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Remembering the Jewish community of North Macedonia with Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

As part of the 1000 Chanukah Candles of Remembrance campaign, the Center for Jewish Impact teamed up with Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv and Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to light the menorah in the memory of the Jewish community of North Macedonia which was destroyed during the Holocaust.

The event included our Chairman, Robert Singer, Chairman of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, Shimon Mizrahi, Ambassador of Israel to North Macedonia, Dan Oryan, Israel's Ambassador of Goodwill and Maccabi Tel Aviv Hall of Famer, Tal Brody and more.

During the event, Holocaust survivor Mati Greenberg shared his story of being the last baby that was born in North Macedonia and survived during the Holocaust.

Robert Singer, the Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact spoke about the Jewish Community that was destroyed, “The Jewish Community of North Macedonia was wiped out twice, during the Holocaust when only 2% survived and the second time when their memory and story aren’t publicized and remembered. By participating in this project on Chanukah together with Maccabi Tel Aviv gives an opportunity to illuminate the memory of the community while celebrating the holiday along with promoting their memories.”

People lighting candles on a Chnukiyah.

“I am very excited about this event,” said Shimon Mizrahi. “In Israel, everyone knows what happened in the Holocaust but there is not enough awareness of what happened in North Macedonia – and therefore there is great importance to such an event, which can bring the story of Macedonian Jews to global consciousness.

“It is clear that Maccabi and Zionism have always gone and will always go together, and the name Maccabi comes from this source. All of it is connected, and I am proud that we have a connection to commemorate the Jews of North Macedonia together with the Jewish Impact Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Mizrahi added.

People posing for a group photo in front of a Chanukiyah

Amb. Dan Oryan, the Israeli Ambassador to North Macedonia also spoke about the importance of the event, “The entire Jewish community of Northern Macedonia was destroyed, and we march in her memory every year as part of the March of the Living. Due to the coronavirus’s limitations, we had to cancel the parade and looked for another way to illuminate their memory.

“There is one Jew left, and there is no one left to tell the story,” Oryan said. “Since it was impossible to march this year, we decided to commemorate their memory with Hanukkah candles – and we are happy about the partnership with the Center for Jewish Impact and with Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball in doing so.”


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