Ecuadorian President praised the Jewish community of their country during the 80th anniversary.
Several Jewish and non-Jewish officials participated in the ceremony held Thursday in the Comunidad Judo de Ecuador synagogue in the capital Quito. President Lenin Moreno highlighted Jewish Ecuadorian contributions to the South American community, reports Agencia Judia de Noticias news site on Monday.
"Today, let me feel like a proud heir to the power of generations and citizens who opened the borders and heart to all the Jewish brothers who chose my homeland to escape the horrors and find peace," Moreno said.
Moreno also said that the Andean people were one of the few who "did not stop" the arrival of the Jews and voted for the United Nations resolution in 1947, which created the state of Israel, which he called the "great motherland" of the Jewish people.
"At a time when anti-Semitism overlaps, Ecuador will always protect its citizens," said Abraham Vigoda, head of the Jewish community in Ecuador, adding that the country offers "complete tolerance."
Israeli Ambassador to Ecuador, Edwin Jabo, read the letter from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin: "We will not forget humanitarian aid from Ecuador," Rivlin said. He also recalled the Ecuadorian congress, Manuel Antonio Munoz Borrero, who, during the Second World War, saved about 700 Jewish lives in Jerusalem when he was proclaimed "fair among nations."
Although the first Jews were in the country more than 80 years ago, the official birthday anniversary is the creation of the first organized community, coinciding with the death of Crystal or Broken Glass overnight.
"It's a Jewish community that has never been very big, but has always been important in promoting industry, production, cattle breeding, pharmacy and architecture," said Yabo.
Ecuador has about 650 Jews, many of whom are descendants of the German, Austrian, Czech and Polish founding members of the local community.