Representatives of the political, academic, scientific and cultural world, members of the Jewish cults and of the Jewish community from Romania and Israel and diplomats on Tuesday participated in an workshop dubbed 'Bridges of Tolerance - The Contribution of the Jewish People to the Romanian Culture' organised by the B'nai B'rith Europe foundation at the Parliament Palace.
The President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania (FCER), MP Aurel Vainer, said that 'the positive elements brought by the long presence of the Jewish people in our country represent a proof that the Romanian people have always remained, in the good and bad times, tolerant towards the Jewish minority'.
'Intolerance represents a failure for both the individual and the society, while tolerance should not be seen as a sign of weakness, but as a sign of strength', said the former Romanian President Ion Iliescu.
Culture Minister, Daniel Barbu, considers that 'excellence', whether in art or in science, is the word that characterizes the best the contribution brought by the Jewish population to the edification of modern Romania. He also underscored the Jewish contribution to the building of the concept of citizenship back in 1878, once with the debate on the Romanian Constitution revision, by expanding beyond the letter of the Constitution from 1866, which Constitution only accepted the naturalization of Christian foreigners.
Cristian David, Minister Delegate for Romanians Everywhere referred to the 'the bridges of tolerance' in the sense of mutual respect and tolerance.
'Collective ideologies of hate must be combated and eradicated', said David, while referring to both the Holocaust and Gulag periods.
'A bridge of cohabitation' was the phrase that the President of the Romanian Academy, Ionel Haiduc, used in his turn.
'We identified 50 members of the Romanian Academy' [that were Jews, editor's note], said Haiduc, mentioning, among others: Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea, Moses Gaster, Ion Ianosi, Tudor Vianu, Al. Graur. Mihai Roler, David Emanuel, Simion Sanielevici, Ivan Singer, Solomon Marcus, Radu Grigorovici, Eugen Segal, Maya Simionescu, Martin Bercovici, Barbu Zaharescu, Eugen Baraschi, Mihail Cernea, Andrei Banu, Constantin Ionescu Gulianu, Idel Iankelevici, Matei Socor and Jacques Elias.
Mihnea Costoiu, Minister Delegate for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development celebrated the contribution of Jewish scientists to the development of the Romanian research: Academician Nicolae Cajal, David Emanuel, Solomon Marcus, Dan Simovici, Eugen Segal, Iulius Poper, Marin Bercovici, Iuliu Baras, Liviu Beris, Zigu Ornea, Norman Manea.
Attending the workshop was also the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Bucharest, Dan Ben Eliezer.
The 'Bridges of Tolerance' project is organised by B'nai B'rith Europe, a non-profit organisation fighting to eliminate all forms of discrimination, eradicate xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism, through promoting the Jewish identity and culture.
The projects will be carried out for five years, every year following to be devoted to a different field of activity — music, painting, literature, film, theater, public personalities. The debut of the project this year is also based on the declaration by the European Parliament of the year 2013 to be The European Year of Citizens. AGERPRES