Greetings to all our Keidaner community and friends!
from Aryeh (Leonard) Shcherbakov
secretary of the Association of Keidaners in Israel
For those of you who are not members of the “Roots in Keidan” group on Facebook, and couldn’t attend the commemoration meeting, we send the following note.
As you know, yesterday, Friday, August 28, 2020, we commemorated the 79th anniversary of extermination of our families, who were brutally slaughtered together with all Jewish community of Kėdainiai (Keidan) in one single day – on August 28, 1941.
Two simultaneous commemoration ceremonies were held at 11:00, one – in Israel, by the memorial dedicated to the lost communities of Kėdainiai, Ariogala, Dotnuva, Krakės, and Šėta, at the old cemetery in Holon, another – in Lithuania, by the mass grave in Kėdainiai.
The first one was conducted by a number of descendants of the Keidan Jewish community living in Israel, the second – by our Lithuanian friends in Kėdainiai, who are faithfully devoted to the preservation of memory of our community.
Israel 28 August 2020
Kedainiai, Lithuania 28 August 2020
We thank all those who attended – both in Lithuania and Israel – as well as those who were with us at this sad hour.
Our special thanks to Mrs.Laima Ardavičienė, who prepared a touching presentation commemorating the tragic fate of our community – “Every single man has a name”:
Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref also known as Ibrahim Salomon (1786-1851), born in Kėdainiai, was one of the first pioneers who rebuilt the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem in the beginning of the 19th century.
After making Aliyah and arriving in Ottoman Jerusalem, in 1824 the rabbi was sent to Constantinople by the head of the Perushim of Jerusalem, and succeeded in procuring a royal firman, commanding the kadi of Jerusalem to enforce the declaration of debt annualization concerning the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Jerusalem.
With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, a window of opportunity arose for the Perushim. On 23 June 1836, after traveling to Egypt, rabbi Zoref, together with the backing of the Austrian and Russian consuls in Alexandria, obtained the long-awaited firman for the reconstruction of the Hurva Synagogue.
Zoref became deeply engaged with Jewish lands seized by the creditors in Jerusalem and appeased the Arabs with annual bribes, but at some point the arrangement ceased and they tried to kill him. One night he was shot at by an unknown assailant who missed but later drowned after falling into a cistern. On a second occasion he was attacked on his way to prayers early one morning. In 1851, Zoref was struck on the head with a sword and died of his wounds three months later.
Commencing tonight, on 20 April 2020, and continuing tomorrow, on the 21st, corresponding to the 27th day of Nisan, the State of Israel and many Jews around the globe, commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, as well as the heroism of survivors, and Jewish Partisans and rescuers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, regular ceremonies will not be held.
We have compiled this YouTube highlights video to give you a perspective of why the the Partisans’ Song is so integral to a meaningful commemoration:
Educators and students are welcome to download a functional powerpoint presentation (1.8gb) that matches this video:
Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In Israel, flags are lowered to half-mast, there is no public entertainment; ceremonies are held, and a siren at 10:00 signals the start of two minutes of silence.
The ceremonies held, usually conclude with Zog Nit Keynmol, the Partisans’ Song and Hatikvah.
“Zog nit keyn mol” (Never Say; Yiddish: זאָג ניט קיין מאָל, [zɔg nit kɛjn mɔl]) or “Partizaner lid” (Partisan Song) is a Yiddish song considered one of the chief anthems of the Holocaust survivors and is sung in memorial services around the world.
The lyrics of the song were written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, a young Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto. The title means “Never Say”, and derives from the first line of the song. Glick’s lyrics were set to music from a pre-war Soviet song written by Pokrass brothers, Dmitri and Daniel, “Терская походная” (Terek Cossacks’ March Song), also known as “То не тучи – грозовые облака” (Those aren’t clouds but thunderclouds), originally from the 1937 film I, Son of Working People (story by Valentin Kataev).
On Friday 13 March 2020, the South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth will be hosting a presentation by Eli Rabinowitz, from Perth.
Eli, who is the founder of the education project the We Are Here Foundation, will be giving a talk accompanied by video footage about the programme for youth across the globe. The foundation focuses on the importance of educating Jewish youth about the Jewish partisans during the World War II. He will be giving an update on the success of this project, which is funded by the US government.
