Tel Aviv University Pays Tribute to Raoul Wallenberg
Seven decades after Raoul Wallenberg's disappearance, Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry organized a conference in honor of the courageous Swedish diplomat – a beacon in the struggle for tolerance and one of the Righteous Among the Nations.
“Today's gathering is a tribute to a great man who risked his young life to save human beings he never met before,” said TAU President Prof. Joseph Klafter to the guests at the event, who included Ms. Cecilia Åhlberg, a member of the Wallenberg family, and Mr. Danny Rainer of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.
The conference, "Seventy Years without Raoul Wallenberg – International Diplomatic and Legislative Activity against Racial Discrimination,” was co-sponsored by TAU's Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center and by the Embassy of Sweden in Israel. It took place at the Cymbalista Center and was chaired by Kantor Center head Prof. Dina Porat and Swedish Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Carl Magnus Nesser. Guests of honor included former Swedish Minister of Democracy Mr. Jens Orback and former Canadian Minister of Justice Prof. Irwin Cotler.
Additional speakers were TAU Vice President Prof. Raanan Rein, former President of TAU Prof. Yoram Dinstein, and Ms. Talia Naamat of the Kantor Center.
The January conference also marked 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz and 10 years since the UN determined that the 27th of January would serve as International Holocaust Remembrance Day for all member countries.
Tel Aviv University has allocated Raoul Wallenberg scholarships for the past 28 years to support students studying human rights and the history of the Holocaust. The scholarships are funded by the Swedish Friends of TAU, who were represented at the event by their former President, Prof. Peter Seidman.
On the heels of the gruesome attacks in Paris, Prof. Klafter reminded the audience that “racial and ethnic discrimination never really goes away; it just takes new forms. Understanding its roots, disseminating knowledge, and fostering social and legal policies to battle discrimination is the role of Tel Aviv University.”