How can we guarantee work hours to be efficient? How do we persuade donators towards the goal we are promoting? What are the factors that make a successful orator? The answers to these 3 questions were the crux of the professional Seminar organized by the RCE, attended by 50 Rabbis from Monday to Wednesday in the month of Tammuz.
Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, Rabbi of Zhitomir and surrounding district, hosted the Seminar in the resort “or Avner”. Getting together was a valuable opportunity for the participants, enabling them to discuss at length diverse topics of mutual interest, as many of the Rabbis live in dispersed countries.
Various lectures were presented throughout the Seminar, provided by top notch professionals. Each one delivered 3 classes. Rabbi Moshe Goldstein, Business and life coach, dealt with topics such as “Managing time in relation with self-empowerment”.
Rabbi Tzvi Silver, Economic Consultant for organizations and institutions, spoke about different economic topics by introducing them with potential options from the business world, in order to administrate profitable initiatives.
Rabbi Natan Rosen, Head of lecturers’ courses in Kiruv organizations, explained how each type of speech has the potential to make a significant impression , whether it’s in a class, lecture, workshop, sermon, discussion. The Rabbis were amused by the way he simultaneously exploited other lectures as examples.
Additional experts were present at the Seminar, such as Mr. Joel Lion, the Israel Ambassador to Ukraine. Lion has been serving the Israeli ministry of Foreign affairs for 20 years and now is positioned in Ukraine. The Ambassador respected the Rabbis by sharing his prestigious experience, offering insights that will assist them throughout their tasks. After the formal lecture concluded, a question and answer session took place for the Rabbi’s benefit.
Joel Lion is one of the very few of The Israeli Ministry of foreign affairs to wear a kippa, Tzitzis and keep mitzvahs out in the open. The Ambassador emphasized his strictness towards conveying his Jewish attire, receiving positive appraisal from Ambassadors all over the world. The Rabbis were pleasantly surprised to such a Kiddush Hashem. Many questions were asked while the Ambassador patiently discussed and answered the challenges that were brought up.
During the Rabbis’ stay in Ukraine, they visited the memorial sites of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov, the Baal Shem Tov in Mezibuz and Rabbi Yisrael from Ruzin in Sadigura.
The Rabbi of Berdichev and Shaliach Chabad Rabbi Moshe Taler, Descendant of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev, told the participants how difficult it was to locate the exact place of burial, and of many other famous personalities. Much work is left to be done.
The next morning, after the Professional Seminar concluded, a delegation of Rabbis from the RCE participated in an unveiling of a memorial monument that was erected in Sadigura adjacent to Chernovitch. A mass grave with murdered Jews from the Holocaust was recently discovered. The Nazis brutally murdered them and buried them in a mass grave. Many names were recovered with skilled help.
Emotions began to rise as Ms. Bela, an aged Ukrainian resident, spoke about the Jews in Sadigura, who were situated next to the border of Romania-Moldova. It was assumed at the time, that due to the fact that the Russians overpowered the Germans, in July 1941, the war was over and an end would come to the terrible harassment of the Romanian government towards the Jews. It was not to be so; The Russian commanders allowed the local mobs “24 hours to do whatever you wish to the Jews”. The short- lived relief turned into a nightmare as “all my friends disappeared one after the other” Ms. Bela said with a tremor in her voice.
The RCE erected a memorial monument, where a huge mass grave was discovered, approximately 1200 children, women and men from the local area. At the ceremony, RCE’s Council Secretary, Rabbi Avraham Abba Toretzky, delivered the prayer “Kel Male Rachamim” with magnificent passion.
The mass grave was discovered with the assistance of witnesses horrifying stories, and Rabbi Mendy Glitzenstein, Rabbi of the nearby city Chernovich. He drafted the RCE to build and set up the memorial monument on the mass grave, located at the top of the hill adjacent to Sadigura. Attending at the unveiling were the District governor Eyom Vasilovich, Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion, RCE’s Director General Rabbi Arie Goldberg, Rabbi of The Zhitomir community and of Western Ukraine Rabbi Shlomo Wilelm, the few Sadigura community residents that survived and neighboring Ukrainians who eye witnessed the inconsolable tragedy, saying “Even afterwards the ground was burning”.
RCE’s Director General Rabbi Arie Goldberg, said at the unveiling ,that although the RCE consists of more than 700 Rabbis across the continent, RCE still took on the responsibility to search for more mass graves in Ukraine in order to erect memorial monuments in memory of Jews that were mass murdered. “We are in process of collecting witnesses from the elderly Jews and Ukrainians that still remember details, aside from the collaboration of professional s. We intend to build more memorials in honor of the perished.”
Chairman of the RCE and European Jewish association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin clarified that the challenging procedures to identify and erect memorial monuments on mass graves are taken place simultaneously with the goal to instill and revive Jewish life all over the Ukraine, that incorporate rehabilitating shuls and mikvahs that were destroyed.
Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Mr. Joel lion, who said the prayer of Kaddish at this moving event, thanked the RCE for initiating and implementing the monument. He added that the Embassy runs a special program that trains Ukrainian educators teaching methods about the Holocaust and its insights, for schools in Ukraine. The ambassador Lion appealed to the new president of Ukraine and its Rada members (the Ukraine parliament), to support the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).