Rishon LeZion, Tel Aviv, Israel
August 30, 2018
The Open Doors Monument at the municipality of Rishon LeZion in Israel is a memorial of shared friendship and relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the State of Israel. It serves as a testament of the open door policy of the Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Manuel L. Quezon in the 1930s that allowed Jews, who were fleeing the Holocaust in Europe, to enter the Philippines as their safe haven.
Designed by Filipino artist Luis ‘Junyee’ Yee, Jr., the three open doors in increasing heights symbolize the humanitarian deeds and the courage of Filipinos in welcoming the Jews under the open door policy in 1939. These open doors have triangular patterns that represent the triangles of the Philippine flag. Beneath the monument is the Star of David to mark the close and friendly relations between the Philippines and Israel. The light in the monument signifies the sun ‘that brought hope and warm hospitality of the Filipino people’ in welcoming the Jews. These Doors are painted brown to symbolize the Malay race of the Filipinos.
Joining the Open Doors Monument are three footprints which belonged to three different persons: George Loewenstein who was one of the thousands of Jews who sought refuge in the Philippines in 1939; Max Weissler who was a refugee from Germany and arrived in the Philippines in 1941; and Doryliz Goffer, a Filipino-Israeli born in the Philippines who is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Her footprint represents the continuing friendship between the Philippines and Israel.
The open door policy of the former Philippine Commonwealth Government is just one of the pivotal events that commenced and strengthened the shared historical, humanitarian, and people-to-people ties between the Philippines and Israel.
* * *