Israel Holds Holocaust Remembrance Day Despite COVID-19

Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on April 21, went ahead despite coronavirus, though under reduced circumstances. The ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s national holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, was prerecorded and played to an empty Warsaw Ghetto Square, usually filled with visiting dignitaries. The ceremony was televised nationally and despite the ever-present shadow of the pandemic, Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, told Israelis it was important that they remember the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazi regime in the Second World War. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

More Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more…

Ahead of the memorial, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released sobering data on the number of Jews worldwide. The Bureau said that there were 14.7 million Jews worldwide in 2018. That number is almost two million lessthan the 16.6 million Jews who were alive on the eve of the Second World War. The Bureau also reported that Israel has the largest population of Jews, with 6.7 million, while the United States has 5.7 million. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Meanwhile, according the European Jewish Congress, the number of anti-Semitic crimes documented worldwide in 2019 rose 18 percent over 2018’s numbers; there were 456 documented cases reported in 2019. The EJC’s joint report with the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry presented the data in its Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2019. And, as noted by the EJC’s President Moshe Kantor, “Not only have the numbers increased substantially, but the worst types of attacks grew, which should be extremely disturbing for leaders and authorities around the world.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

And a survey from the Anti-Defamation League reveals that almost two-thirds of American Jews feel less safe than at any other time in the last 10-years. The survey also found that more than half of US Jews say they have witnessed an incident motivated by anti-Semitism. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…