Tuesday, September 20, 2005

This morning I was at the university, and right after I returned home I got a phonecall from a very friendly woman, named Liesbeth, who is one of the initiators of the 'Dutch school' in Tel Aviv. Already for one year a Dutch school exists in the city of Modi'in, a wonderful initiative of some Dutch and Dutch-Israeli fathers and mothers who wanted their children to get some basic knowledge of ( part of ) their roots, and to learn the Dutch language. This year a similar project will start in Tel Aviv, and Liesbeth is trying to find out if there are enough families in the northern part of Israel to set up such a school here. I am very enthusiastic, and I know of some other people who would like their children to attend class once a week to learn and play in their parents' mothertongue. Hopefully all this will work out, and soon my children will hear Dutch not only from me, but also from Liesbeth and from their peers. Even though I am rarely the first to volunteer - my wife does that for me - I am more than willing to put some time and effort in this initiative.
Anyway, because I had not been online ( or watched any television ) all morning, it was only after my mother sent me an e-mail that I learnt that Simon Wiesenthal died. In the last decade or so I read a lot about him that turned him into a more human and less god-like person than the image I had of him when I was a youngster, but still, this man did a lot of important work, and he rightfully was and for some time will remain one of the main symbols of the remembrance of the Holocaust, as well as of the ongoing efforts to name and shame its perpetrators, and to bring them to trial if/where possible. May his memory be a blessing.

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