As those of us who stand for the Jewish people prepare to observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day this coming Monday, the hatred and anti-Semitism that led to this dark historical moment weigh heavy on our hearts and minds.
In fact, this week Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein made a trip to Ukraine to deliver aid to the elderly Holocaust survivors who still live there — aid delivered on the behalf of Christians like you.
But despite the love of Christian friends around the world, being Jewish in such areas — the very places where the Holocaust occurred — is to this day not easy. For younger and more able-bodied Jews in Ukraine and elsewhere, making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) aboard a Fellowship Freedom Flight not only fulfills biblical prophecy, but helps them escape lives threatened by constant hatred. But for elderly Holocaust survivors, moving is not an option.
And so they are stuck in a world which, as seen in Yael’s video for you above, might remember the Holocaust, but also allows the millions Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust to be mocked.
We’d first learned about this particular instance of anti-Semitism from JTA’s Cnaan Liphshiz, who told of his own visit:
At first glance Pid Zolotoju Rozoju, Ukrainian for “At the Golden Rose,” isn’t a particularly remarkable restaurant. But if “Jewish themed” makes you think of a kosher-style deli in Miami Beach or a Montreal bagelry, think again: Peddling Jewish food and culture with a combination of nostalgia and stereotypes, the eatery has been widely pilloried.
Since it opened in 2008, the restaurant has faced allegations that it crassly perpetuates anti-Semitic stereotypes, particularly in a place where Nazis and locals wiped out nearly all traces of Judaism – including the very synagogue after which it is named.
I wanted to check out those allegations for myself…
There are no prices. That’s because “it’s Jewish tradition to haggle and bargain afterwards,” said my non-Jewish waiter, who instructed me to call him Moishe — though, when pressed, he revealed his name was Vlodymir. He then told me he’ll be right back and went into the kitchen.
I was left alone to survey my surroundings…
And even though Liphshiz’s visit happened years ago, the same anti-Semitism is still alive today. So let us continue to pray that God will change the hearts of those who hate His people, and let us also continue to be voices of love, standing against this particular brand of hatred that has not gone away, but instead seems to grow.Tags: Anti-Semitism Holocaust IFCJ The Fellowship Ukraine Video Yael Eckstein