The project which started at schools in Australia is now functioning in Belarus, Lithuania, Israel and the USA. Communities across the globe have been taught to sing the famous Partisans Song (Shir HaPartizanim).
His message is loud and clear: WE MUST NEVER FORGET!
‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’ – Edmund Burke, philosopher.
Each year on 9/10 November, we commemorate Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass or November Pogroms, when Nazis attacked Jewish persons and property in Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland on that date in 1938.
Some 30000 Jewish males were rounded up and taken to concentration camps. As a result of Kristallnacht, the Nazis ordered the Jewish community to pay one billion Reichsmark as compensation for the damage, and introduced many anti-Jewish laws.
Kristallnacht was a turning point or watershed in the Holocaust. It was the first time that violence against Jews was coordinated on such a large scale in Nazi Germany.
This year, the Perth Kristallnacht Commemoration will be held at Perth Modern School. It is being organised by the CCJWA – Council of Christians and Jews of WA. The keynote address will be delivered by Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, a former Governor of Western Australia. The title of his address is: “Evil Creeps Back, If Good People Stand Aside”.
The final item on the program is the Partisans’ Song, to be sung in four languages, Yiddish, Hebrew, Noongar and English, by the joint choirs of Ellenbrook Secondary College and Carmel School, under the direction of Stuart Rhine-Davis.
The song was originally written as a poem by Hirsh Glik in Vilnius in 1943. Jesse John Fleay, a lecturer at Edith Cowan University, translated the poem in 2018 into Noongar, a Western Australian indigenous language. Perth composer Suzanne Kosowitz skilfully re-arranged the music by Dmitri Pokrass to fit the Noongar words. Michele Galanti coordinated the Carmel School Choir performance.
The Partisans’ Song has been sung since 1943 as the anthem or hymn of the Partisans and since the Holocaust by survivors. Traditionally sung in its original Yiddish, the poem is now available in 28 languages, including Noongar.
Carmel School welcomed at Ellenbrook Secondary College
The joint Ellenbrook – Carmel Schools Choir first performed this stirring anthem on 5 August at Ellenbrook Secondary College in front of 2000 people, and then repeated the performance at Carmel School on 7 August. The original recordings can be seen and heard here: https://wah.foundation/program/
The Kristallnacht ceremony this year will be attended by Lance Turner, son of Uncle Boydie Turner and great grandson of William Cooper, the indigenous Australian leader who marched the 10 km from his home in Footscray to the Nazi consulate office in Melbourne, to protest against the Kristallnacht pogrom. William Cooper’s petition was ignored, and was only recognised by the German government in 2017, 79 years after his march!
The US government funded our WE ARE HERE! Upstanders Project for educators in 2019. This enabled us to bring Seattle based educator, Nance Adler to Australia to headline our project. This was most successful, and opened the door for teachers and students around the globe to use our free resources. More information to follow.
Ismael Khaldi earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Haifa and a master’s degree in political science and international relations from Tel Aviv University. He served in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Israel Police, and in the Israel Defence Forces as a political analyst. Diplomatic career Khaldi began working for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2004 and In June 2006, he was appointed to serve in San Francisco, USA. In August 2009, Khaldi was appointed policy advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman.
Ishmael also spoke to the community at the Jewish Centre, jointly hosted by the UIA, JNF and Friends of Israel.
On Tuesday he visited Edith Cowan University and met with Bill Allen, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education.
The Partisans’ Song was translated by Ishmael into Arabic:
Translated by Ishmael Khaldi
The Partisans’ Song = نشيد الانصار
Never say that there is only death for you = لا تقل هذه طريقي الأخيرة
Though leaden skies may be concealing days of blue= على الرغم من ان السماء الرصاصية ربما تخفي اياما زرقاء
Because the hour we have hungered for is near; =لان الساعة التي انتظرناها – قريبه
Beneath our tread the earth shall tremble — we are here! = تحت اقدامنا تهز الأرض – نحن هنا
From land of palm tree to the far-off land of snow, = من ارض جبل النخيل – الى بلاد الثلج البعيدة
We shall be coming with our torment and our woe; =سوف نأتي بآلامنا وحزننا
And everywhere our blood has sunk into the earth, = وفي كل مكان روت الأرض من دماءنا