By Alexandru Ilie, a student of MA program in Diplomacy Studies, 2016-2017 Cohort.
A while back I had the opportunity to attend an event organized by the Jewish Community in Romania with the Israeli – Romanian Cultural Centre for the Romanian Jewish community in Israel. The event that took part in Tel Aviv was created to mark 135 years since the birth of one of the most important historical leaders of the Jewish community in Romania, Wilhelm Filderman.
Wilhelm Filderman was a lawyer, communal leader, and the leader of the Romanian-Jewish community between 1919 and 1947. In addition, he was a representative of the Jews in the Romanian parliament.
When the Soviet Army conquered Romania in 1944, Filderman led the struggle to reclaim Jewish property and again became the president of the Federation of Communities and of the Union of Romanian Jews and representative of the JDC. Filderman succeeded in preventing Jewish youth from being conscripted into the notoriously anti-Semitic Romanian Army.
The event managed to connect Jews from Romania living Israel with the Jewish Community in Romania and create new friendships while remembering emotional and inspiring stories. The event had a symposium titled: Synagogues in Romania – National Heritage and History, where two books on those topics were lunched.
It was very nice to see the younger generation of Romanian Jews interacting with the older one and share beautiful memories and lessons between them.
Rabbis from Israel whose parents came from Romania told their inspirational stories of how their families fought to keep their identities alive and never forget they are people of Eretz Israel.
It was very nice to see officials from the Romanian government and Romanian embassy in Israel join the event and talk about the significant contribution that the Jewish population had in Romanian’s development and the importance of having a better dialogue in the future.
I was very happy to attend such an event and I strongly recommend people to participate in such events if you’re interested in learning about history and culture first-hand.