Annie Sandler receives award in Romania

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Latest News

While in Bucharest, Romania with JDC earlier this year, Annie Sandler was recognized by the Romanian government with Romania’s “Grand Officer of the National Order for Merit.”
The ceremony took place on International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27. Sandler was joined by several JDC board members and supporters.

At the solemn event at the Choral Synagogue, “I was joined by JDC CEO, Ariel Zwang, and our wonderful Romania Country director, Israel Sabag,” says Sandler. “We were honored for JDC’s special relationship and support of the Romanian Jewish community. It was a humbling and incredibly powerful moment, and it was followed by two days of extraordinary hospitality, warmth, and soulful visits with the Jewish community.”

Silviu Vexler, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, who JDC has worked with over the decades to rebuild and strengthen Jewish life, hosted the group.
According to Vexler, the President of Romania, His Excellency Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, decided to bestow upon Sandler the Grand Officer of the National Order for Merit “as a sign of high appreciation for the special support granted to the Jewish communities in Romania, the fundamental contribution to the development of Jewish life in Romania, the major positive impact on the situation of Jews in Romania as well as for the constant and long term involvement in promoting the image of Romania around the world”

“I am honored to be a part of this century-plus work and my family’s ongoing involvement in this effort. Our community (Tidewater) has been assisting to re-build the Jewish community for decades,” says Sandler.

Annis Sandler visits with “the birthday girl.”
Annie Sandler visits with “the birthday girl.”

“Through the leadership of Israel Sabag, we have ensured that Romania’s Jewish community, almost decimated in the Holocaust, is today strong and proud and helps lead Jewish communities in the region in addressing many challenges, including the recent influx of refugees from Ukraine,” she says.

The government of Romania has restored synagogues, she notes.

After the ceremony, Sandler and others from JDC did home visits. At one, they spent about 45 minutes with a woman who was about to turn 100. The group took her a birthday cake and both the ‘birthday girl’ and the group enjoyed every minute of the visit.

So many reasons to say “Mazel Tov!”