Monument to the Deportees is Renovated and Rededicated in a
in the courtyard of the Great Orthodox Synagogue erected in
1946 by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust was rededicated in
a ceremony on November 9, 2003. Approximately 200 people participated,
including Oradean officials and religious leaders, Romania's
Jewish Community and representatives of the Lempert Family Foundation,
the project's initiator and sponsor.
ceremony took place under the religious officiating of Iosif
Adler, Chief Cantor of the Coral Temple in Bucharest. Participants
included Mr. Pertu Filip, Mayor of Oradea, Dr. Tiberiu Benedek
from Bucharest, representing the Federation of Jewish Communities
of Romania, Mr. Felix Koppelman, President of the Oradea Jewish
Community, religious leaders, as well as other City, County
and political officials. Many of Oradea's one hundred living
survivors were present, as were their children, grandchildren
and friends. Members of the local media covered the proceedings
and the several newspapers, radio stations and televisions stations
carried the story.
founder of the Foundation and member of the Steering Committee,
and Dr. Francisco Trilla, advisor to Foundation, traveled to
Oradea from the United States to be present at the rededication
of the renewed "Old Monument".
and rededication of the Monument of the Deportees is the first
completed project of the Lempert Family Foundation's plans to
learn and teach about the legacy of the Jewish Community of
of restoration work on and around the imposing black marble
monument, with its original Hebrew inscription, the structure
was outfitted with two eternal lights. Four bronze plaques,
inscribed with modern translations of the original text, were
permanently affixed on stands nearby, telling visitors in four
languages (Romanian, Hungarian, Hebrew, and English) about the
fate of the Jewish Community of Oradea.
service inside the Great Orthodox Synagogue, built in 1891,
Mr. Koppelman thanked all who contributed to the project. He
spoke about the martyrs and the survivors who built the monument.
In their speeches, Mr. Petru Filip and Dr. Benedek, both emphasized
the need for the monument and for keeping the memory alive.
The Mayor recognized the important contribution of the Jewish
community to the development of the city.
about the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Norbert Lempert said
of the survivors: "as they worked to recover and build new lives,
they undertook to commemorate the souls of their loved ones,
lost in extermination camps. They erected this Monument. We
are here today to remember and honor the ones who came back
and the ones who never came back." Referring to the historic
Jewish community of the city, he expressed the goal of the Oradea
Projects as making "their legacy of true stories, lessons and
values of tolerance, understanding and generosity available
today, to all, especially to Oradea's children."
the rededication ceremony, the local Hakeshet youth choir gave
a musical performance. The final event of the morning was a
hosted brunch for all participants at the nearby Jewish Community