ELC Opens with a Gala Concert

Thursday, July 05, 2012 12:38 PM

The KKL-JNF European Leadership Conference opened in Prague on July 1, 2012, with 61 representatives from 14 European countries.


H.E. Yaakov Levy talks about the KKL-JNF blue box.
Photo: Martin Salajka

The KKL-JNF European Leadership Conference opened in Prague on July 1, 2012, with 61 representatives from 14 European countries. On the tour organized by the Prague Jewish community, participants heard about the history of the community, the ancient synagogues, the Jewish cemetery and the Maharal of Prague.
At a magnificent dinner in the Czernin Palace, attended by 150 guests, the Czech Chamber Orchestra performed. Among the honored guests were Siri Schneider, Deputy of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Frantisek Bányai, President of  The Prague Jewish Community; Pierre Lévy, French Ambassador to the Czech Republic; Karel Sedlacek, from International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem;  and Hana Orgonikova and Dr. Pavel Trpák, Members of Parliament of the Czech Republic.
Mr. Michael Pacovsky, President of KKL-JNF Czech Republic, opened the event by welcoming the guests and everyone attending the conference. In his greetings, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler noted that the festive evening marked the 85th year since the visit of Tomás Masaryk in Israel. “Masaryk, who led the movement for Czech independence and was the first President of Czechoslovakia, was a tireless warrior for human justice and a true friend on the Jewish people,” said Stenzler. “He was the first president of any country to visit the Jewish people in Israel, and I believe that the spirit of Masaryk had a great influence on the assistance we received from Czechoslovakia during our own war for independence.

L-R: Dr. Michael Pacovsky, Mr. Efi Stenzler & Mr. Eli Aflalo present gifts.
Photo: Martin Salajka

“Our nation has a very good memory,” said Stenzler. “We do not forget our friends. Therefore, when immigrants from Czechoslovakia founded a kibbutz on KKL-JNF land in the gulf of Haifa, they remembered our good friend and named it Kfar Masaryk.”
Mr. Eli Aflalo, KKL-JNF co-Chairman, also spoke about the long standing friendship between the people of Israel and the Czech nation.
Mr. Yaakov Levy, Israel Ambassador to the Czech Republic, noted the sentiments felt by Jewish communities all over the world for the KKL-JNF blue box. Ambassador Levy, who has served in many countries, said that wherever he went, he met people who emphasized the importance of the blue box and its contribution towards strengthening the connection of Jewish communities to the land of Israel.

Czech Chamber Orchestra performs for guests at Czernin Palace.
Photo: Martin Salajka