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News Release
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Media Advisory: Nordic Northwest Opens Wallenberg Exhibit with Scandinavian Havdalah Ceremony - 01/22/18

An inclusive Jewish ceremony in English, Swedish and Hebrew at sundown Saturday, Feb. 3, honors Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg by sharing traditions and rituals to individuals of all faiths.


WHAT: An exhibit entitled: "Raoul Wallenberg: To Me, There Is No Other Choice" documents the saga of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II. The opening reception for the exhibit is slated for Saturday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. with a Scandinavian Havdalah Ceremony. Havdalah is a traditional Jewish ceremony that separates the Sabbath and other holidays with good wishes for a new week. This brief and beautiful ritual involves lighting a special candle with several wicks, blessing a cup of wine and smelling sweet spices. Members of all faiths have observed and participated in this ceremony for centuries.

Wallenberg is widely celebrated for saving Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from German Nazis and Hungarian Fascists during the later stages of World War II. The Swedish diplomat issued protective passports and purchased buildings creating a sovereign Swedish territory in Budapest. Wallenberg saved more than 15,000 lives in just six months while working in Budapest between July and December 1944. After his arrest by the Soviets during the Red Siege of Budapest, he was never seen again. The exhibit, imported from the Swedish Institute in Stockholm, is free and open to the public now through March 30. It is sponsored by Barry and Darlene Peterson, ePrint and the Swedish Institute.
WHAT AND HOW: Supporters of the nonprofit community center Nordic Norwest (formerly The Scandinavian Heritage Society), members of the New Sweden Cultural Heritage Society and PSU's Institute of Judaic Studies have collaborated to create the Scandinavian Havdalah to celebrate the exhibit opening. The Feb. 3 Scandinavian Havdalah will offer refreshments that reflect the foods and drinks of Scandinavian heritage. Kosher foods and wine will be available.

WHEN AND WERE: The opening reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the Scandinavian Havdalah Ceremony at Nordic Northwest slated for 6:30pm at Nordia House 8800 SW Oleson Road Portland, Ore. 97223. RSVPs recommended: 503.977.0275 or shf.chaney@gmail.com. The Nordia House exhibit hall is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m., weekends 9:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.

DETAILS: Neutral countries that took in Jews during WWII include Switzerland, Portugal and Sweden. The Swedish took in nearly 30,000 Jews from Norway and other counties, including 7,000 Jews and 700 of their relatives who were not Jewish in a rescue coordinated by the Danish resistance movement.