Interational Day Against Racial Discrimination
Today we celebrate a double celebration: On the Hebrew calendar we commemorate Purim (14th of Adar Bet) and we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On Purim we wear masks and costumes, embody the broad human diversity, and celebrate a variety of colors and figures. On this day we wear costumes from different clothings, and introduce ourselves as members of other religions and nationalities, enjoy together and discover that basically we are all just the same. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marks the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which 69 black demonstrators were killed by the South African police as part of a peaceful protest against the apartheid laws that separated and discriminated between blacks and whites. The festival of Purim also originates from the persecution we suffered because of our origins. The beautiful and complex message of the Purim celebrations, in which we are commanded to celebrate until we will forget the difference between Haman the evil and Mordecai the righteous, is a message of acceptance and openness. A message of human diversity, of resistance to persecution in the most cheerful and liberated manner. A message of tolerance that comes through joy and pleasure. The combination of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Purim is perhaps coincidental, but it is exciting and unique. It mentions the Jewish past, sharpens our commitment to equality, and illuminates our future steps. In the spirit of this day, we will once again say that the great collection of faces and stories that make up society is the largest, most beautiful and significant resource we have. On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - as well as on other days - we assist asylum seekers, through Hebrew and English studies, preparation for academia, vocational training and academic studies. On Purim - as well as on other days - we laugh and celebrate with the members of the community, at events and during holidays and workshops. In the connection between these two days, it is important for us to call upon the government and the public not to stand idly by - we invite everyone to enjoy and to act against racial discrimination.