WWII veterans .
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
Jews worldwide should mark the Hebrew date 26 Iyar as an annual day of celebration for the liberation and rescue of European Jewry, said German Zacharyev, vice president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
Zacharyev, a Russian businessman and philanthropist, said in a letter that he is “determined to mark the victory of liberation and the rescue of European Jews from the clutches of Nazis according to the Hebrew calendar.”
The proposed date was the Hebrew date on May 9, 1945, the day that Nazi Germany surrendered to the Red Army.
Despite operating according the Jewish calendar for many public holidays, Israel celebrates Victory Day on May 9, in sync with much of the former Soviet Union.
Last week Jewish partisans and soldiers who fought in the Second World War were honored during a wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem.
Zacharyev is set to promote his initiative with a Torah-writing ceremony next Wednesday.
Former chief rabbi and Holocaust survivor Israel Meir Lau is a supporter of the plan, according to Zacharyev.
Lau’s son, current Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, as well as Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, will attend the Torah writing ceremony.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, will also be in attendance.
It is important to honor the “quarter million Jews who risked their lives during the war as part [of the] Allied armies and partisan units,” Zacharyev said in his letter.