Romanian Jewish leader Dr Aurel Vainer passes away, aged 89

Dr. Aurel Vainer, Honorary President and former President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (2005-2020) passed away on 31 October 2021. He was 89 years old.

Born on January 10, 1932, in Ștefănești, Botoșani County, Aurel Vainer who later earned his Ph.D. in economics, was, first of all, a Man in the true sense of the word. Ein Mensch, as he liked to say about the few who had such a kind heart, just like him, who deserved to be called this name.

He was born in a Jewish family that he often mentioned and from which he inherited his attachment to work, the love for his neighbors, respect for his own dignity and for the dignity of those around him, whom he always tried not to humiliate, not to crush with the power of his authority. Whenever he was advised to take into account his age, and the years added relentlessly, one after the other, he would reply: “As many as God wants, I want, as well!”

Dr Vainer had an essential contribution to the development of Jewish life in Romania. He insisted on the need to make massive efforts to renovate the synagogues, even in places where Jews no longer lived, saying that the synagogues were the best statement and historical confirmation of the life of Jews in Romania. With all his might, he constantly fought against antisemitism and Holocaust denial, against hatred and discrimination.

He was fully committed to underlining the contribution of the Jewish community to the scientific, artistic, technological and social development of Romania and was the driving force behind the organization of cultural and book publishing events aimed at proving the participation of Jews in the wars fought by Romania for the unification of the country and the nation.

He was also a respected politician, the representative of the Jewish community in the Chamber of Deputies. There, too, he stood out and imposed himself as a personality due to his humanity, intelligence, culture, balance and strong wish to promote understanding and cooperation, always being against confrontation.

Without Aurel Vainer, the world is poorer, and those who had the opportunity to meet him and work with him were privileged. Unfortunately, God called Aurel Vainer to Him, and we, the ones left in mourning, can only ask ourselves, every once in a while, in difficult times: What would Aurel Vainer have done in this or that situation?

Dr. Vainer’s funeral will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, at 14:00 at the “Filantropia” Jewish Cemetery of Bucharest. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing!

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