Israel Embassy to the Netherlands celebrates Independence day with Gala Celebration

 
 Madurodam Park (photo credit: DAVID GARFINKEL)
Madurodam Park
(photo credit: DAVID GARFINKEL)

The Israeli Embassy in the Hague, Netherlands, celebrated Israel Independence Day with a gala reception on May 17, 2022, at the Madurodam Park, a miniature park and tourist attraction in the Scheveningen district of The Hague. With the easing of pandemic restrictions, the reception was the first major Independence Day celebration the embassy has held in three years.

More than 400 select guests attended the reception, including leading members of the community, the elite  of culture and society, local media, ambassadors, heads of the Jewish community, rabbis, and members of the Israeli community living in the Netherlands.

The program included greetings from Ambassador Modi Ephraim – who emphasized the excellent bilateral relations between Israel and the Netherlands – a performance by an Israeli jazz ensemble, an innovation exhibition of Israeli and Dutch companies promoting cooperation between the countries and Israeli wine-tasting.

Ambassador Modi Ephraim together with Israeli diplomats. (Credit: the Embassy of Israel in The Hague/David Garfinkel)Ambassador Modi Ephraim together with Israeli diplomats. (Credit: the Embassy of Israel in The Hague/David Garfinkel)

During the event, Ambassador Modi Ephraim spoke about the Jewish connection to Madurodam: "Some of you may know that Madurodam is named after George Maduro. George was a Jew born in Curacao, and when the Netherlands was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940, he joined the Dutch military. After the Netherlands surrendered, Maduro was detained as a prisoner of war in the notorious Scheveningen prison, which the Dutch dubbed the Oranjehotel. When released after half a year, Maduro joined the resistance. He was arrested again and placed in isolation, only to be released again. When the Nazis demanded that Jews wear the yellow star, Maduro refused and went into hiding. In 1943, he decided to go to Spain. He was arrested again and was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died of typhus.

“Madurodam serves as a memorial to George Maduro and also shows us the beauty of the Netherlands at a glance. As the Ambassador of Israel to the Netherlands, I must say that the miniature buildings with all their details and beauty, make me look even more forward to continue touring this beautiful country.

“For me, the beauty is not only in the buildings or the landscapes, but also in the great and longstanding friendship between the Netherlands and Israel. Our two countries have a lot in common, not in the least symbolized by Madurodam. Both Israel and the Netherlands are small, but continue to achieve great things, with important collaboration in various areas and with open, direct and innovative people."

Ambassador Modi Ephraim together with the mayor of The Hague Jan van Zanen (Credit: Embassy of Israel in The Hague/David Garfinkel)Ambassador Modi Ephraim together with the mayor of The Hague Jan van Zanen (Credit: Embassy of Israel in The Hague/David Garfinkel)
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