tuna(university Music Band) of the Alcala de Henares University(Madrid).


Agreements for eradication of antisemitism in Spain

The Ministry of Education and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) have announced the signing of several agreements to work for the eradication of anti-Semitism in the face of the “significant growth” of expressions of hatred toward this group experienced in the last decade in Spain.

This was announced today by the Secretary of State for Education, Vocational Training and Universities, Marcial Marín, during the opening of the seminar on anti-Semitism in Spain “Educar en valores”.

Marín has pointed out that recent studies warn of an important level of anti-Semitism in Spain and highlighted the importance of Education as an instrument for personal development and the role of values.

He stressed that the Spanish educational system is based on the values ​​of the Constitution, “giving special importance to training for peace, respect for human rights, life in common, social cohesion, cooperation and solidarity between the villages”.

Given this reality, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has announced the signing of several agreements with the FCJE for the eradication of anti-Semitism, with the Anne Frank Foundation and with the Yad Vashem Foundation of Jerusalem.

For its part, the President of the FCJE, Isaac Querub, has appealed to the Government to lead the fight against anti-Semitism and political parties, civil society and other confessions to join this fight.

Also the ambassador of Israel in Spain, Daniel Kutner, has warned that anti-Semitism is not eradicated, but that surveys show that it is increasing steadily.

Israeli football initiative against the “Shoa”(Holocaust)

football israel flagThe world of Israeli football agreed to join the largest Holocaust memorial initiative ever held in the World Jewish Congress, with the champions of Hapoel Beer Sheva, Macabi Haifa and Hapoel Katamon of Jerusalem who joined the international project with their players photographed with the hashtag who leads the project: #WeRemember.

The project is intended to honor and commemorate the memory of the Holocaust, while sending the message “Never again”.
During the next weeks and until the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, millions of people will also join the campaign, bearing signs with the aforementioned hashtag.
The goal is to raise awareness of anti-Semitism, hatred and genocide around the world by flooding social networks with photos. From January 24 to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the selected photos will be projected onto the walls of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Last year, the year of the opening of the campaign, more than 250 million people worldwide were exposed and more than one million people participated, including heads of state, religious leaders and opinion makers from around the world.


Barenboin and his Orchestra: a World legend

daniel-barenboim-1236877143-editorial-long-form-0The West-Eastern Divan, an “unusual” orchestra formed by Jews, Palestinians and Arabs, will be 20 years old in 2019. It has reached “an unexpected level” and is “a legend” in the world but has not succeeded, regrets in an interview with EFE its founder, Daniel Barenboim, be recognized in the region.

The director and pianist, born in Buenos Aires in 1942 in a Jewish family of Russian origin and with Argentine, Spanish and Israeli nationality, founded the orchestra with the Palestinian philosopher Edward Said in 1999 and, after passing through Weimar (Germany) and Chicago (USA), was definitely installed, thanks to the financial support of the Junta de Andalucía, in the Seville town of Pilas.

His “settlement” in Andalusia was in 2002, an event “very important” in the evolution of the formation but with the passing of the years “it has not been necessary” to keep that place even though the headquarters of the foundation are still there: “the orchestra has another life, “he says.

“When we started in 1999, 60% of the musicians had never played in an orchestra and they had not even heard one live in. In just 8 years they were able to interpret the Schoenberg Variations in Salzburg and Pierre Boulez – one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century- he told me that he had never heard anything like that “, he presumes.

The orchestra, with which he undertook the project to record the entire cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies, has reached “an unexpected level” and is, he emphasizes, “a legend in the world, but not in the region -Israel and Palestine- because they do not talk to each other. “

“We have many fans and detractors, yes,” admits the musician, who has always argued that the problem of the Middle East is not philanthropy or its solution “military” or “political” but “human”.

Barenboim, who has just presented with a tour in Spain – Oviedo, Madrid and Barcelona – his latest album, “Claude Debussy”, is now focused on a project of music education in schools and has promoted the opening of “a kindergarten” in Berlin so that the children begin to familiarize themselves with her from an early age.

“It’s extraordinary how well it works, but, of course, they leave the garden with 6 years and then there is no continuity, that’s why we have reached an agreement to include a more defined musical program in the first grade. the artist, who “sees no reason” despite his long residence in Germany to also acquire that nationality: “I’m not German but I’m from Berlin”.

He is sure that only that education will mean the survival of classical music among the public in 50 years, although he now has “enough” to say about how spectators behave in concerts, which already, on several occasions, has disfigured his “contrarecital” of coughs, mobiles or candy wrappers.

“I remember very well a recital by the great Andrés Segovia, requetelleno, with 200 or more people on stage, there were four sonatas by Father Soler and we could hardly hear the loud coughs.” Segovia stood up and looked at the audience. a handkerchief, put it in his mouth, coughed and showed how it was done, it had an extraordinary effect, “he recalled.

He himself has already done so several times, the last on the 11th at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, ​​when after an interlude of “Les Preludes” he took a handkerchief out of his pocket and stared at the spectators while he I had to mouth.

“I have the feeling that the ear is very disadvantaged with respect to the eye, hearing is very important, when you think there is ‘music’ in elevators, in restaurants, in airplanes … I mean, you’re used to hear the music, not listen to it. “

In a concert hall, he says, “not only will music be heard: the pleasure that can be derived from a concert is much more than what is heard” and that is why it encourages an “absolute concentration” on what happens on the stage.

He does not believe that the big tours with orchestras like the one he’s been directing for 25 years, the Staatsoper unter den Linden, never finish because they are “very positive for music.” What is needed, he demands again, is education and training in the schools”.

“A Bag of Marbles”(“Un sac de billes”), french movie about the Holocaust

un sac de billesDate: 2017

Time: 110 min.

Origin Francia France

Director:Christian Duguay

Screenwriters: Jonathan Allouche, Christian Duguay, Alexandra Geismar, Benoît Guichard (Novel: Joseph Joffo)

Photo: Christophe Graillot

Casting: Dorian Le Clech, Batyste Fleurial, Patrick Bruel, Elsa Zylberstein, Christian Clavier,César Domboy, Ilian Bergala, Kev Adams, Lucas Prisor, Bernard

Producer: Quad Productions / Main Journey / Forecast Pictures / Gaumont / Okko Productions

Drama | WWII. Nazis. Holocaust(Shoa). Family

Plot: Second World War. Maurice and Joseph are two young Jewish brothers who live in Nazi-occupied France. To save themselves, they must abandon their family. Showing great cunning, courage and ingenuity to avoid enemy invaders, the two brothers will try to reunite their entire family again in the free zone of southern France.