Israel honors Philippines for offering Jews refuge

(JTA) — Israel will honor the Philippines with a sculpture for harboring Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

The sculpture, by Filipino artist Jun Yee, features three door frames signifying an open-door policy. It will be unveiled at Rishon LeZion’s Holocaust Memorial Park on June 21. 

In 1939, President Manuel Quezon offered to absorb 10,000 European Jewish refugees a year, but only 1,200 made it before the nation – then a U.S. commonwealth – fell to the Japanese.

The sculpture was the initiative of the late Philippines ambassador to Israel, Antonio Modena.

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