A New Plaza for the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
As the 91 delegates of KKL Belgium
arrived at Massuah, they were greeted by a klezmer duo playing traditional Jewish and Israeli music.
The Massuah International Institute for Holocaust
Studies is an education center and museum, dedicated to preserving the memory the Holocaust, and encouraging public discourse on the significance of that era in today's society and culture.
In the auditorium, the group was greeted by Massua Director-General Aya Ben Naftali, who told them that the proposed plaza will be part of the new museum currently under construction, which is dedicated to the subject of anti-Semitism. She said that Massuah holds over 60 thousand seminar days each year for all sectors of Israeli society, including schoolchildren, students and soldiers, as well as international visitors.
“It is an honor for us to host you here today to mark the declaration of the new assembly area, which is dedicated to the memory of the members of the socialist Zionist “Poalei Zion” movement in Belgium during the time of the Holocaust.”
The President of KKL Belgium, Jacky Benzennou, told the group that that he had visited Massuah several months ago and that it was "clearly evident that it was important for KKL Belgium to be a part of this institution and to especially be a part of the new wing for the study of anti-Semitism. I am extremely proud to have been a signatory on the declaration today. Anti-Semitism studies are very relevant, especially concerning current trends in Western Europe.”
Architect Yona Halperin, who designed many of the buildings in the Massuah complex, displayed the plans for the new project, including sketches of the site. “The plaza,” she said, “will include an open-air amphitheatre and seating areas. The new square and assembly area will serve the thousands of students at Massuah during their study & enrichment courses. This is a project that we have been waiting to construct for a long time, and this has now been made possible thanks to your generous donation.”
Chairman of Massuah, Professor Yitzhak Kashti, himself a child survivor of the Holocaust, expressed gratitude on behalf of the institute for KKL Belgium's support.
“The story of the rescue of children in Belgium during the Holocaust is a story that has not been emphasized enough. We want to preserve the memory of the actions of Poalei Zion and other organizations, which saved so many children. It is important to present the example and courage they displayed at that time to the youth today. The money you donated will assist us to carry this out.”
The declaration signing ceremony ended with the Chief Rabbi of Brussels Avraham Gigi reciting the El Male Rahamim and Kaddish prayers for the departed. The visitors then toured the Massuah Holocaust Museum.
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