The Dangoor Center team headed BIU academic delegation joining the national 2019 “March of the Living” in Macedonia (Balkan), as part of the Holocaust memorial Day.
The Dangoor Center team headed BIU academic delegation, joining the national “March of the Living” in Macedonia (Balkan), as part of the Holocaust memorial Day events. On this date 7,826 Macedonian Jews were deported from their homes in Bitola and transported to Treblinka during World War II.
The BIU-Dangoor delegation, was organized jointly by Dr. Danielle Gurevitch and Dr. Rachel Levy Drummer, President of the Association for Jewish Heritage of Bitola- Monastir, who is BIU academic secretary and a Native Macedonian born. Levy-Drummer is the living spirit of the project. She promotes endless initiatives to promote Israeli-Macedonian relation, gaining support of the local government and Israel foreign affair ministry alike. The intensive events included two major cities march (Bitola and Skopja) headed by Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Israel’s Ambassador to the Balkans Dan Orian, and over 600 delegates from Israel and around the world.
The intensive events included two major cities march (Bitola and Skopja) headed by Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Israel’s Ambassador to the Balkans Dan Orian, and over 600 delegates from Israel and around the world.
At the “March of the living” in Skopje an official ceremony was held at the concentration camp in front of the “Monopole factory” were the Jews were deported to their death. Few days later, another march was held at Bitola, attracting much attention from the locals and widely reported in the Macedonian media. The delegates walked the mile and a half solidarity march in memory of the Macedonian Jews who walked on that same path in center city road to their death during WWII. The march began with an official Ceremony held at the “Haim Abarbanel Hospital” (Rachel Drummer’s grandfather), followed by another ceremony held after the march, at the railway station, from where the Jews were transferred to Treblinka.
Other emotional events were held at the National Philharmonic Hall in the capital Skopje and at the parliament, joined by local ministers and officials, a special reception was held at Bitola mayor’s office. One of the most moving ceremony in this emotional visit, was held at the ruins of the Jewish cemetery. The university delegation inaugurated, in a formal festive ceremony, the restoration project of the Jewish cemetery ruins of Bitola. An initiative that is professionally accompanied by Prof. Amit Amit and her cemeteries restoration academic team from the department of Geography at BIU.
The concluding event was a Gala reception for the new exhibition held at the Holocaust Museum (the fourth largest in the world) in Bitola.
In between ceremonies and official events the delegation visited the “Esteria Ovadia kindergarten” (named after the courageous Jewish-Macedonian partisan) and meet with the local Mufti, during Shabat, BIU-Dangoor delegation gathered with the other delegation teams and organized seminars, workshops and initiated discussion groups.
The BIU Academic delegation team included: Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Head of mission ; Dr. Michal Zelcer Lavid Specializes in Ethnic groups and minorities ; Mr. Rifat Sweidan Rector’s adviser for Muslim minority at BIU ; Prof. Ronit Sarid Biologist, Specializes in virus disease and Rector advisor for woman in academia affairs; Prof. Irit Amit Urban Geographer, and Israel representative in UNESCO. Specializes in restoration of Cemeteries ; Dr. Yoel Rapel Former assistant of Eli Wiesel, and treasurer of Holocaust property and documentation at BIU; Ms. Raz Rido Delegation coordinator and Chief Administrator of the Dangoor Centre