On Sunday, December 1st, 2013, the Ambassador of Romania in Israel, Mrs. Andrea Păstârnac, and Mr. Mircea Păstârnac, held a Reception and Romanian Wine Tasting evening in celebration of Romania's National Day, the Great Union Day as it is better known. (On this day in 1918, during the reign of king Ferdinand I, Romania, which at the time consisted of Moldova and Wallachia– was united with Transylvania, Crișana, Banat and the Maramureș area.)
The event took place in the Ruth Bruce Rappaport Foyer, in the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The ceremony began with the national anthems of Israel and Romania proudly intoned by all present.
Then, Rabbi Joseph A. Wasserman, President of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Romanian Jewry, said prayers for Hannuka, and lighted the 5th candle, singing, accompanied by the public, traditional songs of Hannukah.
Many distinguished guests, including Mrs. Yael German, Israel's Minister of Health, ambassadors and members of diplomatic missions, honored the event with their presence and offered heartfelt congratulations to the ambassador and the embassy staff on this special day.
Mrs. Yael German said that she was deeply honored and very pleased to represent the Government and People of Israel in congratulating Romania in this celebrating of her Day.
She further pointed out that Romania and Israel have enjoyed a very special and excellent relationship for the past 64 years, ever since Israel's rebirth in 1948. She noted that Romania had been the only country of the former Soviet bloc that maintained diplomatic relations with Israel throughout all these years without interruption.
She said that both countries have special ties based on a broad common foundation, share common values and cherish freedom, and have a similar strategic outlook regarding regional and international issues. Jewish and Romanian history is intertwined – and always was, in times of joy and sorrow alike. “We hope that the joint future of Israel and Romania will be one of security, hope, prosperity and peace.” – said Mrs. German. “The bilateral cooperation between Israel and Romania exists in various areas: political, economic, cultural, scientific, and more. Our ties are expressed also in many mutual official visits, as well as in the ever-growing touristic exchange between Israel and Romania.
She mentioned the following facts:
· The first meeting between governments was held in Jerusalem on November 24, 2011, and was headed by the Prime Ministers of Israel and Romania. The next meeting is expected to be held in Bucharest during the first half 2014.
· Romanian's President, Mr. Traian Băsescu, is planning to visit Israel in January 2014.
· Romanian's Prime Minister Mr. Titus Corlățean and the President of Romanian's Senate, Mr. Crin Antonescu, will visit Israel this coming December.
Mrs. German concluded by asking the Romania's Ambassador in Israel to convey to the Government and People of Romania best wishes and congratulations from the Government and People of Israel.
The Ambassador of Romania to Israel, Mrs. Andrea Păstârnac, addressed Mrs. Yael German, the distinguished guests and all the friends invited and said "This evening, beyond our titles and official capacities we are all friends of Romania. Today we celebrate the 95th birthday of Romania".
She continued by saying that both Romania and Israel, a young democracy of barely 65 years old, hold in the highest regards their uninterrupted friendship and celebrate continuous diplomatic relations between the two countries.
However, our history goes beyond that, stretching towards the beginning of the first millennium of the Common Era, when the first Jews arrived in the southern part of Dacia Felix. The rich and complex history of Romanian Jewry continues from the 14th to the 21st century. The Jews became the second largest ethnic component in the Old Kingdom of Romania, then the fourth largest community, in the new state emerging from the 1918 Unification.
The unitary history of the Romanian people highlighted the cultural Judaic life, which gradually developed an original Romanian Jewish nature, blending specific forms with contributions to Romanian life and culture.
30 years after the historical moment of Great Union, Romania and Israel established full diplomatic relations in June 11, 1948.
We share today all these years of history, and on this complex and unique ground we are building a special relation.
She ended by wishing:
"Happy Anniversary - La Mulți Ani, Românie!".
Amongst the distinguished guests that took part in the ceremony were:
· Mr. Abraham Rosental, Director General of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, and previous CEO of the Israel's Hotel Association.
· Mr. Bruno Landberg, Founder and Chairman of the Sano Group.
The evening was also highlighted by the superb performance of Izabela Barbu, an acclaimed Romanian singer known as Jezebel, who delighted the audience with Romanian songs and ballads. She was accompanied by the guitar players Mihai Melinescuand Tudor Anghelescu.
Photo Silvia G.Golan