The Friends of Zion Museum hosted two major international delegations to its Jerusalem campus this week. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations brought more than 100 leaders from the Conference's 53 member organizations along with a distinguished group from the diplomatic corps that included numerous ambassadors serving in Israel to attend private events at the museum. The Conference of Presidents, in Israel for its 42nd consecutive annual Leadership Mission to Israel, met with three heads of state and high-level Israeli leaders, academics, diplomats and opinion makers across the political spectrum during their mission.
South Africa's Ambassador Ngombne expressed the feelings of the diplomatic delegation when he said, "This was a very good experience which captured history in a very precise way." Attending were representatives from the diplomatic community from Angola, Belize, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, South African, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.
The museum awarded Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, with the John Patterson Leadership Award - an exact replica of the flag of the Jewish Legion, the first Jewish fighting force in over 2000 years. Lt. Col. Patterson, a Zionist whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the godfather of Israel's army, commanded the Jewish Legion that served with distinction in the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns of World War I.
The Museum tells the story of many friends of Israel who helped the Jewish people over recent generations throughout the British Mandate, the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. It depicts the contributions of friends of Israel such as former US President Harry Truman, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Prof. George Bush (a relative of former US President George W. Bush), Orde Wingate, and Righteous Gentiles such as Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and the Ten Boom family, who risked their lives and the lives of their families to save Jews persecuted throughout the world. Dutch Ambassador Ambassador Plug said, "I was most interested to see that the story of Ten Boom family, the Dutch heroes who saved the lives of so many Jews."
"We are so grateful to all those who created this miracle; including Friends of Zion, Jewish and non-Jewish. Nothing is greater than the cause of friendship among human beings," said President Shimon Peres, Israel's 9th President and the Chairman of the Friends of Zion Museum.
The Friends of Zion Museum is an experiential walk through the history of modern Israel, whose exhibits use three-dimensional technology to bring to life the heroes who made the miracle of the State of Israel possible. Since the launch of the Museum a few months ago, it has been visited by tens of thousands of visitors, individuals and groups, tourists from around the world and local visitors from Jerusalem and elsewhere.
The Museum is open to visitors daily and reservations can be made via the website www.fozmuseum.com, via email at [email protected] or by phone +972-2-532-9400. Museum Address: Friends of Zion Museum, 20 Yosef Rivlin Street in Jerusalem.
Ambassadors from around the world introduce themselves at the FOZ Museum