Vienna, April 11, 2013 – On Wednesday, 10 April 2013, numerous bilateral ambassadors joined representatives of the Israeli Embassy in Vienna, the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Jewish Community Vienna for a traditional Seder dinner, which marks the start of Passover for the Jewish community worldwide. The celebration was led by Chief Rabbi Chaim Eisenberg and constitutes a joint initiative of the Israeli Embassy, the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Community of Vienna. The idea behind the event was to highlight an important aspect of Jewish culture – the joint celebration of holidays – as well as to promote a dialogue between people from different cultures.
In his speech, Ambassador Dr. Martin Eichtinger, Head of the Cultural Policy Section in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, also emphasised the importance of dialogue in promoting an improved understanding between different cultures. Chief Rabbi Eisenberg explained the different traditions associated with Passover to those present and Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community Vienna, talked about the dangers of rising anti-Semitism, pointing out the importance of members of different cultures getting to know each other, thus learning to develop tolerance. Galit Ronen, Ambassador from the Israeli Embassy in Vienna, talked about Passover as a family celebration – a tradition that now included the wider “ambassadorial” family.
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