AAA: 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide Highlighted at AJC Diplo

Date: April 8, 2015

Contact: Taniel Koushakjian
Telephone: (202) 393-3434
Email: [email protected]


BOSTON MA – On Sunday, March 22nd, the American Jewish Committee of
Boston (AJC) hosted their 16th annual Diplomatic Seder at the John F.
Kennedy Presidential Library on Boston’s historic waterfront. The Seder
brought together 450 guests, representing a wide range of community
leaders, and the consular corps from throughout the region, to have dinner
and reenact the Passover Seder meal while bringing witness and hearing
testimonies of injustice.

This year marked the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the
70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The AJC invited Dr. Arpi
Boynarian, originally from Syria, and Issy Aurbacker, a Holocaust survivor
from Auschwitz, to testify.

Dr. Arpi Boynarian who originated from Homs and later Aleppo, Syria
provided moving testimony during the dinner hour. Dr. Boynarian testified
that Armenians lived at peace in Syria until Islamists destroyed the City
of Homs and Aleppo. Dr. Boynarian described the tightly knit community in
Aleppo and described how her husband, Rev. Fr. Avedis Boynarian, would
visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor to pray for those
who died during the Genocide. She described how the sanctuary was destroyed
by radical Islamists and condemned the violence and intolerance as the root
of all evil. Dr. Boynarian sent a warning to the audience to act now,

“Last September, the Armenian Memorial at Der Zor was overrun and
destroyed by the Islamists. Once again, our homes, our churches, our world
is being violently dismantled. It now seems that what happened 100 years
ago is happening again. It is almost unbearable to think about.”

At the conclusion of her testimony, the audience stood and gave Dr.
Boynarian a round of applause. `Listening to Dr. Boynarian’s and Mr.
Aurbacker’s testimonies once again re-emphasized our shared sufferings and
the human determination to overcome unspeakable horrors,’ stated Armenian
Assembly Massachusetts Chair Herman Purutyan. `We are glad to have
stand with us in our efforts to bring attention to the Armenian Genocide,
the unpunished crime against humanity, and in doing so help to prevent
future genocides,’ Purutyan said.

Rev. Fr. Avedis Boynarian and Dr. Arpi Boynarian were joined by Armenian
Assembly of America Board of Trustees Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian who was
seated with Israeli Consular Yehuda Yaakov. Purutyan was seated with French
Consular Fabien Fieschi together with the Boynarians and Barsamian.

In 2014, the AJC re-stated its commitment to recognize the Armenian
Genocide and has called upon organizations and governments to do the same,

“In a month of solemn remembrance of the atrocities of the last century –
from the 20th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide to the
annual commemoration in Israel and the United States of the Holocaust – we
pause in mournful tribute to the memories of the estimated 1.5 million
victims of the Meds Yeghern, the Genocide of Armenians, committed in the
final years of the Ottoman Empire.”

The Passover Seder marks the Israelite exodus from slavery in ancient
Egypt. It is also an occasion to celebrate the universal human quest for
freedom with leaders of Boston’s religious, ethnic, academic, political,
and human rights communities. In a time of urgent global challenges, the
AJC Boston Diplomats Seder connects the modern quest for religious freedom,
free speech, coexistence, and other core democratic virtues with the
ancient Jewish ritual of the Passover Seder.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and
awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt membership organization.


NR: # 2015-021

Photo Caption 1: Dr. Arpi Boynarian speaking during AJC’s 16th Annual
Diplomatic Seder/Photo courtesy AJC.

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