By Daphne Abeel
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The misty, wet weather outside the windows of the Grand Hyatt Regency penthouse did nothing to dampen the spirits of Armenian Assembly members and supporters who gathered, on Friday, May 9, to honor the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and its executive director, Nancy Kaufman, for continued leadership in the affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
The event marked another step in the closer relations between the Armenian and Jewish communities in the wake of the national Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) refusal, last year, to fully acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Kaufman and the JCRC were recognized for their moral leadership and their stance over many years of affirmation of the Genocide.
Kaufman, who was the featured speaker, on April 18, at the 93rd commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Massachusetts State House, said, on that occasion, “As a way of not letting the Armenian Genocide be forgotten, I would like to bear witness – to testify — if you will — to that history. It is particularly important for us, as Jews, to speak out in support of your community’s efforts to fight denial.”
At Friday’s ceremony, after welcoming remarks by Herman Purutyan, Armenian Assembly state chair for Massachusetts, Rev. Greg Harutounian delivered an opening prayer, in which he said, “Let us offer thanks for a wonderful occasion, for the pursuit of truth and let us give thanks to our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community, and especially Nancy for standing with us.”
Said Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly, “The Genocide Resolution may be on pause, but the play button is within our reach.How do we reach our goal? We have the determination, and we can assure that we will not rest until the Armenian Genocide is universally affirmed, so that we can play our part in preventing future genocides. We will continue our advocacy on Capitol Hill in support of
human rights, democracy and justice — concepts that we hold near and dear.”
Perutyan then referred to the recent actions by many Massachusetts towns, which have divested themselves of the ADL-sponsored program, No Place for Hate (NPFH), and mentioned, in particular the leadership of the city of Newton and its mayor, David Cohen.