An Evening in Honor of MK Hillel Kook
Member of first Knesset
Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center,
22 Keren HaYesod Street, Jerusalem
August 27, 2003
Event organized by Larry Pfeffer
Held under auspices of:
Root and Branch Association
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Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center
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Presented in cooperation with:
International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
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Raoul Wallenberg Honorary Citizens Committee
Keynote speech given by Ambassador MOSHE ARENS
NOTE:: information will be posted on this site after the conference.
After he found out about the horrors of the Holocaust he postponed his assigned mission and focused on trying to save the abandoned Jews of Nazi and Fascist infested Europe. He formed in the USA a small but very talented and dedicated group (nicknamed the "Bergson Group" and "Bergson Boys"), credited with saving large numbers of people, mostly Jews, in Europe.
Judaism teaches that he who saves the life of one person saves a whole world. This is exemplified by survivors who had children and grandchildren since the Holocaust.
Despite many difficulties placed in their way, the Bergson Boys made Americans aware of the horror and extent of the Holocaust. The group received unparalleled support by many members of Congress, Senate and the Treasury Department.
One result of Hillel Kook's and his group's relentless work was President Roosevelt authorizing setting up the War Refugee Board. It, in turn, was in large part responsible for the amazing, heroic and very important mission of Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest.
In recent years some of us, Jews, are finally and very cautiously courageous enough to admit that leaders of war-time modern American Jewry obstructed rescue. Part of this recent accusation is motivated by the desire to shift responsibility away from war-time leadership in pre-state Israel, the "Yishuv" in Palestine. We will know that we are finally learning something important from the Holocaust once we have the integrity to face the callousness and betrayal of Europe's Jews by the Yishuv's ruling leaders. It is hoped that soon we will find that courage. We as a nation have a lot to be proud of, and owe it to ourselves to face also our blemishes.
Some of Hillel Kook's and his group's most important Jewish "virtual colleagues", our major Jewish rescuers, were:
Recognize Major Jewish Holocaust Era Rescuers
So far Israel, the Holocaust Museums and Jewish community world-wide failed to recognize major Jewish Holocaust era rescuers, our El Salvadors (Saviours, Rescuers). We petition Israeli and Jewish organizations world-wide to correct this wrong.
IF YOU SUPPORT THIS PETITION THEN KINDLY SIGN IT ON THE FOLLOWING WEB SITE AND ADVISE BY EMAIL TO YOUR CONTACTS WHO MAY BE SUPPORTIVE.
View and sign petition
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
Chairman: MR. SAMSON KRUPNICK, Yakir Yerushaliyim (Jerusalem Prize Winner); Board Member and Treasurer, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.; Israel Chairman, Jerusalem Embassy Initiative, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.; Board Chairman, Encyclopedia Talmudica; Former Board Chairman, Shaare Zedek Hospital; Columnist, National Jewish Post and Opinion
Hungarian Jewish Musical Tapestry - present from the heart to
Hillel Kook, his group and supporters who saved large numbers of Jews
in Hungary. MR. JOSEPH MARTON, accompanied by MR. NETANEL ZELAVSKY, and
joined by His Excellency DR. JANOS HOVARI, Ambassador of Hungary to
Israel, MR. SHAI CSILLAG, Association of Holocaust Survivors and MR.
LARRY PFEFFER, Holocaust survivor from Hungary
Greetings from Diplomatic Corps:
Ambassador MOSHE ARENS, Former Israeli Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States
Rabbi CHAIM SOLOVEICHIK, Founder and Director of the Rabbi Ahron
Rav of Congregation Ohr Shalom, Ramat Bet Shemesh; Rebbe of Yeshivat
Reishit Yerushaliyim, "Jewish Sources Requiring Activism"
DR. BECKY KOOK, Political Scientist, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "Reflections about my father, Hillel Kook", Lecture with documentary film footage of Hillel Kook
Christmas Without Jews: A Holocaust Controversy, by Dr. Rafael Medoff (Published in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, December 26, 2003)
A Jewish Boxer Who Fought for His People, Jewish World Review Jan. 7, 2004 / 13 Teves, 5764
Our Maverick El Salvadors, note by Larry Pfeffer
Remembering the mission of a "nuisance diplomat", event review by Shoshana Kordova, Ha'aretz Friday, August 28, 2003
Review by Batsheva Pomerantz on WZO Web Site
Review by the Event Chairman, Mr. Samson Krupnick
The evening's success owes a great deal to its experienced captain, Mr. Samson Krupnick, who steered the event with a steady hand.
Many of us present will remember for a long time that at the end of the event Mr. Krupnick asked us to stand and he recited the Kaddish in Hillel Kook's memory. This was a very meaningful and touching closing for such an important event.
Perhaps Mr. Krupnick is also to be commanded for saying positive things during the evening about Dr. Nachum Goldman and writing kindly in his review about Dr./Rabbi Steven Wise - the Zionist, Reform leader of war-time Judaism in America. The historical record judges Goldman and Wise, and also the leadership of the Zionist movement in the Yishuv (pre-State Israel), as guilty for not caring enough and for sabotaging rescue. Perhaps Mr. Krupnick is right that we try not to dwell on the Zionist movement's and these men's war time crimes against the abandoned and doomed Jews of Europe. Perhaps the major war time crimes are also slightly offset by these men's positive achievements before and after the war. That is for future generations to judge. On the other hand, if we adopt this kind and forgiving attitude, then we must not judge other nations and non-Jews any more harshly then the Zionist movement and major Jewish saboteurs who are responsible for the murder of large numbers of Jews.
Perhaps the most important thing is to try to at least learn from gross and tragic mistakes of our leaders during the Holocaust.
(Above note written by Larry Pfeffer)
Announcement in Jerusalem Post
| Professor Moshe
Past Minister of Defense, Ministser of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to Washington
First Hungarian Jewish Song
Left to Right:
Mr. Shai Csillag
Past Ambassador of Hungary: Dr. Janos Hovari
Mr. Netanel Zelavsky (with wind instrument)
Mr. Joseph Marton
Mr. Larry Pfeffer
Rabbi Meir Fendel
Mrs. Suzana Gun de Hasenson
Dr. Janos Hovari
Dr. Becky Kook
Dr. Robert Rosett
Mr. Robert Rydberg
Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik
Rabbi who lobbied for Holocaust
Rescue dies at
December 8, 2003 - Rabbi Baruch Robbins (Rabinowitz)
Jan 10, 2004