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Day of the Holocaust Victims Remembrance – Past that did not Pass

International Day of the Holocaust Victims Remembrance was established by UN in 2005. In the end of 2015 Moldova officially confirmed the date of January 27 as National Day of the Holocaust Victims Remembrance. Jewish Cultural Center KEDEM is marking this tragic event annually presenting a program with official speeches and drama and music numbers.

In 2016 representatives of the Parliament and Government of Moldova, over 15 foreign embassies and diplomatic missions, leaders of ethnic communities, mass-media, elderly and young gathered in 250-places Concert hall of the Center to commemorate the tragedy, to thank soldiers who liberated Auschwitz in January of 1945, Righteous among the Nations, to bend heads and remember.

Members of Parliament and Government of Moldova, Head of UN Mission in Moldova, Head of EU delegation, Ambassadors of USA, Germany and Sweden, Director of the Joint in the Southern Ukraine and Moldova, and many others speakers said about the meaning and importance of such programs, actuality of the Holocaust lessons in our days and appealed to do everything possible to struggle with Anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance in our society.

Cultural part of the program included very affecting musical numbers, a part from “Warsaw Alarm” play about story of Janusz Korczak and his kids killed in Treblinka. Kiddush was read by representatives of Chabbad Liubavitch community in Moldova and special video was shown about the horrors of the Shoah.

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Cup of Tishrey, ed. 2

Soccer Cup of Tishrey initiated last year by the JCC KEDEM becomes one of the most beloved events of the Fall period in the Jewish community of Chisinau. This time the tournament attracted six teams: Maccabi-Moldova, Israeli Cultural Center, JCC KEDEM, Jewish Family Service, Hillel and JAFI. All these organizations plus Jewish Community of Moldova and Hesed welfare center supported jointly its organization and financing demonstrating a good example and potential of the programs conducted by many Jewish organizations together.
This year Maccabi as a better professionally prepared team steadily won the 1st place as well as the prizes for the best player and best striker. ICC got the 2nd place and KEDEM for the second year consecutively the bronze. All the teams received champagne and sweets. A very emotional and meaningful speech was pronounced at the beginning of the tournament by one of the best players in Moldova soccer history Vladimir Tsinkler, now former ghetto and concentration camps association chair. He also presented his book  that became another award for the best player of the Cup.

Spicy Jazz Party by KEDEM

On May 25 JCC KEDEM organized a special party dedicated to 100th anniversary of Shiko Aranov (Aranovich), a legend of Moldova folk and jazz music, composer and author of over 200 jazz and pop melodies and songs, one of the initiators of Moldova pop music and leader of the 1st in the republic jazz-band “Bucuria”.
Wonderful free atmosphere in “Coffemolca” hall (partner of the event) as it has to be on a jazz party, brilliant musical part by trio “Jazz Academy” could not leave anybody indifferent.
“It was a fantastic evening!” exclaimed Alex. “A special one for music admirers!”


American tradition at the KJJC

JCC KEDEM annually celebrates USA Independence day. Our JCC has many connections to this country: Irwin Jacobs from San Diego is the main sponsor of the KJJC construction; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is our founder and the biggest supporter of our activities;  we had the honor to conduct a series of memorable programs with the USA Embassy in Moldova and received from it several grants that significantly helped to develop our Museum, Tolerance and Youth clubs and camps; we have over 7 years long partnership with the Peace Corps as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish US based organizations.

And this time we were honored by presence and greetings by Ambassador of the USA in the Republic of Moldova Mr. James Pettit and Mrs. Rita Mahoney, Acting Country Director of the Peace Corps in Moldova. Stella Harmelina, JCC Director, who led the ceremony, also greeted the audience and then invited Global MecoRock project singers (where we partner with Venezuela, Israel and USA) who nicely performed songs in English and Hebrew.

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Purim – Holiday of Victory and Joy

One of the most important and special holidays of the Jewish calendar – Purim was brightly celebrated by the JCC. A big community event organized jointly by JAFI, Chabad Liubavitch, Jewish Community, Hillel and Israeli Cultural Center.  The program included Megillat Esther reading, dances, masks, quizzes, traditional humentashen and wine.
“For many years there was not such a uniting holiday at our synagogue”, confessed Daniel Muntean, assistant to the Chief Rabbi of Moldova. ”It is very important and meaningful that we are together today! Hag Purim Sameach!”
Other bright events were organized by the JCC Family club, youth club and Volunteers’ center. A whole carnival for children, disco party with special designed programs, music and meals involved hundreds of people.
A special initiative by the JCC Volunteers’ center was held during two weeks on the eve of the holidays – boxes for mishloah manot were brought to all the Jewish organizations of Chisinau and all the candies and sweets gathered were distributed to children.
In fact Purim celebrating converted in a marathon of smiles, joy, and happiness.