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news update 2014

The meeting in Tbilisi held an event in Georgia, and it coincided with government-sponsored celebrations of 2,600 years of coexistence between Jews and Georgian people in Georgia. Georgian officials, including Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke of his high regard for Israel and Jewish culture during the meeting.

This event is important, but there were small anti-Semitic meetings of some Orthodox Christian groups, who protested about celebrations of friendship of 2,600 years, because for some religious Christians it is unacceptable to celebrate Jewish events. (They also protested the 2013 Chanuka celebrations). These small events point to  increasing anti-Semitism in Georgia which did not take place earlier. We work a lot about these theme but we think we need to organise more educational  events preventing anti-Semitism. 

The second problem is domestic violence. For example during last 2 months more than 20 women were murdered by their husbands. We have organised several training sessions for women against domestic violence. Unfortunately, we have small financial resources and we can not work more intensively. This theme is very important for Georgia, and there is a need for shelters and economical support for the victims of domestic violence. 

The third problem is the preservation of our Jewish cultural heritage. We are working to preserve Jewish heritage in Georgia. Together  with the Ministry of Culture, w e have made a website in Georgian on which are shown on the map of Georgia the synagogues and information about famous Jewish persons of the 20th century. 

But if we had more finances we would like to make this website also in English and to add more information about Jewish heritage, which is very important for keeping our heritage at least virtually. 

I presented in Poland at the Lublin Forum about Jewish and non-Jewish heritage in Georgia , also about its history and conflicts . I was the only NGO representative from Georgia ,head of LEA/ICJW in Georgia and I think it was very important.