Dozens of local KH activists and supporters,as well as KH
activists from France, led by Chairman of Keren Hayesod France, Dr. Richard Prasquier, from Belgium and from Germany, along with members of the Jewish community in Venice and of the local and regional Italy-Israel friendship associations, took part in a conference organized by Keren Hayesod Italy in Venice between March 24-26.
The participants after the ceremony. Sitting in front of them, Israeli Ambassador Ofer Sachs.
The event was held under the banner of "From Holocaust to Revival" – notably to mark the 70th anniversary of the sailing of the clandestine immigration ship "Kadima" from the island of Pellestrina in the Venetian laguna, in 1947. The ship was boarded by 794 Holocaust survivors - men, women and children - who sought to reach the Land of Israel, but were arrested at sea by the British navy. They were taken to Haifa and from there deported to Cyprus, where they remained until they finally reached their destination in the independent State of Israel. Keren Hayesod is pleased and proud to revive this story, which was all but forgotten by both the Jewish community and the local residents, for the sake of history and of future generations.
Lea Taragan's testimony on Pellestrina Island.
The guest of honor at the conference was Mrs. Lea Taragan, then an eight-old girl who boarded the ship with her parents after a long and difficult journey from Romania to northern Italy, and today a smiling and energetic grandmother from Kiryat Bialik in northern Israel. "I don’t believe that I'm coming back here”, Leah said. “Suddenly the voyage, the scenery, my parents – all the blurry pictures in my memory are becoming clearer". Her testimony about her journey from Romania, where she was born, to the British detention camp in Cyprus moved the participants in the salute and remembrance ceremony that took place on Pellestrina on Sunday, March 26, and which the Israeli ambassador to Italy, Ofer Sacks, and the deputy mayor of Venice, Luciana Colle, honored with their presence.
General Peled at the gala dinner.
Earlier, on Saturday night, March 25, a festive dinner was held in Venice, with the participation of Maj. Gen. (res.) Yossi Peled, also a Holocaust survivor, who told the audience: "We live in Israel and you are in the Diaspora, but we will share responsibility for our past, present and future forever.” The previous day, an exhibit on “Kadima” specifically and on clandestine immigration in general opened at the Jewish Museum in the ghetto.
There is no doubt that this weekend, produced Keren Hayesod Italy by representative, Carmel Luzzatti and his staff (Afsaneh Kaboli, Enrica Moscati and Stefania Moscati), under the direction of KH president Andrea Jarach will long be engraved in the memories of all those who were privileged to take part in it.