April 19, 2023 — New York
This week, American Jewish Committee (AJC) marks two significant anniversaries in Jewish history: the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the 120th anniversary of the Kishinev pogroms.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on April 19, 1943, when a group of Jewish fighters launched a rebellion against the Nazi occupation. Despite being vastly outnumbered and outgunned, the fighters held out for nearly a month before the Nazis finally overpowered them. The uprising represented Jewish resistance and defiance in the face of overwhelming odds; that’s why Yom HaShoah, the annual Jewish remembrance day for victims of the Holocaust, coincides with this date on the Hebrew calendar.
The Kishinev pogroms, which occurred in April 1903, were a series of violent attacks on Jews in the city of Kishinev, in what is now Moldova. The attacks were sparked by false accusations that Jews were responsible for the murder of a Christian child. Over the course of several days, mobs rampaged through the city’s Jewish quarter, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds more. AJC, the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, was founded in 1906 in response to these vicious pogroms in Tsarist-ruled Kishinev.
"The Kishinev pogroms marked a crucial turning point in the history of American Jews, emphasizing the necessity for a robust and coordinated Jewish reaction against antisemitic violence and oppression,” said AJC President Michael Tichnor. “American Jewish Committee was established in response to these horrific events with the goal of promoting and protecting the rights and safety of Jews, both in America and in other countries. AJC remains committed to supporting Jewish communities globally to this day.”
“The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Kishinev pogroms took place during some of the darkest moments of Jewish persecution, but they are also symbolic of the courage and resilience of the Jewish people,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “As we mark these anniversaries, we remember the victims of the Kishinev pogroms and honor the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto who fought back against the Nazis.”
Sam Kliger, AJC's Director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs, is representing AJC at events in Moldova memorializing the 120th anniversary of the Kishinev pogrom. AJC maintains close relations with Moldova’s democratic government and with the Jewish Community of Moldova, an AJC international partner since 2014. Board members of the AJC Central Europe Institute, AJC Shapiro Silverberg Central Europe Office Director Dr. Sebastian Rejak, and AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson represented the organization in Yom HaShoah and Warsaw Ghetto Uprising commemorative events in Warsaw.