On June 21, Consul Cunanan attended the regular Sabbath luncheon of the Jewish Association of the Philippines, upon the invitation of Director Lee Blumenthal and President Paul Rosenberg. The event was held at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue in Makati City. It is the only Synagogue in the Philippines.
During the luncheon, which was attended by members of the JAP, Consul Cunanan formally presented a book to the congregation, led by Mr. Rosenberg. Entitled “Cultural Heritage of Georgian Jews”, the book was a gift to the JAP by the author, Professor Lela Tsitsuashvili, who is the curator of the Fine Arts Gallery of the National Museum of Georgia.
Ms. Tsitsuashvili, one of the leading Jewish personalities in Georgia, has done plenty of research into the history and heritage of Jews in her country. The book is a compilation of the different cultural artifacts and icons of Jewish tradition in the Caucasus and was especially dedicated by Ms. Tsitsuashvili to the JAP.
Consul Cunanan also made a brief explanation about the history of the Jewish people in Georgia, who trace their history back over 2,500 years and whose Christian converts were responsible for helping St. Nino of Cappadocia spread Christianity in the country. Consul Cunanan thanked the congregation for their friendship and support and vowed to work for greater understanding and awareness between the Jewish communities of Georgia and the Philippines.
Consul Cunanan and Ms. Tsitsuashvili are working on several cultural projects to bring the Philippines and Georgia closer together, including an exhibition in November in Tbilisi of famous Philippine painter Pancho Piano, who will become the first Filipino visual artist to exhibit in Georgia.