JNS noted that as part of a special ceremony held at the Holocaust Museum in Oporto, Portugal, honoring the victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, a certificate of tribute was presented to museum director Michael Rothwell. The International Observatory of Human Rights, which sponsored the event, said it would make sure B'nai B'rith International receives a copy of the certificate as "the oldest Jewish organization in defense of human rights."
B'nai B'rith International has consistently supported the Oporto, Portugal Jewish community and the Holocaust Museum of Oporto.
A special ceremony was held in Oporto, Portugal on Friday honoring the victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, according to the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR), which initiated the event.
The ceremony took place at the Oporto Holocaust Museum—managed by members of the city’s Jewish community whose relatives were murdered by the Nazis—and was attended by 200 teenagers from the city’s schools.
“The event is part of a world cordon of solidarity for universal peace and for a better world for all humanity,” said IOHR president Luis Andrade, adding, “This appalling mass assassination took the lives of millions of Jews, as well as an untold number of other human beings.”
As part of the ceremony, Andrade presented a certificate of tribute to Oporto Holocaust Museum director Michael Rothwell.
“It is a privilege to receive such a tribute, meant for all Holocaust victims, such as my grandparents, Jewish people who were targeted for scientific and industrial annihilation, the likes of which had never before happened in the history of humanity,” said Rothwell upon receiving the certificate.
OIHR said in a statement that “to ensure that the memory of the horrendous massacre remains alive, the Jewish Community of Oporto will make sure that all Holocaust Museums around the world, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International, the oldest Jewish organization in defense of human rights, receive a copy of this certificate.”
Inaugurated early this year by the Jewish Community of Oporto (CIP/CJP), in partnership with the Holocaust Museums of Moscow, Hong Kong, the United States and Europe, the Oporto Holocaust Museum contains a replica of the barracks at Auschwitz, a room of names, photo galleries and more.
JNS and the Cleveland Jewish News covered the opening of a permanent exhibit on the historic Entebbe raid at the Jewish Museum of Oporto, which was inspired by a B'nai B'rith Portugal Jewish young adults conference in Oporto in June that B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and President Charles O. Kaufman attended.
The Jewish Museum of Oporto in Portugal on July 19 opened a permanent exhibit dedicated to “Operation Thunderbolt,” Israel’s historic 1976 hostage-rescue raid in Entebbe, B’nai B’rith International announced.
“The [exhibit] is aimed at educating young Jews who lack awareness of the many counter-terrorism actions that the Israel Defense Forces and Mossad have undertaken in the past and are prepared to undertake in the future,” said B’nai B’rith Portugal president Gabriela Cantergi.
“The idea of building a room dedicated to the Entebbe operation arose out of an event on June 21 in Oporto that brought together young Jewish leaders of various nationalities, and their main concern was whether Israel could stop a new Holocaust in any country in the world,” she explained.
Israeli Ambassador to Portugal Raphael Gamzou said that the exhibit teaches “that neither distance, logistics nor any other challenge would ever prevent Israel from doing the utmost to save the lives of its citizens.”
B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin concurred.
“The hostage-rescue operation in Entebbe exemplified Israel’s strength and resolve,” he said, adding, “Dedicating an exhibit to that historic moment enables all visitors to the museum to know that Israel protects its people, wherever they may be.”
B’nai B’rith International President Charles Kaufman said the raid was not only the greatest hostage-rescue operation in Israel’s history, but also represents Judaism’s “commitment to the value of preserving life.”
“’Operation Thunderbolt’ in Entebbe ushered in a new high watermark of recognition and admiration for the Jewish state throughout the world,” said Kaufman.
“Operation Thunderbolt” was carried out on July 4, 1976, by an elite unit of Israeli commandos, led by Yonatan Netanyahu, at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Netanyahu, the brother of Benjamin Netanyahu—who would become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister—was killed during the operation.
The Jewish Museum of Oporto says that its mission “is to inform about the historic and cultural importance of the Jews in Portugal and of Portuguese Jews worldwide, with particular emphasis on the Diaspora of Sephardic Portuguese Jews and the history of the Jewish community in Oporto that is older than the foundation of Portugal.”
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