Open Doors Monument
History of the Jews in the Philippines

m_2The history of the Jewish Community in Manila goes back to the Spanish Inquisition of the 16th century, when many Jews of Spain, who were forcibly converted to Christianity, observed their Jewish life in secret and found themselves tried, convicted, and expelled for heretical behavior. Known as Marranos or "New Christians," these Crypto-Jews accompanied Spanish adventurers who settled in many Far Eastern ports, Manila included.

Monument Description

odmonumentConceptualized in 2005, the Embassy of the Philippines to Israel, the Filipino Community, the Holocaust survivors and their families in Israel and from all over the world undertook initiatives to raise funds for the monument. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts sponsored a competition for the design of the monument. Mr. Jun Yee, an artist, won the said competition and supervised the fabrication of its components for shipment to Israel. The monument base is tiled with Romblon marbles donated by the Romblon Chamber of Commerce, Forward Romblon and Romblon Bar Association.

Unveiling of the Open Doors Monument

               On 21 June 2009, the Open Doors monument was finally unveiled by Hon. Joseph H. Durano, Secretary of Tourism, Hon. Michael Eitan, Member of the Knesset and Minister of Improvement of Government Services, and Hon. Dov Zur, Mayor of Rishon Lezion. Secretary Joseph Durano noted that the monument represented the friendship between both countries and symbolized Jewish perseverance and Filipino dedication in times of crisis. He dedicated the monument to every Israeli and Filipino, saying that “it’s a good day to be a Filipino”.