RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The mayor of Brazil’s largest city approved a Holocaust Remembrance Day beginning next year.
Sao Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab signed a measure Monday that sets Jan. 27 as a municipal day to honor Shoah victims. Sao Paulo Municipal Holocaust Remembrance Day will be held for the first time in 2010.
"The Holocaust was a terrible period in the history of humanity," Kassab told Brazilian media. "This date is our opportunity for the city of Sao Paulo to have a special day of reflection."
Jewish council member Floriano Pesaro had proposed the bill.
Several Jewish officials attended the announcement, including the presidents of the Holocaust Survivors Brazilian Association, the Latin American Jewish Congress, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation and Sao Paulo State Jewish Federation. At the end of the ceremony, the fourth Chanukah candle was lit.
Sao Paulo is the capital city of Sao Paulo state, which has a 60,000-member Jewish community, or half of Brazil’s Jews.