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NEWS FROM FJC

Ambassador Godfrey's visit

At the invitation of President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, an informal dinner was organized on June 15 with representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. The meeting was attended by His Excellency Anthony Godfrey – US Ambassador to Serbia, Thomas Lee – Embassy Political Secretary, Ksenija Lazović – Embassy Political Adviser, Robert Sabadoš – FJC Serbia President, Rabbi Isak Asiel, and Barbara Panić – curator of the Jewish History Museum.

One of the conversation topics was the pandemic caused by the Covid 19 virus, and the importance of vaccination against this disease. President Sabadoš expressed his satisfaction with the high vaccination rate within the Jewish community, and pointed out that our members proved to be highly responsible. Owing to this, Jewish Communities could maintain their activities on the same level. 

Among other topics was also the Law on "Staro Sajmište" Memorial Center, enacted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, in February last year. Ambassador Godfrey was interested in whether the Jewish community is satisfied with the Law and how the process of establishing the Memorial Center is going on. President Sabadoš and Rabbi Asiel explained that the coronavirus pandemic slowed down planned activities, but that the renovation of the Central Tower is planned for this year. They also positively assessed the clause of the Law referring to the Program Council "Jewish Camp Zemun", which foresees five Council members. Considering been included into the also includes Both Ambassador Godfrey and President Sabadoš praised the decision of the Belgrade city authorities to incorporate the "Jewish Transit Camp Belgrade – Topovske šupe", in the "Staro Sajmište" Memorial Center, declare the space at Autokomanda public, and preserve the two existing buildings at the site of Topovske šupe. 

The next topic was the proposal of the Brose company, to rename one of the streets in Pančevo after Max Brose – a German industrialist, member of the National Socialist Party, director and founder of the company "Brose". After the Second World War, the company continued to operate and developed into one of the world's most important suppliers in the automobile industry. President Sabadoš pointed out to ambassador Godfrey that Brose would be an important investor in the city of Pančevo, but that the Jewish community strongly opposed naming the street after a man who helped the German economy during the war. Ambassador showed understanding for this attitude of the Jewish community in Serbia and expressed hope that, if possible, all parties will reach a mutually beneficial agreement. 
 


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